When the popular weight loss reality show, The Biggest Loser premiered six years ago, my husband and I watched advertised previews. My hubby turned to me and asked, “It can’t be good for the body to lose that quickly, can it?” Even he recognized that instant gratification isn’t good for our overall health. How right he was.
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
Yesterday all the morning programs, as well as the internet, announced with dismay that contestants on The Biggest Loser were gaining weight back and currently had to fight like crazy to maintain their ever-growing physique. Oh dear, the commentators lamented, what went wrong?
Nothing that wasn’t normal physiology. God created this fabulously designed machine which protects us against our own foolish desires. He knows what is best for us and yet we fail to yield to it, insisting on our own path. We sometimes lust for the world’s praise, not God’s. God definitely wants our bodily temple healthy and that includes the entire mental, physical and spiritual package.
People are so desperate to lose weight for the world’s idea of beauty that they will try anything. Years ago Rachel Ray, the famous chef and television talk show host wanted to see exactly how desperate dieters can be. She created a false diet program which was advertised as:
“Volunteers needed to test new diet program. Some foods ae toxic and will cause paralysis and blindness.”
Now you’re probably laughing thinking, who in their right mind would sign up for something like this? Well sadly over 1400 people did! Are we an out of control narcissistic society or what???
The reason the contestants gained weight back is because the body is very physiologically possessive. It will fight to preserve itself in any way it can for it wants to live! (It’s one reason why children can survive after being underwater twenty minutes or longer.)
In the case of The Biggest Loser, the body was unnaturally stressed to its breaking point in order to create maximum weight loss. It was forced to do an activity that was against normalcy. (And remember stress can cause all types of illnesses in the long-term.) After being released from the rigors of that program, the mind demanded to take control of its own body again. That meant getting back to “normal,” which by now was all messed up.
After the contestants had stressed and manipulated their metabolism to reach their goal weight, the real challenge began. Keeping it off! The brain took over and slowed its metabolism for protection. In other words, it believed itself to be ill and wanted to survive. Therefore it hung on to every ounce of food it could while slowing its metabolism. One should always remember he can’t outsmart a fat cell or God’s physiology.
“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139: 14a)
I feel so bad for these contestants because it will be a very long time before their metabolism will return to normal. It’s a tough way to learn patience. Never fear however, for if you lose weight slowly and sensibly (1-3 pounds a week) you’ll keep it off for God wants you healthy!