Thoughts on The Biggest Loser NY Times Article

May 3, 2016

This article published in the NY Times yesterday broke my heart a bit.  


I never liked the Biggest Loser franchise.  Screaming at people, false environments, extreme actions to drastically lose a lot of weight in a very short time to “win”...  


I always wondered what happened after the contestants left the show.  But I didn’t need to:  It was completely predictable that the vast majority would regain the weight and most likely go on to gain even more.


I’ve lived that pain of regaining a lot of lost weight and my weight going higher.  Not so publicly, but my hunch is it was every bit as hurtful, humiliating, and confusing.  


I hope the exposure of this article helps all the systems around weight loss and helps people understand “diets” don’t work, and force and aggression are not sustainable for such critical, healthy change as dropping large amounts of weight.


I’ve shed a lot of weight quickly (100 pounds in year) - and I’ve kept it off.  I’m still losing slowly, my body taking its time to adjust, with some small ups and downs.  


How did I do it?  

  • Complete change of the foods I ate to healthy proteins, lots of vegetables and fruits, and appropriate servings.
  • Self-compassion
  • Healthy self-care (self-compassion)
  • Staying out of other people’s food (meaning not comparing or judging or ‘caring’ what others eat; self-compassion and compassion for others)
  • A standing desk
  • Lots of stairs on breaks at work
  • Talking back to negative thinking and turning it around (self-compassion)
  • Grieving my past honestly and fully on numbers of levels (self-compassion)


(Do you notice a theme?)


  • Buying clothes that look nice and not worrying about the size (self-compassion)
  • Dropping the constant criticism of my body and other people’s bodies that I had been conditioned to do by my father, (RIP and I hold no malice) and society and replacing it with appreciation of body differences (and… self-compassion)
  • Celebrating the weight loss
  • Stretching and deep breathing (self-compassion)
  • Being coached and being vulnerable and being open (self-compassion)
  • Encouraging others in their weight loss (compassion compassion compassion)
  • Embracing the joy of returning to activities and even simple actions I hadn’t been able to do
  • Learning to love my body, and accept compliments on it, and simply reveling it how it feels

Self-compassion... committing over and over and over to myself and the process, changing the language in my head, accepting love… this has made me a big loser, a sustained, healthy, happy, joyful, grateful loser.


You know what - scratch “loser.”  I think that word is a problem in and of itself.  Who wants to be a “loser”?  


Self-compassion has returned me to me.  I’ve shed a lot of weight and I’ve gained life and health and love and creativity and joy and gratitude and peace and so much more.  Thanks to those who helped me along the way and are helping me now.  Let’s help others on the same journey.  



In my coaching, I help people transform pound by pound to a self and life they love via programs of varying lengths.  I would be honored to help you or someone you love achieve the results they are seeking with weight reduction and self-compassion.


Yes, I really believe that self-compassion is the root of all kinds of healing Lauren. Thank you! xoxox
By: Mara on May 3, 2016
Thank you Lauren for adding such an important - and yes, compassionate - perspective to this complex and confusing debate. Perhaps you should write an op-ed for the NY Times. xo Christina
By: Christina on May 4, 2016

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