Losing It. I am not sure what to say yet. I watched the first episode last night and cried a lot. Then again, I was crying watching America’s Got Talent, so I must have been having an emotional evening. One week spent with a family–is that enough time to really create the change that I witnessed when Jillian went back 6 weeks later to check in on the family at daughter Michelle’s wedding. This traditionally Italian family, from Massachusetts, had weight problems, food problems and over course emotional problems, stemming from the loss of an infant son, some 22 years ago.
While Michelle and her dad, had gastric bypass surgery a few years earlier, only Michelle kept her weight off. Dad had put a lot of weight back on and Mom and brother, Michael had a good amount of weight to lose as well. We see them meet with the doctor who goes over all their numbers and health risks, much like the good doc on Biggest Loser. Then Jillian meets them for the first time at the fitness center, where with barely a hello, they are immediately doing jumping jacks. I found that pretty weird, but I am sure it was just the way it was edited. Just a short time into the grueling Jillian Michaels workout, both mom and dad are ready to quit. They just can’t do it. Jillian storms out–the kids freak out and somehow peace is made and they decide they are never going to say “I can’t,” again. Jillian keeps telling the mom not to say she is trying because “trying” suggests that failure is a possibility.
Moving in with the family, she finds Michelle enables the family eating with good old fashioned Italian cooking. About to make breaded, fried, chicken parmegan, Michelle admits that every night the food is something or other, breaded and fried. Are you kidding me? When Jillian asks where the greens are on the table, they tell her there are NEVER greens. But, Michelle being a very quick learner, we see a beautifully healthy chicken dinner prepared later in the week.
A very emotional intervention takes place when mom confronts dad about never being able to openly talk about the loss of their son, James, Jr. Since Jillian is the executive producer of this show, no doubt she wanted to make it clear from the first episode that she is more than just a physical trainer. Any of us that are trainers, we know this. It is so much more than just the physical. Jillian also spends time with Michelle, helping her get past her hatred for that fat young girl she once was. She realizes that Michelle allows herself to fail and pushes her past this using sit-ups as a metaphor for her life.
As a final exercise we see the family setting goals before Jillian leaves them. Michelle’s was to work on loving herself more. Dad says he can lose 50 pounds by the wedding. Mom and brother want to lose weight as well. Shopping for the wedding clothes was a great big drag for all of them in their overweight bodies and troubled minds. They say they WILL do it.
Jillian returns for the wedding. Michelle looks (and admits to feeling, for the very first time) beautiful. Her brother walks out looking just great after losing 25 pounds. Mom lost 3o something pounds, dad 48. Almost 100 pounds lost by this family in just 6 short weeks. Jillian toasts them and in front of all the guests and cameras announces that she is picking up the tab for the wedding and sending the newlyweds on a vacation. This on behalf of Jillian Michaels.com. Though clearly a very generous gift, I found the plug of her site, tacky!
A wedding is SUCH great motivation, I wonder if this family will be able to maintain their healthy lifestyle and continue on their weight loss journey. Could one person, in one week, impact everlasting change? I can only hope so. I tip my hat to Ms. Michaels. Next week we get to meet the family of hoarders. It seems hoarding is almost always a result of losing someone. I am guessing this will be another tear-jerker. I am guessing they all will be! As we saw with Biggest Loser, crying obviously raises the ratings! Though I cannot yet form an opinion of the show, I can definitely say I will be watching next week.
Before I hit spell check and post this entry, I must would like to mention a little article in yesterday’s Sun-Sentinel. Out of Washington, the Associated Press reported information on the benefits of 10 minute exercise routines. The report says that the benefits of 10 minutes of exercise lasts a full hour. While this wasn’t at all surprising to me, what was surprising was that a new field of study has been coined. METABOLOMICS aims to find answers to questions about why some people have different metabolic effects from exercise, than others. Though I wont repeat all the complicated terms, one thing they found was that the more fit a person is (as measured by oxygen intake during exercise) the more fat they burned than the less fit (people with shortness of breath). Hmmm…that’s quite a conundrum. The more fit you are, the more fit you become. Conversely, the less fit you are, the harder it is to get there. Perhaps that’s why some people on Biggest Loser continued to drop ridiculous amounts of weight even after several months, when one would think their weight loss would slow down. Anyway, the biggest take away from this article is to keep working out and remember that 10 minutes of exercise is far better than none.
Have a great day. Carol, let us know about the baby!!! He should be entering the world very soon. I’ll meet you all here tomorrow. Becky, I promise to post the recipe for Whole Food’s Buffalo Tofu. Peace out all.
… a little later in the day–I saw a picture of Carol’s brand spankin’ new grandson, Gage…what a perfect looking little baby….congrats to carolanne, brad and their family—yay!