Content note: This article deals with themes of disordered eating and fat shaming. We have chosen not to mention any weight or calorie intake information. For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation‘s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE, or visit their website, here.
A time before Facebook or Instagram or TikTok.
Mum is cooking something terrible in the kitchen. No one is sure what but we think it might be burnt bolognese. I'm on MSN and I have too many emoticons in my username. Then I hear it.
It's Shannon Noll.
He knows how hard it can get. But, he implores, you gotta lift. YOU GOTTA LIFT.
It's time for The Biggest Loser and, rather bizarrely, we sit down as a family to watch. We interrogate the work ethic and resolve of the contestants, and watch week by week as they become smaller and smaller. We anxiously await the finale, where the deciding weigh in will reveal that the winner has lost almost 38 per cent of their body weight.
For the next decade, we watch season after season. Families, singles, couples, the next generation - the show does it all. One contestant loses over 50 per cent of his body weight in a 12 week season. We get to know the different training styles of Michelle, Shannan, Commando and Tiffiny, watching as contestants vomit, fall, cry, injure themselves and share their psychological distress with an audience of one million.