I’m thinking a lot of folks tuned in to watch “Heavy” last Monday night. This new program presented by A&E introduced us to two morbidly-obese patients from the Houston, Texas area: Tom and Jodi (the show can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/5smjqgc). Six months of their lives and their struggle to lose weight and address issues that helped fuel their obesity were played out for us.
The show began with a bit of background detailing their weight-loss struggles. Their desperation was evident. After having their current health assessed by a physician, they were ushered away for a month in a controlled environment where they worked with personal trainers who pushed, prodded, and praised them. Both participants lost weight, but after they went back home, Tom, succumbing to the enablers he lived with, gained a considerable amount of weight back, and was brought back to the facility before returning home again. Jodi worked through some emotional issues, made some tough decisions, and continued her weight loss. At the end of six months, Tom and Jodi had lost an astonishing amount of poundage, trading bad habits and actions for a greatly-improved quality of life.
Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the show:
- The dangers of obesity were discussed
- The necessity of permanent lifestyle change was shown
- The value of support was made evident
- The change in the participants, both physically and mentally, was well-portrayed
- It wasn’t a competition
- There was a lack of focus/explanation on the nutritional side
- Not many of us have the option or desire to go to a controlled facility for a month or to pay for such an array of professionals
- I would have liked to have seen more of their lifestyle changes after they arrived home
All in all, I think the show deserves a thumbs-up, as it offered hope and encouragement to those who need to lose weight (or lose weight again) without portraying the journey as an easy-to-fix scenario. As one who has struggled to lose weight before arriving at my goal weight (and is having to mindfully and regularly focus on maintenance), I plan to be a regular viewer of “Heavy”. Each week, two new participants will be featured. It’ll be interesting to compare the various journeys.
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