Wait, Weight:A declining America

I am obsessed with weight. My weight. Your weight. Weight. I yearn to be 180 pounds with washboard abs and broad chest. I want to be the Spartan, the heartthrob.
I am not alone. Millions of Americans fight the battle over body issues. We are a nation obsessed with how we look.

I enjoy watching the show “The Biggest Loser.” It inspired me a few years ago to get in the gym and reduce the “me” there was. There is only one problem…
The rate at which the contestants lose weight is unrealistic. Folks on the show devote all of their day to working out and eating. There is no continuation of “normalcy.” So, they lose 4, 7, 17, 20 pounds a week. 1) How is this safe? 2) What is the ill effect this will have on the national psyche already reeling from insecurities of body image?

Can I expect to lose 6 pounds or 10 pounds a week in a healthy manner? To lose 10 pounds a week I have to expend 5000 calories more than I consume each day. The average daily recommended caloric intake it 2000 calories. If I wanted to maintain my weight at 280 pounds I would need to consume 3000 calories a day. So, if I consume only 2000 calories a day. I would have a reduction of 1000 calories per day. That is 7000 calories a week or a loss of 2 pounds a week.

Then I look at my workouts. I do an hour of cardio per day [approximately 800 to 900 calories burned], four to six days a week, plus 30 to 45 minutes of weight training [approximately 400 to 500 calories burned] four to five times a week. If I take stock of the calories burned during workouts if can subtract another 4,800 to 7,900 calories or 1.4 to 2.3 pounds. That would make a dedicated effort of 3.4 to 4.3 pounds.

At this rate I would be considered subpar on “The Biggest Loser.” I would have to double my workouts to get near the average for the male contestants on the show. These guys lose a hundred pounds or more in a matter of months. Losing one hundred pounds should be done over the course of a year or more. It cannot be healthy to lose this much weight in months.

Yet this is the expectation I have of myself. If I do not lose 5 or more pounds a week I am not doing well. It is a ridiculous cycle of hate and loathing. I applaud the efforts of the folks affiliated with the show to inspire America to health. I ask, “Why can we not display a realistic course to better health. Weigh lose is not a freaking reality show, nor is it a game show. Losing weight saves lives, it transforms lives. How can we in the church bear witness to the needs of folks struggling with weight? As we wait in Advent for the arrival of Jesus the Christ let us be lights of love to those that weight cannot wait.

One thought on “Wait, Weight:A declining America

  1. Seems to me that the most important part of losing weight would be developing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I haven’t seen the show, but from your description it doesn’t sound like that’s what they’re going for. As far as your own goals, is there a healthy and sustainable way for you to attain and maintain your desired spartanesque physique? For some people it might be, we all know guys that get ripped just from working out once a week. I don’t think that my body could do it, I think I’ll always be chunky and barrel chested even if I took my body fat down to 2%.

    Why is it so hard for us to set realistic goals, live a realistic lifestyle, and maintain realistic health? As I say this I’ve been putting off going to the doctor for a couple of things. Maybe that’s part of the answer.

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