The web is blowing up over the sight of Rachel Frederickson who won season 15 of the Biggest Loser.
Normally I have a pretty neutral stance about such things. My focus is in creating the best possible information to improve my life and fitness. I then share that info here so maybe you too can benefit as well. I don’t care much for gossip. So let’s save the finger pointing and criticism around the Biggest Loser and Rachel and actually gain some valuable information from this whole deal.
The most biggest lesson that the struggle with weight loss ends once you’ve lost all of the weight. Sure they may have an “ideal body” but that doesn’t mean much. It’s a complete myth that the struggles with food, exercise and the number on the scale will end once you are thin and “perfect.”
Part of the problem is that such a struggle is not only accepted within our fitness culture but it’s even celebrated. Every day our fitness culture sends the message that weight loss and weight maintenance should be a life long endeavor of daily struggles to maintain your weight.
I know that’s how I used to think and live. Every dietary choice I made was based on the potential to lose or gain weight. Exercise wasn’t about conditioning skills and ability, it was about burning fat and calories. All of my fitness habits were centered around how much fat was on my body and how to control it. Supposedly that’s the ideal. The daily struggle is celebrated.
Now things are very different in my life. I don’t worry about my weight or fat any more than I worry about the oil pressure in my car. I eat whatever I want, when I want. I exercise for enjoyment and pleasure nothing more. I don’t worry about my weight at all, yet for some reason that’s wrong. I’ve even received criticism for no longer needing to fight fat.
Many have criticized me for being “lucky” or having the right genetics. The thing they don’t understand is that, while genetics do play a role, struggles with weight maintenance are brought on by a lack of understanding and skills. It’s researching these skills that I’ve dedicated much of this website to. I’ve spent years of my life literally training myself in the skillful art of weight maintenance. Not because I want to maintain my weight, but because skills make it much easier to achieve difficult things. The better your skills, the easier the results. Luck has nothing to do with it.
I’ve even had some people make the accusation that staying lean and fit is easier for me as if that’s a bad thing. They’re damn right it’s easier for me! It’s easier just as riding a bike and throwing a side kick have become easier over the years. It’s about building experience, habits and skills that make it easier. They say there are no shortcuts in fitness, but I shout otherwise. There sure as hell are shortcuts especialy when it comes to weight maintenance. Using them doesn’t make you a wimp or less of a bad ass. It means you know you deserve better and deserve to make it easier to get what you want in life.
The irony is that such shortcuts not only end the struggle but also make it possible for you to achieve far greater results. Just like anything else in life, struggle and hardship are a handicap towards how much you can achieve. The more you struggle to maintain your weight the less you will lose and the harder you’ll make it to keep it off. Easy is good. Struggle is bad. Easy means you can achieve more at a lower cost. Struggle means you Achieve less at a higher cost.
And that my friend is the big lesson I want to nail to the front door of the Biggest Loser Gym. That weight loss can be a struggle and a battle……..at first. But over time it should become easier and easier. It should become less of a focus of one’s lifestyle to the point where it’s almost a trivial consideration.
Because the myth is that the struggle is good, it’s necessary, it’s noble and if you can stick it out just a little longer and get a little leaner then you’ll get all of those happy-go-lucky-running-down-the-beach moments promised in all of the ads for the diet plans and weight loss services. Believe me, the struggle does not bring you that. Yet folks like Rachel Fredrickson seem to fall for this idea every day. They embrace the struggle and even fight for it. The more they struggle the more they fall for this false ideal which does little to bring benefit and lots to needlessly drain your lifestyle resources which you can spend on much more important and rewarding things.
The only person who can end the struggle is you. It won’t end because you reach a certain number on a scale or fit into a certain size dress. It won’t end just because you get thinner and in many ways it will only get harder. If being lean was enough then we wouldn’t have eating disorders and obsessive compulsive exercise habits. Those are things that happen when we fall into the trap that more work and hardship will continue to reward us if we can just be tough enough.
I don’t applaud the struggle to maintain weight. It shouldn’t be a struggle and if it continues to be such then something is wrong.