Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DietTribe Season 2- episode 1- "Leap of Faith"

As you all know, I love reality television, and I really love reality television that has to do with weight loss and body image. I'm following The Biggest Loser, but I have discovered another show that is also worth your viewing time: DietTribe on the Lifetime network.

DietTribe is in it's second season, and I don't know how I missed the first season because this show is GREAT! Luckily, there are full episodes to watch on http://www.mylifetime.com/ in the DietTribe section. Season 2 is on the Lifetime Channel Friday nights at 9 pm eastern time.

The premise of the show is familiar: group of overweight women that want to lose weight meet with big name trainer and therapist to reach their weight loss goals. Sound like The Biggest Loser? Not quite. There is no shiny ranch or private gym or Jillian Michaels. DietTribe's premise puts the participants in their everyday lives and situations. They still live at home, they raise their families, work their jobs, and have to find a way to fit in workouts and eat healthy. I like the fact that these women are learning the tools of success as they intertwine with their normal lives. I know that the contestants on The Biggest Loser are afraid to go home and leave the comfort of the ranch because they don't know how to integrate the things they have learned into their real lives. DietTribe shows it is possible to be a "normal" person and be a fit person: the reason why I am here and writing this blog!

Another difference- the women on the show aren't contestants. They are participants. There is no game play, no tearful elimination ceremonies. The women can't be eliminated and must be a part of the entire show. With the pressure of game play out of the way I feel like these women must be motivated by something within themselves. There is no money at stake, just the promise that at the end of their time on the show, they will have reached their goal weight. How different and refreshing! No offense, Biggest Loser fans. You know I am still totally down.

Although I am starting to watch season one online and will write recaps for that season, I am starting with season two because I was watching that one first and I'm already so invested!

Episode one is entitled "Leap of Faith", what people must take when they are embarking on any major change in life. We open on a small town softball game, and meet the five women that this show is revolving around, named the Misfits. They are not athletes, and after some crappy yet entertaining ball playing, we meet the ladies of season two gathered at their favorite pub, chowing down on some major fried fatty business.

Eat now ladies, 'cause tomorrow it's all gonna change.

The ladies of season two meet their hunky trainer, Jessie Pavelka for their first weigh in. Jessie has been a personal trainer and fitness model for over seven years, and he is a hot guy. I mean, really hot. He informs the ladies that he will be with them for the next 120 days, and each one of them is going to lose 50 pounds over those days. That is about 3-4 pounds a week.

Mary is the first lady to weigh in. She is 37 years old, 5'7", and her starting weight is 210 pounds. Her goal weight is 160. Then 34 year old Rita steps up- her starting weight is 177 pounds. Because she is only 5'2", she is going to lose 35 pounds. Her goal weight is 142. Stephanie is next. She is the oldest at 39, and weighs 244 pounds at 5'7". Her goal weight is 194. Stephanie's sister Tiffany is next. She weighs in at 221 pounds, is 5'7", and her goal weight is 171. Then lastly, Laneesa weighs in at 335 pounds. She is the biggest participant and the tallest at 5'11". Her goal is 285 pounds.

The ladies will weigh in every two weeks. Jessie sets their first goal at 35 pounds for a team goal- around 6 pounds apiece. If they reach their goal they will win a prize.

But then Jessie drops the bomb- at the end of the 120 days, they will all be competing in a triathlon. WHAT? They are pretty out of shape, but Jessie promises they will be shocked by what they can accomplish.

So will this group of friends be able to pull it off? It is time to begin.

Jessie is taking the ladies to work out 5 days a week for 1 1/2 hours every time- one hour of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training. He will be there every time, every day to give them 110%. Their first fitness test was telling- they could only run on the treadmill for a couple minutes. They all complained of aches and pains. And then he had them on interval training (One of my favorite ways to workout) on the spin bikes, and they could barely do that. Jessie introduced all the ladies to the gym machines and showed them ways to build muscle so they could keep burning calories.

Mary breaks down during the first workout, disappointed that she has let herself go for so long. Realizing that you have a mountain to climb can make you feel overwhelmed for sure! But after a good cry, she is ready to shake it off and keep working.

We first meet Mary. She is a working Mom with three children from two different marriages who gained more and more weight as each child was born. She is ready to reclaim the skinny girl she once was.

Then we meet sisters Tiffany and Stephanie who do everything together. Literally. They live together. They went to nursing school together. They had a double wedding. They had children at the same time. They both had gastric bypass surgery, and Stephanie has gained back 40 pounds due to her recent divorce. Tiffany is also feeling the strain- at a family garage sale, she cries when two people at the same time put on her plus-size wedding dress that was for sale. Tiffany blames not being able to concentrate on herself as the reason she has gained weight from her gastric bypass.

Jessie makes an impromptu stop at the garage sale, and rummages through Tiffany and Stephanie's fridge and cabinets. He throws out pretty much everything. They even had funnel cake mix. WHO HAS FUNNEL CAKE MIX? Side note: he didn't buy anything from the sale.

Jessie introduces all the ladies to their 1500 calorie diet plan. It is meticulously laid out for their 120 days. They will be eating 5 times a day a specified amount of carbs, proteins, and fats. Jessie assures them that if they stay with this program, they should have no problem losing weight. But the first issue the ladies have is that they don't cook- and that is why they have so many convenience foods in their pantries. Jessie tells them it is easy, and buys them a ton of healthy groceries to show them correct portion sizes and the proper size plates to eat off of.

Then it is time to meet Lanessa, who blames her weight on her family and never being healthy. She has a new boyfriend, and she is scared to see who she is without the weight.

Don't ask me why we can't meet all the ladies at once- it's sprinkled throughout the program.

It's a new day, and Jesssie takes the ladies for a hike and to meet therapist Stacy Kaiser. For reality show fans, she is the therapist on Celebrity FitClub on VH1. She wants to help them with the mental and emotional baggage that comes with being overweight. She shares that she has lost 60 pounds herself (just like me) and is excited to help these ladies overcome their fears. Starting with jumping off a thirty foot platform. Each lady jumps off the platform, even if they are scared to death of heights. It is their literal leap of faith into the program.

Then we finally get to meet Rita. She is a busy mother of two who complains of being nonathletic and wishes she could do more with her in shape husband.

They show the ladies on their workouts, and with their personal video cams talking about their challenges staying on the plan and how hard the workouts have been.

Has the hard work paid off?

At the final weigh in, there is much to be excited about. The ladies are eager to see if all this lifestyle changing is actually going to pay off. And will they meet their team goal of 35 pounds?

Stephanie goes first, and weighs 234 pounds, for a total weight loss of 10 pounds in two weeks. It makes everyone excited, and her sister Tiffany is confident that she also put up some serious numbers. She also loses 10 pounds, weighing in at 211. Rita weighs in next, and she had to go to the hospital for kidney stones during the week. She is swollen from the saline, and worried about her number. She still loses 3 pounds, weighing in at 174. Jessie says sometimes life gets in the way and you have to keep going. Laneesa steps up next- will she let the team down? She weighs 325, also losing 10 pounds. Last is Mary- who wants to lose at least 8 pounds. She weighs in at 197- a total loss of 13 pounds!!!

The ladies have exceeded their goal, losing 46 pounds, and their reward is some pampering at the spa- my favorite way to unwind! The ladies all say they deserve this because they worked so hard, but will they be able to keep it up? Jessie says the first weigh in is always the easiest- will they be able to reach the team goal of 30 pounds for the next weigh in?

I'll be tuning in!

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