Skip to main content

Miraculous Misconceptions: A Reflection on “Heavy” on A&E

I watched Heavy for the first time this Monday and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.  Heavy chronicles two individuals every week airing their life struggles, depression, anxiety, and how they got to their current weight.   Each individual is given a complete medical exam where the physician talks about their health and discusses the dangers that are associated with their obesity.  After first meeting with a physician, each individual is assigned to a personal trainer and shares a dietitian.  The goal is to lose a significant amount of weight in six months.  The first month is in a controlled environment and the last five months is in a “less controlled” environment.

Being a dietitian, I was very happy that they spoke and aired a dietitian on the show but I have some concerns with the way the dietitian’s involvement was edited for the show.  I was happy that they showed a dietitian providing a grocery tour  and felt they accurately portrayed how much this can be an ah-ha moment for an individual, but  I was absolutely appalled at the meal they aired for dinner.   There are many ways you can minimize calories without the portions being so incredibly small.  In my opinion, showing such a small, unappealing meal, puts a bad taste in people’s mouths and stimulates the anxiety individuals have when thinking about making dietary changes.  I was not shocked when I heard Rosie O’Donnell and her crew speaking horrifically about this diet the next day and thought to myself, “millions of people are listening to this right now and they all have a bad taste in their mouth about dietitians.”

I was also ill that the majority of the show seemed to air constant anaerobic exercise. Where was the cardiovascular exercise?  At one time the female trainer did say they were exercising five to six hours a day.  Do the individuals have jobs? Will they have time to exercise this much once the six months is over?  How realistic is this?

I always take into account editing effects but I have to say I have my doubts that the individuals I watched on Monday will be successful.  Perhaps I will be wrong but until the media highlights the appropriate changes that need to take place to minimize the obesity epidemic, I think America will be stuck thinking there are quick fixes.  I am hoping that future episodes focus on lifestyle and dietary pattern changes and will keep an open mind.  I am also looking forward to hearing how everybody does with keeping the weight off. 

Did you watch the show? What do you think? 

Comments

Steph said…
Amy,

I thought the same thing! It can be very discouraging to suddenly move from a gargantuan portion of unhealthy food to minuscule portions of healthy foods. Hopefully they were able to maintain the change!

Steph
inFitness Urbana
Anonymous said…
I watched this show when it premiered and was so disappointed. I wanted more focus on the mental aspect of why a person allows themselves to weigh 350 pounds. You can make someone exercise 5 hours a day and feed them 1200 calories and they will lose weight. But if you don't deal with why they are abusing food in the first place they will just gain it all back when they are no longer in a controlled environment. I think the Biggest Loser should add a therapist and a dietitian to their team of trainers.

Popular posts from this blog

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

EAT TO RUN

I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…