Monday, March 29, 2010

Kirstie Alley's Big Life- episodes 3 and 4- "Oh, Rats! It's My Birthday!" and "Swimming in the Rain"

After watching the third and fourth episodes of Big Life, I am a little confused. Is the show about weight loss? Is it about Kirstie's relationship with her family and staff? Is it about Organic Liaison, the weight loss supplements that Kirstie is promoting? They haven't shown up on the show YET, but I have a feeling they will pop up soon. Check out the website, it's kinda cute.

Let's just say that the show is a bit about everything.

In episode three, Kirstie's assistant Kelly and her children True and Lillie are planning a surprise birthday party for Kirstie. The big surprise is if they can get the Travolta family to attend. I keep forgetting that Kirstie did "Look Who's Talking?" with John Travolta a billion years ago- I love that movie! Bruce Willis as the voice of the baby Mikey? Priceless. I digress. Kirstie has been taking private salsa lessons at home, and her kids want her birthday to be salsa themed. Kelly leaves the kids in charge of the guest list (what?) and the birthday cake.

Meanwhile, chubby buddy Jim is losing a battle against some cute and cuddly RATS that keep terrorizing the Alley estate. Kirstie refuses to let Jim exterminate them. They keep releasing the rats into the "wilderness", only to have the same rodents returning again and again. When Jim goes to release a rat in the park, he is so out of shape that he leans against a sign post in front of Kirstie's house and just let the rat run free into a neighbor's yard. Problem solved.

Jim is then rewarded for his hard work by going with True and Lillie to pick out and sample birthday cakes for Kirstie. And by sample, I mean that the kids tasted while he looked on longingly. That's an improvement over the Jim I saw last week with a big ol' burger in his mouth.

Birthday morning, Kirstie is greeted by her loving family and some balloons, and True promises her a quiet day and dinner at the Sizzler. Trainer J.R. gives Kirstie "chocolate and flowers": His muscled frame in a pair of skimpy speedos and a big bouquet of flowers. After a pool workout (Kirstie wears a long sleeve shirt and pants in the pool), she and Jim clean up and have a nice lunch with family and friends.

Later that night, True and Lillie load Kirstie into a white Hummer stretch limo (to her embarrassment) and end up at El Cid Salsa Club. Kirstie is surprised by all her close friends, and the Travolta's make an appearance. John shows us his smooth dance moves (he really is good!) and he and wife Kelly give Kirstie a really pricey looking necklace. She blows out the candles on her cake, wishes for something- maybe world peace- and the party ends.

After turning down cake at her party, I was surprised to see her sneaking a piece from her fridge. I was happy to see it was only for the rat. Lucky rat.

Episode four was more weight oriented. Kirstie is frustrated that Jim always loses more weight than she does, so she vows to lose weight at a ritzy spa resort with her ladies and apprentice Kyle. She leaves Jim to fend for himself, but he has the advantage of having J.R. there to work him out.

It's officially on.

At the spa, Kirstie takes dance class, cooking class, gets massages and manicures, and tops it off with an early morning hike that she threatens to quit. At home, Jim works out with J.R., pulls branches out of the pool, and hangs out with True and housekeeper Magdalena.

When Kirstie arrives home, it is time for the weigh in. So who won? Kirstie lost 6 pounds. Jim? He lost 9 pounds. But her nails DO look nice.

One moment that I wanted to write about was between Kirstie and her daughter Lillie. Kirstie is worried that her crazy relationship with her body has poisoned her daughter's view of her own body. She apologizes to her for being a bad example. This moment struck a chord with me because I have always hated my body. I am getting to a healthy point in my life where I am learning to love myself, but it took me YEARS to overcome my negative mindset. I was raised in a family where personal appearance was king, and "gentle" ribbing about what you looked like was okay. I thought I was fat my WHOLE life. When I look at photos of me as a kid, I wonder why my folks were so concerned- I was little and cute, not chubby at all. Their over concern led me to think I was heavy, and it became a self fulfilling prophecy by the time I got to college.

It made me realize that I want my sons and daughters to love the way their bodies are- to be strong and fit and healthy- and not worry about tummies and eating a second helping if they are truly hungry and not making them feel badly about it. It was wise of Kirstie to take a look around and see if there was any collateral damage from her struggles with weight. I hope other parents do the same sort of damage control.

Her Big Life seems to be getting smaller. . .one stone at a time.

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