Pass me the ice-cream, it’s time for The Biggest Loser

It’s confession time.

On Sunday night I watched the first episode of The Biggest Loser: The Next Generation (TBL) with my best mates. 

Reality TV is one of my many guilty pleasures—and if the Commando is involved it’s even better (no, that’s not my confession, although it’s embarrassing to admit).

In keeping with the theme of the show I was wearing my finest exercise gear, all I needed was a sweat-band and I’d have been channeling Olivia Newton-John circa 1980.

I was also eating a bowl of hot apple pie smothered in thickened cream and drinking a Diet Coke (Oh, don’t judge me … you know you’ve eaten something totally fattening and washed it down with a DC!)

My name is Brooke and I’m addicted to watching The Biggest Loser while eating gloriously unhealthy food.

That’s right, I’m a hypocrite.

I can practically hear Michelle Bridge’s yelling at me from interstate. I’m sorry Mish … I’ll change, I promise, I’ll swap the apple pie for an actual apple!  

In my defence, I only ate a piece of the pie (although I’m sure that’s how all of the show’s contestant’s started on their road to obesity) and it was a Sunday-night/dinner with friends treat but it’s a bad habit nonetheless.

In fact, I only paused from eating my pie long enough to audibly gasp as one contestant was shown eating an entire tub of vanilla ice-cream, complete with topping. I knew that somewhere, that girl would be sitting cringing that her secret had been exposed to the world.  

I was also totally aware of the irony of eating a calorie-laden dessert while watching people sweat, swear and spew on their journey to weight loss success.

I vowed that the apple pie would be the end of my habit, that I could quit cold turkey. And I hit the gym a little bit harder on Monday to make up for my bad behaviour.

But last night, as the contestants were given a sharp slap of a wake-up call that came in the form of a computer generated image of what they’ll look like 30 years, I found myself snacking on a mini Malteaser bunny (surely those light airy malted bits are low-fat?).

As I took to Facebook to admit my guilty habit (and shame myself into making better choices) I discovered that I’m not alone in this snack attack; a friend had posted a photo showing that she too was watching TBL … while eating ice cream with chocolate topping.

And with each ad break that came so too did the confessions of fellow TBL viewers—with ice-cream a front-runner in the sweet stakes.

It seems there’s nothing like watching overweight people strip down to their bike pants and sports bras to send us running for the pantry—surely undoing all the good work the show endeavours to do by encouraging Australians to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The Biggest Loser: The Next Generation contestants.
The Biggest Loser: The Next Generation contestants.

According to the show’s website, current statistics* show that more than 14 million Australians are overweight or obese, while scientists predict that by the time our kids hit 20, they’ll have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity.

I’m the first to admit, I’m partial to making a bad food choice (2am cheeseburger run, anyone?) and I’m in no way trying to downplay the obesity epidemic sweeping our country—it’s something we definitely need to tackle, one kilo at a time if need be.

Which is why I’ve since purged all the junk food from my fridge. And pantry. And that stash of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pieces hidden inside the old fish bowl in the cupboard. *sigh*

I’ll admit I didn’t part with my packet of raspberry M&Ms but it’s a gradual process—and besides, every girl needs an emergency stash of chocolate.  

So there it is, my Biggest Loser promise—I will make it through tonight’s episode sugar-free.

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