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My whole interest in this show was sparked by the fact that Abel James was on the show, and I trust him after regularly listening to his podcast Fat Burning Man. With the juggernaut that was Biggest Loser, I had given up on weight loss television programming being anything but unrealistic, exploitative, fat-shaming, and contrived. I have been so happy to see the strides forward that this show represents. It has its flaws. But I have been so thrilled to see the difference in what this has been versus the screaming nastiness of suffering porn that was The Biggest Loser. (Is it still running? I hope not.) The setup of this show was far superior. For a detailed analysis, check out my Episode One Recap.

Intro Segment – The Cliffhanger

Taj has walked off the show. I believe the emotional reaction from Shaun T was genuine. This is a show with an actual heart for people, and this is long-term life stuff. All her competitors try in vain to encourage her to stay. She is offended that her trainer said she neede counseling. Her own behavior in front of a television audience, even if edited, has given evidence that her trainer was right.

Going into the second half of the 14 weeks, our four remaining contestants have all lost significant percentages of bodyweight. Kurt is in a strong lead, but all four have made progress.

Now it’s time to truly say goodbye to the trainers/experts, and do real life for seven weeks. Each offers a final pep talk or words of wisdom. We are reminded that each one has to complete the half-marathon to earn a spot in the final weigh-in.

Home Alone

Kurt – I didn’t know biker vests had “fat boy chains.” And he mentioned good fats vs bad fats. Something tells me there is footage of him talking about avoiding vegetable and seed oils, but it was probably censored to not offend sponsors. Then again, they have let the show talk negatively about sugars and grains, and they advertise heavily. (Get it? Heavily?)

Jasmin – I am so happy for her, but I still want to see more details! More water and portion control. Come on, what else? Grapes for candy. OK, easy. Low hanging fruit. LITERALLY. I think a lot of people really want to see a food log.

Jeff – Again, we hear about the change in the blue flipping plates. But what about the actual food on it? Cooking at home instead of take out. Yes of course. And?

La’Tasha – she speaks of the plan as if it’s really simple. That’s good because the pitch for it sounded a little complicated. Maybe the timing thing is just about eating a balance of macros each meal to not spike blood sugars. It’s still a lot like Body-for-Life, with little fat.

Reunion Time

Positivity and excitement run high as each trainee comes out to the park. Everyone has lost weight. Jasmin looks like a completely different person. She might have this thing won. Then Kurt comes out and he is half the man he used to be. But he shaved his facial hair, so that may add to the effect of the visual change.

Half Marathon

I’ve been skeptical about this as the finale from the beginning, but all they have to do is finish. I kind of wish they were all in a big half-marathon, but it appears to just be the four of them, taking laps around the park. That seems boring, but it’s how the NYC marathon started. Miles are miles. This works better for filming a TV show than getting into a local race I am sure.

Jasmin finishes the race first. (2:48) I am not surprised at all. She was doing the best with running early on. Kurt is in at 3:07. La’Tasha runs a 3:20. Emotions run high. I’ve been there. We see Jeff walking, and wonder if he will finish. He does in 3:36.

Final Weigh-In

Besides the numbers, everyone has made amazing progress. That is clear, and I am happy for them all.

La’Tasha – down 45 pounds — 18.5%

Jeff  – down 64 pounds — 17.83%

Kurt – He dropped 10 inches off his waist. He won 3 out of the 7 weigh-ins. He is the favorite in a way, but Jasmin looks amazing.

he is down 87 pounds — 24.72%

Jasmin – She has also lost 10 inches off her waist.

She lost 53 pounds — 26.5%

Conclusion

I cannot possibly use the word “disappointed” in this situation. I was rooting for Kurt and Abel to win. They absolutely did. So did Jasmin. So did Jeff. So did La’Tasha. I believe each of them will continue to have workable success. I think when some of them stall or face difficulty, they will amend their particular plans to drop more carbs and get closer to the paleo or wild style. But maybe they won’t need to. In any case, I am so thrilled to see how well the LCHF diet was represented on television. Jasmin takes the title and the prizes, but all have won the best prize possible: a new lease on life.

It has been an honor to see so many people reading these recaps. If you are still reading, there should be an interesting surprise guest on our podcast in the next few weeks. Subscribe to Back of Pack Endurance on iTunes, or visit http://www.backofpack.com

This doesn’t feel like a show that should have multiple seasons, but in case it does, I’ll be recapping again. With only eight episodes, and airing them two at a time, I’m not confident that this got high ratings or a lot of support. I don’t even want to see another incarnation, because it will just mean upping the wacky factor. Time will tell.

 

 

 

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