Well now we know that the new trainers will appear in the intro, and the fired trainers are gone. The format of this show continues to pleasantly surprise me, as the competition focuses on the trainers’ abilities, not whether the contestants can do the plan. They have to provide a do-able plan.
A point that was raised by a friend about the show: it really is not fair that the women contestants have to dress in sports bras for the challenges while the guys wear a full covering tshirt. I would only note that the guys do take off their shirts at weigh-in, but it is still a non-parity issue when it comes to working out in public.
Diving into episode four, a few highlights from the first half I watched while on my bike trainer:
The fitness challenge was a more all-around workout, which is nice. There was encouragement but not nastiness in all the hype from the sidelines. Jeff came in with a poor attitude, and the heart rate monitor analysis showed he was the only one to not hit the target max. This is a subtle way of saying that maybe he isn’t giving it his all. This theme will probably come back.
Although I watch this after air via Hulu, I could hear faintly in the distance, the voice of my friend and podcast co-host John Harris yelling at his TV when the fitness trainer got into the calories burned stats. I always wonder how they calculate this and how accurate it is. But it just feeds the simple minded-ness of calorie-in-calorie-out as the only factor. More concerning was when Shaun T was encouraging Kurt with “come on, burn off those cheeseburgers.” Back to the standard gym rat mentality of burning away the bad. The cheeseburgers on Kurt’s diet are not the bad guy that needs to be mitigated. They’re the real food part. It seems tiny and subtle perhaps, but framing food as enemy is dangerous, especially the real food that is part of the plan. Now later when we see a contestant dealing with all the candy around her kids as a temptation, that’s far different than real whole foods. And again, I could hear John yelling “why is no one talking about how much candy is being thrown to the kids?”
The third time I know John was yelling at the TV: preparing a fish filet with a breadcrumb substitute of no, not almond meal, no not coconut: quinoa. Yeah, there’s a reflexive response to that one from anyone who knows the Angriest Trainer podcast.
The most wide reaching concept in the home section was the fact that the pescetarian contestant had not seen fish in a store before. Not full fresh fish anyway. It came in a bag. This is a reality for so many Americans, the disconnect between what is real whole food, and what becomes a product in a box. It is especially true in lower income areas, but even in middle class America, where people go to great lengths to not be reminded that food was grown in the earth, or had a face, it’s true too. I know many chicken farmers. One had his sister-in-law come out to the farm with her college friends once. They had never seen a live chicken, and could not conceive that what was in the store was from this.
Moving on, Jeff gets a visit from host Shaun T. He seems to be ready for a positive mindset.
Clean Momma is critical of her trainee’s eating without giving much guidance. Shocker.
One of our contestants is dealing with the backlash of a partner who is not getting on board. This is another way the show is more realistic than the other one. These are life changes, happening in real time in real life. Not everyone in our lives gets on board at the same pace. For some, it never happens at all. People end up divorced after losing 100 pounds. Outsiders can’t understand how a person wouldn’t want a healthier and presumably more attractive spouse. But some people can’t handle any change, even good ones.
Abel is having his guy make ice cream, but it’s not as low-carb or sugar-free as many might expect. They put dates in it for sweetener. But he’s introducing friends and family to these Wild Diet desserts, which for a lot of people may be the doorway in. And to be fair, though I’m familiar with Abel as a highfat lowcarb guy, he’s not a no-carb or ketogenic guy. His desserts are grain free, and not main dishes.
Weigh In time
Kurt (Wild Diet) loses 5 pounds. In a week. Are we finally getting to a point where success is not only in 16 pound a week losses?
Taj (Strong Sexy Strong ) is looking to break the 200 mark, she has lost three pounds but sits at 200 even. She’s frustrated that there isn’t more loss. It’s hard to accept slow loss. I know that well.
Jasmine (Superfood Swap) has lost two pounds. Are we seeing a trend? Everyone is settling into reasonable weight loss. These are real weeks, not three weeks in a camp called one week for TV purposes. (I believe – I hope.)
Jeff (no diet) has lost another inch off his waist. Four total. He’s the biggest guy starting, so he wants to lose a lot. His loss comes in at 8 pounds. It seems he is back on board with his trainer.
La’Tasha is nervous coming in because previous results have not been what she expected. She has lost a pound, as she did the week before. And of course, Clean Momma blames her trainee immediately. (Well, edited for tv a reality producer can make it look that way I know.) Shaun T asks her flat out “did the plan fail because she didn’t do it right?” And Clean Momma says “correct. She did not do my plan.” And La’tasha says there is no way that missing one 4 minute “taskercize” workout isn’t the problem. And I have to agree with her.
Jeff is happy to be in the lead, he’s sticking with it. Kurt is solid with Abel of course. Taj can’t change. Jasmine has been steady and stays with Damn and the Superfood Swap. Now we come to La’Tasha. No surprise here, she decides to switch.
Of course, Clean Momma has to go out with a crappy attitude that blames her trainee. La’Tasha is very respectful and thanks her as she dismisses her. But Clean Momma has to add this “consistency and being honest with yourself will give you results, but don’t tell me that you’re doing everything.”
And this would be the moment where I heard the thunder from Florida for the fourth time. My friend John has had the experience of people telling him directly “well you couldn’t be telling me the truth here. If you did what you say, you’d be losing weight.” Meanwhile, the man has no thyroid thanks to cancer. Hey maybe there are more factors here.
I know John won’t miss Clean Momma. I won’t miss her. And I don’t think anyone on the show will miss her.
I just hope that whoever comes in is as reasonable as the newest addition. I think our two weirdest original trainers are gone. I think No Diet guy is going to have to show us more practical applications than color co-ordination, and a simple “think positive.” Superfood Swap is flying under the radar, down the middle. I wonder how long you can go low-fat. Again, plenty of people do fine. But most do not. Go team Abel! Let’s get Wild.