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Losing It with Biggest Loser

As I’ve said about a million times before, I love reality television. There are some shows that I am ashamed to admit I watch (Sister Wives), some shows I am far too old to be watching (any flavor of Real World/Road Rules Challenge), and some shows that I don’t even like that I still watch (I’m looking at you, For the Love of RayJ). One show that I’ve never had to hide my love for is The Biggest Loser. Who doesn’t enjoy watching people go after their dreams and achieve their goals? Even my husband likes it!

Most Tuesday nights you can find me in front of the television, watching the current batch of contestants learn how to eat right and exercise. I’m usually sitting in my recliner, eating a big bowl of ice cream, watching Jillian whip the “losers” into shape. Or perhaps I’m sprawled out on the couch with a bag of chips, watching the contestants learn about portion size. What’s wrong with this picture?

Recently, I started my own weight loss journey. I’m not obese, but having two babies in less than two years has definitely added some weight to my body. My biggest concern was my overall health. My diet (everything is better with bacon, right?), exercise level (how many calories does napping burn?), and family history make me a prime candidate for heart disease. And let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger. Something had to change.

My own struggle to lose weight has made me much more sympathetic to the Biggest Loser contestants. I used to think the contestants were being wimps when they wanted to quit in the middle of a workout; then I tried one of trainer Jillian Michaels’ workout videos. By the end, I was in a heap on the floor calling her a “mean, mean lady.” I used to chastise the contestants when they would give into a food temptation; then I became the one eating salad while the rest of the family was having cheeseburgers. This healthy living thing is harder than it looks.

Now when I watch The Biggest Loser, I have a newfound respect for the contestants. They are not only trying to change their lives for the better, they are putting their struggle on television for all of us to see. My goal is to lose 20 pounds; some of these contestants are striving to lose 100 pounds or more. I would like my jeans to fit better; many of the contestants are trying to reverse serious health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. I’ve learned that changing your lifestyle is difficult, and I shouldn’t judge the Biggest Loser contestants based on their struggles.

I’m happy to say that I’m halfway to my weight loss goal and still going strong. I’m rooting for the current Biggest Loser contestants; I hope they continue to lead healthy lives even after the cameras stop rolling. What I consider my Tuesday-night entertainment is their real-life struggle, and it won’t end once the show is over. If they slip up or gain some weight back, I will no longer think they’re weak. They’re simply human. Just like me.

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[/author_image] [author_info]About the Author

Crystal Paschal is our regular Entertainment Contributor bringing you all the juicy celeb gossip and TV/movie info that you love. When she’s not watching TV (most often of cartoon nature because of her kids), she writes on her blog at


Crystal Paschal is our general contributor giving us great posts across all topics. Crystal is the owner and founder of It's Fundamental, a children's book blog. She also blogs about family life at Mom For Less. You can find It's Fundamental on Facebook, and follow Crystal on Twitter at @Mom4Less.


  1. rockle

    April 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    i don’t watch “the biggest loser” regularly because all the extreme exercising and yelling and crying upsets me, but i do feel for the contestants. i’ve been on a diet for almost a year and i’m only about halfway (75 lbs. down, whoo!) — i don’t know what kind of time these people are working with, but they’re losing a lot more weight faster than i am. i always hope they can manage to stick with their positive changes after the cameras turn off.

    good for you on your success so far! i’m still fighting with a pair of jeans i bought a couple of months ago, but come hell or high water, i will fit into those rat finks by my birthday.

    • Crystal Paschal

      April 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      One of my gripes about the show is that it can be kind of unrealistic…losing weight while living on a ranch where your only task is to exercise is a lot different than living in the real world with kids and drive thrus and business lunches. I am always amazed at how much weight they lose. Some of them lose in a week what I have lost in the 6 weeks I have been dieting.

      Congrats on your weight loss! 75 lbs is an awesome achievement. You will be back in those jeans in no time.

    • Jacqueline Wilson

      April 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

      I’ve been on a diet since I was 13. Haven’t I paid my dues?!? DEAR GOD, WHY? WHY?

      (And, of course I still have weight to lose…)

      • rockle

        April 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        well, that’s the universal constancy, innit? “you can never be too rich or too thin”? except we all know that’s a bunch of baloney. that’s another thing that i take issue with on “TBL” — some people get overweight because they are stress-eaters, or loneliness-eaters, or whatever. we don’t often (if at all) see therapists on the show to help support the contestants as they make these positive changes.

        i’ve been on the other side of an eating disorder (some anorexia strain in high school), and to me, a lot of the stuff that they do on “TBL” would put me into inpatient treatment, because it might WORK, but i don’t know if it’s exactly HEALTHY.

        • rockle

          April 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

          (oops … replied to wrong comment, but the comment stands just the same.)

  2. Jacqueline Wilson

    April 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve only seen the show a couple of times, but Jillian Michaels scares the crap out of me. :o|

    Good luck with your journey and congrats on your progress! :)

    • Crystal Paschal

      April 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you!

      Jillian is very scary. In my head, I know that she won’t come through the television and yell at me, but I still don’t really believe it. Her workouts are hardcore, though. She knows her stuff.

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