Friday, August 30, 2013

Secret Eaters

I love love looove weight loss reality TV. It's a guilty pleasure of mine I very rarely admit to. The reasons for this are varied. Firstly I identify with those fatties on TV; I can empathize greatly with them. Like them, I love relaxing on the sofa and stuffing my face with everything that's bad for me. I am not quite as heavy as most of them, but with a BMI of 28 I feel like I am slowly but surely getting there. Secondly these shows motivate me. I don't want to let my weight get as far out of hand as they did. And if they can successfully lose weight, then surely I can too! Thirdly, I enjoy the fat shaming. I know that does not make me come off as a nice person, but I do. I wonder why that is, because I could certainly use a good kick in the backside as well.

Anyway, I'll talk about my favorite one so far: Secret Eaters, a British Channel 4 show. So far there are two seasons, with 6 and 8 episodes respectively. It's a series that follows people who don't understand why they are fat. Cameras are installed in their house and a few detectives follow them during 5 days to log exactly what they eat. Then off course they are presented with the results. I have not seen this show on TV myself, but all episodes are on YouTube.

I'm sure there's a lot of good TV editing and some acting going on, but that makes it entertaining TV! These people did not realize what they were eating. That these little bits and pieces (a sandwich, potato chips, one cookie here and there) actually add up to an impressive amount of calories.

The fat shaming in this show is also quite entertaining. The calorie consumption is revealed in this lab-like environment where they showcase some of the food that was eaten during the 5 days of "investigation". They inform the participants of their maximum and average daily calorie intake (staggering numbers sometimes), and they pick apart a few meals to show exactly where the calories come from. The shock on the participants' faces is priceless. They are incredulous and ashamed, sometimes to the point of tears. I know others will not like that part of the show and call it degrading and condescending. While that is certainly true, it doesn't bother me really.

I think the main reasons I love this shows is because it hits so close to home. The difference between me and these people is that I am fully aware of why I am fat. I know exactly what I eat and how much. But it's the way they eat the bad foods that is recognizable: The bag of potato chips while watching TV, the over-consumption of alcohol at a friend's house, using too much butter in food preparation etc etc. I guess I should be even more ashamed than these people because while they had no idea, I totally do! I know what I have to do to lose weight, now I just have to commit to it, dammit. That's motivation for sure.

One episode that really stuck with me is episode 4 of season 2. It's about two sisters who are not obese, but overweight. One of them is really fit, training for a marathon even! But doesn't shed the pounds because she still takes in too much calories. Off course I am nowhere near running a freakin' marathon, but I do see myself as a relatively fit person. (I commute by bicycle every day, I do Zumba once a week, badminton once a week, I run 3.3 miles 3 times a week.) But I still overeat, so no wonder the pounds don't shift.

Maybe I should volunteer for the next season? I don't think so. I'm waaaay to much of a private person for something like this. But I could use the kick up the ass, oh yes I could.

(picture: courtesy of Channel4)

No comments:

Post a Comment