TV’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ a Great Motivator For Positive Change

A Michigan casting call for Season 8 of NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

Are you one of the millions who can’t wait each Tuesday evening to watch NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”? I am. Okay, I’ll admit that it was a little more exciting to watch when this weight-loss reality show began years ago, maybe just for the fact that I had never watched a show like it before. The newness has worn off a little bit, but it’s still entertaining to watch all the transformations and be able to relate with the contestants — both before and after their weight-loss success.

I truly love weight-loss success stories — all of them — but I am a little bit biased. I’ll admit that when the person is from our neck of the woods here in Michigan, the story is a slight bit closer to my heart. That reminds me: many of you may actually know one of this year’s contestants on The Biggest Loser: Debbie Lounds, a 60 year-old mother of three and grandmother of six from Ann Arbor.

Debbie has been struggling with her weight for years. She is now more focused than she has ever been before; in fact, I can only imagine how excited she was when she learned that she would be a contestant on the show. Debbie will be participating in the “Battle of the Ages” where the 15 contestants are separated into three age brackets (under age 30, 30-49 and 50 and over) to compete against one another.

Ability to Inspire

I’ll be cheering for Debbie’s 50-and-over age bracket, but I’ll also be cheering for something else this season. I recently learned that not only contestants of the show are ones motivated to lose weight, but many of the viewers are, too. Yippee! Love that!

“In a soon-to-be published Thomson Reuters poll of 3,000 Americans, 57 percent of people say weight-loss shows have influenced with they eat.  And 49 percent say they believe the television programs will have a positive influence on the obesity epidemic,” the story reads.

Okay, this is truly something to cheer about as far as I’m concerned!

When The Biggest Loser first aired in 2004, I had already lost my excess weight, so I can’t claim that the show motivated me. Yet if I had still weighed 300 pounds and was sitting on my couch eating chips and dip during that very first episode, I’m sure it would have.

Connecting With Viewers

The show helps you realize that you are not alone, something that I felt often when I was morbidly obese. I almost believed that I was the only person in the entire world who was dealing with those daily struggles that go hand-in-hand with obesity. The show helps you discover that there are others who struggle daily just like you do. It helps you face the fact that you can change and makes you believe that you can lose the weight. You tell yourself that if others can do it, then so can I!

Once I read that 68 percent of viewers with an income of $25,000 a year or less felt that weight-loss shows such as these are influential, I cheered “yet again!” With the tough economy these days, many people feel as though they simply cannot afford to lose weight and become healthier. Now they know differently.

I personally consider shows such as “The Biggest Loser” and its local spinoff, “Biggest Loser: Detroit Edition” great tools; do you agree? Honestly, if these reality shows have the power to lead the nation — and most of all, Michigan — to a healthier future, I say let’s create more of them.

I’m ready to start a new weight-loss reality show and my friend Jon Stanton is, too. And it’s a must that Grace and Angie join in on the fun. Oh, I can only imagine how much fun we’d have… and how many Michigan residents we would motivate: millions!

That’s my goal — and I will get there!

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