What and how healthy is and looks to girls/women is such an important but complicated topic. As long as we continue to encourage a certain look through media and every day interactions/comments rather than focus on effort, progress and healthy food and exercise options, thinner will continue to be a desired choice and goal.
My mentor and the owner and head coach of the facility where I train, http://www.fns360.com, recently shared his view on the controversy surrounding the winner of the Biggest Loser. His post is well-written, fair, honest and on point and so I wanted to share the link and actual post here:
Rachel Frederickson-Biggest Loser Winner
Rachel Fredrickson Biggest loser from 260 to 105!
This past week there has been a lot of backlash and controversy over contestant Rachel Fredrickson’s transformation on the Biggest Loser going from 260lbs to 105lbs during her time with the show. Many people have had some very harsh things to say about her weight loss, figure and health.
Maybe it is because I have been coaching people of ages, weight, and demographics over the past 10 years and have seen what emotional vulnerability will make people do. Or that I am now a father to a beautiful little girl and want her to be educated about the reality of health and happiness, or the fact that our media does nothing but perpetuate this type of “Skinny is Fit” look with photo shopped celebrities and fitness models. Maybe it is a combination of all three that I really empathize with Rachel Fredrickson for her transformation and really feel for her given all of the factors that she was faced with and the backlash she has gotten over this past week.
In a show that is all about weight loss and a competition to see who can lose the most weight from a starting percentage standpoint, how can anyone argue that what this person did was wrong? I am not saying it was healthy or not, I am just stating the rules of the competition. Some people will do anything to win that much money even if it means risking their health. Is that good thing? Of course not, but those are the rules of the game that weren’t set by Rachel Frederickson.
What is really concerning is the guidance that Rachel Fredrickson might have been under during the last stage of her competition. Having had experience with former Biggest Loser Contestant and runner up Ada Wong, I had one major rule before we worked together; we will not use any detoxes or cleansing of any sort to lose weight. Ada finished strong and although she did not win, she took care of her body and metabolism by not succumbing to any detoxes or cleanses.
With so many critics out there, it’s hard for people to really know what they would do if they were faced with the same opportunity to win so much money, lose a lot a weight after being big their whole life, and go on live national television for the world to see you.
In a world where everyone is a critic, to put yourself out in front of everyone takes a lot of guts. To put it all on the line is a scary thing to do, and if you don’t have the right support system, guidance and coaching you might do some unhealthy things.
What really gets me the most is reading all of these tweets and posts about how she is “too skinny”, “doesn’t look fit, strong and lean”. This poor girl can’t win. Three months ago she was too big and now she is too skinny. The way I see it she looks no different than most people I see posting selfies on Facebook or seeing pictures of models in magazines. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t and I see it on a daily basis the mental and emotional pressures that women and young girls are faced with regarding their weight. If you start lifting weight people say “You are getting too bulky”, if you lose weight people call you “too skinny”, there is no wonder there is such an emotional roller coaster with most women. I truly feel for her and for so many young girls and women out there.
I hope to educate my daughter that the true key to health and happiness is not measured by the number on the scale. It’s not measured by the models in the magazines or the number of ribs you can visually see. It is simply being happy in your own skin, no matter what size you are. Being confident with the person you are and having enough self respect and self esteem to stand for something in a world that is trying it’s hardest to make you something else.
I wish Rachel all the best during her life long journey in her quest for creating balance in wealth, health and happiness.