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A finalist on the third season of The Biggest Loser, Kai Hibbard, has come forward and revealed that the reality competition not only forced her to lose weight in the most unhealthy and damaging ways possible, but also gave her an eating disorder that she still struggles with today!
Here are some of the shocking details that went on behind-the-scenes:
"Unfortunately, what they're telling you the contestants are doing and what they actually have the contestants doing are two different things, at least as far as my season goes. We were working out anywhere between 2 and 5 hours a day, and we were working out severely injured. There's absolutely no reason to work a 270 pound girl out so hard that she pukes the first time you bring in a gym. That was entirely for good TV."
"There was a registered dietician that was supposed to be helping [the contestants at the ranch] as well… But every time she tried to give us advice . . . the crew or production would step in and tell us that we were not to listen to anybody except our trainers.""The thing is, it got worse when I got home… I would get e-mails constantly from the producers: ‘what have you done today?' ‘are you working out enough?' It was just always, always, always. At that point, [I had] all the pressure on me, and [I was] trying to do right by what I had been told is the best thing to ever happen to me. And they would tell you all the time, ‘200,000 other fat girls were in line right behind you. How dare you waste this experience? How dare you let anybody down?'"
"So I got to a point where I was only eating about 1,000 calories a day and I was working out between 5 and 8 hours a day. . . . And my hair started to fall out. I was covered in bruises. I had dark circles under my eyes. Not to get too completely graphic, but my period stopped altogether and I was only sleeping 3 hours a night. I tried to tell the T.V. show about it and I was told, 'save it for the camera.'"
"It gave me a really fun eating disorder that I battle every day, and it also messed up my mental body image because the lighter I got during that T.V. show, the more I hated my body. And I tell you what, at 144 and at 262 and at 280, I had never hated my body before that show."
"I think at the time when you sign it . . . and it says things like, ‘you give yourself over to whatever doctor we have treat you and we don't attest to the credentials of the doctor', you think, ‘no one is going to treat another human being this poorly, why should I even worry about that?' You don't realize that there are people out there who would treat you that poorly. You also get reminded . . . over and over again that . . . this is a chance of a lifetime and there are 200,000 other fat people behind you and if you don't sign it they will. . . . I believe I signed away my life story and gave them the right to fictionalize it if they wanted to. I had an attorney look at it afterward and he was like, ‘you signed away things that really can't be signed away here, and the problem is they've got, like, 100 attorneys and you can't even afford me.'I'm terrified sometimes at the idea that I'm putting my family at risk to talk about it, but . . . my family's taught me that you can't go wrong with the truth. I'm just going to do what I've got to do."