Talkback: Winning Weight Loss Tips from TV's Biggest Loser

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15/06/2011 at 10:26

What a motivating story - if Wil can do it from his starting point anyone can.

16/06/2011 at 08:45

Out of curiousity what do you find motivating about his story, I ask this simply because I do not find it motivating. The position Will found himself in was due to over eating and no excercise. He could hold no one else responsible for his weight and health other than himself which eventually he did.
It's good that he started to value his health now but I do not consider a bloke who over eats getting fit enough to undertake a half marathon motivating and im curious why you do.

For me a motivating story would be something such as Eddie Kidd completing the London Marathon and although it could be argued that the position in which he now finds himself was due to his lifestyle before the accident. It took epic effort from him to overcome his limitations and considerable amount of time... For something to be motivating, I personally feel people have to overcome their problems, become more than people expect and make no excuses for the cards life has handed them to do something amazing, Eddie did this while Will simply stopped stuffing his face and did more excercise.

Edited: 16/06/2011 at 08:56
16/06/2011 at 09:02
It's an achievement of sorts.  He's managed to no longer be a fucking pig.
16/06/2011 at 12:14

I agree, Squeakz. I don't understand why previously fat people get so much praise for doing something that I, and several other people, have been doing for years: eating healthily and/or exercising and avoiding the tempation to constantly stuff our faces and drink too much. The only difference is we didn't start out as fat.

16/06/2011 at 14:45
I don't think this guy deserves a medal or anything, but I believe the original point was that someone finds it motivational.  Fair enough - surely the whole point being that people can relate because it's a typical scenario: bloke (like everyone else) used to enjoy exercise as a youngster, got desk job, earnt money, drank beer, ate food... finally realised he's turned into a fat bastard and did something about it.  A fat bloke wondering whether he can ever get slim isn't going to get much motivation from someone who "didn't start out as fat", as commendable as that is. 
16/06/2011 at 15:07

LOL, fat people.

I disagree with the phrase "eating healthily", it's attitudes such as this which cause guilt to be at the root of obesity; aside from trans fats there are no unhealthy foods; unhealthy implies that something is detrimental to ones health whereas the reality is some foods are simply of greater quality in relation to calorie to nutritient ratio. For example: Doritos, pretty damn high in calories, carbs and a fair bit of fat; unhealthy? Nope. but If you ate a family bag a day, and had sugar puffs for breakfast and pizza for dinner and maybe a mars bar for a snack, washed down with 6 litres of coke? Yep.

We shouldn't be made to feel guilty about eating anything really; just accept all things in moderation; your body will burn calories as it's energy source;it doesn't particularly give two hoots where that energy comes from but if you lack nutrients, amino acids ect. then you will not be particularly healthy. I dare say one could eat A Big Mac everyday if they were running decent miles a week and all of their other meals were dense in nutrients. Calories are Calories; you can chew on a dry, flavourless piece of chicken breast all your life, or you can eat a bit of roast chicken with crispy skin and have porridge for breakfast every morning to compensate. I know which I prefer.

There are two things to factor into diet: Quantity and Quality (am I getting too much/too little for my needs + am I getting the right nutrients for my needs) If you are eating 8 portions of fruit + veg and eating wholegrain carbs and getting adequate protein into your body; whos to say that a fish and chip supper is not allowed once every two weeks or a month? Or that a mars bar every couple of days is going to kill you.

Let's get some perspective here; this guy was fat because as others have said; he was greedy and lazy; losing weight is simple: Eat less and do more. No wonder people are fat though, kids can't even do simple addition and subtraction in math, so how the hell are they supposed to know what a suplus (+) or a deficiency (-) even is?

16/06/2011 at 15:31

Yeah, it's no achievement at all, completely changing your habits and losing a lot of weight to get into shape. Habits are easy to break and it takes absolutely no willpower whatsoever.

If anything he deserves an outright slagging for being fat in the first place. We should all feel morally superior and able to criticise because we've never allowed this to happen to us.

Let's all give ourselves a pat on the back.

16/06/2011 at 16:03


How on earth does the phrase "eating healthily" indicate a particular attitude? What attitude is this, and how does it cause guilt that in turn causes obesity?

Referring to eating healthily or unhealthily generally refers to diet and is not the same as branding a particular food or food group as unhealthy. I haven't done that. 

Strangely, you seem to object to my use of the phrase, but then go on yourself to give an example of what you would consider an unhealthy diet.

Thinking about it further I should get *more* praise than somebody that's lost loads of weight. I've been careful all my life and they've only been doing it for a little while. It's nothing more than glory-hunting

16/06/2011 at 16:23
I guess at least this guy did something about his weight before he started costing the NHS money - agreed he shouldn't have got like that in the first place though but there are loads of people out there who could help themselves a bit more but can't be bothered.
16/06/2011 at 18:13
Simon Edward; that's actually a fair point;. The point I was trying to make is in fact the one you have just clarified (i.e; theres no such thing as unhealthy food BUT there is such a thing as an unhealthy diet.) I kind of read it as the former and in my haste jumped straight to the defensive so I apologise.

I also agree that it is glory hunting; I don't think we should keep stipulating how amazing it is that these overweight people have lost weight by doing what all of the healthy people around them do all their lives, it's like glorifying the cure rather than the prevention. The attitude we should be taking is one of empathy;yes it is good that the guy has lost weight;but...why the fuck is it featured in RW?; I don't give a damn about it, as far as i'm concerned he's just doing what a normal human should be doing. I.E: exercising and eating in moderation (like he would have had to before his meat/food was put in little magic packages on the shelves of massive warehouses.)

Do I feel morally superior? No. What I do feel however is that we are celebrating something that really shouldn't be celebrated but should be non-existent (people should never get that fat in the first place) I'm fed up of this attitude that it is not ok to call someone out for being overweight but it is absolutely fine to tell somebody they are too skinny.
16/06/2011 at 18:22
If we as a society celebrate someone losing a lot of weight, it can act as a motivating factor for other larger people to lose weight.

16/06/2011 at 20:40
MeepMeep2012 wrote (see)
I'm fed up of this attitude that it is not ok to call someone out for being overweight but it is absolutely fine to tell somebody they are too skinny.

I've noticed this too. I am expecting some comments in the near future since I am working down to ideal race weight, which is about 20 lbs lighter than I am now, and I already look pretty skinny.

Maybe following my race I could put on loads of weight and sell my inspirational story to RW.

16/06/2011 at 20:59

AllNew TB

Well said.

16/06/2011 at 21:23
MeepMeep2012 wrote (see)
 I'm fed up of this attitude that it is not ok to call someone out for being overweight but it is absolutely fine to tell somebody they are too skinny.


fat people get abused on a daily basis, called all sorts of names, are thought of as greedy and lazy and they allow plenty of self-opinionated skinny people to feel superior and smug all day.

yet someone comments to one of aforementioned skinny people that they are looking a bit thin and they don't half whine and cry about it.

 well done to the biggest loser.

16/06/2011 at 22:30
MeepMeep2012 wrote (see)
 The attitude we should be taking is one of empathy;yes it is good that the guy has lost weight;but...why the fuck is it featured in RW?;

If you accept the fact that RW is basically a lifestyle magazine for people who take up running in order be more healthy, lose weight, etc. then this is bread and butter for them.  If you think it should be something else, that''s another debate.

MeepMeep2012 wrote (see)
I don't give a damn about it, as far as i'm concerned he's just doing what a normal human should be doing. I.E: exercising and eating in moderation (like he would have had to before his meat/food was put in little magic packages on the shelves of massive warehouses.)

You completely lost me with the warehouse stuff.

17/06/2011 at 08:41

If RW is simply as you put it, a lifestyle magazine for people to lose weight and be more healthy; then why do they post articles about how to improve times at X distance? If someone is just running to lose weight and be healthy then let's be honest they aren't really going to care how fast they do it, as long as it is done. I'm not disagreeing with you that this is the case; i'm just saying I think they try to appeal to too broad of a spectrum. This is the same issue I have with magazines such as Men's health etc. (probably owned by the same publisher) publishing rubbish such as "lose stubborn belly fat in 5 minutes!!!"

It would be nice to have literature that is realistic and doesn't try and please everybody by being too politically correct and jumping on bandwagons. But I suppose the mass audience is one that will make them the most money and this is what they favour above all else (again, I'm not blaming them) The majority of people will read the above article and be inspired for all of a month maybe two months tops; they will think they can eat as much food as they want as long as they do a 20 minute run a day and then somewhere along the line they will give up and quite possibly get even fatter then they were before. They publish crap like that to attract "temporary readers" these being people who will buy the magazine for two months or so; maybe pay for a years subscription if they are lucky and quite possibly never buy the magazine again.

Warehouses = supermarkets. Places where the masses simply dawdle along with a trolly and stack as much crap as they can into it after sitting at a desk all day giving little to no thought as to where their food came from and caring even less. If the world economy collapsed tommorow and all we had left for our survival was knowledge and the ability to actually persistence hunt; 80% of the population would die very slowly of self catabolism, sure they may have the intelligence, doesn't matter if you can't run more than 3 miles.

oh and by the way skotty:
 you said "fat people get abused on a daily basis, called all sorts of names, are thought of as greedy and lazy"

Do I think fat people are greedy and lazy? Yes. Why? It's simple maths/science again: In order to have an excess of adipose tissue (fat) one must simply have a caloric intake that is at least 300 calories higher than their caloric usage. which means that even a man who has the RDA (2500 calories) is still expected to get his 10,000 steps per day. If it is a man who simply awakes from bed, has breakfast jumps on the bus/in the car to sit at his desk all day has some lunch and then jumps back on the bus/into his car home, has his dinner and goes to sleep. Then his intake would be higher than his needs. RDA's are wrong these days; they were fabricated when the average person was sedentary but not so sedentary that walking 1 mile or up several flights of stairs was a chore.

19/06/2011 at 09:21

i agree that skinny  bashing is more acceptable amongst women. 

for example i have heard on many ocasions where some one will say to a skinny person "you need to eat more/put more meat on them bones" or the skinny person has their body prodded. i.e their wrist/waist felt but i have never heard someone say you need to lose some fat or seen anyone jiggle anyones stomach!

i disagree that a fat person is lazy.  i know a aerobic instructor who is obese.  she teaches multiple classes back to back and is very popular.  she teaches more classes a week than most of the other instructors.  This is obviously due to her style of teaching and not that shes fat.

i think her diet must be atrocious

19/06/2011 at 10:27
Wow. What a lot of anger. OK, ideally we should all be a healthy weight all the time, but one thing we know is that there are lot of overweight people who need to lose weight. If this short article motivates a few people to lose weight, it's done its job.
02/07/2011 at 15:30

Your guys must be so perfect. Give the guy a break.  He has achieved a great feat after having made a mistake with his food and lifestyle.  You guys have obviously never made any mistakes in your lives and are clearly perfect in everything you do-not.

Running is different things to different people and none of you have the right to tell anyone else what running should or should not be to another.

As far as diet is concerned dont be so up yourselves about what you can and cant eat.  My guess is that most of the entries are by single people sub 40's and with only themselves to think about.  Fortunately not everyone is in the same position and this may mean they eat some of the wrong food at perhaps the wrong times to fit in with family and other commitments and hence get into a bad downwards cycle.  The key is the big bloke broke out of the cycle and he is an example to everyone that you can change, even from being selfish and self centred....

Finally, as you get slightly older and more mature you will realise that life is not so simple and there are always complications, for some they handle these issues well and for others it causes more problems.  The key is to be the best you can be.

05/07/2011 at 20:46

Hi everybody...

I'm the person featured - Wil Graham - and I'm really grateful for ALL the comments everybody's decided to take the time to post.  I think it's really important, however, to let you all know in the interest of fairness the reason I was asked to share my story with Runners World. 

After spending basically all of my adult life being depressed and at one point weighing almost 30 stone, I was given a life-line in The Biggest Loser. I can already imagine some of you starting to type "so what - fat people are lazy" or "lots of people get depressed" and you're right to a point; everybody has their own story and goes though their own struggles. The difference with me though, is I'm one of the lucky few - the minority - who managed to lose weight, keep it off and change my life in spite of the mistakes I made to get me to the sad place I was in. And running played a MASSIVE part in me succeeding. 

Lots of you (or possibly all of you) will find nothing inspiring by me sharing my story - if you've never struggled with your weight. I completely respect that - in fact, I take my hat off to you. Whilst I don't feel the need to regret anything I've done (including eat the equivalent of a chinese buffet every time I got the chance), I might not make the same choices if I had my time over again. Some of you, though - maybe even just one of you - might read the article and decide to put yourself first regardless of anyone else's opinion. 

 I wasn't paid for the article; I was approached by UNICEF to share my story with RW to raise awareness for the amazing work they do for deprived children. I also want to help highlight the fact that obesity is an issue people can choose to overcome - with the right support. My intention wasn't to rile super-fit individuals so I'm sorry that some have felt the need to vent. Take it from me though, as someone who's been there, done that and got the 6XL t-shirt: Not all fat people are lazy, at least not intentionally. It's unfair and - without intending to insult anyone - narrow-minded to simply assume anyone who struggles with their weight is a fat b@stard or anything else. They're more likely to be miserable or stuck in a rut and they already have a low enough opinion of themselves without their internal feelings being reiterated by people who never have or will walk in their tired and stretched shoes. 

As long as everybody who's read this article is now aware of UNICEF and the Royal Parks Half Marathon, I'm comfortable with taking a proverbial kick in the gut if that makes anyone feel better. Why not put your money where your mouth is though and sponsor an ex-fatty who only wants to give something back and help children around the world regardless of race, gender - or the size of their waist. 

Take care, thanks again for reading the article - and hopefully I'll see you all at the finish line. 

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