Friday, December 18, 2009

How to Make Someone Give Up

Before going out to yoga yesterday, I took a few minutes to do some exercises with ankle weights to help strengthen my glutes and protect my very sore knee. This is not exciting stuff, so I turned on the TV to keep me awake.

I caught the last five minutes of a Canadian show called "X Weighted". It's a slightly less nasty variation on the "Biggest Loser", but what I saw yesterday made my blood boil.

I caught the last five minutes of a show about a young woman who wanted to become a professional hip-hop dancer. Her goal was to audition for the dancers attached to the Toronto Raptors basketball team.

When I tuned in at the end of the show, she was still quite a curvy young woman, but what a dancer! She looked like she was in fabulous shape. Over the six months of work with the X Weighted team, she had turned her eating habits around and really stepped up the exercise. Apparently, she'd had a less than stellar start, but during the last three months she'd given it her all.

The program showed her during her first audition for the hip-hop dancers and then being asked to come back for a final audition. What a victory, right? Wrong!

In six months, she had lost about 25 pounds and almost 14" from her bust, waist and hips. She also cut her time doing the fitness circuit down by 30 seconds (she did the circuit at the beginning of the show and then at the end, six months later). The trainer was blown away. What a victory, right? Wrong!

Her parents and her boyfriend were there for the final weigh-in. She was happy with the inches lost, but disappointed with her weight loss. Then the trainer asked her mother what she thought. "She could have done better," said mom curtly. A tear rolled down the girl's face.

I was livid.

This young woman had worked hard. She was in fantastic shape. She was a great dancer, but she still didn't look like Kate Moss.

My first thought was that she'd probably built up a lot of muscle over the six months of training and damn it, muscle weighs more than fat. She'd lost a ton of inches--which is the real mark of improving the shape you're in. The trainer, of course, did not say this to her. Her let her cry.

Great TV. Really gripping.

I wonder where she'll be in another six months. With family and a trainer like that, who needs enemies?


  1. I actually saw that show a while ago! I've had to stop watching them as i get quite angry watching them.
    The unrealistic expectations put on these people must be demoralizing. I can quite understand why people who are on TBL gain afterwards. Who in their right mind can keep up with exercising like that if you have a life??

  2. The show sounds designed to humiliate.. Sometimes I just wonder when we all got so fixated on perfection. Will link to your post later on this weekend following something I saw on the BBC news about the "perfect woman's face".

  3. The mother sounds like a first class wench. I don't expect anything from a trainer... but as a mother, she should have fail tattooed on her forehead.

  4. I've caught bit of that show on boring Sunday mornings. I dont think the trainer sets OUT to humiliate them - but I have been horrified by how unsupportive some of the families can be - and how little appreciation there is for the effort they put in.

    I would love to know how many of them actually keep the weight off afterwards


    The 'perfect face' has been categorised.

    Beauty lieth in the eye of the beholder. I will never look like Audrey Hepburn or Twiggy (both amazing beauties) but my man loves me. And true beauty is on the INSIDE