Friday, May 15, 2009

Biggest Loser Bugs Me

This article was on the front page of the Detroit Free Press yesterday. Helen Thomas, the most recent winner of the Biggest Loser is from the Detroit area. For some reason, her weight loss leaves me with an unsettling feeling. I almost feel like she became Anorexic in order to lose the weight. Her average weight loss was about 5-6 pounds a week. Of course she worked out like a crazy person, (6 plus hours a day) but even if I had time to work out like that I don't know if I would. I guess what bugs me is that what she did is next to impossible for most people as we all know, and reading her success, which I think is great, makes me feel like, "well if she can do it with out WLS, so should I". It made me feel a little bit like I'm a "big loser" for giving in to WLS. Anyway, here is the article if you want to read it:

Women and men can lose weight even when they're middle aged is the message and the example coming from Helen Phillips, 48, who beat out contestants half her age on "America's Biggest Loser: Couples," NBC-TV's weight-loss competition.
"No matter how old you are, you can make the change if you have the dedication and the drive," said Phillips of Sterling Heights, who lost 140 pounds since starting the competition in September.
Phillips defeated Mike Morelli, 19, of South Lyon and Tara Costa, 24, of New York to win the $250,000 grand prize.
During a teleconference with reporters, Phillips praised her husband, Russell, a Chrysler autoworker, for his support.
She credited celebrity fitness coach Jillian Michaels for helping her lose the weight during the approximately 18 weeks of the show.
But kudos for helping her continue to lose weight when she went home for 30 days went to Warren Mott High School football coach Shauhen Tahrebandi, formerly a Bally's personal trainer.
"I couldn't have done it without him at home," said Phillips, whose daughter, Shannon Thomas, 29, of Center Line, lost 92 pounds on the show.
Phillips slimmed down to 117 pounds from 257 pounds and went from a size 22 to 2. She lost 32 pounds after returning home to Sterling Heights.
At home, she worked out six hours a day -- two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the evening, often at the high school track in Warren.
Phillips, who recently shot a "Got Milk?" ad, offers the following advice for anyone trying to lose weight, but she says her message is aimed especially at the middle-aged crowd:
• Be prepared. Pack your food so you don't fall into bad habits like stopping at fast food restaurant drive-throughs.
• Never make excuses. "It's a priority now to go to the gym or do some kind of physical exercise every day," she said.
• Believe you can do it. "I was tired of doubting myself," she said. "Stop saying you can't and start saying you can."

Wellness center her next goal:
America's Biggest Loser wants to help metro Detroiters lose big and get healthy, too.
Helen Phillips of Sterling Heights, who won the NBC reality competition Tuesday, and her husband, Russell, plan to open a local spinning and wellness center, Phillips said Wednesday.
The $250,000 prize money comes right on time for the couple, who have two children including daughter Shanon Thomas, who lost 92 pounds on the show.
Russell Phillips is in danger of losing his job at Chrysler LLC if the automaker goes forward with a plan to shut down the Sterling Heights assembly plant, where he works, in 2010.
"This will give us a nice cushion," said Helen Phillips, 48, before hopping a flight for a Wednesday appearance on the "Today" show.
Before joining the competition in September, Phillips -- who went from a size 22 to a size 2 -- worked in retail management at Macy's.
In addition to opening the wellness center, Phillips plans to work as a motivational speaker, especially for older women trying to lose weight.
"Once I ... got on board and realized how important it was, the easier it became," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


  1. Well, the show gave me mixed feelings too, but I had a different thought than you. My thoughts were "mmm..enjoy is now bc it's not going to last"! I am becoming really negative about people losing weight and keeping it off through diet and exercise alone. In one of my meet the doc meetings before surgery they had the statistics up of how many people actually lose their weight and keep it off (when doing it through diet and exercise). It's like 5%! I know some people do it, but they are def the exception to the rule! I was also watching oprah and she had this guy on who had one biggest loser (I didnt know him bc I dont usually watch the show), but he had gained ALL of his weight back! Helen lost that weight through determination, but also through unrealistic eating and working out. Dont feel bad bc you made a decision for your health! Time will tell if it is us or her that keeps the weight off for good! I am counting on us!

  2. Amy's right. There's no reason for you to feel like a loser for "giving in". In 5 years, when Helen's gained all her weight back - and more - you will still be the happy, healthy, smaller person you are now. The problem isn't _losing_ the weight. We can all lose weight. We (WLS patients especially) have fricken PHD's in losing weight! The problem is keeping it off. And I guarantee, without a long-term, permanent solution like we have, that weight is going to come back. And if Helen is one of the lucky 5% who can keep off her lost weight, it's still going to be an every day struggle. It never gets easier for those people without a tool to support them!

    Biggest loser is great for motivation to work out and eat right, but WLS is something you do when you're dead serious about losing the weight and never gaining it back. Being willing to do something REAL about your weight, instead of diet-gain back-diet-gain back makes you a WINNER.

  3. Linda, lets put it this way if I worked out every single day for 6 hours , I'm sure i will loose weight like that, but I'll probably gain it all back the day I went back to reality , were most people have a job and a family to atend to.So girl lets be real, WLS IT IS NOT an easy way out, just a more permanent one.