'I did my own version of The Biggest Loser. I ended up crying on the couch.'

Everyone has an opinion on The Biggest Loser.

It’s inspiring. It’s a hoax. It’s what an obese nation needs. It’s fat shaming.

Yesterday morning, former host of The Biggest Loser, Hayley Lewis, was interviewed on Today Show and it was promoted as a big expose.

In his intro co-host Karl Stefanovic said,  “Olympian and former Biggest Loser host Hayley Lewis says the show gives unrealistic advice about how weight loss should be achieved.”

Then Lisa Wilkinson crossed to Lewis in Brisbane with this question: “So tell us — is The Biggest Loser unrealistic?”

Insert awkward silence.

hayley lewis feature
Hayley Lewis says that weight loss comes down to the individual. Not the expose Lisa and Karl were hoping for. Image via Today.

“I don’t think so. I’ve actually never said that, Lisa. I think The Biggest Loser is very realistic,” Lewis said.

Ummmm damn.  There goes that sensational interview.

But it made me mad.  I completely agree with Karl and Lisa (well with the producer who wrote that intro – who’s probably smarting from a dressing down and is ironically comforting themselves with ice-cream.)

The Biggest Loser IS unrealistic.  But I still find it inspiring and cry with happiness when the contestants lose 9 kilos in one week.

But that sort of weight loss IS unrealistic and even unhealthy if you’re not supervised.

This year’s judges on Season 10 of The Biggest Loser. Shannan, Michelle, Tiffiny and Commando. Image via Facebook.

I tried to undertake my own version of The Biggest Loser two years ago.  I would exercise at the gym before work, I was only eating 1200 calories a day then I’d exercise on the cross trainer at home for an hour each night.  On the weekend I’d do a double session at the gym on Saturdays and Sundays was my day of rest so I’d only do an hour’s walk.

I was expecting Biggest Loser style results. Here’s my home video from February 2014.

Video by Shelly Horton

I wish I could tell you it all dropped off me after that but despite sticking to that strict diet and exercise program for 12 weeks I plateaued  and I only lost 2.5kg in total.

I cried.  Sobbing on the couch cursing Hayley Lewis, Michelle Bridges and freakin Commando.

Why couldn’t I have results like on the TV?

Because that’s unrealistic.  They didn’t work.  They had trainers there 24/7.

I’m proud to tell you I didn’t give up though.  I wiped away my tears and went back to the gym.

It’s now been 18 months on I’ve lost 14 kilos.  It was 18 kilos but I lost motivation and rediscovered chocolate for a couple of months.  Motivation is an elusive beast.  I’m back on track now.

Me: before and after the weightloss in the same red dress.

When it comes to losing weight I’ve discovered it’s 80% about what goes in your mouth and 20% about how much you sweat.  But they work hand in hand.  After a spin class there’s no way I’d buy takeaway and undo my hard work.  And if I’m eating well and cutting back on alcohol I won’t have a hangover to use as an excuse to not exercise and comfort myself with greasy food.

I’ve been consistent and plugged away.  I now workout four times a week and watch what I eat but I’m not obsessed.  I think more women would relate to my story of struggling than of losing 50 kilos in 12 weeks.  It’s all about being realistic and understanding that there is no quick fix.

But they are not going to make a reality show about a gal who lost 150grams a week for 18 months.

Because that would be a true reality show.

Do you feel inspired or ripped off by The Biggest Loser? 

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