Viewers of The Biggest Loser Transformed Say Nikki Isn’t Heavy Enough To Be On The Show!
The Biggest Loser has returned to our screens this year with a new cohort of contestants all looking to transform their lives. All are carrying extra weight they would like to shift in order to feel better about themselves.
Amongst the contestants is 25 year old Nikki who at 78kg says she is so ashamed of her body that she ‘goes to the beach wearing long pants and top, and refuses to let her partner see her naked.’
The second lightest contestant Jenny, a 60-year-old paramedic from Victoria, weighs 90kg while the heaviest contestant is Josh, 30, an excavator also from Victoria, who weighs 147kg.
There are no morbidly obese contestants like previous years which has some viewers questioning the suitability of this year’s participants.
Many are claiming 78kg is nowhere near ‘big’ enough to be considered overweight and that it’s sending a dangerous message to women who may feel inadequate about their own body size.
Nikki’s trainer Libby Babet disagrees. She says even though Nikki isn’t obese, she is considered to be in the “overweight category” of people who are looking to lose 10-15kg to improve their overall health.
“She wasn’t healthy for her height,” Babet said. “We do break down the contestants’ body fat scan and see where the fat is positioned on their bodies and what I think the public will see is that Nikki was quite unhealthy. She did have some issues going on and she is very short, she is not a tall girl. She is actually below the average in terms of height, and ultimately she’s on TBL because she wants to lose weight.”
Babet goes on to say that she understands why viewers may be questioning her weight.
“I can understand why people on social media think it is odd for them to see someone like Nikki on TBL, because she is representative of some women out there and a lot of women who perhaps wouldn’t see themselves as needing to lose weight.”
The trainer says perhaps women feel uncomfortable seeing a 78kg woman on a weight loss show because it make them question their own bodies.
“I actually kind of don’t mind if people watch and get a little bit uncomfortable, because in my experience, the times when you create the greatest changes are times when you go into a little bit of an uncomfortable place,” she said.
“If there is one thing I would encourage people to do, it is if they are looking at Nikki and feeling uncomfortable, maybe look at why they are feeling uncomfortable? Ask yourself, ‘Is it because I feel like I should get out there and do a bit more to make myself feel better? Is this just a little nudge to make myself a little healthier?’ If so, that’s a positive thing.”
Carrying extra weight on you is not good for your health in the long term no matter which way you try and rationalise. I agree 78kg does not sound like a lot of weight but Nikki is not at a tall woman so she is really feeling the extra kilos. And while they may not be dangerous now, if the weight starts to creep up, health issues will most likely arise.
“You can experience nutrient deficiency, fatigue, exhaustion, poor hormonal health, higher rates of depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. You can start to develop a fatty liver and the kind of fat that sits around your organs,” Babet said.
“You might not be ready to have a heart attack, but you might be feeling anxious, sluggish, tired, exhausted, fatigue, emotional, lose the regularity of your cycle. That comes from putting on fat in unhealthy places and when it happens when you’re not moving enough.”
While I’m by no means a fan of shows like The Biggest Loser which to me look like they’re ridiculing people and playing up their insecurities, I do think weight is a personal issue. If Nikki feels unhealthy and unhappy with the weight she is carrying then who are we to judge her and say she’s not ‘fat’ enough for the show.
“From my experience, women who are 40kg overweight can feel exactly the same way about themselves as women who are 10-15kg or 20kg overweight. It’s not about the number on the scales,” Babet says.
A person knows when their body doesn’t feel right. It may be when they’re carrying an extra 5 kilos, 10 or 20. It may even be when they’re 5 kilos lighter than they normally are.
I think the issue with Nikki is that women sitting at home that weigh the same as her may not consider themselves to be overweight. It probably makes them feel uncomfortable to be labelled ‘fat’ when they are perfectly happy in the skin they’re in. And while the average Australian woman weighs 71.1kg and is 161.8cm tall, and the average Aussie man weighs 85.9kg and is 175.6cm tall this by no means you are overweight or underweight if you don’t fall within these guidelines. Bodies are different and people are all sorts of shapes and sizes.
The fact that doesn’t change however is that ‘excess’ body fat on anyone is a dangerous thing. The Biggest Loser contestants have identified themselves as being ‘overweight and unhealthy’ and are looking to transform their lives for the better. As long as they are happy with their reasons for appearing on the show who are we to judge their suitability? I say anything that leads to a long healthy life has got to be good for yourself and those around you.
Photos: Channel 10