Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fit to Fat to Fit

Is anyone else watching Fit to Fat to Fit on A&E?  I was intrigued by the concept from the very beginning and now, four-and-a-half episodes (I'm watching one right now) in, I’m definitely hooked.  Here’s the basic idea:

A trainer in amazing shape has four months to gain a certain amount of weight (we’re talking about 40, 50, 60 pounds here) and then he (so far, they’ve all been men) will work alongside their client/partner who is looking to lose at least that much weight.  They will work together for four months and then we’ll see their transformations.

The idea is that the trainers get to see how they feel eating a bunch of crappy food and not exercising and carrying the extra pounds so they can gain an understanding of where their client is mentally and physically.  The trainer and clients meet up after the initial four months and they get started right away with a workout.  The trainer puts the client through his/her paces, then the tables turn and the trainer does the workout.  So far, all the trainers have suffered and struggled through that workout but I have to wonder if some of that is for the audience (us watching and their client).  Not all of it; I'm sure they are still feeling the workout, but it seems like they could possibly be exaggerating their reactions for the show.

I like the focus on the trainer at the beginning, but I don't feel like the focus shifts enough to the client in the second half of the show.  I want to see more of that person working hard to lose weight while they adjust to their new lifestyle within their old lives.  Have their families changed their eating habits too?  When are they getting in their exercise?  Did anything knock them off course?  How do they deal with cravings and social situations?

One thing that isn't clear is how much the trainers are working out once they are allowed to exercise again.  Since they go to a gym for work, it's easier for them to get in anywhere from a "normal" amount of exercise to what most people would consider an excessive amount.  I'd like to see them roughly match their client's schedule.  Sure, they can do their training of people as their job, but they can't use any more than an hour (comparable to a lunch hour for most people) during a normal work day for exercise and even then they have to remember that they need to be presentable and ready to get back to work an hour after they start so they don't actually have 60 minutes to work out.  Before and after work, they can exercise as much as their life allows as long as it doesn't vary greatly from what their client is able to do.

Real life for most people doesn't mean working in a gym and exercising for a living.  it doesn't mean taking care of only yourself.  It doesn't allow for specialized meals for one.  I think the show should work a little harder to truly put the trainers in the shoes of their clients.  They need to know how truly difficult it can be to lose a lot of weight when it isn't your job, and your actual job and commute takes up 10 or more hours of your day.

Even though I think there's room for improvement in the show, I think the concept is a really good one.  Not only does it help the trainer see how the client may be feeling, but the client has that much more appreciation for the trainer and what he is willing to do to help.

And on that note, I'm going to get back to this episode and see how this pair does together.

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