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Wendy Bumgardner

Fat March Episode 1 - Recap and Rant

By August 7, 2007

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Fat March Group
Fat March Contestants
Photo: © 2007
American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Mark Brendel
Fat March is an ABC network reality series that challenges 12 obese men and women to walk 570 miles in 10 weeks from Boston to Washington DC. At the end, they will split 1.2 million dollars - but the prize money will go down for every person who drops out. We are introduced to the contestants who range from 225 pounds to 500 pounds. Trainers Mark and Lorrie coach the contestants, who weren't aware that their weight loss challenge would involve walking and camping out along the way.

Mini-Marathon First Day
The contestants began at the Boston Marathon on a cold, rainy, sleety day. I was worried at this point, as a marathon coach, that somehow they would have these untrained people actually walk a 26.2 marathon distance. Several of them whined and moaned over walking any distance. But, indeed, their marathon was only a 5 mile walk. This led to some quick calculations - is 570 miles in 10 weeks reasonable or do-able? Yes, it is a little over 8 miles per day. That's more than the recommended 10,000 steps per day for everyone as a health goal, but still realistic for a trained walker.
How Far Can a Healthy Person Walk With No Training?

Too Much Too Soon
But these weren't all people who walked for health and fitness - Kim said she hadn't walked more than 2 blocks at a time in years. If they weren't already walking for a mile or more each day, they risked injury by leaping into a program of walking for 2-3 hours or more a day. Coaches recommend increasing activity by 10% a week for duration in order to prevent injuries. I would have them walking only 15-30 minutes at a time the first week: Absolute Beginners Walking Schedule. Instead, this was a crash program. And, indeed, the injuries began piling up. In fact, they began to hit on many of those on my list of injury hazards for distance walkers.

Anthony in ambulance
Kim Tells Trainer Steve She Wants to Quit
Photo: © 2007
American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.,
Richard Pasley
Injuries Start Mounting Up
They all made it through the first 5-mile day. But Kim was grumpy and wanting to quit after a night of camping. After a healthy breakfast, they set out for an 8 mile walk. But Anthony experienced low blood sugar and dehydration and ended up in the hospital.

On day 3, Kim simply decided to quit. She complained of chafing, which is extremely painful, and of heel pain. But trainer Steve thought she had no real health problems, just an attitude problem. (See our Comments below - Kim has stopped by to tell her side of the story, lost toenails and all - and then to give a telephone interview.) Kim quitting reduced the prize money by $10,000 per person. But the good news was that Anthony would return, but he would have to make up the mileage he missed.

Day 4 brought a challenge - gathering cranberries in a cranberry bog for a team reward of a night at a bed and breakfast rather than camping.

Lorrie walks with Shane
Trainer Lorrie Walks with 500-lb Shane
Photo © 2007
American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.,
Richard Pasley
On the next day, Shane developed a painful blister on the ball of his foot. I have had these from one long day of walking and they are really crippling. You walk differently after you get this and end up with bad walking posture and a lot more aches and pains. After checking into an emergency room, they also thought he might have stress fractures in his feet.

Second Weigh-In
After 65 miles in 8 days of walking, the marchers lost between 4 and 19 pounds. Doing a rough calorie per mile calculation, I would expect that they added enough exercise to burn off 3-5 pounds of fat each - more for those who weigh more. I'd like to point out that they were wearing a lot more clothes at the first weigh-in in cold Boston vs. a standard t-shirt and sweatpants they had at this sunny location for the weigh-in. When I weigh-in, I do it naked at home before having anything to eat in the morning. I think it is unrealistic for people to think that they could lose more than 5 pounds in the first week of a weight loss program. I didn't like seeing the disappointment in those who lost less than 10 pounds. For one thing, they were definitely building new muscle to replace lost fat. Weight Loss Reality Check.

Elimination
The elimination at the end of the 8-day stage as a choice to vote to eliminate one person or a unanimous decision that nobody would leave. If they did not vote off Shane, they would all have to make up the 13 miles that he was behind. They would lose $10,000 each if they voted somebody off. In the end, most of them voted off Shane because of his blister and possible stress fractures in his feet.

Frankly, I think Shane needed to stop walking and heal up his feet. He vowed he would be back to marching once he healed up. I certainly hope so - or biking, or swimming, or anything active.

Wendy's Walking Coach Rant
My first impression is that the challenge is too much for most of these untrained walkers. My issue isn't the obesity itself. I know several marathoners who weigh between 200 and 300 pounds - but these are trained walkers, who started out walking 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles, over months. Only by steadily increasing your walking time can you avoid injuries that will stop you cold. Untrained walkers are also at much greater risk for dehydration and low blood sugar as Anthony experienced. Their bodies aren't used to exercise and will react in unpredictable ways. I would have preferred to see these people in a 4-week program of walking and exercise leading up to this big walk. Instead, I see a lot of unnecessary pain and injury that no coach or trainer should allow.

My walking programs wouldn't make for exciting TV, but they are more likely to produce happy, uninjured walkers who lose weight steadily.
Walk of Life 10-Week Program

Interview with Fat March Trainer Steve
Interview with Contestant Kim

Comments
August 7, 2007 at 10:03 am
(1) Julie Stachowiak says:

I find this whole reality show focus on overweight people fairly upsetting. I followed Biggest Loser (2nd series) out of curiosity, but haven’t watched this one. I could tolerate the emotions and the interpersonal dynamics if I thought there was information of value being given. However, the impression that I would have gotten from Biggest Loser if I was morbidly obese and wanting to lose weight is that you have to go live at a spa, give up your job and do unrealistic (and dangerous) amounts of daily exercise to get healthier. Also, it would be hard to keep up with the weight loss they showed- a couple of guys lost 23 pounds in a week! – so if you set yourself up to meet truly weird goals like that, you would really think you were a failure.
Again, I haven’t watched Fat March (is that really what it’s called?), but it sounds like there are similarities- including the bizarre challenges and mean-spirited voting people off. I agree with your points, Wendy. However, I guess it would be really boring to see how people can lose weight in normal circumstances and not make for good TV.

August 7, 2007 at 11:32 am
(2) Liz says:

I suppose the only redeeming quality of this show is that it encourages walking… for people of all fitness levels. I could do without the challenges and voting people off. I’ll just cheer them on!

August 7, 2007 at 12:10 pm
(3) Wendy says:

Actually, there is a big incentive NOT to vote anybody off – they lose $10,000 each by voting a person off, each time! The others hated losing Shane as they all said he as a great guy and very inspirational and positive. But the guy was in a lot of pain and really risking too much to keep going with stress fractures.

So, I think they built in a lot of things to have them all encourage each other and come together as a team – the amount of money they get is dependent on MORE of them finishing rather than fewer.

Now, the show itself stands to have less expense the more that drop out…

August 7, 2007 at 8:54 pm
(4) Liz says:

I noticed the incentives but felt that Shane should have made that decision based on medical evidence vs. a vote from his peers. I found myself secretly wishing they would have let him come along as as a non walking support person, eating the healthy food, receiving and giving support and then watched the pounds drop. But if he is returned to the same situation he came from, there is less chance that he will keep losing weight. Let’s hope he does continue walking once his stress fractures are evaluated! Walk on!

August 8, 2007 at 11:19 pm
(5) kimfromfatmarch says:

Yes, It’s me the one you’d love to hate from Fat March, but you wouldn’t hate me if you knew the truth about the show. Reality TV is a gimmick & they will do everything they can to brainwash you into thinking whatever they think will keep you watching. What you saw on the 1ST episode was a twisted version of what really happened & sadly for me it was at my expense.
“FAT MARCH IS A FAT LIE”
When they showed you I appeared to quit, wasn’t even the same day I left & you see me sitting on the side of the road. Editing trick! I left the show the day after, walking for 11 hrs straight, close to 10 miles, more than any one on the entire show had walked in one day, up to that point. The cast, crew & producers cried & praised me for it like I was a hero. They wanted me to be the underdog of the show, I ended up w/ blood clots under my toes, toenails hanging off my feet, blisters between my thighs. I had to go so, the team wouldn’t lose 10k & make up my miles if I didn’t finish the next day. I quit for them and the end the constant pain I was in.
I don’t think walking over 500 miles is a realistic weight lost approach for any obese person. It is ridiculous. I thought the show was going to be like the Biggest Loser and it was like the Amazing Race meeting Fat Survivor.
If they had been honest about what to expect before I went on the show I never would have gone, but it was too late and I signed a contract so I had to try it. It was the biggest mistake of my successful life. Steve is a fake and really didn’t give a damn about me he was playing tv and he knows it.
You don’t take someone weighs almost 300 pounds and make them walk almost 20 miles in 3 day with no preparation, no training, just some phoney “I know you can do it speech”. If I had left in an ambulance people would have felt sorry for me, but I was stupid and walked away before it got to that point. Maybe if I had died on the show someone would have realized that the show was exploitative and abusive. Sleeping on the freezing ground in the rain, or on a hard wood floor in dire pain, & being told you are too fat for an air mattress is not trying to help people. Losing weight was the challenge, I never agreed to be a boy scout too. They lied to me and defamed me because I wouldn’t stay there and be their underdog story.

August 8, 2007 at 11:56 pm
(6) walking says:

Kim – thanks for sharing your story. I really felt for you when you said you had chafing – walking with chafing is torture! As you can see, I have extreme reservations about what was asked of the contestants. I have had experience at Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks where people have showed up untrained and tried to walk 10-20 miles a day for 3 days. They end up with horribly blistered feet, chafing, and lost toenails. My heart is with you. They should never have put you out on the road for more than a couple of miles at a time the first week, until your feet had time to toughen up and your bodies adjust to the walking.

August 9, 2007 at 7:06 am
(7) Liz says:

I am so glad you wrote, Kim. I agree with Wendy. I always tell people to start by walking around the block and work up from there. I am surprised they didn’t have anti-blister, anti-chafing products to give to you to prevent some of that pain. There are so many good things to help you get out and walk – pain free. I would think that coaches would have goody bags full of these things. Walking is a joy and I hope, in your own way, at your own pace, you keep on walking! I am sorry you went through all that… it doesn’t have to be. Walk on!

August 9, 2007 at 9:17 am
(8) Heather says:

Wow, I had no idea about this show but my god, that is dangerous! I can’t believe the lawyers at that network even allowed this to get off the ground! I am about 50 lbs overweight and it has taken me a year to work up to the 16 miles I did last Saturday… and along the way, achilles tendinitis, plantar fascitis, massive blisters, many attempts at finding the right shoes, socks, blister prevention, hydration and nutrition solutions, etc. It’s monumentally irresponsible to demand that overweight, physically unfit people put that kind of mileage in. Heck, ask any sedentary normal weight person to do it and they’d fall apart! Shameful.

August 9, 2007 at 10:16 am
(9) Bethany says:

Kim, thanks for sharing your story. They never should have let you walk without proper shoes and anti-chafing creams, clothing, etc! I do triathlons, and know that the right shoes are key. With the right shoes, you should NEVER lose any toenails, or even get black and blue toes!! Since you did, that automatically means they didn’t do the work to ensure you have the right shoes. Your shoes were too small, which is common with women, who are used to the feel of high-heeled shoes and the extra pressure they put on toes. Any competent running store should be able to assess your feet and give you good walking or running shoes. You can also get good anti-chafing products there, that are packaged like deodorants but are a smooth, silky substance. And you can get wicking clothing make of Coolmax and other such products to prevent chafing, too! Kim, I’m sure that you can lose the weight you’d like to lose, and in a healthy way, if you want to, and that would be the best revenge!!

August 9, 2007 at 10:21 am
(10) David of "Beach Walk 2007" 222 miles in 22 days says:

I can not believe ANYONE would subject folks who are overweight and untrained to this kind of torture. I’m 51, and have struggled with being overweight almost all my life. My weight reached 426 pounds in December of 2005. I just finished a 222 mile walk AFTER losing 185 pounds – and the walk was a challenge nonetheless.

Wendy is right that a gradual increase in walking is the best way. I started walking only after I had lost 70 pounds, and even then it was a challenge to walk one mile. That was last August (2006). I finally built it up to 2 miles every other day. Only after being inspired to walk to the beach did I PRACTICE NEAR HOME and begin to ramp my miles up to 4, then 5, then 8, then finally to 12 before beginning my long distance walk.

I can not believe – well yes I can – that folks would be put through this kind of situation for entertaiment purposes. After all, that’s the goal of the t.v. shows. Biggest loser inspired me this year, but not when I first watched it. I felt it was exploitive. Only after I had lost weight I could identify with may of the feelings of the participants.

I would encourage anyone, especially those who are obese, to begin walking gradually and change their eating lifestyle to lose weight. I used “no meats, no sweets, no all-you-can-eats” as my new meal plan, and have done so for almost a year and a half. Walking helped me lose weight, but I would not have been nearly as successful, nor would I have been able to have just finished my “beach walk” if I had not changed my eating lifestyle.

Take care out there, and don’t be fooled by the quick weight loss gimmicks. There is no substitute for consistent effort over time for results to last. God bless . . .

August 9, 2007 at 10:24 am
(11) todd says:

Well I am disappointed I could not been on the show. Even at 300 lbs and an 8 time marathon and 2 time 50k finisher they probably would not wanted me.

problem with blisters and chaffeing is they are easy to get if you do not know what you are doing and do not have the right clothing. There is alot of good anti chaffing items. trust me if I did not have something like body glide or sportsshield I would be in a world of pain.

8 miles a day does not seem like alot but it will really add up and take its toll.

August 9, 2007 at 10:31 am
(12) Jill says:

I agree with you Kim. I was shocked when I began watching the show and saw the pace they were going to put all of you through. I have lost 90 lbs., but I did so by starting off with 15 minutes per day and then working up to 1 hour per day. THis show will not help anyone who is overweight to lose weight. There is no motivation, there is no advice that is usable. This show should not continue. I pray you will take off your weight as I know from experience that losing it slowly is the right way and you feel so good when you get it off. Thanks for sharing your experience. I will not continue watching Fat March.Respectfully, Jill, Decatur, IL

August 9, 2007 at 10:52 am
(13) heather says:

I was disgusted by this show. I am an obese woman who has taken on the challenge of walking a half marathon next January. I started in February to work on this building up from walking .5 of a mile. I know what those poor people are going through–the blisters, the chafing, the pain! I was sick when I realized they were going to make them walk 5 miles the very first day. It’s just so wrong to expect anyone who is out of shape to be able to do that, sleep on the hard ground, and go out and do it again the next day! They are going to cripple someone in the name of entertainment. I won’t be watching again.

August 9, 2007 at 11:00 am
(14) Karen says:

It’s downright cruelty and I ask people to not watch so they never do this again to anyone. What’s next, crippled people dragging themselves on the ground? Dropping the ratings will speak volumes. Lying to the contestants about the conditions was not ethical.

August 9, 2007 at 11:15 am
(15) Allura says:

Sounds like another tacky “reality” program designed to turn fat people into a sideshow. Disgusting and cruel.

August 9, 2007 at 12:13 pm
(16) Christina says:

I find the whole concept of reality shows bizarre, not to mention how sick and cruel I find the idea of torturing fat people (I am one of them). What is next – a reality program for amputees or other handicapped people? The only way to get the networks to understand that these types of program are totally UNACCEPTABLE is to boycott the programs and contact the advertisers telling them you will NOT purchase their products as long as they continue to advertise on programs like this.

August 9, 2007 at 3:00 pm
(17) Meghan says:

I didn’t watch this show because my boyfriend and I thought it sounded sick and twisted. I am so glad we didn’t now! I am an obese woman who recently signed with a trainer. I can’t believe that ABC lawyers agreed to sign off on this project. It has litigation written all over it! Please don’t give up the fight to lose weight…you were exploited by a ratings-hungry show. It is possible to get healthy, but not like this! Kudos to you for speaking out.

August 9, 2007 at 3:28 pm
(18) Kris says:

Well, I watched the first episode and I will probably continuing watching, just for curiosity and one of these days I would love to do a long distance walk. I do, however, agree with the majority of people who bring up the lack of preparation given to these walkers.

Has anyone caught Shak’s Big Challenge? Now that was a good reality program and hopefully it will open the eyes of many of the major problem with childhood obesity. That show is one that will hopefully reap good benefits.

August 9, 2007 at 6:23 pm
(19) Annemarie says:

The producers of the show are being grossly negligent. I’m 170 lbs and started going to the gym a couple ofr months ago. I would never start out by walking more than one mile the first day. And then to completely change someone’s environment and meal plan. That’s crazy. I don’t know about everyone else, but I was sure someone was just going to have a heart attack on the show yesterday.

August 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm
(20) Julie says:

I’m sorry to hear that ABC believes setting others up to fail is riveting “reality” TV. I hope those who end up dropping out of “Fat March” due to injuries or (God forbid) illness are able to find a walking program and stick with it when they’re feeling better.

Those who believe throwing a group of very deconditioned people into what’s essentially a forced march with improper shoes, clothing and a lack of training should be ashamed of themselves.

It would be great to have a list available of the sponsors and their contact information for “Fat March”. I’d be more than happy to write them and tell them I will not be using their product or service.

August 9, 2007 at 6:57 pm
(21) likris says:

I have watched all the shows regarding weight loss. I find most of them hard to watch due to the fact that most of the contestants are there for the fame and not the weight loss. I think the worst is the celebrity fit club. They have the $$$ to hire themselves a trainer, a gym membership, go to weight loss clinics, and can afford plastic surgeons. They are there for the fame they lost. I applaud Shaquille’s program which puts the adults responsible for today’s youth.

August 9, 2007 at 8:09 pm
(22) Cindi of WALK! Magazine says:

I, too, was appalled at the show! I remember training for my first marathon and it was a couple of weeks before I could walk 8 miles and I started at just 1 mile a day. I’m surprised they didn’t have a lot more injuries.

August 10, 2007 at 10:27 am
(23) Walk4Health says:

I don’t think this show is cruel at all. It allows the public to see that something as simple as walking, and a sensible diet, will allow you to lose weight. No spending hours in a gym, drinking shakes, fat smash, surgery necessary. It is motivating to me.

August 10, 2007 at 12:55 pm
(24) Sarah says:

I am a nutritionist who has worked with weight loss issues and I am shocked by this show. This is cruel. I completely disagree with Walk4Health’s comment. there is no reason for making these people sleep on the hard ground. They should also have had the correct clothing and footwear for this kind of endurance activity. This is not motivating and this could never really become a lifestyle change which is what you really want to have happen for true success.

August 10, 2007 at 3:34 pm
(25) Walk4Health says:

It is obvious that most of you have not watched the other fitness challenge type shows aired on T.V. If you compare those shows to Fat March, then you would understand my point of view. The contestants knew what they were getting into — they wanted to lose weight FAST. They knew they were signing up for a competitive show. To walk everyday, and eat a sensible diet will allow people to get healthy, that was my point. Most of the comments are against the premise of the show, a competitve reality show, not to walk and eat sensiblly. The average joe will be able to walk and eat sensibly, we don’t need a personal trainer, just the right pair of shoes.

August 11, 2007 at 1:36 am
(26) Tori says:

Wow! This is unreal. I trained and walked for the Avon 3 Day (60 miles, 3 days) in 2002. It took me a 2-3 months to get to the point I could walk 20 miles in one day, then I had to work on doing it two days in a row! I would NOT have been able to just start out walking this kind of mileage. Kim, I’m so sorry you were portrayed like this but so glad you had the smarts to quit before you suffered worse or irreversable injuries!

August 11, 2007 at 9:41 am
(27) walkalong says:

Keep in mind that walking was sole focus. I believe they had days off for challenges and weigh-ins. On the days they did walk, virtually nothing else was on their agenda. It was treated like a full-time job. Some long days with some days off in between. It was different someone with a job and family to look out for trying to squeeze in some time for exercise.

August 11, 2007 at 7:47 pm
(28) Rosemary Barton says:

I was shocked by the idea that these untrained, unprepared people were expected to walk even 5 miles the first day. I am an overweight women training to walk with my local Team In Training for a half marathon in September and we began training in April, building up slowly each week. Kim was villified for making a wise decision. Don’t give up Kim, take one stepat a time! You go girl!

August 11, 2007 at 11:53 pm
(29) Liz says:

Hey Wendy: When is the next episode. I don’t agree with the concept, but a hooked so I can join the rant!

August 12, 2007 at 1:34 pm
(30) Steve Pfiester says:

Let me preface my reply to some of these comments by saying, Fat March is so much more than a weight loss or walking program. The people on the show needed much more help than gait analysis and education about soft tissue injuries in the lower extremities. If it is my credentials being challenged, let it be that I know very little about production or television. However, I have had 8 years of education, learning about exercise and nutrition, and additional 3 years studying physical therapy. My physical therapy degree alone affords me quite a bit of insight into how an obese person will respond to activity. I have had many morbidly obese clients that have had fantastic results (see http://www.longevityclubs.com). My comment about foreseeing the medical emergencies was not to be related only to blisters, sprains and strains. Dehydration and ER visits due to anxiety was something I thought we could avoid with awareness and education. If you are trying to convince me that everyone who accepted this challenge was a hero, then yes, I am convinced.

About walking, you are also correct. I have never walked with 12 obese people for 570 miles. My nature is to learn, and boy did I. I learned so much more about walking than I ever could have in a physical therapy environment. But wait, this was a reality show where 12 people signed up to have a chance to win 1.2 million dollars. What Lorrie and I had the opportunity to do, was to use the preface of this amazing reality show to learn how to work within the confines we were given, and still try to make a difference in their lives. The hardest thing by far for these 12 people was not the physical activity alone; it was the mental anguish of the outdoors, the sheer repetitive nature of the workouts, and the selflessness to encourage teammates who they struggled to even like. These 12 were pulled from the enabling and comfortable environments they have invented and were thrown into a survivalist mentality. They would all have to learn to do for themselves or do without. This grew us all and stretched us as human beings. But it took us to a place mentally, and emotionally, where we learned to overcome. That is what this show is all about. Learning to overcome in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. We came to the end of ourselves… past our own understanding… leaned on faith… AND IT CHANGED OUR LIVES!

August 12, 2007 at 1:50 pm
(31) Bonnie Pfiester says:

Just a side note, I completely understand your concerns about the health of the cast and the extreme measures even though it is a reality show. I just wanted to encourage you that we are getting flooded with people who have already been inspired to start their own Fat March – at their own pace. People are losing weight and are charged with excitement from the thought of getting fit by something as simple as walking.

The extreme nature of the show has solely to do the extreme prize. As a trainer, there would be no need to do a lot of what is seen in weight loss reality TV, but it is TV. In TV land people get extreme results because they put forth extreme effort, but hopefully you can use ‘about.com’ to help people realize the process is the same – and walking works. :)

August 12, 2007 at 5:16 pm
(32) Wendy B says:

Steve and Bonnie – welcome! I’ve prowled some other sites and people who know you two say you are awesome and inspirational.

I am one of those who normally doesn’t watch extreme fitness reality shows. I’m addicted to “Survivor” and “Amazing Race” but never wanted to watch “Biggest Loser.” It took one on my topic to get me to watch.

We all have the same goal – to encourage people to become more active and to eat healthier. I hope the show DOES inspire people to start down the right road.

When we walkers hear that Anthony walked 13 miles on day 4 – we KNOW how tough that is and what an amazing accomplishment. I know we’ll hear more amazing stories as the series continues.

The part I hate most about any reality show is when the contestants suffer. I don’t like the bug bites and starvation and sleepless nights on “Survivor.” I like seeing people come together to overcome obstacles.

August 12, 2007 at 7:26 pm
(33) Wendy B says:

Fat March airs on ABC-TV
Monday nights at 9/8central

August 13, 2007 at 8:32 pm
(34) kimfromfatmarch says:

If you guys want to ALWAYS get the truth about fat march and the fat lies go to my website at: kimfromfatmarch.blogspot.com

I will give you the real story behind what they show you on tv and the real story behind the characters. You’d be AMAZED at how fake and phoney people can be when there’s money on the line and a camera in their face. Watch tonight how the same people who were all buddy buddy last week are enemies this week. Even the trainers are pretentious as they are plastic. They cried on command from the producers and their sincerity was a show. DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. I was there and I was fooled too until I heard what they said behind my back which was totally opposite of what they said in my face. Many people didn’t like me because from Day One when I realized what they were expecting me to do I spoke up while the others kissed you know what and then complained in secret.
I’m sorry I just keep it real, I have live with integrity. If I don’t like you I will tell you and if I don’t agree with you I will tell you. They didn’t like that so I was the trouble maker.
But I’m sorry I thought I was going to be on something like the BIGGEST LOSER, not SURVIVOR or AMAZING RACE. Losing weight and walking for 8 (+) hours in the elements up dozens of huge hills is hard enough without the being punished even more when it’s over by sleeping on the wet ground in the cold or on a hardwood floor. It was ridiculous and now that so many people agree with me, the trainers want to clean it up and act like “ohhh, we didn’t realize it would be like that, it was just tv, we learned so much”. Bull crap, I told them from day one and no one listened and then they made me out to be the Bit** of the show when I was just honest and outspoken as always. Each week the truth will come out -stay tuned.

Ohh and for all you fabulous plus sized women check out my clothing line.
fatabulousclothing.com – clothes for girls like us. LOVE TO ALL THE REAL PEOPLE. KIM – THE FATABULOUS ONE

October 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm
(35) Wendy Alane Wright -Smith says:

I stopped by to read this after 3 years of doing the show and it still annoys me that the trainer Steve was standing up for this project. TV people don’t care anything about the people on their show. It is simply about money, and ratings. The abuse that the contestants endured was unacceptable. When auditioning for the show no one was told what the show was going to be about. They just cast us, and flew us in secret to an undisclosed location. Once there, we learned that we would be walking 8-16 miles a day for 7 weeks without any preparation or training. And we learned our acommodations would be in the rain, cold, snow, and no contact with family or friends would be permitted. So 12 out of shape people with no preparation began to walk, and walk. And as people continued to get injured and go the hospital, the trainers and producers were right there saying, “Keep going! It’s all in your head!

No, I have to agree with Kim who left the show as soon as she realized out how abusive it all was. I think money kept most of the contestants going. Being outdoors was lovely, walking was refreshing, the food was horrible, and the company was great! But the concept of forcing people with threat of a lawsuit if they didn’t cooperate is unaceptable. And any person who needs to lose weight should begin slowly and work consistently over along period of time to change habits, increase exercise and eat healthy. TV is fun, but always remember you can’t trust other people to protect you! You must protect and take care of your self!- Wendy

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