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Fit To Fat To Fit

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This show is fundamentally flawed, and I can say that from a place of knowledge because I am a personal trainer who has actually struggled with my weight (even since becoming a personal trainer). They seem to be taking trainers who have never had a weight problem, and who hate food (let's be real, they HATE FOOD, and therefore have no comprehension of what it is to be addicted to it). Let me count the ways that the trainers' weight loss will bear no resemblance to their clients: 

 

1) They are starting out and maintaining a high level of muscle mass throughout their weight gain, which will allow them to burn more calories from the get-go.

2) They are knowledgeable and comfortable with gyms, exercise and nutrition.

3) They ENJOY working out and eating healthy foods. Built-in motivation.

4) They probably have a naturally high metabolism and athleticism.

5) Their bodies are generally far healthier than people who have dealt with excess fat for decades.

6) They are repulsed by their fatter bodies and have seen themselves in peak condition, so it's not a pipe dream.

 

I could go on. I would be worried that the trainers will be able to lose the weight more easily than their clients and figure "see, I knew it wasn't that hard, fat people are just lazy." The show could have found trainers who are legit and who have actually struggled with weight, even if it's just a female trainer who has been pregnant or something and had to lose the weight after giving birth. So yeah, I hope they address some of these issues on the show.

 

Edited to add: I don't know any personal trainers who judge their clients' bodies and choices. It's not our job to have an opinion about what they have done in the past. It's our job to identify their strengths and weaknesses, teach them how to enjoy exercise and do it properly, and give them the tools to be more confident  with what their bodies are able to do. If weight loss is a goal of theirs, I help them stay motivated and give them doable strategies for tackling that. Same with if gaining weight is their goal (yes, it happens). Please don't worry that your trainer is judging you. If they are genuinely nasty (rare, but it probably happens), fire them and find a different trainer! :)

Edited by ClareWalks
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I think one of the biggest problems with prime time weight loss shows is that they're so long, and so much of it is filler..."After the break, you'll see..." followed by "Before the break, you saw..." and so on. I used to watch Canadian Paul Plakas shows like X-Weighted on Fit TV I believe, and they were so compelling. I don't know why, maybe because they were real people in a real environment and there weren't a million loud gimmicks. I wish he had more shows in America.

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The male trainer in the NY Post article linked above claims to have had a weight problem before becoming a trainer but I'm still going to give this show a miss.

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1,000,000 to what ClareWalks said.<br />Also, the very fact that one of the trainers plateaued (? that looks wrong) in his weight gain while eating a zillion calories a day and had to add drinking a gallon of soda a day in order to keep gaining weight and still did not become massively fat should tell us that the trainers are starting out with an advantage.

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I think I've had enough of fit people condescending to fat people on television and everywhere else. I'd love to see a sober consideration of the way American consumer culture normalizes consumption of junk food from childhood instead of another round of "ugh, how could ANYONE eat this, I am so much better than you." Thanks to ClareWalks- if it was just for TV I really would think all trainers hate us!

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Thanks, gang! I aim to educate America. Trainers on TV are the worrrrst. I would never hire one.

If anyone is interested, I wrote a recap of this show for another website that will publish tomorrow morning. To avoid me spamming the board, PM me if you want a link. The TL;DR is that JJ sucked.

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And then he said, "Now I'm hungry, will you bring me the cookies from the kitchen when you get up? I can't move, I'll disturb the dog."

So true - I use that excuse on my husband all the time!

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It's so frustrating that the sort of people involved with this show can't see how insulting and demeaning the entire concept is to people with real weight problems. The concept behind this show is no different than, say, Entertainment Tonight putting some starlet in a 350 lb fat suit, having them waddle around downtown L.A., drawing stares from people wondering why this person who is obviously in heavy theatrical makeup is wandering around bumping into things, then claiming the whole thing was to create empathy for people with weight problems. Bullshit. The average American doesn't weigh 350 lbs, so how is that creating empathy for anyone? Fit people gaining weight just to lose it is simply another kind of fat suit, and no less demeaning to the people honestly dealing with weight problems, often fighting against genetics and emotional problems that aren't simply overcome (and are, in fact, often exacerbated) by someone shaming you about what you put in your mouth. There is simply nothing redeemable about this entire concept. Disgusting!

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I watched it. Mainly because a friend who never watches these types of shows watched and liked it. That should have been my clue.<br /><br />I thought the guy that originally did this, did it as a gimmick, wrote a book and made some money/notoriety off of the novelty. I figured the show would be just as gimmicky. Sadly, I was right.

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It's on Hulu for free.

The tease before the opening credits was just enough. JJ really likes himself. He's pinching a skin fold and saying he's fat?

Just terrible.

 

And the wife? Equally terrible.

 

I'm lost on the whole Crossfit thing. It's really considered an exercise to do a rope climb (no, thanks) and then pull-ups from the rafters?

 

Look, you really can't understand what it's like to be heavy with four months of being heavy. You need to haul around the extra weight for years to get the frustration and self-loathing someone like me has. Now, go back to your "workout of the day" and figure out how to make those among us who feel bad enough already feel just a bit worse.

Edited by WAnglais1
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I thought it was pretty telling that as JJ gained weight and ate crap and his wife was "eating her salads" , she felt like they "lead separate lives " and "don't have anything to talk about". Really?!

I get that the weight gain would impact emotions etc, but if diet/food and fitness is ALL you have in common as a couple and you have NOTHING to talk about because your husband is scarfing cheeseburgers for a TV show, consider the possibility that you and /or your marriage may be a bit shallow. Perhaps it was an emotion-driven overstatement, but I had already gotten a shallow vibe from the way JJ stated that they made a "killer team", so mehhh.

It's one thing to be a fit, driven, health-conscious couple, and another to be a couple based solely on fitness and health.

I almost didn't watch this show, and actually deleted the recordings, then went back and grabbed a few episodes OnDemand. I was torn on my feelings and knew something was off about the show --and the whole premise --but I couldn't put my finger on it until I read the review here and some of the comments. You all put words to the icky feeling I was getting but couldn't quite verbalize.

It's too bad, because I am sure the weight-loss participants have worked hard to get fit, and I bet it feels good to have that recognized. I just wish it was happening for them in a better format. I'll focus on them and recognize their hard work as my positive take away .

Edited by Scorpiosunshine

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If you have not seen this show it is easy to catch up. Only three episodes so far. To me, it is a horrible thing to do to your body. To gain between 45 and 60 pounds in two or three months is extreme and really pushing the body. But it was a relief to see the one trainer unable to do no matter how much he ate.

Edited by ethalfrida
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I have watched the show a bit.  What I find most interesting and has provided me the most value is just how bad the trainers feel when trying to gain the weight.  It really does show you that you do have more energy and less stomach issues when you eat better foods and don't eat so much.

 

The trainers all have a lot of muscle so that probably prevents them from gaining as easily.  I think if they gained over a few years then it would be like their clients but to gain in a short period you will probably still have muscle below the fat.

 

Overall, it is kind of interesting but the eating is grossing me out.  IDK for some reason I can watch all the gross eating on 600 lb life but on here I think because the trainers are expressing they feel so bad, I feel sympathy nauseated.

Edited by fountain
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Like you, I do appreciate the insight. It is also helpful to hear the comments of the trainers before they gain the weight and after they've lost it. There is more support for the client BUT not trainer conceded that weight gain was do to anything other than eating badly and too much of it. They do, however, have more sympathy for their clients after they, themselves, are back to normal. I like that because it is not about making anyone feel badly but more about addressing what needs to be done.

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I was watching the episode that originally aired on Feb 2, with Adonis as the trainer. What surprised me was that he said he used to be 300 pounds and depressed before he found fitness and changed his life. It seems against the purpose of the show, which is to have trainers who have never had weight struggles gain weight in order to gain perspective on what their clients go through. He already had the experience of being someone overweight. Did they have trouble finding trainers who were always fit and who were willing to participate in the show?

Edited by suso
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I find this show surprisingly captivating -- specifically the "Fit to Fat" part with the trainers. It's interesting to see a "Super Size Me" experiment done with extremely fit specimens. Watching how each trainer's body adapts / reacts to the weight gain attempt is very interesting - no two are the same. Some have a hard time gaining, where others lose muscle and put on fat at an almost alarming rate.

 

I should add that I am very into the fitness lifestyle - not a trainer, but I do physique competitions (I'm a 32 year old male). I'd compare my body type to JJ, the first trainer featured. Unlike the subjects on this show, I was actually significantly overweight - though not obese - before I started this hobby. Nor did I have a naturally athletic / ripped build.

 

It took me ten years of extremely consistent working out and proper diet to get where I am, and I still think there's room for improvement. Even if the trainers on this show were naturally not overweight, getting to and maintaining the level they are at still takes an extreme amount of work. I don't know if I could bring myself to do such a thing after investing so much time and energy into this hobby -- and for me it's just a hobby, not my livelihood as it is with these trainers. It makes me wonder how much they got compensated for doing the show as it seems relatively low-budget (those title sequences and graphics -- *cringe*! They clash so much with the more sophisticated look of the A&E visual identity.)

 

I do agree that the fundamental premise of the show is a bit much to take ("I'm going to get fat so I know what it's like, and then we'll lose it together!!") Obviously someone extremely fit will "bounce back" faster than somebody who has been obese their entire life. But it's nice to see the trainees get inspired by the trainers' weight gain, if nothing else, and the results so far have been great for the trainees.

 

Sorry for the wall of text. I'll post some other thoughts about the individual episodes and subjects in the other thread.

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 He already had the experience of being someone overweight. Did they have trouble finding trainers who were always fit and who were willing to participate in the show?

 

I posted some general thoughts on the show in the "Is this the worst show ever thread" (I find this show fascinating, mostly from a science experiment standpoint), and in that thread I wondered how much they paid these trainers to do this. Even if naturally not overweight, getting to the level these trainers are at takes an incredible amount of time, energy, and dedication - and for these people, it's their livelihood. I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard to recruit trainers to do the show, hence Adonis (I could tell he had previously been overweight before he revealed it from his stretch marks).

 

Some thoughts on the individual episodes so far:

 

JJ / Ray:

JJ certainly thought highly of himself, didn't he? I'm big into the fitness lifestyle as a hobby (I'm not a trainer), and JJ personifies the "fit guy" stereotype by looking down on overweight people ("Just don't be so....FAT!"). I kind of respect his honesty, but at the same time, it's not a good attitude to have as a trainer. Regardless, Ray was awesome -- so dedicated. He gave those workouts 150% and busted his ass with great results. He seemed like a really nice guy and I'm glad he was successful. Hopefully JJ learned some humility -- though I suspect he secretly continued some form of exercise or didn't go all out with the eating like he purported to, and that's why it was "so hard" for him to gain weight. I don't think he could bring himself to go all out and get fat. Just a suspicion.

 

Steve / Tasha:

Oh Steve. So dried-up looking, sundamaged, and with no identity other than being fit. That vein in the arm -- gross. That wardrobe directly from the 2005 Ed Hardy category. Those frosted tips. A good reminder of what NOT to become. BUT I do think he had a relatively good attitude about this show and gave it his all. His body deteriorated quite quickly (I think he was in his 40s, so that played a role I'm sure). Tasha was an absolute sweetheart and looked AMAZING at the end. Like a totally different person. Her husband seemed like a great guy, too. Good for her! 

 

Adonis / Alissa:

Loved the NYC vibe of this episode. Adonis had by far the best attitude coming into this show out of all trainers so far. His energy is great, and he seems like an EXCELLENT trainer. Maybe his prior experience with obesity played a role. Regardless, I liked him a lot. Alissa was a bit harder to like, but I liked how she took the show as a challenge, and she did push herself in some of the later workouts. She still has a ways to go -- I hope she sticks with it, because her weight really did seem like the one thing in her life holding her back.

 

Alex / Geoff:

This episode felt very LA (I live in Los Angeles). No nice way to put this, but Alex seems like a douchebag. I didn't like his attitude or his training style. It was like he was constantly proving himself and putting down Geoff. No inspiring going on there. I was shocked to see he was 5'11" -- initially I guessed he was very short because his attitude was very much like someone with Napoleon syndrome. And man did he lose muscle and get fat QUICK! He must work like HELL to stay as ripped as he does. I actually think he would be overweight if he ate like a "normal" person. Geoff seemed nice, but I got a very strong gay vibe from him (I am a gay male). His wife was so out of his league, fat or skinny. Makes me wonder what the connection is there. He looked very good at the end, but still has loose skin. I think he's someone who thought he'd have a Calvin Klein model body just by losing weight, and is pissed it's not that easy. Hopefully he works with reality and continues to improve rather than giving up.

Edited by HelloOutThere
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As a personal trainer, this show pisses me off. Of course, I have to hate-watch it :) I came to the fitness industry much the same way Adonis did...I was unathletic, discovered a love of exercise and how it made me feel, and decided to try to instill or inspire that love in others. Even after becoming a trainer, I have struggled with my weight, tending to gain weight during particularly difficult times in my life (major breakup, infertility) and only starting to lose it when I needed to change. Note I didn't "want" to change, I NEEDED to. Wanting to be thin or in shape is totally meaningless and is what I would say if asked "what's the difference between you and an obese person?" like all the trainers on the show are asked. I would say "I NEED to work out and feel good about myself." My husband is similar - he was obese (over 300 lb) in college/grad school, then started busting his ass and now finishes in the top 5-15% of all triathlons he does (including Ironman distance). He needs to exercise or he isn't himself. 

 

That is the basic reason this show is so flawed. They are taking people for whom exercise and healthy eating isn't just a life, it's a passion. They stuff them with crap food for 4 months, then let them "back out to play" in the gym and the kitchen. Because they have high muscle mass, their metabolism is higher so they burn more calories, plus they are capable of retaining far more water (muscle retains water, fat doesn't). I'd say at least 15-20 lb of their weight gain is solid water weight, probably more. Very easy to drop once they start working out and eating clean. That's why when they get "fat," they don't look flabby, they just look puffy.

 

The trainers they've had so far who are "lifers" (always been thin/fit, became PTs at like 18 years old) have been awful. Just AWFUL. Super condescending and simplistic. There is a major difference between a trainer like Adonis and a trainer like JJ. If I were obese I would never, ever hire a trainer like JJ. You want someone who has a fundamental understanding of the psychology of a fat person. This experiment is the most half-assed attempt to capture that. A fit person cannot grasp the psychology of obesity by stuffing themselves with carbs for 16 weeks. Gaining weight becomes a game, a goal, something to celebrate, something that is gross but necessary, something with an end point. This is not what obesity is like. 

 

I've gone on and on, and  I write about these episodes as they come (feel free to PM me if you want a link), but that's my basic problem with this show. I'm not alone among my trainer friends either, they are all horrified that this even has a chance of being taken seriously by people.

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 There is a major difference between a trainer like Adonis and a trainer like JJ. If I were obese I would never, ever hire a trainer like JJ. You want someone who has a fundamental understanding of the psychology of a fat person. 

 

Totally agree with this. In the All Episodes thread, I mentioned that Adonis is a GREAT trainer - the only one profiled so far. JJ, Steve, and (especially) Alex personified the typical stereotype of "out-of-touch, condescending, douchebag trainer."

 

I'm acquaintances with several personal trainers. The good ones are the ones who have been fat - or at least out of shape and not naturally athletic. One trainer I know in particular was one of those guys that was just born ripped. Now that he's getting into his later 30s, he's getting out of shape. All of I sudden I see him working out a lot more, and HE's been asking ME, a non-trainer, for tips! Not a surprise that none of his clients seem to make any progress - they just seem to have a crush on him. It's so important to choose a trainer not just based on how they look, but on their fitness journey and how they got to be a trainer.

 

By the way, ClareWalks - major props to you and your husband for finding passion in fitness and turning it into a profession! You definitely sound like one of the good trainers. :-)

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By the way, ClareWalks - major props to you and your husband for finding passion in fitness and turning it into a profession! You definitely sound like one of the good trainers. :-)

 

Thanks so much! I definitely try to be :) I think those guys like JJ and Steve and maybe Alex (I haven't watched his yet) think the job of a trainer is to yell and make people do exercises. The true job of a trainer is to encourage people and identify their strengths and weaknesses...and use their strengths to encourage them to tackle their weaknesses. I'm glad you've had some good experiences with trainers! This show seems to make a lot of us look bad!

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Is it really necessary to take an obese person who never exercises & make their 1st workout so difficult that they end up vomiting? I see this on BL, EWL, & this show. Maybe the trainer is trying to make a point about how out of shape the client is, but if the point of the show is to inspire, I think it fails in this point. I think that would keep an obese person from even bothering , thinking what a turnoff!

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Is it really necessary to take an obese person who never exercises & make their 1st workout so difficult that they end up vomiting? 

 

NO NO NO! Agree that it is disturbingly common television trope, and is also a pretty dangerous way to present a hard workout. If you are throwing up, your body is freaking out, and that is not good. Either that or your pre-workout nutrition was horrible. These shows are so damn irresponsible, I swear. Let me put it this way: every workout-savvy person I know (PTs, triathletes, marathoners, etc) has never, not once, vomited during a workout.

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Thank you ClareWalks - I will third/fourth all of your comments. I just watched the Alex/Geoff episode and while Geoff looked great at the end and his fitness motives were for health (his fiancee was so supportive and sweet), Alex the trainer was such a dick. When the people around you tell you they like you better when you stop doing your "life's work" and act like a fitness nazi and start eating actual food … maybe that says something about the kind of trainer you really are. I don't think he got the point that he was supposed to feel empathy for Geoff. All he cared about was his own fitness. Other shows have had more supportive trainers but I wanted to punch this guy through the tv. Seriously - who takes a client who has never exercised on a difficult boot camp course on the hot sand at the beach without the intention of making him puke while he stands over him and yells he should remember this moment every time he wants to shove something down his pie hole. (I'm paraphrasing - but that was the spirit of that exercise.)

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I am far from an expert but I do woork out. I also count calories. So that was said to point out an observation. 

 

The last two trainers seemed to lose muscle and gain really fast so it seems metabolism differs greatly. 

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I felt badly for the trainer from last night, I forget his name (he's in Atlanta) because I noticed he got stretch marks when he gained weight on the sides of his waist. I was like, that's not worth it. I wish he lived near me, I would totally train with him.

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I felt badly for the trainer from last night, I forget his name (he's in Atlanta) because I noticed he got stretch marks when he gained weight on the sides of his waist. I was like, that's not worth it. I wish he lived near me, I would totally train with him.

 

Agree completely. I think he also got some on his upper chest, near where the pec meets the shoulder, in addition to the ones on his sides. Stretch marks are almost impossible to get rid of completely, but the are a realistic side effect of putting weight on so quickly. I'm actually surprised the trainers featured in previous episodes didn't develop more stretch marks, especially the trainers whose body composition changed very quickly.

 

I thought the trainer from last night was a good "bootcamp" style trainer, for those who are looking for that intense environment - probably those at a more advanced fitness level. Not necessarily the best match for someone who has been obese her entire life, like the client featured (sorry, forgetting names). I thought the trainer looked much better at the end of the episode than when he started. The client also looked good; hope she sticks with it.

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Seriously - who takes a client who has never exercised on a difficult boot camp course on the hot sand at the beach without the intention of making him puke while he stands over him and yells he should remember this moment every time he wants to shove something down his pie hole. (I'm paraphrasing - but that was the spirit of that exercise.)

 

Amen! As soon as I was able to raise my fat, vomit-and-sweat-soaked face up I'd either walk away from the person or punch them in the throat.

 

I've been a fat guy all my life and anytime I've had the cash American to swing a trainer it's been like the d-bag type. 20-something guys who have always been in shape and/or ripped. I may make it for a couple of sessions and then I'm out. I don't really think making people like that gain weight over four months will make them any more empathetic. Unless you've carried around and extra (in my case) 75 pounds for years, you have no freakin' idea the serious issues and self-loathing that go along with it. It's not as easy as "Eat less and exercise more."

 

Ugh. /Rant

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That is the basic reason this show is so flawed. They are taking people for whom exercise and healthy eating isn't just a life, it's a passion. They stuff them with crap food for 4 months, then let them "back out to play" in the gym and the kitchen. Because they have high muscle mass, their metabolism is higher so they burn more calories, plus they are capable of retaining far more water (muscle retains water, fat doesn't). I'd say at least 15-20 lb of their weight gain is solid water weight, probably more. Very easy to drop once they start working out and eating clean. That's why when they get "fat," they don't look flabby, they just look puffy.

Pretty much, this.  It might be inspirational for the client to see the trainer sweating it out along side them, but the trainer's already got the discipline and muscle memory to get back into shape.  It's going to be easier for him than for the client, so it really isn't a level playing field.

 

Speaking of "him", I'm waiting (weighting?) for a female trainer to pork up.  What's going on, no ladies wanted to get paid?

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Speaking of "him", I'm waiting (weighting?) for a female trainer to pork up.  What's going on, no ladies wanted to get paid?

 

I strongly suspect that the women didn't want to do this because we female trainers know how much harder it is for women to lose weight. (Generally speaking. There are definitely exceptions.) This is something the male trainers with female clients on this show have completely ignored, but it is important. That's why last episode when Raela's goal was to lose 85 lb, I was like "WHAT." The trainer is supposed to help the client set a tough but realistic goal, and Corey failed miserably at that.

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I strongly suspect that the women didn't want to do this because we female trainers know how much harder it is for women to lose weight. (Generally speaking. There are definitely exceptions.) This is something the male trainers with female clients on this show have completely ignored, but it is important. That's why last episode when Raela's goal was to lose 85 lb, I was like "WHAT." The trainer is supposed to help the client set a tough but realistic goal, and Corey failed miserably at that.

 

You're absolutely right, but that's (ostensibly) the point of the show - trainer gets into same condition as client, trainer gets insight into how difficult it is to get into shape, client is inspired by trainer's dedication and empathy, both get fit, and the world becomes a better place as a result.

 

Even setting aside all the editing, manipulating, and general shenanigans that are inherent in Reality Television (and make no mistake, with its voyeuristic hey-viewers-vicariously-binge-with-me vibe, the tears, and the amount of flesh on display, this show could be titled Real Housewives of Weight Loss), the show isn't true to its premise.  As you said earlier, it's flawed.  On several levels.  

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You're absolutely right, but that's (ostensibly) the point of the show - trainer gets into same condition as client, trainer gets insight into how difficult it is to get into shape, client is inspired by trainer's dedication and empathy, both get fit, and the world becomes a better place as a result.

 

Even setting aside all the editing, manipulating, and general shenanigans that are inherent in Reality Television (and make no mistake, with its voyeuristic hey-viewers-vicariously-binge-with-me vibe, the tears, and the amount of flesh on display, this show could be titled Real Housewives of Weight Loss), the show isn't true to its premise.  As you said earlier, it's flawed.  On several levels.  

 

Truth. It is kind of baffling how this show totally avoids talking about HOW exactly the trainers gain empathy for their overweight clients. You're right, it's supposed to be the point of the show, and there is just no mention of it beyond the occasional throwaway line. For the most part, this show is just reinforcing the trainer's opinion that weight loss is easy and gaining weight is for lazy people.

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Ok.

I agree that the show has flaws, but I was actually touched by how each trainer starts out looking like a total thug meat head, confident to the point of cocky in their perfect self control and never ending endurance.... and then when the weight starts piling on, they shared some struggles with their identity, how they handled their relationships, their energy and self image. At times they eat until they feel sick.... just like they make their clients work out until they are sick. 

I agree, that taking the weight back off will be easier because they have the memory of feeling fit and good to hold onto, but they did what they could to relate, no? I don't want to blame them for being healthy their whole life. In fact, when you feel so good and then feel so bad.... that is something the obese can't likely recall or relate to. They have been feeling bad for years.

Taking four months to gain ten pounds a month is not terribly hazardous (nothing like the antics of Biggest loser), and I have to admire any trainer willing to put his ego where his mouth is and take something like this on. It's not a perfect formula, but I did see some humbling happening, and a good dose of empowerment in the clients. Every one of them so far has acknowledged that there is a motivation in losing the weight they indirectly "caused" to appear on their trainers. They felt a partnership there. 

I would not recommend every trainer doing this, I am just saying for TV, I like the symbolic gestures. I've never had a weight problem, but I have some loved ones who do, and this touched them.

 

Now that a female trainer has taken on the challenge.... it's harder to watch. I feel like a guy can have a gut and it's not that big of a deal, but when the chick loses her abs.... It just seems like women loathe their stomach fat more than men do, lol. And it seems harder to get those abs back! The female was defeated by 30 pounds gained, rather than fifty or sixty. I do hate that she quit gaining because "she couldn't handle it," when the obese don't get to quit working out and losing for that same reason. And she seems to have gotten hopeless and introverted, when the men compartmentalized better.

 

Anyway, I can only assume the reason for all of the volunteer trainers happening to have never been overweight before, is because only the naive would do this. They don't seem to know what they are getting in to, falling down the rabbit hole of food dependence and sedentary traps, and the self loathing that can go with it.

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Anyway, I can only assume the reason for all of the volunteer trainers happening to have never been overweight before, is because only the naive would do this. They don't seem to know what they are getting in to, falling down the rabbit hole of food dependence and sedentary traps, and the self loathing that can go with it.

 

Adonis said he used to be fat.

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Adonis said he used to be fat.

 

 

Can't recall which one that is, but I'm glad at least one of them has lost the weight once before, and was willing to let the client see it done again.

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I actually thought this latest episode with the female trainer was the "realest" episode they had yet. Her weight gain had an actual, negative effect on her life. So far with these meathead dudes we had not seen a single bit of that. Just guys happily gaining weight, feeling a bit crappy, but they bounce right back as soon as they start working out. I was grateful for this trainer who said she was NOT looking forward to exercising. As far as women being more affected by fat, that is almost certainly true. There is much more pressure in general for women to be thin, and having visible ab muscles is far more difficult for women to achieve than men (it's basic physiology). 

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I am honestly not sure why I watch this show...

 

I get the premise, but lets be honest, gaining weight for 4 months is NOT going to TRULY put you in the shoes of an obese person who has been like that their entire life.

 

Mainly because you will never understand the psychological aspect of it. You won't know what its like to be teased and humiliated all through school. You won't know what it is like to get rude comments as an adult FROM an adult. You won't know what it is like to have a REALLY rough time finding clothes that look even remotely good on you. You will never know what it is like to have lived a life of feeling less than human...

 

Lets be honest here, the majority of obese people will have some sort of psychological and emotional issues. A normal, happy person doesn't get to be obese (not saying this applies to EVERYONE, so no need to jump down my throat). If losing weight was truly just about eating less and exercise, do you think there would be ANY obese people?

 

Not to mention there are things like muscle memory. When I lost a lot of weight 15 years ago, when I first started exercising I was SO self conscious about it because I am sure I looked like a newborn calf trying to walk for the first time. These trainers losing the weight they gained, it is all second nature to them. The muscle is still mostly there.

 

But again, I get the premise. If trainers can even gain a LITTLE empathy for their clients, that is a GOOD thing.

 

I do think the female trainer in the latest episode "got it" the most out of all the trainers so far. She knew she would ultimately lose the weight she gained, but I think she got a glimpse of the emotional hole you feel like you are in and have no chance of getting out of...the hopelessness of it all...

 

And ClareWalks, you sound awesome! The fitness world damn sure needs more trainers like you.

 

Oh and they can cut down the eating noises. I don't need to hear someone eating like a damn hog to understand they are eating a lot of food to gain weight. It almost seems like they are making light of the issue with the sound effects (I watch TV with headphones on, so maybe it is just me that thinks it is over the top).

Edited by Jenkins
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I don't know why Katie the trainer ate all that food at once on the first day....she could have spread out the 4000 calories through the day.  She looked pretty ok to me when she gained weight. 

When she first started gaining the weight, it seemed that she relaxed a bit and was a little happy to do so.  She seems to be "all or nothing."  Perhaps some counselling would benefit her as well. 

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I don't know why Katie the trainer ate all that food at once on the first day....she could have spread out the 4000 calories through the day.  She looked pretty ok to me when she gained weight. 

When she first started gaining the weight, it seemed that she relaxed a bit and was a little happy to do so.  She seems to be "all or nothing."  Perhaps some counselling would benefit her as well. 

 

Initially, all the trainers enjoy the eating because they haven't gained a ton of weight yet and actually look better less ripped, but I didn't see any indication that Katie was enjoying the food; she just shoved it down her gullet with a grossed out look or teary eyes.  I think Katie bailed because she couldn't deal with gaining the full amount of weight she was supposed to, and like someone mentioned above, I definitely think one or two trainers started working out sooner than they were supposed to, Katie being one of them.

 

That being said, I don't think we're going to see many female trainers taking part in this because it's much harder for a woman to lose weight due to having a higher percentage of body fat than men.

Edited by cherry slushie
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I meant that Katie seemed to enjoy relaxing a little...not the food.  I agree that she really didn't enjoy the food. 

 

Gotcha!

 

Also, from your comment that I quoted, I totally agree that she looked just fine with the weight gain, not overweight at all, and also agree that she would definitely benefit with some counseling because I sort of sensed an eating and/or exercise disorder.  I know many trainers are overly obsessed with being thin and fit, but her obsession seemed to run a little deeper than your normal physical fitness nut.

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Gotcha!

 

Also, from your comment that I quoted, I totally agree that she looked just fine with the weight gain, not overweight at all, and also agree that she would definitely benefit with some counseling because I sort of sensed an eating and/or exercise disorder.  I know many trainers are overly obsessed with being thin and fit, but her obsession seemed to run a little deeper than your normal physical fitness nut.

 

Yep, for sure. For many trainers, being fit is their identity. I get the feeling Katie is extremely proud of the body she has attained (and she should be), and for her that is an essential part of who she is. Her comments "I don't know who I am anymore" were particularly demonstrative of this. She should definitely do some introspection or see a psychologist about her fear of gaining weight, because I have a feeling if she is ever pregnant, railroaded by injury, or just plain "aging," she will be a real mess. 

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I'm calling Carrie out in that she continued to work-out, or started working out before she hit 160 because she wasn't at all out of breath when she supposedly started working out with Kenlee.  There's no way 4 months of eating crap food and being sedentary renders you able to work that hard with barely a bated breath.  I also think this is why she hit that plateau where she wasn't gaining for two weeks.  Plus, she barely had any jiggle; she literally had to manipulate her tiny tummy roll to make it move.  She was definitely doing something; some kind of weight-lifting/training at the very least.

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I'm calling Carrie out in that she continued to work-out, or started working out before she hit 160 because she wasn't at all out of breath when she supposedly started working out with Kenlee.

 

Totally agree. I think she went big on the eating for the cameras, but didn't truly go all-in on trying to gain weight and be sedentary. I wasn't watching super closely, but it seemed like for some of the four months, she'd maybe have one gluttonous meal per day but otherwise eat somewhat normally. 

 

Kenlee looked very good at the end, especially in her face. Kenlee seemed to carry a lot of weight in her extremities. I actually learned a new term yesterday - "wrarms" (cankles of the arms).

 

As with so many of the other contestants, I hope she stays with it. It would be nice if they did an update on Season 1 folks if this show makes it to a Season 2 (which I doubt).

 

And yeah, Carrie's mustache was notable; maybe she grew it to complement her husband's oh-so-2015 lumberjack beard? ;-)

Edited by HelloOutThere
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This episode was extremely awkward to watch. Carrie was just a malignant narcissist. No empathy whatsoever, except whatever lip service she paid to it at the end. Oh, but it was okay for her to drink tequila when she was trying to lose weight. If Kenlee had done that Carrie would have gone apeshit. Meanwhile Kenlee was really creeping me out with how dependent she was on Carrie. It was like a woman who falls in love with a man after exchanging a couple of benign emails on Match.com. "I put her on a saint pedestal!" WHAT THE FUCK. These chicks deserved each other, to be honest.

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I don't think FTFTF is the worst concept for a weight loss fakeality show. (See My Diet Is Better... for that.)

 

All that aside, I do think that FTFTF is a gimmicky piece of crap that I have little desire to watch all the way through.

 

Mostly because I am tired of every single weight loss show ignoring one of the major reasons why so many people are overweight/obese: economics. Carbs like flour, rice, pasta, cereal, bread, etc are cheaper and more energetically dense than fruits, veggies, and meat. They are also cheaper and more widely available than "good" foods. High carb, high sugar, processed foods comprise the poverty diet for exactly those reasons. 

 

I'd venture to guess that those of us raised in environments where eating various forms of the poverty diet is the norm have a stronger tendency to develop health conditions like pre-diabetes and high blood pressure and may be more prone to overeating and becoming overweight/obese. Some of this is due to scarcity. When I was growing up, we only went to the store twice a month (when my dad got paid). Mom had a list and we usually only got what was on it, with 2 "treats" (ice creams, candy bars) allowed per person. 

 

The rest of the time, we ate home cooked food. Lots of carbs, fried stuff, beans and rice, tortillas, cornbread, home baked cookies. Not healthy, even when supplemented by produce from our garden and generous helpings of flavorless canned "vegetable" mush. My younger sister and I still struggle with our weight as adults. It's not a secret that the habits we developed such as bingeing on treats on the way home and eating 2-3 helpings at every opportunity regardless of whether or not we were really hungry stuck with us as adults.

 

It is difficult (but not impossible) to overcome those poverty diet habits. It is just something that needs to be acknowledged as part of the problem. Cheap processed foods that are high in carbs and sugar, and low in vital nutrition taste good to mask the fact that no one would eat corn 5x a day if it didn't taste like zingy powdered cheese or chocolatey sugary goodness. Think about it. A lot of overweight people (myself included) grew up eating like livestock. It isn't a mystery as to why today's kids are overweight and unhealthy. It's because we're stuffing most of them full of brightly colored and oddly flavored carbohydrate-based feed.

 

I have an inkling that most of these health-nut trainers are used to shopping at Whole Foods and organic open-air markets, ordering specialized protein powders and supplements from sites that cater to special diets and/or fitness nuts and rarely eat anything pre-packaged or anything that they didn't make themselves. They probably don't stock up at Aldi and consider a visit to a chain restaurant to be a night out on the town.

 

So of course they are going to experience severe shock as they stuff their gullets with Little Caesar's bacon-wrapped monstrosity called a pizza and wash it down with some Dr. Thunder. Just standing in line at LC's probably exposed them to whole other world of people they would normally never encounter. And to think that they themselves may end up becoming just another mouthbreather awaiting a $5 dinner for one. Oh the horror!

 

Also, I think that Katie really did herself a disservice by not learning how to cook or how to eat good food when eating out. Seriously, boxed macaroni and cheese with some hamburger added isn't good. I'd puke and cry if I tried to force a giant bowl of that crap down my throat. Her client was a freaking chef! I'm sure he could have given her cooking lessons or hooked her up with a list of places he frequents in the city. I'm pretty sure Mateo didn't get to his weight by eating straight crap when he had access to Iberico pork at his restaurant! I'm sure that wasn't the only foodie ace up his sleeve.

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Great post!

 

My wife and I grew up relatively poor and yes, we ate crap because it was what we could afford and it was what our families just ate (my family is mostly from Texas and Oklahoma, so yup, TONS of fried food). Both of our families were mostly overweight/obese.

 

And it DOES cost more to eat healthy.

 

My wife is diabetic and gluten intolerant. In the last year she has started eating extremely healthy (went from a size 12 to an 8), but our grocery bill has sky rocketed! We can afford to eat healthy though, not everyone is as fortunate. I can only imagine what it would cost to feed a family of 4-5 (just the two of us here) while eating healthy.

 

We are also lucky that I am a pretty good cook (my wife hasn't cooked a single dinner in 15 years, I do all the cooking). But not everyone has the time to prep meals. In fact I am pretty sure more than one of the trainers has commented how nice it was to be able to just grab some fast food rather than spend an hour prepping a homemade meal.

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Meanwhile Kenlee was really creeping me out with how dependent she was on Carrie.

Word.  Carrie was really too much into herself--especially during her "first" workout back.  I think she was working out during the gaining phase, too. 

I noticed all the people in her workout class were really fit.  No overweight people. That is great, but it gave me the impression that Carrie doesn't work with a lot of overweight people. Of course, that was just one class...

 

And during the journey back--when Carrie was drinking and stuff..weren't she and Kenley supposed to eat the nutritional diet they set up?  Or didn't they do that? 

I was angry at Carrie at the beginning of episode when she said something like, "All overweight people think they are a victim..."  

Edited by gryphon
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