The Biggest Loser (tv show)

Just wondering what others think of this program
. I personally think the trainers and coaches are completely phony and just in it for the money and their own notoriety. These people were BORN with "good" genetics and "good" bodies. I doubt any of them have any clue about weight issues and never will.
IMO they're just actors and wouldn't look twice at the overweight people on the show if they saw them on the street except to mock them.
None of what they portray themselves to be is believable to me.
I know I'll catch flack for this, but to me they're all just insecure narcissists who need validation and admiration from those that aren't as "perfect" as they think they are.
Thoughts ?

Tell that to the success stories on the show.

Of course it's made dramatic, but it's real. Genetics isn't everything. Anybody - absolutely anybody - with the willpower can look, feel and be fit.

I'm a 54-year-old woman . For the first 25 years of my life, I was of normal weight (140 pounds at 5'8") and very active. Then I started gaining weight. I struggled for another 25 years, trying all kinds of diets and exercise routines, but nothing stuck. I remained active for many of these years, until I hurt my foot.

When I was 50, I weighed 267 pounds. I had surgery on a broken posterior tibialis (tendon the foot that holds up the arch). Because of the pain of the broken tendon, I had not been able to do any kind of consistent exercise in several years, so I was very out-of-shape. I couldn't even walk from my car to the store without significant pain. By then, my left knee was osteoarthritic because of years of limping on my injured foot. Amazingly, I didn't have diabetes yet, or any other pathologies. But I was well on the road to a very bad prognosis.

So I finally took action. I began weekly consults with a dietician, and I started physical therapy 3X/week to help my foot and knees. (A lot of fat people would really benefit from physical therapy to start out rather than starting out at a gym or in a fitness class. A fat person is physically unable to do many of the manuevers that thin people can do, and so they do them incorrectly, and this increases the risk of injury as well as causing pain, and that causes attrition from the exercise. Start out with physical therapy so they can show you good exercises that will strengthen very weak muscles around very damaged joints, and then as you lose weight and gain strength, you will find that you can eventually move on to "thin people exercise."

It's been three years now, and I have lost around 85 pounds. I still need to lose about 25 pounds to get to a "normal" weight of 160 pounds, which is still heavy, but it's at least normal.

I look and feel great, although in the last week, I fear that I have re-injured the tendon and I am sick at heart contemplating the possibility of more surgery.

What does this have to do with Biggest Loser? That show has been a lifeline for me. Week after week it has inspired me (and my husband, too). The people who are on the show are very inspiring to watch and listen to. Many of them have literally saved themselves from early death by making lifestyle changes that are taught on the Biggest Loser.

Jillian, one of the trainers for many years, was fat when she was a teenager, so she knows what it means to be fat. And we don't know what the backgrounds of the other trainers are, unless we know them personally. For all we know, Bob may have been a butterball growing up.

At least 50% of Americans are overweight or obese. Do some people-watching at a mall, and you will be shocked. Some people, YOUNG people, are so fat that they can barely walk. We are in a dangerous situation here in the U.S., and IMO, ANY show that addresses this issue and manages to stay on the air is a GOOD show. Who cares if the trainers are bogus? People lose weight as a result of making even a few of the lifestyle changes taught on BL, and that's a good thing. I hope it stays on forever. I wish they had a "BIggest Loser Over 50" version, since so many of the young people still have their knees and good skin that doesn't sag and bag after they lose weight. I would love to see more people my age and older on a separate show that addresses such things as menopause in women and the effect on weight loss, low testosterone in men and the effect on weight loss and fitness, mobility issues, etc.

BTW, my dad, who is 81, lost 50 pounds after he turned 80. He looks like a teenager!

I find it much better to assume positive intentions on the part of others than negative intentions, especially when I don't know them personally. Could they be narcissistic phonies? Sure. But what good does it do me to assume that about them? None at all.

Personally, I've always thought them to be genuine. Sure, you can probably fake it for the cameras for an hour a week. But the trainers spend a solid three months with the contestants, and -- by the end -- the contestants seem to have a genuine respect and affection for them. I think that would be very difficult to pull off if you were just acting the whole time.

Has it been good for the trainers' career? Certainly. Does that factor into the equation for them continuing to be part of the show. Probably. But people can do things for more than one reason and the less noble reasons aren't necessarily the primary ones. It would be inaccurate to caricaturize them and assume that, since they have something to gain personally from their involvement in the show, they must be conniving self-aggrandizers of sociopathic proportions.

No, I don't agree. Most people who get into a career field are excited about it. I've been around a lot of trainers and they remind me of elementary school teachers. They find it very rewarding to help others, pass on what they know, and see it affect others lives. Most will pause to encourage a new person in the gym- especially if they look out of shape, or uncomfortable about being there.

I don't know the trainers on the show, they're probably like most folks- fame and attention tend to have an affect on people, some handle it better than others.

Don't kid yourself, it takes work to stay in shape. You can have the best genetics in the world but if you don't make any effort you'll get out of shape. Yes, genetics does play a part, and it is more work for some than others, but it does take effort for everyone.

I haven't watched the show, but hopefully they stress how important it is to stay injury free. As another poster said, injuries and physical conditions do affect a lot of folks and their ability to get/stay in shape. An injury as somebody starts an exercise program can be very discouraging, frustrating and really set people back.

Google Jillian Michaels. She was a trainer on the show for seasons 1-2, and 4-5 I believe. Either way she is currently super in shape but wasn't always that way. She was, as she describes, a fat kid with low self esteem issues. She got involved in karate and got interested in being healthy and it went on from there. So while she doesn't know what it's like to be 400+ pounds she does know what it's like to be considered obese, lose the weight, and maintain a healthy lifestyle down the road.

Bob Harper was a trainer in Hollywood for years before landing the BL gig. He wasn't famous then, although the stars who contracted with him appreciated his services.

It may sound hedonistic to have a personal trainer, but we have to remember that actors have to look and feel a certain way to be able to nail auditions, get parts, and earn their living. Although there is a handful of "stars" that we are all over-exposed to by the media, there are thousands of actors who make a living with their craft, and many of these actors make use of trainers and gyms to keep their bodies in shape. Nothing wrong with that--we all do what we have to do to keep our jobs these days.

Although many trainers have a "certificate" that they earn that indicates their qualifications to train people, many other trainers actually have college degrees in "exercise physiology," and a lot of them initially planned to go on and get their physical therapy Masters or Doctorate. But for whatever reason, they ended up using that Bachelor's Degree to work in training, and that's a GOOD thing! It's always good to be able to avoid spending more money on college!

One of the young men who grew up in our skating rink got his B.S. in Exercise Physiology, and I believe intended to go on and earn the PT degrees and certifications. But he was a figure skating coach all through college, and in fact, was such a popular coach that he ended up paying for his entire college through his coaching. At one point, he started making more money coaching than his father earned! (His father was very proud of that, BTW! All those years of paying for figure skating bills through the boy's childhood paid off!)

When he graduated from college with his Bachelors's, he ended up getting hired as a rink director/head coach, and he has stayed with this job ever since. He has dozens and dozens of private lesson students who adore him (and parents like him, too!) and does a fantastic job with coaching. He's a very positive person, which is such a wonderful attribute for a figure skating coach. His degree in exercise physiology helps him to know the best way to coach each individual skater.

He is also getting involved in the skating "politics," and is seen more and more working with the national figure skating organizations.

I have no idea if Bob and the other trainers have any college education or not. But they do have certifications (not sure about Anna, but it's possible that she has a college degree from the Russian system), and that means that they have done some studying to be qualified to train others.

The point is, training is an honest living, and I respect those who do it.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit