I saw a thought-provoking post on suethsayings this week about a contestant from The Biggest Loser named Eric, who lost 214 pounds on the show and then went on Oprah to talk about gaining back 107 of them. (Oprah and The Biggest Loser in the same post! When categories collide!)
Oprah had invited him a few months ago to one of her “amazing weight loss shows” to tell his weight loss story. But he declined the offer, saying he couldn’t get off from work. “I lied about that” he told Oprah yesterday. The truth was Eric Chopin has regained 107 lbs of the 214 lbs he initially lost. He said he decided to reveal the truth to his fans after Oprah’s courageous move of revealing her 40 lb weight gain…
How did Eric gain the weight? Well, he didn’t really know – it just crept up on him, he said. Perhaps the fact that he wasn’t working out 5 hours a day like he was on the “Biggest Loser” ranch, helped…
I think a lot of people can relate to the experience of regaining weight. Being confronted with pictures of yourself at your thinnest, un-maintainable weight, the feeling of failure, all of that positive reinforcement that comes with losing weight—hey, everyone notices!—gradually turning to silence when you regain it. I’ve lost and regained weight myself, and I’ve been there. But what do you do then?
Everyone assumes if you did it before, you can do it again. Do you buy into that same mentality, go back on the diet, let your weight continue to yo-yo? Or do you let go of that expectation, “someday I will be that skinny again” and embrace good principles of health, try to focus on eating fruits and veggies and exercising to the best of your ability and all that good stuff, and stop caring what people think? Do you flat-out tell people, hey, the number on the scale isn’t everything.
My friends, it’s hard, and I don’t have answers for you. I wonder, though, how much harder is it when you’re on television, when you’ve “won” a reality show, when you’ve been praised not only by your friends and loved ones but by all of America? You’re voluntarily putting yourself under the microscope, and then you’re under that microscope forever. I look at Eric and I see my own anxieties and insecurities and “oh shit, how hard could it have been to just stay the same weight” magnified times a hundred, and I know he’ll never be able to get away from those expectations of losing all the weight all over again, and I feel sad for him and a little sad for everyone else.
On Oprah, Eric looked ashamed of himself, the old “I did this to myself” and Oprah, now the world’s most renown expert on “falling off the wagon” consoled him that 2009 would be a better year… But should Eric or any of the “Biggest losers” who were unable to maintain the loss really be blamed? It’s quite possible that the only thing “they did to themselves” was offer themselves up to be on the show.
That’s an excellent question. And my other question is: have you lost weight and then regained it, or regained part of it? Have you had to put back on the fat pants, start shopping in the plus section again, face other issues that you thought you wouldn’t have to face again? How do you handle that, and what does it all make you think, and how does it make you feel? Let’s talk about it.
Posted by mo pie