Many of you know that this site/blog began because of the experience Buddy Shuh, Chism Cornelison, and myself (Mark Cornelison) had on season 13 of The Biggest Loser. This greatly changed our lives and our families. We never could have imagined the amazing journey God had in store for us. We have deepened relationships, created new friendships, and now live a life that seemed foreign to us just a few years ago. It was hard, but this is the most fun any of us have ever had…
Recently, there have been BL alumni doing interviews and raising lots of questions about the methods and integrity of the show. To understand where this is going you may want to read them; the first one is here; http://nyp.st/15e2z8N - And the other is here; http://nyp.st/1D6t9vp.
One thing that happens after having been on any reality TV show is that whenever there is “controversy” you become the go to person for the truth. Needless to say in the last couple of weeks I have gotten various emails/messages asking my thoughts on these articles. It is difficult to write the same thing over and over so today’s blog post is being used to answer questions and share truth. If you are a fan of health but not a fan of The Biggest Loser then my apologies, but this is a big enough issue for many that it just seems right to address it here.
-We all have to understand, it is a TV show – Yes, it is inspirational and yes, the people are real; but what you see each week is edited to inspire. There is mounds of footage that no one ever sees of life on the show and that’s okay, it’s TV and we know it when we sign up.
-You get out of it what you want out of it – A key word for me in my time there was “ownership”. It was a time where God made it clear to me that it was time to own my health journey. There were amazing resources available but what ultimately came of it was in my hands. This was the catalyst for change in my life.
-It is not healthy weight loss – Let’s be real, losing 10+ pounds a week is not healthy. It continues to hurt my heart when I meet people who feel like they are failing because they aren’t losing “Biggest Loser” numbers each week. Most health professionals will tell you, fast weight loss is not optimal.
-I was never told to workout injured – Day 1 of week 1 I tore my left hamstring in a 40 yard dash on the show. I was never once told to workout (here’s the important part) like everyone else. The medic, Sandy, and my trainer, Dolvett, continually gave me modified workouts that allowed my leg to heal. I never once felt that I was at risk. We were told often, “there is a difference between pain and soreness, learn this difference…”
-We did not have to do what we didn’t want to do – We all have free will. There is nothing we are told to do that we could not say “no” to. Other alumni say they felt bullied or forced and I understand this. However, when it came down to it we had the ability, within our contracts, to refuse to do what we were told to do.
-We are not “all fat again” – This was one of the most hurtful, generalized statements made (and I would like to believe that this is a possible editing issue in the interview, I don’t want to believe an alumni would put us all in the same category.) Many alumni have gained all their weight back, some have gained more than they had before. But not everyone. We are all still working at it. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Unfortunately, when you start your marathon off by sprinting it gets much harder to keep going. Plain and simple, there are many BL alum who continue to do well.
-Why do some do negative interviews? – Two reasons, one is that they truly want to share with others that what they see on the show is not healthy. I know one alum in particular that really has a heart to help others not hurt themselves the way she was hurt. The other reason…this may sting but it’s true, getting the attention and exposure that comes from the show is addicting. When the season is done and you begin to be forgotten, the adjustment is hard for some of us. (Yep, I said “us”.) Sometimes it’s easy to extend our time in the light by addressing controversy…there are always “news” organizations wanting a negative story.
-It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced – This may sound pitiful, but my 6 months on the show was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual changes within myself were overwhelming…now add 19 others who were experiencing the same thing…
-Everyone has a different experience – I’ll openly say I can’t speak for everyone. Some hated it while others loved it much more than I did. Some felt forced to do things they didn’t want to and others felt pushed from within to work beyond what was healthy. I share a common bond with all the BL alumni but each of us has a different story of how we got there and what the experience did to us.
-I would absolutely do it all over again – Life is not the same and change has been rough. My circumstances for leaving the show created a whirlwind of hate mail and pain for me and my family. I missed 6 months of my family’s life and felt pain in ways I never expected. But yes, I would do it all over again simply because of the relationships that have come from it and the opportunities that God has given us over the past 3 years.
Hopefully this clears some things up for those of you who care. Your comments are welcome below! Let us know if you have thoughts or questions.
It continues to be an honor to share the health journey with so many of you. You were worth it all. Now, let’s keep moving forward in our health journey. It’s time to live the life you were created for and to become the you that you were meant to be!