The Biggest Loser vs. Trim Healthy Mama

My husband and I have been watching The Biggest Loser since the first episode.  This past Tuesday was the first time I’d been really disappointed watching the finale.  In years past I would watch the final show excited to see each person come on the stage, some ripping open the paper that held a picture of their former self.  This time, my heart was sad.  I used to dream of being that girl on the scale at the beep, beep, beep was tracking how many pounds she’d lost.  I was shocked each week when numbers like -18, -10,-28 popped up on the board.  Now, I watched with new eyes.  This year I watched concerned and a bit sick to my stomach at times.  What changed?  Well, it wasn’t the show!  It’s been the same since the beginning…it was me.

This girl would watch the show with a huge bowl of ice cream and a Dr. Pepper.  I lived through those folks weighing in, wishing it was me!  I so wanted it to be me.


I know what many of you think of what I just said and what you thought of me.  Just do it!  Why didn’t you start?  What took you so long?  Why didn’t you just go workout?  Why?  I wasn’t ready.  God hadn’t worked in my heart about it all.  I was sick, uncomfortable and depressed.  Yes, I was.  God had to work and He did!  God had been working in my heart for a long time in this area of obesity/gluttony.  I love God’s word and long to be closer to Him yet, I had this besetting sin that I needed to deal with.  God used a book to open my eyes and to speak to my heart.  You all know what it is!  Besides His word, Trim Healthy Mama came into my life.  It was like a light-bulb went off in my mind.  I asked myself questions as I read…

“Jen, what have you been doing to your body?”

“Why have you let things go this far?”

“God’s given you one body.  Why are you mistreating it?”

I was ready.  I was repentant of my sin and ready to work.  One chapter that is great to read in light of extreme, quick-fix dieting is “Life Long Approach”(chapter 12).  As I watch BL this past week these words rang in my heart.

“Unless you are extremely overweight, which makes dropping large amounts of pounds naturally faster, we don’t want you to lose much more than a pound a week.   Rapid weight loss becomes catabolic, which means there is more breaking down of the body than building up.  It goes against the anti-aging premise of this book.  Run far away from magazine and book headlines that scream, “Six Weeks to a Bikini Body!”  Titles like that are the nemesis of this book.  Don’t think of this as a race, but a lifelong approach.

Diets that tout ridiculously fast weight reduction, tax the adrenal glands and mess with your hormones.  The catabolic hormone cortisol, which comes from stress, will start to pump through your body if you shed weight too fast.  After a while, this high cortisol state will cause your weight to plateau and your results will halt. ” Trim Healthy Mama, Page 120

I recently went to the doctor and he also talked about losing about a pound a week and how that was a healthy rate of lose.  Yes, some weeks I lost more in the beginning as I had more to lose.   I’m losing at a slower rate now which is perfectly fine with me.  My body is healing from years of yo-yo dieting.

My heart aches for men and women who watch these reality shows and become discouraged when they don’t lose as quickly.  These folks on tv are working out for 6 plus hours a day!  That’s not even healthy!  Their diet is extremely low calorie and low in fat which is not a great way to lose weight and stay healthy.  Fat is good for you!  Good fats, that is.   As I watched the finale I was sad for the winner, Rachel.  She was a force to be reckoned with on the show!  She won most of the challenges so it was easy to see her competitive spirit.   I knew she would most likely win the show.  When she walked out at 5’5 and 105 pounds, I was taken back.  She is considered underweight at that weight for her height.  I won’t assume she has an eating disorder or that she did this only to win.  I don’t know her and it’s not my place or intent with this post.  I will say that it re-enforced my love for THM and for losing it slow and steady.  I didn’t watch this season wishing to be on the show losing massive pounds.  Honestly, I could never go and  leave my family like that.  I watched praising God that I have come so far.  May God get the glory for all He is doing in me.


So, I’m not The Biggest Loser but, that’s okay with me.  I’m on this journey that God has for me.  I continue to have Him helping and guiding me on this path.  I’m not saying THM is the answer for everyone but, I know how it’s helped me!  If you want to know more about it, you can check out their website.  The book is not just a book but, a textbook on living a healthy life!


48 thoughts on “The Biggest Loser vs. Trim Healthy Mama

  1. Not that it matters, but I’d read that Rachel was 5’4″. I so wanted to know her body fat percentage as weight alone just doesn’t mean a lot to me any more.

    So thankful for your blog and your faithfulness, Jennifer. I am one month in on my THM journey. I have good days and bad days, but I am committed for life.

      • Her BMI is 17.5, not her body fat. Her body fat was 19% at 150 lbs on the ranch. Because she lost another 45 lbs (mostly muscle!) her bf was probably 14-16% at finale. Probably the lower.

        And I agree about losing weight so fast. I read somewhere (from a former contestant) that some of the weigh-ins were actualy 2-3 weeks apart. Not sure if that’s true or not. I am a personal trainer, and for long term health and maintenance, it’s best to lose 1-2 a week..I agree!

  2. Jennifer,
    I am writing this after eating pizza and garlic bread for supper and after losing 50 lbs over last year (30 THM). I lost my mother-in-law suddenly right before Thanksgiving. Funeral food and food brought to the house, then the holidays threw me off. Amazingly, I followed enough not to gain. Thank you God.

    The problem is that now I cannot get myself to get on and be serious. I keep having cheat and crossover meals. I guess I needed to confess this to someone. Not seeing the scale move when I’ve been good has made it hard to stick to it.

    I will do this. God is going to break every chain. Thank you for sharing your story. I need to lose a lot more weight. I needed the reminder that this is a long term commitment. I think I need to go back and read the book again. I didn’t finish all of it. I need that.

    Thanks again,
    Laura Lane

    • Oh, Laura…so sorry about your loss!! Email me anytime! You can do this. Re-reading the book is always helpful. I know I read different sections again…tabbing the book and using a highlighter! I will be praying for you!

    • We sometimes want and focus on healing in specific areas (i.e. body, mind or spirit). I’m starting to suspect that God wants to heal all of those areas simultaneously, since they work together. So, it may look like we are not moving forward, but we are ~ as a whole person. Like, each has to catch up to the other. What do you think of that? It just came to me the other day. And, I love pizza. So, tonight, I am going to try the cauliflower crusted one. Wish me luck!

      • Jennifer,
        I too watched the Biggest Loser throughout and to say the least knew that Rachel was determined to win it all BUT when she came out, I was MORTIFIED to say the least… NOT healthy at all but for those of us on THM and losing and learning (such as myself) we are our own destiny and we CAN eat healthy and lose weight. YOU look amazing and I cant wait to look that good! God Bless you 🙂

  3. Thanks for that post. The biggest loser also makes me sad. NOt only is it unhealthy to lose that much weight so quickly, it is not something that they can do for life. No one (well, not many people) can work out 6 hours a day and eat minimal amounts of food on top of that. You get hungry when you don’t eat. And 6 hours of workout would be hard on your body! When the show is said and done, people go back to their jobs, their homes and their families, like us gals at home and it just doesn’t seem realistic!

    I am thankful for THM. This weekend marks the end of my 12th week. I have lost 26 lbs (maybe a bit more – I need get a new scale – my batteries died two weeks ago!) and I am so thankful for a weight loss (and maintainance) program that works. And I feel satisfied doing so!

    • While I am not a member of THM, after reading your posts with regard to losing weight to the point where too MUCH has been lost, I want to warn those who push themselves too hard and fast. I can’t say this will be the outcome for others, but it IS something to consider. I pushed myself– starving and exercising heavily– for a few years and am paying the price for it now. It’s true that I felt energetic, confident and healthy 22 years ago after losing 85 lbs., but at age 55 now, I have had between 10 and 11 years of a ruined liver. Cirrhosis is not just for alcoholics– it’s for anyone who abuses their liver whether by starving oneself or eating the wrong things. Anyone with cirrhosis can tell you what a walk in the park it is not, so I wanted to second the motion that you DO take your time losing weight and doing it sensibly. ❤

      • Thank you for sharing. I can see that you are talking from the heart and personal experience. 🙂 I’m so sorry for all you’ve gone through. I am sure you have learned a lot from your experiences. I know I have in my 38 years. Thanks for reading!

  4. You have no idea how I needed this post today. As a watcher of the THM FB group since Nov, I finally started my journey on Jan 31st. Today was my first weigh in day and I as stepped on the scale and the number came up, I was shocked at my reaction. I lost 3.5 pounds, my first lost since I tried WW in 2010, and I should have been ecstatic and yet I was angry and cried. I took it out on my family, have yet to work out and have been reluctantly sticking to plan today. I don’t know why it happened that way. I’m guessing that I just wanted so bad to wake up one day and this life I’ve been living in this body would have changed and I’d be back to my 19yr old body, even though I’m months away from being 29. When I read that part of the ebook, I highlighted it, thinking it would stick to me when I got discouraged. Well, today, I forgot it. I forgot that it’s not a race. I had forgotten that it took me years to do this to my body and it will take a long time to fix and mend from the inside out. I’m thinking I will need to print out some of the super encouraging words that Serene and Pearl have left us in the book and keep them near the scale. Thank you, Jennifer, for reopening my eyes and heart. xo

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this. Great job on your journey! I stopped watching BL a few years ago. I couldn’t get over how often someone on the show said, “OMG!” Seemed liked every other sentence. But another thing I noticed is that there would be games, or maybe they called them challenges, where there would be a huge table or room full of sugary, buttery desserts or other foods. Somehow the contestants had to resist the temptation. I don’t think we’re supposed to make light of temptations. Putting ourselves in that situation is not a joke or game. Let’s keep supporting each other to do what we know is right. God bless!

  6. Loved this post. I just watched the finale online a few days ago, and I had so many similar thoughts. I’ve been on THM for a year now, and lost 40 lbs. It’s “slower” than I wish, but so much healthier for me and I, like you, and so grateful for this plan that’s changed my life. Thanks for sharing your story!

  7. Wonderful Post. Thank you for sharing from your heart and encouraging others. i have just got the book and am excited to begin a new path to living again. May God bless you on your journey!
    Shamere Ayen

  8. Thank you so much for sharing!!! It was a very timely message for me… I have been on THM for 10 months… Lost 35 lbs and now gained 10 again because of falling completely off plan… So last week was start back on plan again, and I only lost 1 lb which I was frustrated with but now that I reAd this it makes me ok with only losing one lb… I will continue following THM!!!! Thank you again for your post!!!

  9. This was a great read! When I got healthy, I also changed about the way I felt about the show. It just seemed so unreal and hollywood-ized, and I thought the people were being mistreated. It’s so unnecessary. Nobody needs to put their body through that to change, but maybe it helped them – I don’t know. I just know that most of them need to find a new way to live when they get home anyway, and some of them don’t find it.

  10. You’re a great encouragement! My weight loss is 20# since September 2013. Not a big number, but 20 that is gone!!!! Through the holidays, I was able to keep to a loose version of THM. We had a daughter get married and three showers for the couple,thrown into all the holiday celebrations. I didn’t gain!!!!! Now, I’ve been reading the book again, and many things that I didn’t notice before, now stand out. It really helped to start from page one! I haven’t seen the scale move since Christmas, and finally, I’m down to 219! That’s amazing to me! I’m soon to turn 55, and I want to shed 10 more before my birthday at the end of March. Keep going, gals! Slow wins the race! The important thing…we know why we were gaining. We now have a toolbox of knowledge to use. There’s no turning back. Get back up and keep plugging away!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your heart and story. I too used to watch the Biggest Loser but I grew tired of the drama, yelling, profanity and I wished they would actually teach the viewers how to properly lose weight. I can’t watch it anymore.

  13. You are “The Biggest Winner” in my book! Thank you for all your encouragement and recipes and especially for helping out with all your great answers on the “THM Beginners Facebook page”. Without your help, I fear many newcomers to THM would give up because they seem overwhelmed with the big book. You help them understand that it is a very doable program–and you are appreciated more than you will ever know! Thank you!

  14. I knowI am a few days behind on this I started THM in August of last year and due to a wedding and the holidays I have fallen off of it. I have tried to get back on and some days I do it halfway. I ordered the book to help me get back into it I just can’t seem and to get going. I have the book on Kindle but I am hoping that having the book in my actual book in my hands will make a difference for me your post has inspired me because like many others I hope to see fast results but know that those are not the way it should beI need to learn patience and perseverance and to trust God in this I feel he made this available to me and I need to follow what I know is right. I felt souch energy and my blood sugars were at the optimum numbers. Why I stopped I do not understand.

    • Nita,

      I am so glad you bought the paperback and are jumping back on plan!! I know God will give you the strength to do it if you ask! I know how much better I feel now than I used to as well. You can do this! 🙂

  15. You may have already said this somewhere above, but when did you start THM? I just started reading the book, and I’m on Chapter 3. I’m confused a little, and concerned that all the specialty foods will be to costly for our budget. Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your story, your journey, and your transparency. It gives me a little hope.

  16. thanks for sharing this. we are BL fans too, but we are also doing THM – losing 1-2 lbs a week, with 30 more to go. it’s encouraging to hear from you in this “have to have it now” culture. i want to shed the pounds healthily and forever.

  17. I think the part I really like about THM is how much God is acknowleged and praised. I lost 30 lbs since last summer and was able to maintain through the holidays. I still have about 75 to go, but I knew I couldn’t keep he other diet plan going. Then I discovered THM. Yay! My book should be here by the end of the week. Healthy me, here I come!

  18. It was interesting to see your post today! It was 2 days ago that my adult daughter and I were talking about the finale and I made the comment that the winner looked anorexic! I’m really not suggesting that she technically is but wow! She didn’t look at all healthy to me! A couple of years ago I lost 37 pounds in just over a year and I believe because it took so long my success with keeping it off is attributed to that! Congrats to you!

  19. I didn’t watch the show, but saw pictures and it made me sad, (1, I saw her through new eyes and she did not look healthy, and two I fear what that says to young girls, I have two, 2 and a half and 6mo olds and what will they see growing up.) It truly breaks my heart.

  20. I loved reading this post and all the comments. I just started this diet. I feel a bit overwhelmed to understand what foods are ok to eat together. Can people share their weekly meal plans to help new people know what foods you can eat together? I am sure as time goes on I will get it better! I hope… I ordered some things from Amazon and am still waiting to get them. Pamela

  21. Thanks so much for your post, I received the book a few days ago and feel swamped with all the info. I will look for your newbie info. Praise the Lord on all He has helped you through, I have to rely on Him for my daily walk. God Bless.

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  23. I know this is an older post, but I just happened to stumble upon it. I attempted THM last year but just couldn’t follow through. A little over a week ago, I restarted my journey and I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to make this a lifestyle change, rather than just a diet. I loved reading this post and it has truly given me so much to think about. Thank your for sharing and for all of your work on the THM boars.

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