“Biggest Loser” Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Former ‘Biggest Loser’ Contestant Calls the Show ‘Dangerous’
Kai Hibbard, a finalist on the third season of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ reveals how dangerous she feels the show really is to its contestants.
“I have people that come up to me and talk to me and ask me why they can’t lose 12 pounds in a week when I did. When I didn’t. It didn’t happen. It’s TV,” she told the CBS ‘Early Show.’ “I need to take blame and responsibility for the fact that I helped perpetuate a myth that’s dangerous.”
When asked to clarify about her “a week is not a week on TV” comments, she said, “I’m saying that it would be, most times, longer than a week and I believe once, in my season, it was less than a week.” (Contestants weigh-in on the show every week to determine who may get voted off.)
Hibbard also claims that the techniques they were taught to lose weight weren’t always healthy. “The weight loss for that show is for ratings. People have to remember that ‘The Biggest Loser’ isn’t a weight-loss camp that happens to be filmed for TV. It’s a TV show that’s made to look like a weight-loss camp. So there was pressure from production and everybody involved in the show to make sure you had as big of numbers as possible every week.”
“I could tell you that before I went on the show, I never learned to dehydrate to manipulate a scale and I left knowing how to do it better than some fitness competitors I know,” she explained.
But that wasn’t the only thing she took from her time on the ‘Loser’ ranch. “I left with a very poor mental body image,” she said, after dropping 118 pounds during 12 weeks on the series. She has since put 70 of those pounds back on.
“I found myself loathing what I looked like the more weight I dropped because of the pressure on me. And I found myself doing things like considering coffee a meal. And because of the mentality that I was surrounded with, and the pressure that was given at that show, it was considered acceptable to behave that way,” she added. “I take full responsibility for everything that I’ve done. But you can’t understand it unless you understand the pressure that was there,” she continued.
Her husband added that all she would eat at times was coffee with Splenda and would always special order food if they went out for a meal. “She came back with her hair falling out and we all finally all sat down and were like, ‘This isn’t healthy for you,'” he said.
“My best friend and my mother are registered nurses, and along with my husband, they staged an intervention,” Kai admitted.
Hibbard just wants people to be aware of what really goes on during ‘The Biggest Loser.’ “I participated in something that I feel is harmful to so many people, so I own responsibility to make it better. I’m not making any money off this. I am not getting anything out of it except for the fact that maybe I’m redeeming myself a little bit for being too much of a coward at that finale.”