A few weeks ago I saw a few of my health conscious friends in my Facebook feed talking about A&E’s Fit to Fat to Fit – a TV show that forces personal trainers to gain 40+ pounds over 4 months so that they can drop the weight WITH a client.
The show sounds crazy, but it makes sense right? I’ve had more than a few personal trainers, including a really horrible one, and it never really felt like they understood my struggle, because how can you understand someone’s struggle fully until you have been in their shoes? Also, some trainers really get it and they are there to take care of you holistically and not just for the 45 minutes you paid them for. Anyway, I digress.
The show focuses on one person with a good amount of weight to lose. The person usually loves junk food, and are at their wits end when it comes to their weight. The trainer introduces themselves to the client, and then disappears for 4 months to gain as much weight as they can by eating all the crap they can find–morning, noon, and night.
There are 4 phases of the show:
- The Eating Phase: The trainer eats gratuitously, pizza, burgers, fried EVERYTHING.
- The Regret Phase: The trainer starts to feel the effects of all the bad eating. Usually you find the trainer laying around, feeling sorry for themselves, grabbing fat rolls that have appeared, and wishing they had their old bodies
- The Comeback Phase: The trainers really begin to see how much WORK they have to do to get back to their old shape, they realize it’s definitely not as easy as predicted. They begin training the client they met at the beginning.
- The Back To Normal Phase: By the end of the show, the trainers come back not only looking better than when they started but EVEN better in some cases. The results of the clients vary.
But is it inspiring?
There is a lot that goes into a show like this, a lot that we don’t see. The results of the clients are super inspiring because they have to learn how to eat better and workout and those two things combined bring on some awesome results! There is something about seeing a regular person do the work to drop 20+ pounds, it’s a part of what makes these weight loss shows so popular.
But is it offensive?
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming amount of up close and personal shots of junk food. I’ve seen a lot of these thinspiration shows including The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weightloss–but none of them glorify the junk. In the eating phase, the personal trainers always LOVE what they are eating–at least for the first two to three weeks. They eat the items with the MOST calories on the menu. My worry is that these images might be a trigger for someone at home who wants to make a change but is still stuck in the vicious cycle of eating all the wrong things. Giving the audience close ups of triple stacked burgers may not be the best motivation.