No I don’t mean Glee or repeats of The Golden Girls, but at the moment my guilty TV pleasures are the weight loss shows. I find when I am “in the zone/on track/in control/in the groove” or whatever you want to call it I enjoy these programmes. However when I am not-I don’t really want to know them!
The three (I can hear my husband’s THREE from here!) shows I am currently watching are Downsize Me, Fat (or Obese): A Year to Save my Life and Fat Families. All have their merits as well as their weaknesses but the aim is pretty much the same: take an overweight person (or people in Fat Families case), show them what they are doing to their body, encourage them to change by improving their diet and increasing the amount they exercise and showcase the results.
And the results are generally quite good. Especially for A Year to Save My Life, as they had, well, a year. They are given a personal trainer for several hours a day and in FF and AYTSML several pieces of exercise kit. They have access to dietician and diet sheets. As well as to the inspirational trainers that assists them.
One of the best things they do is really show what being overweight does to your body. And Downsize Me goes further and invites a “Crash Test Dummy” or an ordinary, usually fairly fit person to live on the diet that the overweight person has existed on. Some of the changes to their body are remarkable (although I do watch all these shows with a hefty dose of scepticism at times.)
What I would really like to see is if a year or two down the line have they maintained their weight loss? Have they lost more or have they gone back to their unhealthy ways? And there are the odd returning programme in FF and DM. The results are mixed, no-one shown went back to being as large as they were, but some had put weight back on. And some had done extraordinarily well.
So despite my cynicism and the flaws in the programmes, I do find some interesting points. It’s a reminder of what being overweight is doing to your body and how shedding even a few pounds and getting more active can help. I find it fascinating to see the causes of overeating tackled, and some people can pinpoint a reason. I also love seeing how the coaches emphasise the mental side of things as that is an area I am finally realising its importance. And most of all I just love watching other people’s successes (in the main) and take heart from them.
All the best,