Erica Lugo battled eating disorder on Biggest Loser

Erica Lugo (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

As coach on The Biggest Loser, Erica Lugo was encouraging contestants to drop extra pounds by means of rigorous train and weight-reduction plan. During that point although, she was battling her personal physique picture points, she shared in a latest Instagram post.

Prior to becoming a member of the reboot of The Biggest Loser in 2020, Lugo lost a significant amount of weight and likened her new position on the collection to reliving her personal weightloss journey. (Her Instagram bio states that she is at present down 150 kilos.) However, when the 34-year-old was just lately advised by a follower in her feedback part that she was “too large,” she took the time to share the aspect of her story that the general public has not but been aware of.

“Years in the past while you noticed me on TV, I used to be sick,” she shared. “I used to be mentally and emotionally depressing. Physically my physique was happening the mistaken path though it was celebrated for being ‘small.’ I did every part in my energy to stay ‘tiny.’”

For Lugo, that meant proscribing meals, in addition to returning to ideas of binging and purging — harmful habits she engaged in “years” earlier.

“I might sit within the toilet whereas filming and cry,” the coach continued. “Cry for hours bc the consuming dysfunction ideas stored telling me ‘simply purge, it’ll assist maintain you skinny.’”

In the feedback, she added that she selected to open up about her consuming dysfunction as a result of “illness thrives in secrets and techniques.”

“Being open and sincere about ED has been a complete a part of the therapeutic course of,” Lugo defined. “Every 12 months that goes by and not using a purge ordeal I rejoice that power and win. Thoughts by no means go away, we simply get higher at coping with them. It’s a scary place I by no means want on anybody.”

Marissa Meshulam, registered dietitian, nutritionist and founding father of MPM Nutrition, tells Yahoo Life that Lugo’s story is “sadly not all that unusual.”

“It speaks to the truth that regardless of what eating regimen tradition tells us, you can not see well being,” Meshulam shares. “She was on TV being idolized for her determine, in the meantime struggling in silence to stick with it. This goes to point out that our societal requirements will not be usually achievable for many of us. If it takes unhealthy behaviors (like restriction and purging) to maintain up an look, that look isn’t wholesome within the first place.”

Adds Dr. Nicole Avena, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and writer of Why Diets Fail, “This reveals us that nobody is resistant to growing an consuming dysfunction, and hopefully her restoration journey will encourage others who’re struggling to hunt out assist. It additionally underscores the truth that simply because somebody ‘appears to be like’ wholesome, doesn’t suggest that they’re.”

While Lugo’s battle with an consuming dysfunction started lengthy earlier than she joined The Biggest Loser final 12 months, different contestants have spoken out about how they felt that the present itself inspired behaviors that might probably set off an unhealthy relationship with meals and train. Season 3 finalist Kai Hibbard mentioned she developed an eating disorder throughout her time on the present, throughout which she misplaced 118 kilos in simply 12 weeks.

“I’d placed on a sports activities bra, a tank prime, a T-shirt and a sweatshirt after which my spandex shorts, pants, sweatpants, a baseball cap and simply zip all of it up,” Hibbard recalled to ABC News in 2010. “I’d go to the gymnasium, which had no air conditioner, and work out for 2 hours or so long as I may stand it with out ingesting water.”

Host Ajay Rochester additionally expressed that she developed an eating disorder throughout her time on the Australian model of the present, writing on her weblog in 2015 that by the point she left the present, she had an consuming dysfunction she needed to “battle each single day.”

Meshulum explains that one challenge with reveals like The Biggest Loser, which present dramatic physique transformations in a brief time frame, is that they solely concentrate on one measurement of well being: how a lot somebody weighs.

“This reinforces the societal concept that shedding pounds equates to well being, when the reality is altering your behaviors (consuming extra greens, shifting your physique, managing stress, and so forth.) dictates well being, no matter what the size says,” she explains. “Our lives will not be black and white and discovering a technique to steadiness wholesome behaviors with the meals you get pleasure from is vital to sustainability and long run success.”

Adds Avena, “I feel that weighing folks and judging progress or success by a quantity on the size is inaccurate and unrealistic. I’d reasonably see them assess blood work, blood stress, despair, and so forth. and different elements linked to well being and longevity. Just as a result of somebody resides in a much bigger physique does not all the time imply that they’re much less wholesome than somebody dwelling in a smaller physique.”

As for Lugo, she just lately shared that her personal journey to get her physique in a wholesome place took “years,” and was stuffed with many challenges alongside the way in which.

“6+ years! (This stuff TAKES TIME),” she wrote in a recent Instagram post, which included a aspect by aspect picture of her “earlier than” and “after” physique. “My physique has gone by means of many ups and downs. Many shapes. Many sizes. Many set backs and spring forwards. So many weeks the place I used to be ‘caught.’ But I persevered. I stored going. Not glamorous. Not fairly. Not all the time enjoyable. But price it. If you’re studying this and really feel caught, that is your signal. Keep going.”

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