Former ‘Biggest Loser’ contestant refers to show as a fat-shaming disaster

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Biggest Loser’ winner Kai Hibbard reveals shocking show secrets.

You’d have to be thick-skinned to go on a show like ‘The Biggest Loser’ in the first place, but for one former contestant, the fat-shaming was all too much. The show, in which obese contestants compete to lose the most weight, is “a fat-shaming disaster that I’m embarrassed to have participated in,” she told the New York Post.

“The whole f***king show is a fat-shaming disaster,” she told Page Six. “You just think you’re so lucky to be there that you don’t think to question or complain about anything.” Hibbard said she and other contestants were made to sing contracts giving away their rights to their storylines on the show and forbidding them to speak poorly of the NBC reality show.SHE had always struggled with her weight, but in January of 2006, Kai Hibbard was in real trouble: At just 26 years old, her 5-foot-6 frame carried 120kg.She explained the weight loss became detrimental to her health — but she was pushed to keep going because it was about shedding the most pounds, regardless of the consequences. “My hair was falling out. Hibbard says once contestants got to the ‘ranch’, where their rigorous exercise regime began, they were given a medical, then started working out immediately – from five to eight hours straight. The trainers, she said, “would say things to contestants like, ‘You’re going die before your children grow up.’ ‘You’re going to die, just like your mother.’ ‘We’ve picked out your fat-person coffin’ — that was in a text message.

One production assistant told a contestant to take up smoking because it would cut her appetite in half.” Hartsock wed Chris Siegfried in Palos Verdes, California, on Sunday, a rep for the couple told Us Weekly. They were also immediately forced into a workout regimen that could last up to 6 hours a day. “My feet were bleeding through my shoes for the first three weeks,” Hibbard claims. I was only sleeping three hours a night,” she said — adding that some of the damage has proven to be permanent. “One of the other ‘losers’ and I starting taking showers together because we couldn’t lift our arms over our heads. And according to Hibbard, trainers enjoyed seeing contestants collapse mentally and physically. “They’d get a sick pleasure out of it,” she said. “They’d say, ‘It’s because you’re fat.

Another contestant who spoke to The Post under anonymity told a similar story, adding that the trainers had little empathy, saying “Pain is just weakness leaving the body”. That contestant claims that by the end of the show she was running on 400 calories and eight to nine hour workouts each day. “Someone asked me where I was born, and I couldn’t remember. Attorneys for the Beastie Boys are asking a New York court to order the maker of Monster Energy drink to pay almost $2.5million in legal fees to cover their costs in a copyright violation case. Look at all the fat you have on you.’ And that was our fault, so this was our punishment.” Still the network defended the show, telling the Post “Our contestants are closely monitored and medically supervised.

The show rakes in about $100 million annually in ad sales, with ancillary products such as cookbooks, DVDs, protein powder, clothing, video games and branded weight-loss camps bringing in tens more millions of dollars per year. You will appear ungrateful if you don’t lose more weight before the season finale.’” When Jillian Michaels left the show, it was allegedly over concern about how they treat contestants. She suspects her computer was bugged. “The camera light on my MacBook would sometimes come on when I hadn’t checked in,” she says. “It was like Big Brother was always watching you.” The sequestration lasts five days. After an initial winnowing process, 14 of 50 finalists are taken to “the ranch,” where they live, work out and suffer in seclusion. (The remaining 36 are sent home to lose weight on their own, and return later in the season.) Those who remain, Hibbard says, are not allowed to call home. “You might give away show secrets,” she says.

The contestants were ingesting far less than 1,000 per day. “Your grocery list is approved by your trainer,” she says. “My season had a lot of Franken-foods: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray, Kraft fat-free cheese, Rockstar Energy Drinks, Jell-O.” At one point, Hibbard says, production did blood work on all the contestants, and the show’s doctor prescribed electrolyte drinks. “And the trainer said, ‘Don’t drink that — it’ll put weight on you. You’ll lose your last chance to save your life.’ ” “Safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week, and most people find that hard,” says Lynn Darby, a professor of exercise science at Bowling Green State University. “If you reduce your calories to less than 800-1,000 a day, your metabolism will shut down. The first-ever Biggest Loser, Ryan Benson, went from 149kg to 94kg — but after the show, he said he was so malnourished he was urinating blood. “That’s a sign of kidney damage, if not failure,” Darby says. And 2014’s Biggest Loser, Rachel Frederickson, became the first winner to generate concern that she had lost too much weight, dropping 70kg in months. She appeared on the cover of People with the headline “Too Thin, Too Fast?” Frederickson (5-foot-4, 47kg) admitted to working out four times a day, and within one month of the finale had gained back nine kg. “Just calorie restriction in and of itself has to be supervised,” Darby says. “I mean, people die.

When a bell went off, they had to run neck-and-neck like animals, picking up sacks filled with their lost weight on the way. “I walked,” she says. Yet she feels a responsibility as someone once held up as false inspiration. “If I’m going to walk around collecting accolades, I also have a responsibility [to tell the truth],” she says. “There’s a moral and ethical question here when you take people who are morbidly obese and work them out to the point where they vomit, all because it makes for good TV.”

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