So Heavy

I hadn’t heard anything about the TV show “Heavy” until I saw a few people on Twitter chatting about it. I thought I’d give it a try and watched it today. I have to say that it was heart-wrenching roller-coaster ride of emotions during the hour long show. This is not a “fun” game show like The Biggest Loser. This is real life for 22 people who need to lose weight–or they will die.

Episode 1 follows two people:

Jodi: a 367 pound mom of two who is in her mid 30’s and recently suffered from a “mini-stroke” because of her weight and stress. Her marriage is falling apart.

Tom: a 638 pound man who has a lymph-edema growth on his legs and cannot walk more than a few steps without needing to rest. He can barely breath as well.

The episode gives the background information on both Tom and Jodi, sort of showing “a day in the life” and detailing why they want to lose weight. They both go off to a facility for 30 days to workout with personal trainers and dietitians. The agreement is that they spend 30 days there and then return home to continue the weight loss program on their own. If they do not keep it up, they have to return to the facility.

Jodi’s biggest problem is herself. She’s clearly holding back. She’s letting the negatives get in the way of what could be a success. She cries when she workouts with the personal trainer, she whines “It hurts” and says “I Can’t” a LOT. She clearly has a fear of success. And later in the episode we see why–she surrounded by unsupportive people. Her toxic mother mocked her when she was getting dressed to go to the gym in the morning. Her mother actually LAUGHED at her for trying. I can see why she let herself get to almost 400 pounds with “support” like that!

JODI

My first thought when I saw them working out with the ripped personal trainers was “Why aren’t they getting in the pool?” Being in the pool would take off so much of the pressure and make it easier for both of them to work out. Well they did get into the pool! As a swimmer I was really happy to see that. As a viewer, I wish they had explained WHY swimming is such a good option for obese people trying to lose weight.

It seemed like for Jodi she had more mental issues than physical issues keeping her from losing weight. With Tom, he struggled just to walk a few feet. It hurt him to stand, it hurt to sit, it hurt to lay down.

The biggest obstacle for Jodi was the lack of support from her family and friends. When she was released from the facility after 30 days her family and friends threw a party for her at a Mexican restaurant and Jodi commented that she couldn’t order anything on the menu. Those social situations are SO tricky and I don’t feel like Jodi was equipped to handle them after 30 days of living in a secluded weight loss resort. Jodi realized this, though, and said she needed to re-evaluate her friendships. Wise move. Most of her friends were obese and did not seem supportive in her efforts.

Tom and Jodi meet with a dietitian and they all go to a grocery store to learn how to shop and cook in a healthy, affordable way. At one point the dietitian asks Jodi how long it would take her to eat one pint of ice cream. Jodi laughs with major attitude and retorts, “Um the WHOLE THING.” The dietitian then informed her that whole pint was 1,050 calories and if she ate two pints a week that is almost 1 pound of weight gained just from eating those 2 pints of ice cream.

Bottom line: READ LABELS.

Know Serving Sizes!

For Tom, his biggest obstacle was The Enablers he lived with. His family thought that feeding him was showing their love. But as one of the personal trainers states: “You don’t live life on an island, or in a bubble. You live in the real world.” With real temptations and real setbacks. After just a few weeks at the facility, Tom lose about 50 pounds and has gained some stamina. He can walk longer before he has to rest and he’s not as out of breath.

Tom said, “There’s a value to my life now because I’m finally taking charge of my life.”

They both struggle in different ways when they leave the facility. Jodi struggled with the family dynamics–the toxic mother, the unsupportive husband, and the Food Pusher Friends. But she came out stronger for it. She said she gets a sense of empowerment from exercise. “I am worthy of this change, of living a healthy life.”

Tom, on the other hand, who was Mr. Positive about losing weight, fell back into old habits and started bingeing. He gained 20 pounds back and was eating 6,000-10,000 calories a day. Because he fell of the program he had to go back to the facility for awhile. He found the motivation he needed: losing 100 pounds meant he could have the growth removed from his leg.

By the end of the episode, Jodi (who was previously Miss Negativity) finally “got it.” She finally realized that she was the one getting in the way of her weight loss.

Jodi said, “It’s a struggle but you just really want to have to do it.”

She’s made the choice to work HARD and achieve her weight loss goals.

On day 180 they had the final weigh-in of the show.

Jodi was down 77 pounds and had lost 74 inches total!

Tom was down 155 pounds! He lost 84 inches and his BMI went from 90 to 68!

It was inspiring watching the episode and seeing the struggle of two people so overweight it effected their lives in every aspect. Tom could barely breath at the beginning of the episode and couldn’t walk 2 feet without stopping. By the end of the episode I swear he had a pep in his step and was light on his feet!

What is holding you back from losing weight?

The show also brought up some emotions for me. It reminded me of how I felt when I was 250 and just starting out. How the little things made me so happy: dropping from a size 24W jeans to a size 22W. Being able to swim a full lap without stopping to rest. Finally reaching the goals that I had imagined for myself! It was such a good feeling and I felt so happy for Tom and Jodi as they lost inches, as they found fitness levels they never thought they had.

It also made me feel sad. I wondered, “Why did it take me so long to finally lose weight?”

QUESTION: Did you watch the show? What did you think about it?

22 Responses

  1. I watched. I loved it! Yes it was heart wrenching at times, but also gave me hope. Why do we wait so long to finally do something about our weight? It’s a good question. For me, it is because I have been in denial and been depressed. When my mental shift finally shifted from depression to anger, I was ready. I had to get pissed off at myself to finally find the determination to make my health/life better.

  2. I watched. I’m totally addicted to these shows. I feel like enough bad days and that could be me (though I’m not sure even I could figure out how to eat 10,000 calories). I get so much inspiration from shows like this. I felt this was so much more realistic than BL (which I don’t really watch anymore). Man, that facility was GORGEOUS – can we go fo a week?

    1. Tiffany I felt the same way! I wanted to swim in that pool SOOO bad! 🙂

      Doing some rough calculations, I think back in my “old days” I had to be eating about 4,000 calories a day. But that’s just a guess. I can safely say 50% of those calories were SUGAR calories too.

  3. I watched it – I like it SO much better than Biggest Loser. Yes, they have some growing room (it WOULD be exceptional if they would explain swimming, etc) but they DO go a long way to help the home viewer. This is not a game like the Biggest Loser – this is a real chance for people to get real and focused individual attention. When Tom went home and failed, they brought him back until he “got it” ! That is awesome.

    I was happy to see Jodi’s complete turn around, because at first her attitude was working against her. She didn’t want to work with a trainer that had never been fat before – (paraphrasing)… and at the market, her comment about not eating anything behind glass because it’s too expensive (in the meat area) while she DOES choose ice creams that are also behind glass. Ironic, and also more expensive for her health, if that makes sense? I find it sad when people use fast food as an excuse because healthy food is too expensive… when she obviously has money to spend on probably nightly pints of ice cream. 🙁

    I am really happy this show is on – I wish it were available on a basic television channel so it would be more widely viewed – maybe then shows like the Biggest Loser would stop with the sensationalism and do what they are armed to do best – help people!!

    🙂

    1. Kristina– I agree! It’s so much better than BL. I’ve ranted about BL before but for me it feels like it’s an unrealistic game. When those people go home from BL they won’t have learned any of the skills they need to make the changes because they lived in this weird world where they worked out 5 hours a day and had meals prepared by a nutritionist.

      Heavy was good. It was sad, it was tragic, but in the end it was inspiring to see them make realistic changes in their lives and stick with it.

      Thank you for reminding me of that comment about the trainer! I took notes during the show and forgot about that. I agreed with Jodi about not wanting to have a personal trainer that was skinny and had never struggled. I can relate to that. When I was 250 pounds I didn’t want some skinny Barbie Doll telling me how to lose weight and have willpower! I probably would have punched her out. Haha

  4. I had an OB/GYN lecture me about my weight when I had an issue that I needed to be taken care of. And she continued to talk down to me because supposedly she “couldn’t feel my uterus” through my fat.
    Doctors don’t seem to grasp that they can feed into the self defeating mentality. It really mad me feel small and insecure. I was in there for a feminine issue, not to be lectured that I’m fat. Yes, I know this. She also belittled that I was playing tennis twice a week for a couple hours at a time. Like it wasn’t enough. Um, isn’t it better than laying on the couch, doing nothing?!

    Also, on a side note, I know the girl who’s the model in the images for the show 🙂

    1. That’s incredibly insulting! I had my share of rude comments at doctor’s offices too. Usually I’d leave feeling worthless and depressed about my body and it wouldn’t motivate me to change anything. There’s a fine line between being a jerk doctor and scaring someone “Straight” so to speak. For everyone it’s different–for me it was the word Diabetes.

      And to belittle doing several hours of tennis a week is ridiculous! Tennis is HARD!

      That’s cool you know the model! Does she live in Portland?

      1. What was wrong with my actually doing something? Why couldn’t she at least take care of what I was in there for? I don’t understand some doctors, honestly. My new doctor just informed me that my cholesterol is a little high and that I need to keep an eye on it with diet and exercise. Ultimately, it’s my choice weather I want to be healthy or not (I do) but lecturing and belittling is not the way to do it.

        She lived in Seattle for a while, and moved to LA to be with my friend (who’s her boyfriend) and then landed that job shortly after. I have to say I’m envious that her dreams are coming true…. but if I have to move to LA.. bleh 🙂

        1. Some doctors are just plain jerks! I’ve had my fair share of jerks (one quite recently too). In the end everyone has to make a decision to be/get healthy or not. Shaming isn’t going to do it!

  5. I watched the show. I had actually been looking forward to it because posters were up around NYC advertising for it.

    I am definitely interested in it, but I kind of wish we got to see these people longer than in one hour. I feel like weight loss has so many different emotions that go along with it, and I don’t feel like one hour segments that cover 6 months can’t possibly show them all.

    I do like that it addresses a lot of the same issues that Biggest Loser does, but it takes out all of the “game playing” crap.

  6. I watched the show. I guess I misunderstood the advertisements. I thought they would be following the people for some amount of time rather than cramming their story and 6 month weight loss journey into less than one hour. I did enjoy the show. It seemed “real” and I like the fact that they seem genuinely concerned about those participating by sending Tom back after he couldn’t stay on program at home.

    After reading the other comments, I’d just like to say that no doctor has ever chastised me for being fat. I have friends who have told me about their experiences, but it’s never happened to me. I don’t understand why, because I’ve been overweight since middle school. It makes me wonder if I would still be struggling to lose weight if a doctor had said something to me about my weight.

    1. Sometimes “tough love” works for people. For some people it doesn’t.

      I’m not sure how the show will progress. I think they might have updates of each contestant in each episode?

  7. I hadn’t heard of this show. Her mother was laughing & mocking her? Wow. I cannot even begin to describe how that must make her feel. I hope she takes some solace in the fact that, if anyone recognizes her mother on the street, she will be shouted at and mocked in the most brutal way possible. Reality TV fans get downright MEAN. They do NOT hold back.

  8. I watched it. It was an emotional roller coaster. I was very impressed with Tom’s determination and would find myself frustrated with Jodi’s whining. But it was so inspiring to see them lose the weight.

    Losing weight has been the most difficult and frustrating and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s a struggle. Watching shows like Heavy and Biggest Loser inspires me to keep working at it.

    1. Mary I’m with you…I don’t want to watch a game where the host of the show puts a plate of cupcakes in front of the contestants and dares them not to eat them. That’s not teaching them anything!

  9. I know this comment is a bit late, but I wanted to share my thoughts. I loved the show. I agree with the other opinions about Jodi’s whining. I wanted to shout at the tv. It really left me feeling very frustrated and I really don’t know why. Was I angry at her for acting like a brat? Or was I frustrated at myself for having bad thoughts toward her like, stop whining acting ignorant and contributing to the opinion of most of America about people who are overweight. I have no doubt that she knew going into this show that is was going to be very hard work. Don’t get me wrong I was rooting for both of them hoping they would lose enough weight to really make a difference in there lives. I hope that they continue to follow both of them and we see continued success. I to know what it’s like to be 250 pounds and unhealthy and I don’t wish that on anyone. And as far I am concerned the Biggest Loser has gone to far. They seem to enjoy humiliating the contestants and I just know that someone is going to die on that show. I don’t care if they are under a Dr’s care no one should be losing 38 pounds in 1 week!

    1. Jane, you have some really good insight. I think you might be right…maybe Jodi annoyed me so much because I could see the old me in her–the whiner that said she had “tried everything” and had excuses for being fat – family, genetic, stress, etc. I would love it if there was an expose/behind the scenes look into Biggest Loser. How many of those contestants resort to bulimia or starvation to lose 38 pounds in one week?

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