In the first episode, she worked with the Mastropiestro family in Wilmington, Mass., one that was only weeks away from the daughter's wedding. They were also similar to many American families -- full of excuses why they couldn't exercise of lose weight. Well, you know Jillian. She doesn't like excuses and pretty much calls BS on them.
Jim, the dad, had gone through gastric bypass surgery, but he was still obese. He, and the rest of his family, pretty much ate until they went to bed at night.
Michelle, the daughter, had undergone the same surgery, and even though she was at a healthy weight, she hadn't dealt with the underlying issues that had made her overweight in the first place. She still felt like the fat girl inside and lived in fear that the previous overweight version of herself was going to return at any time.
Agnes, the mom, had gained and lost more than 100 pounds an amazing seven times! Her body fat percentage was a stunning 56 percent. When she and Jillian went for a walk to talk about why, a very old hurt came to the surface. She and her husband had lost a baby boy after only a month of life 22 years before. Jim had never been able to talk about the loss, and so Agnes had suffered and grieved alone for all those years. Jillian helped the family finally open up and talk about that loss. This part was hard to watch for me. Not only was it incredibly sad, but it hit home. My mother lost a boy, stillborn at 7 months, four years before I was born. I have never heard my dad talk about him, and to my knowledge he has never visited my brother's grave since my grandmother was buried beside him when I was 10. Like the Mastropietros, our family didn't talk about this or many other issues. But the thing is, when you don't talk about things that bother you, they fester like an untended wound. Like Jim said, "If you don't talk about things, it doesn't get easier."
Jillian, in true Jillian fashion, got the family exercising immediately. Within five minutes, Jim and Agnes were ready to quit. That's when Michelle and her brother, Michael, went off and yelled at their parents. When Agnes said she was trying to ride the bike, Jillian shot back that "trying is planning to fail." That's an interesting quote. Maybe I'll put it up somewhere I can see it. Maybe I'll put it next to the one by Yoda from Star Wars: "Do, or do not. There is no try."
Jillian was appropriately disgusted by the family's eating habits. Even though Michelle knew what she was cooking for her family (fried, greasy foods with not a green vegetable in sight) were bad for them, she did it anyway to make them happy. "I'm an enabler," she finally admitted.
If you're wondering if five days with Jillian made enough of a difference in the family's life, the answer is yes. Six weeks later, at Michelle's wedding, the family made an impressive showing. Jim had lost 48 pounds and 10 inches off his waist. Agnes had lost 34 pounds and looked lovely in her mother-of-the-bride dress, something she'd worried about six weeks before. Michael had lost 25 pounds. Michelle, who didn't need to lose weight, looked radiant and seemed happier than she had when she'd broken down in tears in the gym while talking to Jillian about the fat girl inside her that haunted her.
I didn't record the second episode last week, but I plan to watch it online soon and will start regularly recording the new episodes tonight. If anyone wants to watch, it's on at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central.
Has anyone watched the show yet? If so, what did you think?