Thursday, July 8, 2010

Losing It with Jillian!: Episode 6- "I'm going to have a meltdown."

This week's journey takes Jillian to the Yavapai Apache Tribe in Camp Verde, Arizona to meet the Plunkett Marquez family: mom Cora-Lei, dad Brian, grandma Delores, sister Delight (wow), and son Brandon. Cora-Lei is a tribal leader and wants to get her ailing nation in shape: Type 2 diabetes is a huge epidemic, the tribe is no longer hunting and gathering, and obesity affects almost every member.

Jillian pulls up and Cora-Lei welcomes her with a "all of our prayers have been answered!" She tells Jillian that they have lost connection with who they are as a people and are hoping that Jillian can get them back on track. Cora-Lei has no idea what she is in for.

The family visits Dr. Van Herle and finds out what they thought to be true: They are all overweight and either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Delores has already had two heart attacks and a stroke! What is at the root of this problem?

First issue: No physical fitness. Dad Brian and son Brandon hold up alright, but Delight quits after 12 minutes on the treadmill going 3.7 mph. She is only 21-years-old. After much screaming 2 inches from Cora-Lei's face, Jillian tells her "it starts right here with you". How can she lead her people if she can't lead her own family?

Second Issue: Fry Bread. I love a good Indian Taco- I mean I am Oklahoman. But I know that there aren't any good for you and can't remember the last time I ate one. This tribe makes fry bread apart of their every day diet, and it is made with white bleached flour and lard. When Jillian questions this practice, Cora-Lei tries to defend it by saying it is apart of their culture. With a little more probing, Jillian discovers it was something Indian tribes started after receiving government staples after being dislodged from their land. Jillian points out that "fry bread is a representation of everything bad that has happened to their people."

It is starting to open Cora-Lei's eyes, but it all comes to a head at the meet Jillian party the tribe throws for her. She notices about 90% of the attendees are overweight. And everyone is eating fry bread. In her usual Jillian fashion, she grabs a box of fry bread and throws it out. There is an uproar- tribal tradition states that it is sinful to throw out food. Then Jillian gets pelted with an Indian Taco. The kid who did it is very lucky the cameras were on him, because he may of gotten a lot worse than an Indian Taco.

Back at home, Cora-Lei has to tell Jillian about the offense against the tribe, and although Jillian is no stranger to controversy, she seems like she is at her wits end. The news of the great fry bread incident have spread throughout the community, resulting in a abysmal turn out for the diabetes conference she holds the next day. Out of 2,000 members, only about 20 showed. Jillian realizes she needs to work on Cora-Lei first before she can change the entire nation, and takes Cora-Lei out one on one for a workout. After wrapping a heavy chain around her shoulders, Cora-Lei realizes that the chain represents her life up until this point. She is beginning to feel empowered. Jillian reminds her that "a smart leader isn't afraid to ask for help."

After Jillian focuses her mind bullets on Delight, who didn't know how to workout and was afraid to ask how, the two of them pass out flyers for a group fun walk the next day. A quick trip to apologize to the elders, and then it is time to walk. Will anyone show?

Happily, the fry bread incident caused a buzz in the community. They realized they didn't want fry bread to represent who they were as a people, and they showed up in droves for the walk. Jillian offers a free membership to her website for the community, and promises to come back 6 weeks later to check in.

What a difference 6 weeks makes! Delight lost 30 pounds, Brandon lost 52 pounds, Delores lost 18 pounds, and Cora-Lei lost 33 pounds. Not only do they look better, but they feel better and more in control. Jillian reminds the tribe that "your future is whatever you make it", and with that nugget of advice, she heads back to LA.

Next week- another family that hates to workout. I feel a trend.

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