Normally I am not interested in reality shows. I find they are a waste of time and usually promote values I have no interest in. Yet I find that for the last 3 seasons I have been drawn to the The Biggest Loser. I am certain that a great part of my interest has to do with the fact that I have struggled with my weight for many years. Just 3 years ago I decided it was time to do something about my enormous 355 pound body. Through prayer, diet, exercise I lost over 120 pounds. Over this last few years I have run several 1/2 marathons as well as completed a full marathon last year. My road to recovery has not been easy but it has been a road that many face. Hence my journey has made me more aware of those who struggle with their weight. Just for fun I thought I would share some thoughts of the good & bad I have found in the Biggest Loser TV show. Let’s start with the good.
The Biggest Loser is one of the more inspiring shows on television. It takes broken people(in this case obese people) and helps them get on to the road to recovery. Or maybe a better way to say this is that this show redeems them. Now I do not want to confuse what Jesus has done on the cross with how people regain their health. I know that there is a difference but here is the similarity. Just as redemption gives us life back from the dead so our health when we take charge of it helps us to regain a huge part of our physical life. Just by making certain health changes contestants on the show are able to do things physically they never imagined, they are able to get rid of pills that are causing them harm, and over all they have a better out look on life.
Possibly the greatest aspect of the show is that we are reminded that it is never to late to make changes in our lives. This last years show is proof of this. Several of the oldest participants on the show lost the most significant amounts of weight. To see a man in his 60’s who had been obese for years drop half his weight was incredible. Even the winner at 48 years of age beat out many of the young guns who were more athletic and who had more weight to lose. Being that I am in my mid 40’s I am reminded it is never to late to make changes in my life. Certainly there are more good things about this show but let me change gears now.
Certainly with all the good that comes from this show it would be hard to find something bad. Well I don’t want to be a barrier of bad news but there are somethings about the show that are disturbing. Probably the greatest problem with the show is the pseudo belief that our identity comes from how big or how fit we are. Each week as I watched and even celebrated with people who lost their weight I also was disturbed by how much their identity was tied up in their size. Their was talk about being made new or I will never be the same, or I got my life back. I understand many of these statements and have even caught myself saying them from time to time as I lost my weight. But the reality is that losing weight or gaining it does not make a person new. Our identity and how we see ourselves must not come from the World’s standards but from Gods. We are a new creation no matter what our size if we give our lives to Christ. Sadly losing weight does not change the real person. Certainly we can feel better about ourselves but if their is no change in our hearts than we are still the same people.