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The Biggest Loser Controversy: A Health Coach’s Perspective

by Marissa on February 7, 2014

Biggest Loser Controversy

So, about this Biggest Loser controversy. Unlike most of the rest of the country, I didn’t watch this week’s finale. While I’ve seen the show many times, I don’t tune in regularly. I have mixed feelings about it.

There are plenty of articles out there taking side on the Biggest Loser controversy so I’m also not going to comment on whether Rachel lost too much weight, if she deserved to win or what effect the show had on her health.

I have no idea because there’s so much more to being healthy than what we can see with the naked eye. 

The Biggest Loser has certainly raised mainstream awareness of healthy eating and fitness. More than once I’ve been moved to tears watching someone transform their entire LIFE by taking control of his or her health. In many ways the Biggest Loser has proven time and time again, that anything is possible. It has, no doubt, saved lives.

But I agree with so many others that the rapid weight loss, intense training and heavy competition element can be too much, if not dangerous. I’ve often wondered whether the contestants are really learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle long-term or if they’re just being taught how to eat and exercise for weight loss (two very different things, by the way).

Read that above paragraph one more time. Because THAT is why I became a health coach. I’d had enough of restriction, calorie counting and twice-daily gym sessions that I thought were the be-all-end-all of being healthy based on what I read in magazines and saw on TV. It’s the very reason why I will never-ever count calories for my clients or condone a juice fast.

I realized that I didn’t just want to look good, I had to feel good.  More importantly, I wanted to teach and inspire that possibility in others, because I knew there were millions of women out there dying to get off the diet train.

True and lasting health is less about what someone looks like on the outside and mostly about what’s going on inside. When the insides are in good shape, the outsides will follow from a confident smile to glowing skin to weight and inches lost at the appropriate rate and in the right amount.

I work out hard. I eat well. I sleep. I’m consistent. I’m not on any crazy diets. I’ve taken the time to get to know my body and what makes it perform at its best. I choose foods from nature that make me feel good. My body responds accordingly. This is the approach I take with health coaching.

None of this is difficult. It’s a lifestyle because I’ve made it one. Everyday I choose to make my health a priority simply because not feeling my best costs too much, literally and figuratively.

It’s obvious we need to change the way we think about health in this country. That change starts here. It’s everything I write about on this blog. It’s the way I live my life and how I coach my clients.

So instead of putting the onus on pop culture to define healthy, define it for yourself, then go live it. The more we look inside for the answers the less we’ll search for external validation.

So tell me, what does healthy mean to you? And if you have any thoughts on that finale, then go ahead and share them too. Let’s get it all out there and then go eat some leafy greens!

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