Those of us that have WLS live in the public eye. There is no way to hide the weight loss in the amounts and the intensity of the loss. It is very public, but for me like most of my WLS friends, we did not do this on TV. I have an have always had issues with shows like the Biggest Loser (see blog entry here). I don't find them inspirational because - well - let me be honest it is totally unrealistic.
In March 2011 I posted this on my blog. This was less than 2 months after my surgery:
"On a related note of weight loss but not with food I've been catching the
biggest loser lately. Usually I don't watch the show because I really don't like
it overall. I don't find it that inspiring because lets be honest I wish I had
time to take off work, have food prepared for me daily, not do any work, and get
to work out everyday. If I had personal trainers, stylists, and chefs anyone
could eat healthy, but it isn't realistic. Yes, it is amazing to see the
transformations, but its not realistic. So tonight I'm catching it on tv while
I'm eating and I see a guy who has lost over 140 lbs and at his current weigh in
he only loses 6 lbs. That is 6 lbs in one week and he states "that isn't enough
weight to be losing" and I think to myself WHAT!!!!! First, 6 lbs is not the
average weight loss for the week. Second, doctors across the board say 2 lbs is
the safe long term goal for long term weight loss. Third, what is this show
doing to make people feel that 5 or 6 lbs are a bad lost. Again, if they are
losing in the 100 lbs range c'mon really .... it is really not a good message.
Yes, I like Bob and I like the exercising and the overall thought of the show,
but losing weight is a journey a path...it isn't a game. It isn't a game to lose
so much weight. I really don't like it.
It may be that my opinion is
changing as I lose weight. This process is changing me and its changing the way
I look at weight loss. I don't think its about the numbers. It is about the
feeling, the journey, your health, and your feeling ...your life. When did
weight loss become a competition? I'm very confused about how people look at
their weight, the process, and why they want and need to lose it. I'm baffled. "
The unrealism scares me because this is what the average "joe" is looking at for inspiration, success, and a way to lose it, but do we have "time to take off work, have food prepared for us daily, not do any work, and get to work out everyday for hours...yes HOURS. If I had personal trainers, stylists, and chefs anyone could eat healthy, right?" Well maybe yes and maybe no, if this statement above was true then all celebrities would be healthy weight correct?
Biggest Loser might be your inspiration and if it is I'm glad you are on a road to a healthier life, but for me it is a contradiction. Be healthy in an isolated manner with tools the average person would dream of and then off you go home to families, fast food, and a vaccumless bubble where things are no longer a competition but real life and work life family balance...oh and FOOD. Yep, FOOD - its there and everywhere. Now why do you think I'm talking about the Biggest Loser it is because I saw this article that made me so mad this morning. Former Biggest Loser winner Tara Cost is being sued for gaining weight. Yes, you read that correctly - she gained weight = sued. She went from 294 to 134 that is 160 lb loss! 160 lbs....but the company won't state how much she regained just that she did. Wow I'm in Shock!
In the WLS community we battle regain. We battle the shame. We battle the "public eye" that watches us because we had surgery to assist in our weight loss - if we aren't this size or weigh this much than to some in our community we are failures. When we regain individually we as people feel like a failure. Regain is a topic that is hush hush because who wants to admit they gained weight back...after a life of dieting, yo yo dieting, limiting, and surgery - but its real. Regain happens.