I didn’t watch The Biggest Loser this season, although, I did tune in for the final episode Wednesday night. I did watch several episodes last season, so I knew the finale would be uplifting – and it was. No matter what you may think about the show (and I definitely have my issues with it), The Biggest Loser does change lives. It is emotional and inspiring. Yes, it is a TV show from a network that is desperately trying to improve their ratings, (and they got them), so we can’t be shocked to see all the usual drama that reality TV serves up, but it also has something else we don’t see very often and that’s heart.
This year’s winner, Erik Chopin, is a New York City Deli owner. Erik shed more than half his body weight and was literally unrecognizable. More than the change in his body, he was unrecognizable because of his new found confidence and joy. Pretty dang amazing.
Erik, lost 214 pounds and 52.58% of his body weight – the most for any contestant in the show’s history. Although he lost a lot of weight, he gained the top prize of $250,000 and the title of “The Biggest Loser.” Obviously, a quarter of a million dollars is a pretty attractive incentive to lose weight, but something tells me Erik lost those 214 pounds more for his health than a fatter wallet. Way to go Erik!
ETA – In my original post (noted above), I talked more about some of the problems with extreme weight loss. I just want to say again, that most of us have lost lots of weight before, but the question is whether we’ll keep it off. The exercise regime on The Biggest Loser was extreme and in my view not at all realistic for most of us. Whenever one employs methods that are too extreme and does nothing to change their attitude and behaviors for the long run, it will be unlikely that the weight will stay off. For Erik’s sake and for the sake of all the contestants who experienced tremendous weight loss, I hope they can find their healthiest weight and manage it successfully.