Episode 48: The Biggest Loser: The Real Impact of Weight Loss Reality TV with Kai Hibbard

Why We Love Kai:

Kai Hibbard is a licensed social worker, author of “Losing It”, Co-Host of the “Losing It” podcast on Patreon, body acceptance activist, and motivational speaker. When not providing individual and couples therapy, or publicly combating mass media hypocrisy and body shaming, she uses her voice to give presentations promoting body positivity and to shed light on the issues close to her heart.

Kai was first cast into the spotlight through her participation in, and subsequent denunciation of the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser. Going through the program, she realized the negative impact the show had, not only on her own life, but on society in general. Vowing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, Kai has fought, often as the lone voice, against unrealistic and damaging messages in the media regarding our bodies in general. Over time that struggle has been featured in countless magazines and newscasts, both domestically and internationally, ranging from The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, E!, Star Magazine, US Weekly, People, TMZ, The NY Times, The NY Post, Inside Edition, Redbook, Access Hollywood, FoxNews,The Globe, Jezebel, Huffington Post Live and Upworthy.

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On the Pod, We Discuss:

  • Her relationship with food and her body growing up and her journey to winning Season 3 of The Biggest Loser
  • How a 4th grade trip to Weight Watchers began a lifetime of yo-yo dieting 
  • The actual process of applying and being accepted on the show
  • Where she was emotionally before starting and the immediate impact it had on her psychologically 
  • The stunning “reality” behind the scenes of the show and the entire bewildering experience 
  • How her people-pleasing tendencies played a role in her falling victim to the psychological pressures of the experience
  • How our cultural fat phobia reinforced what she was being told by producers
  • What is happening in our culture to allow a show like this to happen and to allow people to receive such abuse and vitriol online
  • What Lizzo is bringing to the conversation and she’s so polarizing
  • How the rebranding of the show and things like Weight Watchers are bullshit 
  • What the studies on the show have shown us, about it’s negative impact on not only the contestants but viewers and our culture at large
  • How and why it’s even possible that this abomination is coming back
  • And so much more

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Bridget

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