Good Morning!  It’s early, it’s POURING rain and it’s really dark out, but here we go.  I know that many of you out there have the reality TV bug.  And one of our favorite show’s is The Biggest Loser.  We watch because it’s inspiring to see people lose that much weight and “change their lives”.  Unfortunately, just like most reality TV, it’s just NOT reality.  This puts up a two-fold problem.  First off, we’ll deal with the show itself.  The premise that people can lose that much weight that quickly in a safe and sustainable manner is just ridiculous.  Contestants on the show will routinely drop double-digit pounds in a week (especially in the early stages).  This is not healthy.  Current healthy and sustainable standards recommend no more than about 1-2 lbs per week (up to a max of about 1% of your total body weight).  That is fat loss.  The rest is water weight and Lean Body Mass (LBM).  I will not name any names in my post, but contestants have admitted to fasting and severely dehydrating in the days leading up to a weigh-in.  Some to the point where they actually urinated blood.  Not a good sign.  Plus, the methodology used to obtain this weight loss is absurd!  Contestants are asked to workout up to 6 hours a day and are restricted to about 1200 calorie intake per day.  You’d lose silly weight, too.  Imagine the time that you spend at your JOB.  Now put that into training.  Of course you’d lose weight.  But the fact of the matter is is that for the vast majority, it’s not sustainable.  What happens when you leave the set, go home and aren’t working out 6 hours a day because you have a job, family and a life?  You gain the weight back.  As do most of the contestants.  Season 1’s winner said he has put back all but 13 pounds.  Another contestant admitted to developing and eating disorder because of the show.  She’s literally afraid of food.  Silly.  The bottom line is that weight loss is not magical.  It’s hard friggin’ work.  It takes discipline and effort.  People get their bodies all messed up over the course of a lifetime and expect to fix it in a couple of weeks.  REALLY!? Now we come to our second point. The Biggest Loser perpetuates every negative personal trainer stereotype in history. It reinforces what peole think. That trainers are nothing more than idiot rep counters who stand over their clients and scream at them and berate them. And God bless Jillian and Bob for maximizing their 15 minutes. But they are NOT qualified trainers. Certified, maybe (even though that is up for debate). But qualified? NO WAY! Qualified trainers do not make their clients do burpees in the mud and berate them when they inevitably fail. Qualified trainers do not make obese people take 3 mile runs on the beach (second chances – which landed two contestants in the hospital). It gives the rest of us who bust our butts at our craft a bad rep and a bad image. That is not what we do. We encourage, accompany and even console when necessary. We help our clientele attain goals that they could/would never do on their own. And what good is achieving a goal if you can’t maintain it? There are simply no redeeming qualities to the show. They do not care about the overall well-being of their contestants, they care about ratings. Don’t feed them. Turn it off, change the channel.