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January 11, 2012


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I think The Biggest Loser is one of the worst purveyors of the evil, lazy fatties mythology - that these people are just out of control, and if they would just eat normally, they'd be thin. Obviously, that's not true, and I've seen a lot of stuff on how few of the contestants keep the weight off and on how unhealthy the winners are.

That NYT article, though, that's depressing. As I read it, I just kept thinking: obviously, we need to focus on some other factor to determine health. It's clear that losing drastic amounts of weight go against our bodies' survival instincts. It seemed obvious to me that starving yourself (or any other obsessive method of restricting food to lose weight) is just BAD for you. It seemed like that's where the author was leading us. Then, she closes with this:

"For me, understanding the science of weight loss has helped make sense of my own struggles to lose weight, as well as my mother’s endless cycle of dieting, weight gain and despair. I wish she were still here so I could persuade her to finally forgive herself for her dieting failures. While I do, ultimately, blame myself for allowing my weight to get out of control, it has been somewhat liberating to learn that there are factors other than my character at work when it comes to gaining and losing weight. And even though all the evidence suggests that it’s going to be very, very difficult for me to reduce my weight permanently, I’m surprisingly optimistic. I may not be ready to fight this battle this month or even this year. But at least I know what I’m up against."

I just. I mean, it's so sad. She acknowledges that her mother was NOT to blame for her dieting failures and yet, she is. But, "there are factors other than my character at work when it comes to gaining and losing weight." And, yet, she's still determined to do it. Why can't we be kinder to ourselves? Why does it have to be a character flaw, even when we KNOW it isn't?

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