The Show: Heavy
The Channel: A&E
The Medium: The Internet via Netflix
Two people who are overweight leave their homes for one to six months to stay in a somewhat isolated retreat facility. During their time in the facility, the two people work with personal trainers, therapists, and other weight-loss professionals to jump start a new way of life. At the end of their time in the facility, the individuals return home, either having finished their time on the show (if they're in the six-month facility) or to continue on their weight loss journey under the show's spotlights for the remaining five months. They show tracks them for six months during which time they continue to work with a personal trainer and go in for occasional weigh-ins.
---> Each show is approximately 45 minutes long, without commercials. Of that time...
-----------> approximately 5% is spent on food and diet
-----------> approximately 45-50% is spent on exercise*
-----------> approximately 45-50% is spent on "who am I" scenes, progress reports, etc.*
* the amount of time dedicated to each of these seems to depend on whether they're in South Carolina or Texas
- the drama is minimized in this show, unlike many "reality" shows (think: Biggest Loser, etc.)
- lots of visuals for exercises that 300 lbs. + people can realistically do (this takes up about 70% of the overall show time)
- emphasizes the need for pairing up with someone who is on a weight loss journey with you by highlighting two individuals who are both struggling to lose weight
- follows the two primary people over the course of six months, showing sustained weight loss tracking for each person
- tends to show people who need to lose at least 200 lbs. to be at a healthy weight (in the first six episodes, every participant has been in excess of 300 lbs. I have not watched beyond that yet so this may change over the course of the show)
- the show is realistic in that it shows the participants griping/crying out/sweating it out/etc. as they struggle to achieve each prescribed exercise. The people on this show are (from what I've seen so far) morbidly obese and so the exercises are going to be necessarily rough in the beginning of their six months - their knees are going to hurt, they might throw up, they're going to have difficulty walking and breathing - while the show does not dwell on this, they do show it as a fact of life. They also show mental/emotional struggles when it pertains to the person's overall health and ability to lose weight, in other words: those scenes aren't about highlighting the drama as much as highlighting the fact that many of these people are fat because they have some reason behind it. That being said, no excuse is accepted when it comes to jumping in to do the exercise routines.
- the exercise routines are varied - anywhere from the treadmill, golf, beach activities, using resistance bands, using yoga/balance balls, weight balls, machines, pools, etc. is highlighted. So whether you have money for a personal trainer to work alongside you or whether you're doing it on your own, you can get some seriously helpful ideas on what you can do, even at 500+ lbs!
- while calorie counting and diet changes are mentioned as part of the overall program, not much is said about healthy meals, etc. otherwise. Each participant is given time with a dietician in the grocery store and one meal (usually the participant's first meal in the facility) is shown to differentiate between how much they were eating at home vs what a healthy meal portion looks like
Okay, that is my big "negative" for the show, but you can't fit it all in, can you? All in all, I am gaining inspiration from these folks and am impressed with their progress and determination. I am really looking forward to seeing more from this group - and strongly suggest that if you're struggling with weight loss, take a look at this show and
Be Motivated and Inspired!