[Image Source: Survivor Wiki]
It’s fair to say that I absolutely LOVE Survivor. When the idea was presented to me to write an article on the the popular TV show and how it relates to weight loss, I jumped on it.
I’ve been watching Survivor since it aired in the year 2000. However, in the last 8 years I’ve started watching the show religiously; looking forward each off season to the new season beginning, and each week to the new episode airing. At the end of every season I feel a little trepidation that the show might be axed (not many shows go for 33 seasons). But when the theme and location is announced for the next season, it’s a feeling of real excitement. If you’re a Survivor fan, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It appears that the show is only growing in popularity with an Australian version of the show airing on network 10. Casting is about to get underway for season 2 and it’s my goal to get on that show.
With my passion for Survivor well-known, it was brought to my attention how Survivor relates to real life weight loss. The suggestion was that what the contestants go through in Survivor is the same as what people go through when they’re trying to lose weight. I initially thought, of course. Contestants are required to be more physical than they would likely be in everyday life and they’d be eating much less food than they normally would, including very little sugar.
When it was explained to me how the other elements of the game related to real life weight loss, I was astounded. It was so true. The elements that come together to make up the game of Survivor can be related to the process of real life weight loss.
How Survivor Relates to Creating Real Life Weight Loss
- Day 1
Survivor: Contestants are looking at each other, sizing each other up, making judgements about who the threats are and who would make the best alliances.
Real Life Weight Loss: It’s all about what you look like.
- The first few days
Survivor: Everyone has to unite. There’s a shelter to be built, fire to be made, food to be found. There might be some conflict but everyone gets along because it’s all new and no one wants, or needs, to rock the boat at this stage.
Real Life Weight Loss: Motivation is high and the journey ahead looks exciting. You’ll do whatever it takes because you’re committed to your goal.
- Before the first tribal council
Survivor: The scrambling begins. Most people are in one of two, maybe three, alliances. This tribal council is going to set the scene for the remainder of this tribe, and possibly the season. It will draw a line in the sand and divide either the two halves or separate a small minority.
Real Life Weight Loss: Reality sets in. You start to notice internal conflict with yourself. These new behaviours are much different to your habits.
- After tribal council
Survivor: Morale is down because you’ve lost a member. Whether they were on your side or not, the tribe is starting to bicker over the validity of that decision.
Real Life Weight Loss: Something comes up that challenges your desire. Do you choose the option that aligns with your long-term vision or the immediate gratification? This is a common time to slip and as a result morale is down.
- The next challenge
Survivor: It’s better if you’re on the right side; however, if you voted against the majority, you have to get along with them in order to win the challenge. You don’t want to go back to tribal council again anytime soon. If you win, you feel good again and the tribe is a little more cohesive.
Real Life Weight Loss: Regardless of how you feel about a previous less-than-ideal action, you have to get back up or you’re out. You’re back in the game and starting to feel good about yourself and the journey again.
- The merge
Survivor: You’re really looking forward to changing it up. Whether you’re in the majority or minority, you’ve got a chance to realign. You get to see if there’s any cracks in the other tribe to bring others into your alliance, or you can get out of your alliance in favour of a stronger one on the other side.
Real Life Weight Loss: You’ve stuck with it for some time now. It’s been difficult and you’ve wanted to quit but you didn’t. There’s been a wave of emotion from both extremes, likely resulting in a few tears. This was a position you wanted to get to at the beginning and you feel proud for making it this far. You know there’s a long way to go but you can certainly do it from this point.
- Top 5
Survivor: You’ve nearly made it and you can taste it. You’ve had to start eliminating your own alliance and now have a plan for the order you’d like to eliminate the others. This order is constantly changing as the game is moving faster than ever before. You need to have two to three schemes in mind based on a range of all possible scenarios.
Real Life Weight Loss: You’ve hit your first couple of targets. You can fit into clothes that you haven’t fit into for years. You’re friends are telling you how good you look. You have so much momentum but it’s easy to be content with what you’ve achieved and accept where you’ve made it to. This is not a time to stop. This is a time to ramp it up and go hard for the finish line.
- Final 3
Survivor: You’ve made it as far as you can in this game. Now it’s up to your peers, who you’ve had a hand in voting out, to select who they think should win. You have to justify your actions and show that you’ve played the social game, physical game and strategical game better than everyone else, without making those on the jury feel inferior.
Real Life Weight Loss: You've made it. You’ve reached your goal. This is days and months of hard work. When you look back on what you looked like, who you were as a person, and how much you’ve grown, you’re amazed with who you’ve become. Not only do you look a million dollars, you feel a million dollars too. You have an unwavering confidence and belief about what you’re capable of.
- Final tribal council
Survivor: So many of the contestants have put weight back on. They’ve all grown - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, but once the show finished, most go back to old habits of eating and lack of exercise. This is an experience that will live with them forever. It’s one that caused them to grow unlike anything before. They can use this experience to overcome any adversity in the future.
Real Life Weight Loss: You’ve finished the program you’ve been doing. You got to the end of your target date and achieved the goal you set for yourself by that time frame. You’ve had some time since the end of that program and now it’s time for your reunion. Don’t be the person who shows up and has let all that hard work go by slipping back into old habits. The key to finishing a program is yes, reward yourself for your hard work, commitment and dedication, but choose a reward that reinforces who you are now and not who you used to be. It should align with your goals and be of the appropriate size to signal the end of an entire program. Once you’ve finished the program and rewarded yourself for your achievement, go find another program that will keep you accountable and on track with the person you’ve become. Be the person who shows up to the reunion in even better condition than you left.
What do you think of this correlation between Survivor and real life weight loss?
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