5 things I learned from watching The Biggest Loser

Five Things I Gained from Watching The Biggest Loser

By Lauren Kozloff Sinrod

Throughout the seasons, NBC’s The Biggest Loser has been wildly popular and also highly controversial. Viewers seem to either gain inspiration from watching contestants work hard to shed pounds or cringe at what they feel is fat shaming and potentially unhealthy behavior.

I watched the season with my 15 year old daughter. While watching the show, we had an interesting discussion about weight, exercise, body image, health and reality television in general. Here are some of the things we gained from watching The Biggest Loser:

1. It’s Inspiring to Witness People Changing Their Lives

After watching the first episode, we agreed that the intention of the contestants to lose weight was positive and inspiring. It was obvious that the people on the show had reached a point where they were no longer happy because of their weight, or their health was at risk, and in many cases both were true. They needed to make losing weight their number one priority in order to improve their lives.

It is incredibly motivating and inspiring to watch people make these hard changes and work towards something new.

2. Anything Worthwhile Takes Hard Work

Unlike most diet programs that promise the pounds will just melt away without much effort, The Biggest Loser features the contestants working their butts off. Shedding the pounds is not easy, and viewers witness the blood, sweat and tears it takes for the contestants to get results. Some may say that The Biggest Loser goes too far, with many hours of workouts each day, to the point of exhaustion and sometimes injury. It makes for compelling TV and at times seems extreme. But a key point is that hard work pays off. Whether you are setting a goal to lose weight, completing a school degree, working toward professional advancement or training to run a marathon, hard work and determination are the only ways to achieve these goals.

To believe that incredible results can be achieved without amazingly hard work is both naïve and unrealistic. There are no shortcuts in life, and anything you want to achieve takes lots and lots of hard work and grit. I think my high school sophomore daughter got this message.

3. Accountability is a Powerful Motivator

Personally, I avoid the scale like the plague.  In fact I did not even own a scale for many years. However, numbers don’t lie, and the scale provides a form of accountability. When you know you are going to have to weigh in, or take a test, or be evaluated or measured in some way, numbers are a huge motivator that can help change behavior in order to achieve results.

Being part of a group or team where your actions impact others is also a significant motivator. When your efforts or lack of effort not only reflects on you but on your entire team it’s harder to slack off. If people are depending on you, sometimes you can make an extra effort that is beyond what you would do for yourself for your team.

4. Competition Works 

Competition is another great motivator. The contestants on the show are driven to succeed due in large part to the fact that they are competing to become “The Biggest Loser” and walk away with a huge cash prize.

The employees at my husband Brad’s office recently held a Biggest Loser style competition. At the end of a three month period, the Biggest Loser in their office would be awarded $500! They had weekly weigh-ins, encouraged each other to eat healthy and even stopped work at 11:00 am every day to do pushups, sit-ups and jumping jacks for fifteen minutes. At the end of the competition, the eight people participating had collectively lost about 110 pounds, with one highly competitive woman claiming the prize after she lost an impressive 20 pounds!

5. Being Thin Won’t Make You Happy

There was an infamous and controversial line from the premier where one of the trainers said, “Money can’t buy thin.” Many viewers felt that implied that being thin equals being happy.

In my adult life, I’ve been anywhere from 119 pounds at my thinnest, to 165 pounds at my heaviest. I’m usually somewhere in the middle. I’ve tried not to let those numbers define me, and instead focus on how I feel. I realize now that I was not necessarily any happier at my thinnest than I was at my heaviest, but I think I definitely feel better about myself when I am working out on a regular basis, and eating well.

My daughter and I talked about how exercise and eating well can improve mood, and how it’s more important to feel good and be active and healthy, rather than focus on the number on the scale.  We touched on some of the unrealistic expectations placed on both men and women when it comes to how their bodies should look, and what is natural and healthy. We also talked about how we are much more than our bodies – we are what we do, our brains, our skills, how we spend our time and how we impact others. The major takeaway here – your weight should not determine how anyone values you, or how you value yourself.

What We Gain

Viewers may bash the show, but we found there was a great deal to gain from watching The Biggest Loser. From inspiration to motivation, to understanding the value of health and the strength of our bodies and minds, my daughter and I made a commitment to continue to talk about weight, body image, exercise and healthy eating. To me, that’s a Big Win.


Run into Spring

march challenge Katie K Active 2016

March Challenge: Run into Spring

Since everyone seemed to love our last challenge, we’ve been working on a great one for March. For this challenge, you’re competing against yourself! You will pick a goal to accomplish in March and we will pick winners for those that show progress. We’re not aiming for perfection here, just progress! Have fun!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Go to http://www.stickk.com/ and register your goal (it can be anything you want: increased run pace, distance, workouts per week, moving up in your lifting weights etc, the options are endless). Registration starts Feb 24th! Follow these simple steps to sign up:

Go to www.stickk.com and sign up for an account

Click on the “Make a commitment” tab in the upper right hand corner

Choose your goal or create your own custom goal

Set the start date to March 1st

Choose the “No money at stake option”

Choose to have a referee and make “Katie K Active” your ref

2. Add us as your Referee: KatieKActive@gmail.com

3. Log your progress

This challenge will kick off Tuesday March 1st!

Remember to join Women Who Define Brave Group and be surrounded by supportive, inspiring and motivating like minded women!

March Challenge prizes!

Prizes courtesy of Picky Bars, nicepipes apparel and Petzl!

4 Tips to make working out with a friend or partner a success

Do you like working out with a friend or significant other? I usually enjoy that time by myself. I turn up my music and lose myself in the workout. But it can be fun to change things up and workout with a friend or partner. However, it can sometimes be stressful on the relationship. Here are some tips from our intern, Eric Murphy:

4 Tips to make working out with a friend or partner a success

Partner workouts can be a great way to improve and reach your fitness goals. They can make your workout more enjoyable and build long-lasting relationships. However, it is easy to get frustrated if your partner is in better shape or is better at a certain skill or activity. What follows is a collection of helpful things to remember if you find yourself at a different level than your partner.

1. Everyone starts somewhere

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were anyone’s athletic ability. It takes time to get good at something and it could be that your partner simply has more time invested in the day’s activity. If your partner has more experience than you ask them to share any helpful tips that could lead to faster improvement. Most people love when someone values their opinion enough to ask for help and are very open to teaching you what they know about their skills.

2. Get ahead 

If you want to work towards improving to the level of your partner, consider taking the time to practice alone. For example, your partner loves to run and does it almost every day. Although you like to run, you don’t do it often. You are not going to be as fast or have the endurance that your partner has. If you want to rise closer to their level, use some of the time that you are alone to run and improve on your own. Over time you will improve and when you partner up again you will find it much easier to match their pace. They will enjoy the competition and you will be proud of your improvement.


3. Compare yourself, to yourself

You will only become more frustrated and unhappy if you begin to compare your current fitness level to that of someone else. It is important to remember the progress that you have made in order to get to your current level. If you remember the hard work that you put towards reaching a goal, you will feel more confident in the task at hand and will begin to move toward reaching other personal goals.

4. Healthy competition

There should be a sense of healthy competition between you and your partner. If the person that you are working out with is impeding your goals or is not as focused on making you a better, then it may be time to find a new partner. There’s no need to go cold turkey and stop working out with your partner for good, but it would not be harmful for you to begin to exercise with a person who is either at your level or someone who will help you become better.

Exercising with a partner doesn’t have to be frustrating. It is a great way to build friendships and get in better shape. If you ever find yourself feeling like the two of you are on different levels, use some of these tips to help you overcome it and strengthen your partnership.




#LoveYourselfChallenge starts now!

#LoveYourselfChallenge Katie K Active 2016

Are you ready for the first Katie K Active #Challenge of 2016? 
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, everything is all about #love. We are all busy living our lives, immersed in the day to day, focusing on work or taking care of others. But you are important too, so I decided that this first challenge should be focused on YOU. Be your own #valentine and show yourself some love!

We’ll start the challenge on Monday 2/8 and will go for 7 days, ending on Valentine’s Day. The #LoveYourselfChallenge will focus on mind, body and spirit! I will provide a week of healthy meals and recipes that are easy to follow. There will be 3 workouts for the week too. I may also add some little daily challenges. Have fun with the challenge! I’m looking forward to an amazing week of self love!

To participate, please join the Women Who Define Brave Group. I will post the #menu#recipes#workouts and challenge items in there. 
Let’s all have a great time while we show ourselves some love!

“Fall in Love with Katie K Active” A Valentine’s Weekend Trunk Show at A Running Start, West Reading, PA

A Running Start Trunk Show 2016

A Running Start 705 Penn Ave, West Reading, Pennsylvania 19611

Saturday February 13th from 10-2pm we will be serving champagne and chocolate while you shop to help you fall in love with your favorite Katie K Active outfit.

All Katie K Active will be 20% off to celebrate the Holiday Weekend.

Can’t make it in on Saturday? That’s okay because Katie K Active will be here all weekend!

Gentlemen, still need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift? Katie K. Active is the perfect gift to show that special woman in your life your love and support for her healthy lifestyle!