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Wendy Bumgardner

Fat March - Episode 2 - The Whiners

By August 14, 2007

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Fat March ContestantsThe second episode of the ABC-TV reality show Fat March follows the remaining 10 walkers for 85 miles. And a whiny, catty 85 miles it is. By the end, there were only two walkers I actually liked and a couple I thought I might be able to tolerate. Military mom Jamie Lyn stays southern sweet while softball player Shea seems solid and reliable.
Photo 2007 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., Bob D'Amico

Funny as a Crutch
The episode begins by focusing on comedian Chantal's sense of humor and competitiveness rubbing everyone the wrong way. Let me say that I once wanted to vote somebody off of my own walking team because she enjoyed splashing people with mud puddles. Chantal would not be on my team. When people are in pain with every step, you hate the cut-up who is dancing ahead and shouting slams at you. But she faced this directly and asked for the team to tell her what they thought of her. They all responded passive aggressively by pretending she didn't annoy them that much.

Knee Problems
Professional wrestler Matt is having major knee pain, but like an athlete he sucks it up and trudges on. I do not recommend doing that. Knee damage can be for life. One of my walking buddies has a torn meniscus and her doctors have basically said her walking life is over.
Injuries and Conditions that Cause Knee Pain

Another Ambulance Ride
Competitive eater Will is having problems with the 2000 calorie diet plan that calls for eating 3 small meals and two snacks. He chooses to eat all of his food early in the day and ends up passing out after they reach camp. Off to the hospital for an expensive diagnosis that nothing was wrong with him other than that he needed more food - low blood sugar. Everyone blames this on his not listening to the trainers. But, really, walking 10 miles will burn off at least 2000 calories for somebody of his size, leaving nothing for basic metabolism the rest of the day. He is on a starvation diet and it is no wonder that he passed out. Spacing out his food might have helped a bit, but doesn't get over the fact that this is an extreme diet for somebody at his exertion level. Marcher Will Tells His Side

Water Carrying Challenge
Will doesn't lose any mileage on the road because the next day is a challenge day rather than a walking day. The remaining 9 split up in teams of 2, with Loralie the odd woman out. The women carry water in buckets from the river and dump them into a tank their male partner is holding. Once they drop the tank because of the weight, they are eliminated. Wendy and Anthony decide they don't care to win, and Wendy enrages trainer Steve by just going about the job at an easy pace. She gives the code word "yellow" to Anthony and he happily just drops the tank and eliminates them. This ends up causing everyone to become angry and catty. Why? Why not be happy that a competing team opted out, making your chances of winning better? But this episode is all about cattiness. Matt and Jamie Lyn win a dip in a hot tub and their dinner served to them by the trainers. Lorrie describes how much better sparkling cider is vs. champagne. Calorie-wise - not much. According to our Calorie-Count partner, champagne has 91 calories in a 4-oz glass, while sparkling cider has 75. These folks burn off those 16 calories in 2 blocks of walking.

Whining About the Healthy Food
Will rejoins the group with no penalty and the next day's theme is that everybody hates the healthy food they are being served. My husband and I are no poster children for the ideal diet, but what they are eating looks great to us. Egg white omelets, oatmeal and berries? Yum! Turkey wraps? Yum! Chicken and veggies and yams? Yum! We'd be plenty happy to chow down on it for weeks on end (so long as somebody else is cooking, I'm eating!) I would only complain if it was low sodium as well - which it shouldn't be if you are on an endurance walk.

Food Temptation
Now comes a food temptation trial - no prizes other than gaining the scorn of your fellow contestants. The marchers all happen upon a table laden with high-fat choices of pizza, fried mozzarella sticks, and chicken fingers, plus healthy choices of salad, salmon and veggies. Chantal and Will split a small piece of pizza and everyone acts as if they committed a mortal sin. I don't subscribe to the sort of diet that demonizes any food. I believe in portion control, not total elimination. Chantal and Will had a small taste of their old favorites, not a plate full. If that was enough to satisfy their cravings after two weeks of walking and healthy eating, it should not be harmful. Instead, everyone acts as if they were alcoholics falling off the wagon by chugging a fifth of whiskey.
Why Diets Don't Work

Are We in Junior High?
Now we learn that Anthony and Will have a mutual dislike, and they try to scheme about voting each other off. This is really sickening since they lose money if they vote anybody off. It is all very petty.

Three-Week Weigh-In
We learn that three weeks and 150 miles have transpired since the start, and it's time for another weigh-in. The losses are pretty big now, with the men having generally lost over 30 pounds and the women over 15 pounds. This is rapid weight loss even for three weeks. My Calorie Calculator gives the calorie burn for 150 miles at about 21,000 for a 225 pound person, which would be 7 pounds of fat burned. The calories per mile go up with weight, so the men are bound to be losing 10 pounds or more of fat. The rest of the weight loss would be from water and from lean tissue. Eat too little and you start eating away the parts of your body you really shouldn't - muscle.

How petty can they be? For nobody to be voted off, it must be unanimous. If there is even one vote, the person with the most votes goes and so each remaining person loses another $10,000. I wouldn't want to be the one person who cast a vote that caused everyone else remaining to lose $10,000. I think I would find my sleeping bag short sheeted, or mysteriously damp... After dramatic pauses, they unanimously choose to vote nobody out.

Will they all make it to Washington DC? Will anybody make it? Will anybody I still like make it? Score after three weeks: three ambulance rides in three weeks, one quitting, one voted off, 10 fat marchers remaining, starving, and whining.

Fat March airs Mondays at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT.

Fat March: Episode 1 Recap
Fat March: Interview with Contestant Kim
Fat March: Interview with Trainer Steve

August 14, 2007 at 10:39 pm
(1) Liz says:

I watched this too and noticed that the group is becoming more motivated, more coheasive and more supportive of each other. I was pleased to see that they didn’t vote anyone off. I hate that part of the show. And congrats to all of them for the weight loss. I wonder if I lost a pound hiking down the stairs at Acoma Sky City in NM today…. it was a thrill.

August 16, 2007 at 11:45 am
(2) Gail says:

I am a Weight Watcher (35 lbs. lost) AND a regular walker. I am currently training for a 5K at the end of September and a 10K in mid-September.

This show is hard for me to watch. Weight loss should be a team effort, not a petty, catty mess like this. And the trainers should be supportive, not mean! Tempting these folks with pizza, cheese sticks, and wings and then lambasting them for taking small portions is crazy! I don’t intend to go through life without pizza! It’s all about control and portion size!

Thanks for reading!

August 16, 2007 at 12:33 pm
(3) Wendy B says:

The Food Temptation was ludicrous. Will’s article on what happened gives more details, and I’ve been posting back and forth with him on another forum.

Basically, like me – he hates salmon. I love mild fish such as grilled tilapia and mahi mahi, but I literally gag on smelly fish (as salmon often is). GMAB – we are adults, like the elder President Bush, we don’t have to eat broccoli if we don’t like it! Will also hates salmon but enjoys tilapia and other mild fish.

It just happened that the “healthy” meal offered had nothing in it he could stomach eating that day. So, he made a wise choice in portion control of foods he enjoyed eating. BTW, others also had a sampling of “bad” foods but weren’t shown doing so.

Will said Steve advised that “Food is just fuel” and taste doesn’t matter. That works for some people, but not for most of us. Food is also about enjoying what you eat, or at least being able to swallow it without gagging.

Will said that overall, the “healthy” food was pretty bland. That’s a shame – it is easy enough to add low fat spices and make “healthy” food enjoyable for taste.

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