Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Losing It With Jillian - Premiere

I hope you got to catch the premiere episode of Losing It With Jillian last night. If not, I highly recommend that you watch the episode online when it goes up at NBC. In fact, I must insist that you watch it, and I dare you not to be moved to tears.

Jillian will move in with a different family each week for 5 days, and in that short amount of time she has to turn their lives around for the better...dealing with their fitness and emotional issues. This week she is in Massachusetts, and the first thing we see is Jillian in her car, calling the family to let them know that she would meet them at the gym in 20 minutes. Everyone in the house is screaming, and daughter Michelle is so cute when she apologizes for screaming in Jillian's ear. Soon she is at the gym and meeting all of the family members: Dad Jim, mom Agnes, son Michael, daughter Michelle, and Michelle's fiance Jordan. This whole set up was Michelle's idea, since her wedding is a couple of months away and she would like her parents to feel better about themselves on the big day.

Before Jillian arrived, the whole family was seen by a doctor and evaluated. Jim and Agnes both need to lose about 100 pounds, and Michael needs to lose less than that, but still quite a bit. Michelle is thin...she had gastric bypass surgery and has kept the weight off. Jim also had the surgery, but he gained all of his weight back. Michelle still has some health issues to deal with though, more than she probably even thought she did.

At the gym, Jillian immediately starts working them all out. Michael and Michelle do pretty well, but their parents have a really hard time. They both stop, and Jillian says it's the fastest she's ever seen anyone quit on themselves. She tells them if they're going to quit then she's going to leave, and she walks outside. Michelle urges her parents to go after Jillian and bring her back in, because they need to change their lives. They get her to come back into the gym, and she enlists Michelle to help her drive her parents to work harder.

At their house, Jillian gets to see what they eat for dinner. Michelle does the cooking, and it's heavy Italian food...breaded, fried, swimming in oil and butter, and gigantic portions. I don't feel too well myself watching this stuff being cooked. Michelle admits that she's the enabler, but she cooks this way for the family because her dad tells her what to make. They also tell Jillian that they don't eat vegetables, and if there's anything green in the refrigerator it must be because of mold. Yikes!

Jillian is quite disgusted, and the next morning she takes Michelle grocery shopping to teach her about picking healthy foods. They purchase a lot of produce and lean meats. After they get home, Jillian takes Agnes on a walk to talk to her and get her to open up about anything that's bothering her. Agnes tells her that she had another son, Jim Jr., who only lived for a month and a day. The only time she ever got to hold him without tubes attached was as he passed away. Every time she would try to get Jim to talk about it, he said he couldn't. Neither of them got to grieve properly over Jimmy, and he didn't even have a headstone at the cemetery. Jillian got the whole family together to finally talk about this tragedy in their lives that happened over 20 years ago. They all decided it was time to get a headstone for Jimmy...and to talk to each other about their feelings and not keep everything bottled up inside.

Back at the gym, Jillian gives Agnes the chance to be empowered. She teaches Agnes how to push her husband in his workouts. Jillian literally jumps for joy when she watches Agnes really give it to Jim! (I love it!) Then the whole family got to go the bridal and tuxedo shops to get fitted for the wedding. Jim discovers that he needs to lose at least 3 inches to fit into the largest tux, and Michael also commits to losing weight before the wedding. Agnes tries on dresses, but hates how she looked in all of them. She also makes the commitment to lose some weight before the big day. The trip ends with a happy moment, as Michelle models her wedding dress for her parents. There is a lot of crying, but these are happy tears.

At dinner that night, they tell Jillian about the shopping trip. Jim beams with pride as he tells Jillian how beautiful Michelle was in her dress. Michelle makes a comment about being the bride with the saggiest arms, and Jillian calls her out on it right then and there...telling her how she ruined the moment for her dad by being so down on herself. Michelle and Jillian discuss how Michelle still sees the fat girl when she looks in the mirror, and that she still doesn't see herself as beautiful. (I can relate to that...when I originally lost all my weight I had the same problem.) They work on Michelle's perception of herself, knowing that just because you look good on the outside doesn't mean that you feel that way on the inside.

After 5 days Jillian has to leave, but not without plenty of tears from everyone, including her. She comes back 6 weeks later for Michelle's wedding. She is thrilled to see how good everyone looks, and how much happier they are. Jim, Agnes, and Michael all lost quite a bit of weight...Jim lost 48 pounds! Michelle says when she walks down the aisle that she finally sees herself as a beautiful person. They all plan to stay with their healthy new lifestyle and make their lives even better.

I have to say, even though I love Biggest Loser, this show is really something special. You get to see all sides of Jillian...not just the trainer who yells at you, but the compassionate, caring side as well. It's also a pleasure to watch her work with people who are not in a competition with each other, only with themselves. Nobody has to worry about "playing the game". Jillian knows that to be a healthy person you have to deal with the outisde and the inside. I can't wait to watch next week, and see what happens with the next family!

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