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#1

Suzy123

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Posted Jan 11, 2011 @ 1:59 PM

A&E’s docudrama Heavy follows twenty-two individuals facing extreme life-threatening health consequences as a result of their obesity. The one-hour series follows two participants per episode documenting their incredible transformations during a six month treatment program.

Unlike other weight loss series, “Heavy” is not a competition or stunt, but is rooted in the incredible real life day-to-day journeys of the participants during a lengthy treatment program. In order to most accurately document these multiple weight loss journeys over the course of six months and present them individually in one hour, A&E sought out two different production companies to undertake the lengthy and ambitious filming process. The result is a never-before-seen look at the unique struggles faced by dangerously obese individuals who must learn to live healthier lifestyles and understand the root of their food addictions. Through their day-to-day struggle and the voices of their loved ones, viewers will see first hand the pain and self-doubt associated with a debilitating weight problem.

In the premiere episode, viewers meet Tom and Jodi, both 37 from Houston, TX, and learn why they are heavy and how they must reverse their lifestyles or die. Tom was the star of his high school football team, but when he dropped out his depression caused him to steadily gain weight. Now, at 5-foot-9 and 638 pounds, Tom suffers from a myriad of issues including sleep apnea, edema and the inability to sleep more than two hours. He is desperate to get his life back before he loses it permanently. Having recently suffered a stroke, Jodi, 5-foot-6 and 363 pounds, is at a critical juncture with her health. Her heaviness prevents her from keeping up with her husband and two children and from her favorite pastime, singing with her brothers in a band.

This premieres on January 17th 10/9c
I am kind of excited to see this, I am a sucker for weight loss shows.

#2

Fionas2

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Posted Jan 11, 2011 @ 2:04 PM

I'm in! I am so glad it's not a competition-type show.

#3

eliza422

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Posted Jan 11, 2011 @ 2:13 PM

I'm definitely watching this show. I am currently (a year into it) on a weight loss regimen and it is so hard. It will be nice to see some major success stories that aren't coached in the Biggest Loser insanity.

#4

Suzy123

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Posted Jan 11, 2011 @ 2:36 PM

eliza422, I hope you are doing great on your weight loss :)

I am also glad that the show isn't a weight loss competiton.

#5

loudfan

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Posted Jan 16, 2011 @ 6:16 PM

I've never watched "The Biggest Loser" because the clips I've seen on "The Soup," etc. of the trainers yelling at the contestants have turned me off so much -- and it seemed completely unrealistic. The people eventually have to stop focusing on their weight loss 24-7 when they leave the ranch, and return to the real world. No wonder some of them have gained it all back once the cameras are off.

I'm really looking forward to "Heavy," though. It sounds like a completely different approach, more of a documentary than a reality show, giving people tools they can use for a lifetime instead of using prize money as a motivator.

Incidentally, Nancy Makin's "703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life" is an interesting book about extreme weight loss. She writes frankly about the surgery she had to go through after losing much of the weight, which is something I assume will be dealt with on "Heavy" as well if the participants are losing hundreds of pounds.

#6

Angry Chihuahua

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

DVR set-ready to go. I've wanted to see this since the very first ad.

#7

Smilesport

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 9:58 AM

Will check this one out for sure. I like that this isn't some prize show.

#8

aptharsia

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 6:55 PM

I also can't wait to see this. I hated Biggest Loser and found the premise ridiculous of the yelling trainers. Plus, seeing the preview, what is more of a motivator of putting down food when watching the fat woman on the exercise machine, half naked?

#9

Perdita Marie

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:02 PM

I stepped out at an apparently crucial moment and I don't want to watch it over again: Did Tom have that growth removed? And how much did it weigh?

#10

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

He had it removed, but I don't remember how much it weighed.

I find myself wondering--aren't these the very patients that weight loss surgery is designed to help? Or are they too obese/unhealthy for the procedure?

#11

YpsiYvonne

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:06 PM

I stepped out at an apparently crucial moment and I don't want to watch it over again: Did Tom have that growth removed? And how much did it weigh?


He did have it removed, but I don't think they mentioned its weight.

I really enjoyed the show, and it was a refreshing change from the Biggest Loser, which I stopped watching several seasons ago.

The people's struggles were realistic and relatable. Their triumphs (10 pounds here, 6 pounds there) seemed sustainable and healthy.

Good show. I'm in.

Edited by YpsiYvonne, Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:07 PM.


#12

addlepated

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:07 PM

They showed the scale on his growth - it was just over 7 lbs.

It was weird, though. Apparently they went to some place in South Carolina for treatment? But during that, they went to an HEB grocery store. But there aren't any HEBs in South Carolina. Hmm.

#13

aquarian1

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

They showed a brief shot of a scale with the lymphodema and it weighed less than I expected. I think it said 7.6.

One episode in and I can tell I'll want a follow-up at the end of the season. See how these people continue to do when really on their own. Great successes to both of them so far. That is a lot of hard work.

#14

mauras

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:14 PM

One episode in and I can tell I'll want a follow-up at the end of the season. See how these people continue to do when really on their own.


Same here. Does anyone know if there are going to be follow-ups? The format of focusing on two people per week seems like it will work well, but I found myself starting to care about both people tonight, and I'd be curious to see if they continue to make progress.

I liked the trainers, too. They were firm, but also encouraging and positive. Such a contrast to the ridiculous shouting and bullying on The Biggest Loser.

#15

Suzy123

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:16 PM

I like this show, the people didn't annoy me as much as the BL contestants do. The trainers were great, they motivated Tom and and the woman(can't remember her name), and they didn't have to scream or jump on their backs and force them to give them a piggy back ride.

Edited by Suzy123, Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:17 PM.


#16

lorax523

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:21 PM

I find myself wondering--aren't these the very patients that weight loss surgery is designed to help? Or are they too obese/unhealthy for the procedure?


Bariatric surgery is not for everyone, emotionally and personally. I had it and I've had great success, but it's a personal choice. FYI bariatric surgery is just as much work and effort as the kind of program Jodi and Todd (was it Todd?) went through.

It is possible to be too obese and unhealthy for the procedure. Jodi would probably have qualified. She was a little bigger than I was but not by much.

I admired the approach they used here, a more realistic approach, although I still chafe against the presentation of exercise as something that feels like DYING. No wonder heavy people don't want to exercise, if it's constantly being presented as something that's horrendously painful and punishing. My trainer says that if you ever feel like you're about to die, you're doing it wrong.

#17

Baba Yaga

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:24 PM

I find myself wondering--aren't these the very patients that weight loss surgery is designed to help? Or are they too obese/unhealthy for the procedure?


Many surgeons won't do bariatric surgery on people of that size because the risks are too great. Everyone I know - including me - had to lose some weight first. And remember, weight-loss surgery is no guarantee that the weight will 1) come off and 2) stay off. I would also like to see a follow-up show at the end of the season about how all the subjects arre doing and how they're dealing with their emotional issues.

#18

lovinbob

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:30 PM

Jodi bugged me, though I could empathize. She's one of those people who has enough insight into her problems to get in her way, to give her plenty of reasons to rationalize and intellectualize all her problems.

As opposed to Tom, who was more of a blank slate and just seemed to follow the instructors' lead without a lot of drama. Wishing them both the best and definitely saw the change in both of them!

Where were they located? Unusual that they were close enough geographically to "double date." But why did I feel that
- Jodi's husband and the other woman were the third and fourth wheels to the Jodi-Tom duo
AND/OR
- Jodi may be cultivating a crush Tom might have on her to add a little more drama and intrigue to her life?
[/baseless speculation]

ETA:

I still chafe against the presentation of exercise as something that feels like DYING. No wonder heavy people don't want to exercise, if it's constantly being presented as something that's horrendously painful and punishing. My trainer says that if you ever feel like you're about to die, you're doing it wrong.

I didn't get the impression that these trainers were pushing them too hard. Jodi, in particular, was acting like she was "dying" but I really think that had more to do with the emotional walls she was throwing up rather than an unduly intense level of exercise. I think they did a good job of showing it wasn't the training that Tom was struggling with; it was basic daily behavior (i.e., walking).

Edited by lovinbob, Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:35 PM.


#19

sassykat1963

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:32 PM

I wasn't too sure about this show at first. I probably would have turned it off at the first trainer that yelled at Tom or Jodi. I was never a fan of that type of approach, and it's one of the reasons I don't watch Biggest Loser. While they seemed to do a grueling work out, it also seemed to be tailored to their sizes, and not as stressful while they are starting out. They did get harder as they went along and were dropping weight, but that's how it should be. Trying to get people of that size to do high impact exercises is a lose-lose situation. You're going to lose your patience and they're going to lose interest. The only thing they won't lose is weight. Oh they will for a while, but once they're home, and trying to do it on their own? Not so much.

Now to the individuals themselves.
Jodi- Was there ever a woman who had so much stacked against her? I mean, her husband couldn't pick up a pen and scrawl, "I'm proud of you" on a piece of scratch paper and send it with the kid's drawing? And her mother sitting on her own fat ass, cackling like a hen when Jodi said she was going for her work out. She really had her work cut out for her with Dutchy Van Nosupport and Mommie Dearest. (Can't take credit for the Dutchy name, it was on the Scale's facebook page.) Gotta give her credit for losing what she did with that kind of "support".

Tom lost a whole person! That was incredible. But once he left the facility, he fell into a trap set by his family. The old "It's not what you eat, it's portion control". Well, yes, it is to a point, but when that portion you're trying to control is fried chicken, mashed potatoes and a side of corn on the cob, you're not going to lose a damn thing. I was stunned when they said how much he had lost. Not that you couldn't tell he had lost, but I didn't think it was going to be that much. Good for him.

I really hope they have a "one year later" show to give us updates on them. I wish them both lots of luck.

#20

loudfan

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:32 PM

Looks like there will be some follow-ups on Heavy's Facebook page. Tom has now lost over 200 lbs. and there are some new photos posted. Hoping there will be an update on Jodi too.

Where were they located? Unusual that they were close enough geographically to "double date."

I think Jodi & Tom were both in Houston and the weight loss center is in Hilton Head, SC.

#21

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:45 PM

I was skeptical at first, but I really liked it. I didn't start well for me, with some of the initial shots of Tom with his underwear showing, and even even Jodi at the Dr. her gown was open in the back and you could see her underwear. Maybe it's not a big deal, but shots like that bug me. They seem designed for the audience to gawk, and to be humiliating for the overweight person.

But, the show quickly turned around for me when they went to the weight loss facility. The facility was gorgeous. I almost want to go there to lose a few pounds. Both of the trainers were great! Tough, but supportive.

I thought both Jodi and Tom were very likeable, so I was rooting for both of them. I think it is nice that they lived in close proximity, so they can hopefully work-out together in the future. They probably won't be able to afford personal trainers after the 6-months, so it would be nice if they could be workout buddies. (I thought they were shown working out at the same place after checking out of the facility. I assume the building they kept showing was the gym they both worked out at.)

I wish Hoarder's had a format more like this, where they followed them working through their issues for several months, rather than the 2 day clean-out they currently do.

- Jodi may be cultivating a crush Tom might have on her to add a little more drama and intrigue to her life?
[/baseless speculation]

I didn't really see it. She mentioned at the facility that Tom felt like a brother to her, and from what they showed later she seemed very close to her brothers, so I think that's all it was.

Edited by absolutelyido, Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:48 PM.


#22

jrochest

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:50 PM

I like this: it's respectful and realistic. I liked the fact that the trainers were supportive and understood how hard basic tasks were for these two: the fact that the male trainer said 'it's like strapping a refrigerator to your back and climbing a mountain' shows a real understanding of how hard it must be to be in a body that size.

I was a little concerned: I thought it might be Biggest Loser-ish, but it's much more 'health at any size' than weightloss focused.

#23

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Posted Jan 17, 2011 @ 11:59 PM

Overall, positive.

I thought they edited jodi's husband to sound like he was going to leave her over the weight, but when I heard it again at the end of the first showing, I realized he was likely talking about leaving her over having to live with his mother in law. Can't blame him.

I'm looking forward to more drama and crying.

I wished they would have shown SOME of what they were eating, rather than just the exercise.

#24

Arenal

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:08 AM

I'm impressed and more than a little amazed. A weight loss show that's respectful and non-exploitative! I hope it continues to really explore what these people are going through.

#25

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:12 AM

That? Was boring. I left it on out of curiosity, but if all they've got is two people a week who we see working out and weighing in a lot and then they've lost some weight at the end well... uhm, that's nice for them but it's hardly compelling television imo.

I didn't particularly care about either of them, I think the whole thing was too short on time and drama to get people to, in general.

Jodi- Was there ever a woman who had so much stacked against her?

I don't think anything was stacked against her and if she cried one more time I was hoping the trainer would like, smack her one.

She was married, two kids, decent house, she didn't even seem to have a job, and yet had an endless supply of Haagen-Daz. Her big problems were that her mother was sortof bitchy and she didn't communicate well with her husband, who was fed up with both her and her mother. Those seem like pretty pedestrian problems of her own making to me. With the crying, bleh.

#26

Cuppiediva

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:14 AM

I am so glad they didn't portray these people as illiterate, stupid backwoods rednecks. It's such a cliche, and it was refreshing to see people with morbid obesity issues as caring, intelligent people..a nice change of pace.

My husband is morbidly obese (not to this extent), his lifestyle is like Tom's was..lying around all day and eating, and his attitude is like Jody's was at the beginning..(I can't, it's too hard, it hurts)..so, I find myself not having a lot of patience with people like that. However, the two of them completely won me over by the end of the show. It had to do with their utter desire to make the changes, despite some setbacks.

Another thing I find refreshing, is that they showed them at realistic weights, with goals to keep working toward, rather than "beauty" shots of them at size 4's (ala BL)...I think that will give a great deal of hope to people who are suffering from this type of obesity issue. I can see how becoming a "perfect" person is so much less attainable, than become a more healthy person, who has lost a lot of weight, and has a way to go yet..but is on the way.

As for the trainers: kudos all around. They were caring and kind and tough. Spot on. I'm in for the next show.

#27

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:17 AM

So sad to work that darned hard, and still look like that after six months.

#28

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:21 AM

I found myself rooting for both Tom and Jodi. I even liked the trainers, I am glad they are not like Jillian on the Biggest Loser.
I am glad that Jodi told her mother to leave her house, I got the impression that the mother was a big part of the reason why her Dutch husband wanted to separate.
I am glad for Tom, hopefully he will keep losing weight and can get help for his depression.

#29

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:33 AM

Jodi said "No fat person wants a trainer who's never been fat." Well, that makes perfect sense to me. Nobody hires an interventionist with no history in addiction and recovery. Couldn't they have found a trainer who used to be fat -- or even chunky? I'm sure she's right, and the always-skinny really can't have empathy for what they are going through.

Heck, I'd settle for a trainer who used to be a skinny couch potato (that's me). Someone who was born with athletic drive, and who has always loved being active, doesn't get how exercise can be unpleasant.

#30

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Posted Jan 18, 2011 @ 12:40 AM

That? Was boring. I left it on out of curiosity, but if all they've got is two people a week who we see working out and weighing in a lot and then they've lost some weight at the end well... uhm, that's nice for them but it's hardly compelling television imo

ITA. I was actually surprised at how boring it was, considering it's taking over the Hoarders timeslot.