I’d like to say that this recap series has enlivened my blog and I am getting new readers each episode. Cool! Go back and read the Episode One recap, which is really about the whole format of the show in general.
Coming into the 6th of 14 weeks, I have some predictions for the season.
- We will not see anymore switching. Kurt is on fire with Abel, same with Jasmin and her trainer. The only other contestant is Jeff, with the No Diet color-obsessed guy. Jeff is a wild card here, and if anyone switches trainers from here out, 100% it will be Jeff. But he has shown loyalty and is feeling success. I just wish we’d see more of what the No Diet dieter ACTUALLY EATS.
- All contestants will see success.
- Kurt and Jasmin will do the best.
- Wild Diet and Nutrient Timing diets will take over the world. Just don’t say Paleo.
- More of my friends who think I’m nuts for beating diabetes with low carb will start to pay attention.
- America will disappoint me and this show will never be as big as the sufferfest known as TBL. (I won’t even type the name out anymore.)
For the first time, I’m nervous that this show is going to go down that exploitative track like TBL. Our contestants are brought to the challenge area, and find huge posters of themselves at their old weights. (And yes, once again, the men are fully clothed and the women are in sports bras. Seriously, come on ABC.)
But the segment is more empowering and focused on progress. Line of the day from Tasha: “I’m too cute to be that fat.” I like the confidence.
Wait, only two milestone challenges left until the half marathon? Has there not been a milestone every week? I thought this was a 14 episode show. I am legitimately confused.
We’re shooting for max heart rate again. This six round challenge sounds rough. Jumprope, jumping jacks, boxing drills, planks.
Seriously Shaun T, every time you get in Kurt’s face shouting about cheeseburgers, I get crazy. He is losing weight BECAUSE of the cheeseburgers, not IN SPITE of them! He is down 44 pounds! Stop with this fat=bad nonsense. No matter, the lowest carb plans are going to win this thing.
I think the highest heart rate goes to Shaun T, losing his mind over a plank. But Jasmin comes out as the challenge winner. Jeff throws a fit again, destroying his picture. I know this self-directed anger of being a 300+ guy. I can relate. But I also know it is difficult to really move forward without letting go of that anger first.
Everyone reached their max heart rate, so no one is going to be berated for not trying hard enough. Positive encouragement for everyone heading back into real life.
At Home Segments
Smart Sexy Strong – Taj is a teacher? I don’t think I caught that before. She has the best vocabulary on the show, so it makes sense that she is an English teacher. I love seeing her replace her classroom candy rewards with kale chips. Comedy ensues of course. My son is the pickiest little carb addict ever, but he loves my homemade kale chips.
Nutrient Timing – Our new guy Rob takes Tasha to a goat farm to talk about cheese. He’s not anti-dairy, but against heavy processing. Wait, Tasha was eating 10 oz a day? I eat cheese. Every day. I’ve never gotten near 10 oz. Wow. Now we move into conversation about the number of times a day she has been eating, and the 4 meals a day is keeping that to specific times. How often was she eating with clean Momma? I get the impression Momma was all about constant feeding and constant taskercizing. End result here: Rob puts cheese into the fat category which he limits to “two thumbs” for a meal. While I’m a pro-high-fat-low-carb advocate, I also know a person can still overeat anything. Focusing on that 10 oz a day habit is probably a really good idea.
Superfood Swap – Once again, instead of seeing the details of Jasmin’s actual eating, but the segment is all about hanging on to old clothes and the fear of regaining. This is a real life issue for people who have struggled with weight. I don’t want to say this was a pointless segment, I see the use of the conversation. Believing that this time is actually different is a major deal for weight loss. But I am still waiting to see Jasmin’s food!
No Diet Plan – Wait, are they food shopping? Are we finally going to see what Jeff is eating? Not just the color of his plates and sheets? That would be cool. But wait, there has to be a goofy gimmick. There’s a stopwatch. Oh for the love of Richard Simmons. I mean, shopping the perimeter, many colors of produce, all are the usual good pieces of advice. Why can’t it just be that, and leave the stopwatch nonsense? Oh right, this is TV and No Diet guy needs gimmicks. Is alkaline water a gimmick? The text on screen says “alkaline water aids in weight loss by breaking down fatty essentials in food.” What the heck does that even mean? Fatty essentials? As in, essential fatty acids? The things our bodies know how to digest? Why then would we need special water to “break it down?” Will I ever run out of question marks from this segment? No? Why not? Is it because No Diet guy is too drawn to fringe tricks? Yes. The answer is yes.
Seriously, this segment makes me so annoyed. The condescension of acting like a sports coach with your silly watch while a grown man asks another grown man about a piece of chicken.
A quote from Jay: “No other diet plan on this show teaches the psychology of the supermarket.” – I’ll give him this much, the layout of supermarkets is a real thing, the eye-level zone exists. But dude, you look silly the way you executed this “knowledge.” You want your hook, your thing that sets you apart. But from the little I saw from the store, the only actual food advice I’ve heard is vegetables (ok, who doesn’t say that?) and lowfat meat. Yeah, I think I see why you need a hook. Your advice is the same stuff that has been the dominant paradigm for decades. And it’s not easy to sustain. EAT THE FAT! And the only other food we’ve seen you prepare was a high carb fruit smoothie for the guy who had high blood sugar. (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.)
Wild Diet – this segment is about asking questions in restaurants. And we get national network air time to the simple truth about grass vs grain fed meats! Holy cow! How are the agribusinesses not shutting this down? (Sorry, got all tinfoil hatty again.)
Strong Sexy – We go to the bar with Taj, and she fears another incident like a cookie. Taj can do 5-7 shots of tequila? Damn girl, that’s a lot. But since her guru is gluten-free, she doesn’t allow anything made from wheat or barley. Someone has neglected to inform her about the reality of distilled liquors. They are basically the only safe way to consume grains for those avoiding gluten or grains in general. The chemistry has completely changed. This is well-documented. In my own experimentation, whiskey from corn, or rye or wheat – all are ineffectual at raising blood sugar, in fact it often lowers blood sugar. Her other advice, no straws, makes sense, but is just a trick to not slam down too much booze at once. We’re grownups here. Who uses straws for tequila anyway?
Everyone is working out with something, and I’m sure it’s all good. Not a lot of commentary here. Be active with what you’ll do. Diet is the major part, exercise is complementary.
First we are teased with smack talk from Jeff, and a twist – are the old trainers coming back or something? I’ve been so happy that this show is low on the manufactured drama quotient. But reality producers just can’t help themselves. We shall see……
Superfood Swap – Jasmin lost a pound. Progress is progress. Still her trainer says they’ll push harder.
Wild Diet – Kurt goes in with low expectations, since it was a big week for food outings, and he didn’t workout much. He had beers, doughnuts, and tacos. These aren’t on Wild Diet. Jeff interrupts to say that Kurt was sandbagging before, and so we shouldn’t trust it this time. A little good-natured back and forth with contestants. Abel makes the case for the diet being long-term. So let’s see…………. Kurt has lost another SIX pounds.
He just hit the 50 pound loss mark on the Wild Diet. (Cut the check now. I’m calling it.)
Strong Safe Sexy – Taj is nervous. She lost a pound, she is happy for any progress. The trainer is shocked and thinks she should have worked out harder. Careful – Clean Momma is gone now. Don’t be the new one.
No Diet – Jeff has lost an inch off his waist. And he has lost three pounds. Jeff goes on record saying that at the end of week 14, he will be 100 pounds down from where he is right now. Jeff my man, I am seeing a bigger picture here. I do criticize your trainer for being more about tricks than the food, but if anyone in this show is exhibiting obvious psychological issues that are hindrances, it’s you. I say this as one who has done all these things. I’ve broken and thrown stuff out of frustration, I’ve hated myself, I’ve been a jerk to people around me, all because of obesity. And, I’ve made wild claims like “I’ll lose 100 pounds in this amazingly short amount of time.” All or nothing thinking got us over 300 pounds. All or nothing thinking is not always our best friend. And you’re going to win the half-marathon? OK dude. No way. I’ve been that guy. I don’t know how Kurt will do at the half, but Jasmin will smoke Jeff easily.
Nutrient Timing – La’Tasha has embraced his more intense workouts, and she accepts the challenge from Shaun T to hold a plank for one minute. She does and goes beyond. She has lost four pounds. This is good! But the dramatic music reminds us she wanted to do more. She is in second place for the week behind superstar Kurt.
I predicted no switches, but the topic doesn’t actually come up. No one is given the option this time. But WAIT! A twist. This coming week is going to be the last with the experts. After one more weigh-in, they are going to have to go it alone for the last seven weeks. The idea is, if it’s not going to work for you long-term, it’s not a winning plan. I love this. I mean, I want to see the smart trainers get more air time, but this makes sense.
So I guess that means just two more episodes. That would explain why there’s only one more milestone challenge. I assume we’ll be jumping 7 weeks in time then, to rejoin the trainers at the half-marathon and final weigh-in. The way the show has been pacing, this flows just about right.
Next week I may be able to watch these episodes as the air in real time. I will be out of town and spending the evening in a hotel room. I’ll probably live recap them as best I can, since hotels don’t have DVR’s with pause buttons. I will be working on a week-long project that is known for going late on Thursday night. I think I may have to say on Monday that I’ll be unavailable on Thursday night for a couple hours.
I’ve been enjoying recapping this show, but 8 instead of 14 is fine with me. I think the format has to be realistic about American attention spans.