Biggest Loser

A long time ago (October to November 2007), when my ex and I were still together, we signed up for our gym’s “Biggest Loser” competition. I didn’t really want to do it, but B. did, and I signed up because hey, it was something we could do together, and doing it together might motivate us to do it better. Also, B. hated his weight, and his fat-self-hatred made me insecure about my own fatness, and despite my own long-standing moral objections to dieting, I figured it was as good a time as any to get started on finding that skinny me just screaming to get out.

The first two weeks we went to the gym everyday for 90 minutes each. At the end of that time he had lost 6 pounds and I had lost 4. Fantastic, right? Uh, not really. The schedule was killing me and I was tired and hungry. I was on my period. And I hated the exercizes. Over the next two weeks I gained 10, where he continued to lose five or more pounds a week. I gave up, because I didn’t really want to do it anyway. My weight went back to where it was. His weight went up and down over until the end of the contest the day before Thanksgiving. He was very upset that despite all the work he put into it, He had not managed to lose more than 15 pounds. When we broke up, he had gained it all back and then some–and he hated himself for it.

I hated seeing him put himself through that, and combined with that two week taste of what dieting is like only served to reinforce in my own mind that it was not really something I wanted to do to myself. All that effort just wasn’t worth it–not for so little “reward”.

In an old journal, I found the following three lists from the first two weeks of that competition.

Measurements: Day One
Weight: 166.8 lbs
Body Fat: 38.5%
BMI: 30

I never recorded the measurements after that, but suffice to say, they didn’t change at all!

Food: 10/13
Egg sammich: 350 cals
Pepsi: 150
1 package instant oatmeal: 120
Lean Cusine pizza: 360
Oatmeal raisin bar: 90
Peanut Nut Bar: 100
Total: 1160 calories

I couldn’t keep that up.

And finally, my exercize regimen:

30 minutes of sprinting cardio.
60 minutes resistance training:

  • 8-10 reps/set

  • 4 sets
  • hit all major muscle groups, alternate extensions/flexions

In the end, all I ended up doing was some jump rope for 10 minutes and a half assed effort on the treadmill.

Lest I be accused of just not putting the effort into it, let me remind you that for those first two weeks I spent 90 minutes in the gym every morning at 4:30 am. Then I would work 12 hours a day, and get home at 7:30. And after a bath, would go straight to bed. And wake up three times a night, due to chronic insomnia that I’ve had since I was 10. Then wake up at 4:30 and do it all over again.

It just wasn’t possible.

Why would anyone do that to themselves for the rest of their life, which is what is required to firce your body into a shape it does not like? And why should you hate yourself when you inevitably fail?