Aired on: NBC
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Being a fan of The Biggest Loser which airs on Tuesdays on NBC, I decided to check out a new show they were promoting called Losing It With Jillian. Debuting at 10pm EST on June 1, 2010, the show features The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels as she travels across America, visiting families and changing lives along the way.
I love Jillian Michaels and I canít help but admire her training style. A tough little gal who packs a powerful punch, Jillian Michaels has a special understanding of what itís like to be overweight. She struggled with her own weight problems as a child and eventually found a way to overcome. Now healthy and trim, Jillianís style of training attacks both the physical and mental well-being. Jillian wants to help make you physically fit, but in order to do that, one must also be mentally and emotionally fit in order to meet the physical challenges of losing weight.
The premiere episode of Losing It With Jillian features the Mastropietro family. An Italian family steeped in the traditions of eating rich, calorie-laden Italian cuisine and using food to crush feelings of pain and inadequacy, the Mastropietro family is a perfect family for Jillian to start in on. The father, James, is a truck driver who is unable to discuss his feelings with his family. His overindulgence in food has already resulted in a failed gastric bypass. Mother, Agnes, is still suffering over the loss of her son, James, Jr., only months after his birth. Unable to grieve properly with her husband, Agnes suffers alone. Son, Michael, is following in his fatherís footsteps. Daughter, Michelle, also underwent gastric bypass. The surgery was successful, but Michelle still suffers the mental and emotional strains of being overweight.
Jillianís first act upon arriving is to get the family into the gym, but the family isnít ready for change at that moment, quitting before Jillian can really get into the nitty gritty of the physical workout routine. A discussion with individual members of the family reveals the emotional baggage Jillian and the Mastropietros will have to overcome before they can become the healthy family they strive to be.
This is a somewhat faster version of The Biggest Loser, the exception being that Jillian focuses on one family for a week and that family must continue what she has taught them to lose weight on their own. Six weeks later, Jillian revisits the family to find out how much theyíve achieved. My favorite parts are when Jillian gets tough with the family members, yelling at them during workouts and really pushing them to their limits. Not only is it hysterical to watch this tiny woman strut around like a drill sergeant on crack, itís amazing what she can get these families to do. I think itís wonderful the way Jillian Michaels is able to empower the family members by encouraging them to face their emotional baggage, often times discovering what it is that makes them want to eat.
I did, however, find myself wondering just what will happen after the cameras disappear. After the one week visit and the revisit six weeks later, will the family revert to its old ways, or will they continue using the tools Jillian has given them to attain higher levels of wellness? Only time will tell. Thus far, I like what I see on Losing It With Jillian and plan on watching again next Tuesday.