Biggest Loser Disgrace

I was appalled and disgusted by last night’s Biggest Loser Season 14 show. I stopped watching this show a long time ago because of the abuse the trainers lay on the show’s contestants.  I have never pushed a client so far as to sustain an injury and I have never dropped an F bomb in their presence. My job is to help my clients:

  • Develop a pleasurable experience with movement based on the Health at Every Size(tm) paradigm.
  • Master a solid technique to avoid injury and enhance the activities of daily living (ADLs).
  • Create a peaceful relationship with the physical body through movement and breath.
  • Build up a Buffet of Movement (c) that allows for growth and expansion.
  • Recognize the body as a resource for information.

Within 27 minutes of last night’s show, one contestant was on the floor requiring medical attention, one was puking and a couple of people had fallen off the treadmill.  I was horrified.  All of this while the other contestants are being yelled at to keep going.  A physical and energetic nightmare.

I personally believe we do need to live an active lifestyle, whatever that feels like in your body.  But this show does nothing but exploit the overweight person, and the trainers are an absolute disgrace to the fitness industry.

My plea to any person watching the show:  It is your right and your decision whether or not you want to be active.  Whatever you do, create a team of Size Friendly health professionals that follow the Health at Every Size(tm) paradigm.  You should never be disgraced, humiliated, cursed at, or set up for injury no matter your size, age, gender, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, creed or religion – or any other class that I have failed to mention here.

And the kids?!?  I couldn’t even watch long enough.  I did see the trainers outside playing with them.  Wonderful.  In the meantime, I’m drafting a letter to IDEA, my fitness industry association, and ask that they take a stand on the unethical practices of the trainers on the show.

About the Author:

I have been empowering women through movement since 1995 when my book “Real Fitness for Real Women” laid the foundation for what has become a transformative professional speaking and training career. My signature “Breathe & Eat©” program fills a void in the vast diet/exercise industry.

7 Responses to Biggest Loser Disgrace

  1. Thank you, Rochelle, for doing what you do with such passion, love, and kindness. And for not just sitting by and letting this show and its horrible, hurtful, demeaning practices continue without speaking up. Now we all need to speak up and complain to the tv network and producers of the show.

  2. Thank you Rochelle! Thank you for writing to IDEA, and thank you for everything you do every day. Please let us know what they say in reply!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! There are truly no words I can think of to say exactly what you said so eloquently! You are truly a “Goddess.”

  4. Thanks for contacting IDEA, Rochelle. Perhaps you can recommend NAAFA’s Guidelines for fitness professionals who serve fat clients as a resource for their education and certification programs. http://issuu.com/naafa/docs/naafa_guidlinesfitness_combined_2012_v09_screen?mode=window&viewMode=singlePage

  5. Well said Rochelle!
    So many reality shows now seem to be able to gain viewership through expatiation and abuse. It’s become appalling!
    What you’re doing for people is awesome – keep it up!

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more Rochelle. As a personal trainer and business owner I have always been deeply disturbed by the portrayal of the personal training experience on The Biggest Loser. At the time the show first aired I was working with Catherine, a personable 12 year old determined to be a fashion designer in NYC someday but ready to tackle a weight issue that was getting the best of her.
    ” I watched the show and they yelled at the people, and they made them fall off the treadmill. You would never do that.”
    She told me she was going to write to the show.
    “They’re going to scare people away from getting help.”
    Catherine was right. The greatest tragedy of all is that those who watch decide, based on this hideous stereotype of personal training, never to seek the help they need in conquering their own obstacles to full health or lifestyle goals they seek. Many are facing the serious consequences of hypertension, diabetes, pulmonary issue, and much more. These degenerative diseases however, can be impacted or even abated by a consistent exercise regime under the guidance of a good trainer.
    With the state of our health as a nation, including the health of our children, coaching must be encouraged, not discouraged and undermined by the ignorance of T.V. and it’s dangerous stereotypes.
    Your post was shown to me by a friend, Sue Wrenn. She’s been listening to me rant about this for years. Thanks again Rochelle for speaking up.

  7. I don’t watch Biggest Loser because I’m afraid that one of these days someone will have a heart attack as a result of the exercise program. I don’t like the personal trainers treatment of the people they are suppose to be helping. Thank you for your getting involved.

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