Daily Archives: July 26, 2011

I Have To Get This Off My Chest

I did something Monday night that I don’t usually do…I watched Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, and I have a few things to say about it.  If you watch the show and love it,  good for you.  I’ll be exercising my choice not to watch it again, and here’s why…

I was disappointed in this show for several reasons – the first being that it could be awesome, but it’s not.  It’s so so far from awesome.  By now, I know that I shouldn’t be surprised by the ridiculous portrayal of extreme weight-loss in reality TV, but call me naive.  I already knew (from seeing various segments from earlier episodes) that the show sends a false message regarding weight-loss, but what I saw last night made me sick to my stomach.

The woman’s first goal was to lose 100 pounds in 3 months.  (This literally makes me ache inside.)  And while it’s commendable to make huge changes in your lifestyle that encourage substantial weight-loss, I struggle to believe that losing that much in 3 months is healthy.  Doesn’t losing weight at that rate cause an increased risk of heart palpitations among other things?  Obviously, I’m not a doctor…nor am I an authority on this, but  highly respected weight-loss advocates (regardless of their methods) seem to agree that losing weight slowly and steadily is better.

I get it.  This is TV, and as a society we love instant gratification.  That’s obviously what this show is trying to provide its viewers, and it’s working.  Every week, I see people tweeting, blogging and talking about this show – how inspiring it is, etc.  I even have a friend who auditioned (and I wish him the best with it if he believes it’s right for him.) They like seeing these people succeed.  I like seeing these people succeed, but what’s so wrong about providing the tools for long-term success?   Are they teaching them how to eat?  Do they know by the end of the show that it’s normal to eat a plate of food that is half veggies, part lean protein, etc?  I hope so, but if they do, they don’t show it.   This show, and shows like it, have the opportunity to do that, and they don’t.

It just angers me that people are watching this show without regard for what it’s like to go through such incredible changes.  Maybe I’m completely off the mark, but as someone who is right in the middle of my journey to lose over 200 pounds, I find this show terribly offensive.  And what I saw last night bred a lot of feelings, but inspiration was not one of them.

Last night I watched this woman struggle, cry and doubt herself throughout the show until the end when she came out at the end wearing a pretty dress and a big smile.  And I hope that she understands how beautiful she is and that she keeps working toward her ultimate goal with an understanding that it’s not a race to the finish line.

Real change takes time…and a lot of it.  And while I understand that the goal of the show is to produce ratings, I think they’re missing a big opportunity to breed change for viewers who may be sitting at home eating potato chips and wishing they could do it too.  I was that girl at one point (though I ate doritos and watched Biggest Loser) thinking “yeah, they’re losing weight, but think of all of the help they’re getting. I don’t have that!”  That was my excuse back when I was looking for excuses…

It took years for me to realize that the strength I needed was already inside me, and it has taken even longer to believe I’m worth the effort.   Losing weight is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also not as simple for most people as shows like these would have you believe.   Making quality food choices is important…exercise is important…balance is important… And I resent reality TV for portraying extreme weight-loss as simple.

I loathe them for making society believe that losing weight is easy – that’s there’s nothing to it because a girl can lose 180 pounds in  year – no problem.  And Chris’ comments that he would have been disappointed with her ONLY losing 180 pounds if she hadn’t gone through tough stuff during that year left me feeling  completely appalled.  Doesn’t life affect all of us from time to time?  And what do they  expect to see these people do once the show is over?  Does it even matter to them if they’ve changed their lives?  Created sustainable habits?  Dealt with the issues that led them into obesity in the first place?

I can think of a few exceptions to my rant – people who have lost that much or almost that much in a year, but I wonder what life will be like for them later – good, I hope.  And I wonder what their overall health is like now.  Maybe the risk of heart problems down the road or weight-gain outweigh the risks of staying obese.  But it doesn’t have to be one or the other! Extreme weight-loss has many facets, and while feeling pretty is the driving force, I believe that this show should provide each of these folks with the tools to make this last long-term.

If you like the show, again, more power to you.  I don’t often use my blog as a platform to spew my angry opinions, but I’m  sharing my views because it’s what I do here and because I don’t want anyone who might be struggling with their weight or thinking it’s time for them to change to believe that they need to lose 180 pounds in a year to succeed.  You just have to start, and keep pressing on even when it’s hard.  And I do know a thing or two about that…


Coffee? Tea? Hot Cocoa? All of the Above?

Drinking coffee is not something I do everyday, but over the last couple of months I’ve started drinking iced coffee (if it’s lightly sweetened!)   The only thing that I drink everyday is water though I drink green tea (hot or cold)  pretty regularly so owning a 12-cup coffee pot has never made sense for me.

A Keurig coffee brewer, however, makes a lot of sense because I can brew one cup at a time.  When I learned that I could make iced coffee with the Keurig, I knew that I had to have one!  And I have loved using mine so far!  In addition to looking gorgeous on my counter, it’s perfect for me because it eliminates the need to make an entire pot of coffee! And the dark chocolate hot cocoa is an awesome way to satisfy my sweet tooth at only 60 calories per cup! It also comes in handy when I have friends over because I can offer them a variety of coffee and teas or hot cocoa without any hassle so I was pretty ecstatic when Keurig agreed to give one away to one of my readers.  (Yep, awesome…I know!)

So here’s your opportunity to win a Keurig Platinum Brewing System with an awesome assortment of K-cups courtesy of Keurig, and I’m pretty excited about it!  Seriously folks…I really enjoy sharing the opportunity to win things that I love so here’s what you can do to enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me that you want a new Keurig brewer (one entry)
  • Follow @Keurig on twitter, and tell them @alltheweigh says hi (one entry)
  • Tweet about this giveaway on twitter (one entry *You can do this once daily. Just be sure to leave another comment so I know you did it!*)
  • Like Keurig on Facebook and leave a message on their wall telling them that I sent you. You can also tell me hi on my page, www.facebook.com/alltheweighblog though it’s not required for entry. (one entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway on your own blog (three entries)

**Please keep all entries separate so it’s easier for me to sort through them when it’s time to pick a winner, and don’t forget to enter! You must be 18 years old and US a resident to enter! **

I love my Keurig Platinum Coffee Brewer because it’s pretty, versatile and practical.  They even offer reusable filters to brew  coffee for those who don’t wish to recycle the K-Cups.  I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, August 3rd, and I’ll notify the winner by e-mail who will then have 48 hours to send me their information.  If I don’t hear from the winner within 48 hours, I’ll choose another winner.

Good luck!