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Losing It, or Lost it?

Created on Wednesday, 02 June 2010

The first half of the title refers to NBC's new, and short-lived I hope, series. The latter half is what I think has happened to the network's executives and way too many television viewers. Last night was the debut of the show I warned you all about awhile back. The concept is to have some people, vying for their 15 seconds of fame and 15 minutes of shame, allow Jillian Michaels to come into their home and inflict her style of coaching upon them to rid them of obesity and its health problems. As typical of most "weight loss reality TV," the show did a disservice to the fitness training industry. Thanks Jillian, Chad Bennett, Kelia Tandiff, and Will Ebrecht.

From the start, Ms. Michaels once again proved she's more of an actor than she is a fitness professional. Her first contact with the family, an obese mom, dad, adult son, Jillianand a grown daughter with her own set of personal issues, is a phone call telling them to meet her at the fitness center in 20 minutes. Naturally the family was eating when they got her call. What a coincidence, huh? As soon as they meet, Jillian starts putting them through a workout unsuitable for people in their condition. Jumping jacks as a warm up? Not for people with over 40% body fat who haven't been exercising since who knows when? Jillian should know better, especially since she got the report from one of the show's doctors about the family's horrible conditions. So much for proper exercise progression.
Later on Jillian squirms with glee and laughs like a hyena at the Frankenstein-like creation she has made, while the wife yells and screams at her husband during a workout. Just like Jillian.
One tip I wish this show and The Biggest Loser would follow: use treadmills that have a safety key feature, or use safety harnesses! I know I'm tired of the network making fun of overfat people having treadmill mishaps.

Of course, just like on The Biggest Loser, there were plenty of tears, mainly due to emotional stresses that are not part of the scope of practice for a fitness trainer. Instead of sending them for the proper professional help, Jillian herself cured them all, right on camera. And just in time for the daughter's wedding, which NBC paid for.

So there you have it. Let me be the first to say, if you've seen one episode of Losing It with Jillian Michaels, you've seen them all. Different people, different details, same everything else. With shows like this one popping up regularly, while a great comedy like Better Off Ted gets canceled, I really think most of the TV exec's have really lost it.

Did you watch Losing It? What do you think? Do you find shows like this informative, entertaining, or harmful? Comments and opinions are welcomed.

 

Comments  

 
paramjit
# paramjit 2010-06-03 22:04
Hi Aaron. I do have a lot of respect for Jillin. I read her latest book on boosting the metabolism. She had a lot of good information in there. But when she goes out there and puts on a show like this, I guess it sets her back. But i guess the viewers love it. That is the only reason that I can think off why she keeps doing it.
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-03 22:26
Hi Paramjit,

I'm sure she could probably design a good workout for someone who is in great shape. But it kills me to watch her put people so out of shape through workouts that are way beyond their levels of conditioning. I feel she loses professionalism when she decides that TV sensationalism is more important than the safety and well being of the client. To me it makes her lose her credibility. ;-)
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Monty
# Monty 2010-06-04 09:18
I'm not so sure that I agree 100% with you. For some, the "extreme" is required. Now, knowing you personally, and having worked out with you, I understand this "style" does not fit your personality or beliefs.

But, how can anyone argue with results, given the verifiable statistics?

Those people on the show needed their butts kicked, and the emotions that did surface, were similar to those felt by the majority of those who are in the same category. If you were honest, and polled the community, I think you'd be amazed at the answers. Yes, I understand, it's reality TV, and yes, some of it is a little over dramatized, but it IS "reality".

Get this? Yes, I watched the entire show, while "you know who" fell asleep on the couch. At 10 PM, I stood up, filled my water bottle, went into my little gym, turned the TV on tuned to the show, and lifted for 45 - 50 minutes. I enjoyed the show, and unfortunately, too many of the points hit home.

We would love it if there was a "similar" program, with a similar track record, where someone would come into our home, go through the kitchen with us, help clean it out, go shopping with us, assisting us the first or a few times with selecting the right foods, then kick our a$$es in the gym, sharing knowledge, coming up with an "extreme" (or whatever you want to call it) workout that gets results and QUICKLY.

We would be interested, and have been in search of such a "program". And, quite frankly NEED something similar to what was witnessed, more than I can explain in a public forum, and for very good reason too.

Granted, I understand, this may not be for everyone, but there are MANY out there who could and would use it! Imagine an "educated" community, educated on how to get and stay healthy, from a "professional" who cares and knows how to make it work...can you imagine? More times than not, I cannot...

Just my two cents...

Monty
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 10:11
I know that there are some people who respond to Jillian's style. As an 18 year old kid, I had no choice but to respond to verbal abuse as a Marine recruit. I wouldn't put up with it now, and I especially wouldn't pay someone to treat me like that. As you know, that's just not my style to scream at clients to the point of bringing them to tears.
My number one issue with this show, The Biggest Loser, and any person that calls themselves a trainer to justify their being in front of a camera to put someone through a workout session, is the poor display of proper exercise and fitness protocol. It is in poor judgment to put someone through a workout when they do not have the proper levels of health and physical conditioning.
I'm sure on paper, the workout she had planned for the family probably looked good. But it was not a proper match for any of them. You know that progression is the key to long lasting results- by forcing the body into positive adaptive phases without doing harm or damage. That was not the case.
They did have results, I won't argue with you about that. But how many people do you think read and followed the 37 word disclaimer at the end of the show? And will those be permanent results? In the case of this show, I'd think the results will probably hold up better than the extreme changes the contestants of the TBL have at the finale, due to the fact these people probably had to do most all on their own. But I don't even know that for a fact.
Part of the problem is that the average person doesn't have access to the same resources as NBC, but they except the same results.
The bigger problem I have, as a trainer, is that people will except to get those type of results without the investment- just because of the unrealistic things that take place on these shows.
Another network, I think it was Discovery had a show with a doctor that helped families struggling with obesity turn their lives around. She did it with scientifically backed research, proper progression of physical activity and structured exercise, went over their shopping habits, presented everything in a way to inform, educate, and motivate the show's subjects and the home audience in a professional manner, without putting anyone down. My take is that it must have been too mild and boring compared to the shows that have stuck around, or recently aired.
And I just don't care for Jillian :o
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 10:17
"It is in poor judgment to put someone through a workout when they do not have the proper levels of health and physical conditioning."

What I meant was- It's in poor judgment to put someone through a workout of that duration and intensity when they do not have the levels of health, fitness, and physical conditioning to properly perform it. :idea:
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Monty
# Monty 2010-06-04 10:45
Never would have guessed that last statement about Jillian...hahahaha! :o

You know who believes the sun shines out of Jillian's...um....hooha. :no-comments:

It would be incredible to see someone like Jillian weigh in on a conversation like this...to get her opinions on the same topic. And not some impostor pretending to be her, but her real comments... :-x

But, you do have some valid points, again, opinions forged from your own personal value system. Yet, those people, either on those shows, or who have found that "magic bullet" that keeps them coming back for more (whatever it may be), may have a different opinion.

I personally feel, it is the obligation and responsibility of those who call themselves trainers, to help their customers find that "magic bullet".

It is what I pride myself on, when doing baseball and softball lessons. Finding any way I can to get through to the student, so I can share with them my 34 years of experience of playing the game, especially that which has been forged at the higher levels. I wracked my brain with many, and completely understand the statement from experience, "everyone is different" or "different strokes for different folks". But, the success of those I work with speaks volumes, including but not limited to the numerous scholarships and professional jobs awarded to those I have worked with over the years. Simply because it is MY responsibility and obligation!

We would JUMP at the chance to have someone like Jillian come into our home...and show us what we MUST do...

In your value system, don't you believe it is your responsibility and obligation to do the same? Adapt, that is, based on the majority or utilizing whatever methodology is available to you? Or do you feel doing so would overly compromise your values?

Monty
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Adrienne
# Adrienne 2010-06-04 18:47
We would JUMP at the chance to have someone like Jillian come into our home...and show us what we MUST do...

In your value system, don't you believe it is your responsibility and obligation to do the same? Adapt, that is, based on the majority or utilizing whatever methodology is available to you? Or do you feel doing so would overly compromise your values?


If I went to a gym to hire a PT I would switch trainers if Jillian was assigned to me. I had a PT who was able to get results from her clients without the screaming and yelling(I'm only seen bits and pieces of BL) Jillian does.

She told me what to do and I did it. Nothing complicated about it. That's why I was paying for.

You're right some people need a tough love PT but Jillian seems to take it to the extreme. I think it reflects badly on her. If the only way she can get results is to insult clients until they cry then she's not a teacher/motivator she's a bully.
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 17:14
I think the "magic bullet" or the illusion of such, is a big part of the problem. Look at the rate of sustained weight loss for the contestants of previous seasons. Their "magic bullet" was not much different than what Bill Phillips offered in the late nineties- the chance for financial reward for a few while he added to his millions.
You can't compare a client that is paying for a trainer to someone who is participating in a fat loss program at a resort free of charge. There is a big difference.
And consider how many applicants are weeded out from these shows after it is determined that they won't be a right fit for the show. In other words, quitters, or with the mentality that it will be easy because of the situation. It would make for bad ratings.

As far as the obligation and responsibility to ensure success, it will come with limits. For a trainer, the number one priority, #1 NOT 2, is the CLIENT'S SAFETY. At least it should be.

I believe in, and follow, the Golden Rule. Simply put, I'm not going to treat someone in a way that I wouldn't want to be treated. I love exercise, I love to exercise, and my mission is to get my clients to embrace fitness the way I do. I know I won't get through to everyone with my style, or my methods. But I'm fine with that. When I meet someone they are going to meet the real me. I don't show up wearing fatigues and a campaign cover barking orders. That's not me. There are plenty of trainers that fit that model. And for every prospect that is looking for a trainer with that style, there is an equal number looking for someone who's style is using proper, safe methods and positive reinforcement, with tact, not attack. The personal in personal training deals as much with "personality" as it does with the privacy setting aspect. It's not in my personality to make someone miserable, mentally, during a workout. The only time I did not enjoy exercise was during boot camp. Not because it was hard, normally it wasn't harder than what I conditioned myself for, it was because the Drill Instructors made the experience unpleasant. I intend to never do that with a client.
As far as adapting my style for someone that would want the Jillian treatment, it wouldn't happen. I have no interest in becoming a "Fitness Dominant" and it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of principle.

I know for a fact I'm not alone on this.
Check out this link.

mohrresults.com/.../...

You'll see there are plenty of trainers disgusted with the portrayal of fitness training by one. An ACE Trainer of the Year turned down being associated with the show because of the unsafe practices.
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Adrienne
# Adrienne 2010-06-04 18:59
And consider how many applicants are weeded out from these shows after it is determined that they won't be a right fit for the show. In other words, quitters, or with the mentality that it will be easy because of the situation. It would make for bad ratings.

I think people are rejected because they are not big enough(the bigger the more dramatic the loss can be) or they are too boring. There can't be a reality show full of nice people. Someone has to be the rebel.

I've been in the gym while PTs were training clients and they can be tough. Not in a demeaning way. More of a "You only have 3 more. You can do it. Come on almost there" kind of way.

I'm a little more concerned about the people that can only respond to a trainer if the training yells or insults them.

I've seen drill sergeants in action and I don't understand their methods. I understand establishing authority from the start but like responded to someone else, if you can only get results by yelling you're not a teacher you're a bully.
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 19:47
Based on the last few seasons I think size definitely plays a factor in the casting selection. How many seasons before we see a 600 pound contestant? And just like all the so called "reality" shows, the more foolish, or despicable, or conniving someone can be the better.

I understand the method of military basic training instructors- to get subordinates to listen to authority, without delay, and without question.
"It'll git ya killed in combat!"
That's a phrase me and a friend would jokingly say to each other after hearing it dozens of times in Boot Camp.
The other reason, you've got guys entering basic training thinking they're hot s**t. So the Drill Instructors break everyone down to the unquestionable lowest man on the totem pole, and gradually build back up pride and confidence. Not the same scenario as an over-fat individual who possibly already feels down about it and is looking for help. I see no reason to model one after the other. They're two completely different situations.

As always, thanks for commenting Adrienne :D
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Adrienne
# Adrienne 2010-06-04 20:51
They are different situations.

I was talking more of the respect given/earned based on teaching tactics because someone on Mohr results responded about the assumed low self esteem of many of the contestants being lowered even more because of a PT demeaning them.

Sorry. I had both articles up and I confused the sites.

Do you know your comment emails come from "Nobody"? I didn't realized I subscribed to your comments and almost deleted the emails until I saw your name within the subject field.
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 21:30
I did not know that. Boy, my own website, giving me the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. No Respect :-x
Thanks for letting me know
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Rozsa
# Rozsa 2010-06-04 19:48
I agree 100% with you and Adrienne. There is NO WAY I would PAY someone to YELL AT ME!!!! It's the most UN-motivational way to exercise. I love listening to music while I sweat.
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-04 19:57
And that's coming from a former Marine Drill Instructor! ;-))
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Rachel Silber
# Rachel Silber 2010-06-05 13:47
I just wonder how long it will take before on either the Biggest Loser, Jillian's new show, Celebrity (whatever the rest of the name is) or any of these programs now or future before LITERALLY someone has a heart attack, stroke or anyuerism or DIES. Will it still be entertaining then?

Yeah, really fun & funny to watch people go FLYING off the treadmill!

So much fun to watch fatty sweat & turn purple from exhaustion and lack of proper oxygenation.

don't you feel better about yourself when you see how other people are bigger, fatter, lazier, eat more processed crap than you...

I would CRY if someone yelled at me like that. I wouldn't take that abuse from a stranger, from a coworker, from a husband, from ANYONE -- much less someone I paid for their supposed professional advise, guidance, support, expertise.
-----
but some supposed things I like, good stuff or things that made me think while watching the new Jillian show with that family from the Boston area:

-I like Jillian talking about how gastric bypass doesn't cure what is going on in your brain, that you need to work on that

-I like that Jillian addressed that this family was PURE EMOTIONAL EATING due to the loss of their son and that they NEEDED to properly grieve him

-several times Jillian said 1 week is not enough to do much... she is RIGHT!!!! So then, really what is the point... but she did perhaps start the process for them... or maybe not!

-I was somewhat happy with the "turn about" and having the wife order the husband around. On some level probably VERY CATHARTIC for her. She needed to exert her own power, her own voice, make her needs known and stand up to him... but not sure that was the way to go about doing it...

- When Jillian said to the husband "ONLY WHEN YOU ARE UNCONSCIOUS do you stop eating, you saying YOU EAT TILL YOU ARE SATISFIED means THAT YOU ARE NEVER SATISFIED!"... wow, this was VERY POWERFUL. But again, you could say the exact same words in a non-yelling way, with a soft tone of voice and that would be more powerful. If you said that several times, over and over, looking the man in the eye, making a true connection, then that would be the most powerful.

Rachel
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-05 14:24
Rachel!
How are you?

You made some great points yourself. Some of those items didn't stay in my mind, probably because of the delivery method.

All those points are true, and it would have been great to see Jillian lead them through the door of a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

But you're right. It all could have been addressed in a much more positive manner.

I'd be interested in NBC putting up a poll to see how many people would prefer working with Bob Harper compared Jillian Michaels.

Thanks for you comments Rachel.
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Rachel Silber
# Rachel Silber 2010-06-05 18:37
Hi Aaron,
I am still on my journey. Its slow going, but going. I am trying not to focus on the scale, but on body composition -- as such have been making various changes in diet, macro nutrient intake and exercise approaches to keep my body guessing and burning fat! :D I think I still have about 30 pounds to go -- have lost 90ish so far and it has taken me 2 years to do it by doing it the "right way" with diet, exercise and self-examination!

I guess I took those points from Jillian because I am cherry-picking the things I need "for me"...

was given the option of gastric by-pass and turned it down. I knew it was not the answer for me and I would look horrible from rapid weight loss... or be like the husband in this show who "it didn't work for" because I'd figure out how to cheat it... and that it wouldn't address my emotional issues leading to overeating.

I am considering becoming a trainer one day... maybe as a career change in the future. In the mean time, I keep finding ways to inspire myself because that is the only way you can inspire others in my opinion!

And, I would love to meet you in person one day! Maybe if you come to the DC area, I make it to your area! :-)
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-06 21:06
Congratulations on the progress you've made so far. Keep doing what you're doing and you're bound for the success you're working towards. You are taking the common sense approach that yields permanent results, so good for you!

One thing that I'd suggest, since you mentioned considering taking up a fitness training career in the future, why not at least start studying for a certification now, if you have the available time? The knowledge you'll gain is something you can immediately put to use for yourself, even if it is years before you're ready to start training others.

Any more marathons planned?

The next time we make a trip to visit my sister-in-law in Maryland I'll let you know.
And if you ever visit the San Diego area you know how to get in touch with me.
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Rachel Silber
+1 # Rachel Silber 2010-06-05 13:52
oh, I forgot up above Jillian saying that there were no veggies on the dinner plate and all the cheese oil, etc. And being horrified by the lack of green! (maybe there would be green if they used some parsley in the fry mix!)

and what the hell was up with the neck pillow? When they first showed the dad/husband with that I thought it was in lieu of a medical neck brace and that there is a medical problem?!?!?! Jillian got the honor of getting to wear it too. That was weird. ;-)

Rachel
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-05 14:30
I'm sure there was some green in their fridge. Let's see... Mountain Dew, Sprite, 7up, they are in green cans right :-)

I don't know what's up with that neck pillow either. Maybe it's like the big Lazee boy chair everyone races to get in first.
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Monty
# Monty 2010-06-06 07:23
Interesting thoughts...I personally, don't agree with all of what has been shared. And that's what makes us all different. If we weren't different in our beliefs or what we felt we needed, then life would be boring! LOL :D

Who here, that has weighed in, has ever played as high as a professional sport? And what sport?

Aaron, I know about your background, and the reasons for how you feel. But, during those times, when you didn't care for the style being pushed on you...certainly, you must realize, it wasn't for any other reason than for your own good...whether liked or not...

And, I doubt we will ever see a "tragedy" on the show, because they have people standing right there, who would step in and medically address any issue that arises, if necessary...whether the criteria is size or not. Understanding, they will NEVER have a person my size, or many others be on those shows. However, it's not the show that is paramount, but rather the "motivation" for others to "do something" that is most important. And, in MANY cases, it does motivate others to turn their lives around, those people who make up the audience, and go through the angst of change. It's unfortunate, that people get caught up in the "drama", or judging one person's methodology, rather than the inspiration that comes from showing people that you CAN change...whether you choose the extreme method, or any other. As long as you stay committed to it.

It's Sunday...and it's time to go play some ball! Yes!

Monty
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-06 21:12
How did your team do?

I've already seen too many tragedies occur on The Biggest Loser. I'm concerned with how many deadly tragedies could occur from someone attempting to do what they've seen on TV, someone that doesn't have a team of medical professionals standing by, just in case.

To tell you the truth, I think the NBC execs get a kick out of the drama. Why Losing it with Jillian Michaels and not Losing It with Bob Harper?
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Monty
# Monty 2010-06-07 06:39
We lost yesterday in the bottom of the 10th with a walk off fly ball to left center, 1 out, and a runner on third. I was only able to catch 3 1/3rd innings yesterday, and having to come out became a huge factor in the game. A play at the plate, and a jerk, dislocated the thumb on my catching hand. My hand is blown up like balloon! I will try to get into the doctor this morning, and see if there's anything that can be done. Ugh!

Why the drama with Jillian? Simple, a much larger percentage of this generation are drawn to drama. I personally, believe it's the internet, and the way it allows people to say or do things that are contrary to how they were raised, or how they are as an every day person. A certain element of their makeup feeds off of the drama, which has been true for years. However, with the internet and TV, being the way it is now, it's more easily available, and invokes the "feeling" or chemical reactions in the brain, that keep people coming back for more.

SO! Can't fault someone for capitalizing on what sells, it sure isn't NBC's fault, that people are the way they are. But, yet, at the same time, we can hold them "partly" responsible, since they continue to push it forward.

Monty
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Rachel Silber
# Rachel Silber 2010-06-07 17:50
well on the show Wipeout, they had someone actually die. They took the show off the air for a few months because of it.

And the physicality of Wipeout is nothing compared to Biggest Loser.

Aaron, as far as studying for certification... I would love to (in part because it can only help me in my journey). But, it is SUPER CONFUSING. So many organizations. I have no real idea what ones are considered good, reputable, etc.

I am signed up for 3 full marathons! Doing one in October, November and next Feb too! Yeah, I am insane. I will also do some smaller runs (10ks, 1/2 marathons) too but just haven't figured out which ones yet!

Rachel
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Aaron
# Aaron 2010-06-07 21:37
:o That's a lot of miles you've got planned there! I take it you're hooked? (or insane as you said :-) )

I'd suggest ACE, ACSM, NSCA, or ISSA as far as the most recognized and reputable certifications.

But it looks like you're going to be pretty busy running before you get a chance to do much studying.
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Adrienne
# Adrienne 2010-06-07 22:27
I didn't hear about that although I'm not surprised.
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rachel silber
# rachel silber 2010-06-07 18:10
here is the details of the death on Wipeout
cnn.com/.../...
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