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Wendy Bumgardner

Fat March Episode 3 Recap - Anthony Has a Cunning Plan...

By August 21, 2007

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Fat March Contestants
Look out, Wendy - Anthony is plotting!
Photo 2007 American
Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Eric Liebowitz
Fat March is an ABC-TV reality series that airs Monday nights at 9/8 ET/CT. The overweight contestants walk 570 miles in 10 weeks.

Day 17, Milford Connecticut. It will be 12.7 miles in the heat today. Jami Lyn feels nauseous from the heat. I've had that sort of heat illness on the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, and seen dozens of people sent to the hospital the same day. It is not a safe place to be, and I'd counsel anybody to stop and cool down and not risk further heat sickness, which can kill. We aren't shown them really dealing with heat illness, but they all make it through the day.

Heat Takes Wendy Down
Wendy's feet are hurting and she even voices that she wants to go home. As she told me in an interview, this wasn't just a whine, she had very bad plantar fasciitis and should not have been walking at all. Trainer Steve doesn't mention that, but says that Wendy isn't stretching or hydrating or eating correctly. True, hydration is critical, but also very hard to do correctly. The old "drink, drink, drink" can keep you out of dehydration and send you over the top into hyponatremia - diluting your body salt so much that you get dangerously ill. The proper way sports medicine experts say to manage your water intake on endurance walks is to weigh yourself before and during your long walk to ensure you aren't losing any weight during the walk. But, this show is about reckless weight loss. The next day, Wendy is taken to the hospital and rehydrated, losing six miles that she will have to make up the next day. She will have to walk 17.5 miles, which is massive mileage. Wendy talks herself up for the long walk and actually is shown jogging and being cheered into the finish.

Will Has a Good Plan
Matt is stressing his knees. Will is plotting with Matt on how to keep the others from voting Will off. If they stay together and both are the same distance behind, there will be no physical reason to vote either one off, as the rest of the team would have to make up the same mileage. This is a logical strategy, aimed at preserving winnings while building camaraderie.

Another Food Temptation
We have another one of those ridiculous food temptations, this time with donuts. Jami Lyn gives in to the donut, which Steve warns will take 4 miles to wear off. Well, yes, but they have been walking extreme distances each day while eating a very restrictive diet. Again, I think this reinforces unhealthy ideas about food rather than stressing sustainable changes and portion control.

Clamming Fun
A reward challenge is digging clams, with the reward for the top team being a night at a spa hotel with a "decadent but healthy dinner," massage and other pampering. Apparently, none of them had been clamming before. Loralei finally discovers that you look for the bubbles in the sand and start digging. Loralei and Sam win the challenge. Loralei declares the healthy spa food to be great. Yes - healthy food doesn't have to be bland and bad like the usual diet they are feeding the marchers. This show isn't about teaching the marchers healthy, sustainable eating and exercise habits. It's about torturing them with too much walking too soon and feeding them stuff they will never want to eat again in their lives. I predict that after the show, they all fall back into their old food habits. If they were served good-tasting healthy food, they would be learning lessons they could use to maintain their weight loss.

Drama Boy Strikes Again
Anthony decides to stir things up between Will and Matt, which he admits he is doing just for the drama. Bizarre - this is a show all about pulling everybody together so you can win more money, but baby Anthony obviously is playing to the camera and/or thinks he is on a completely different show.

92 Degrees, 13 Miles in 4.5 Hours
Given this tough day, Wendy is cracking. She wants to quit, and heads into a church to pray about it. Lorrie ends up dragging her by the hand as she blubbers and fusses. Sorry, Wendy, but this was an extreme display of childishness. Finally, she sat down and quit. It all played out like a bad reenactment, so I'll give Wendy and Lorrie the benefit of the doubt and say it was a bad reenactment.

Matt gives up for the day with a mile to go. The clock runs out also for Anthony, Will and Chantal. Only half of the team made it to the end. They receive the word that Wendy quit and cost them each $10,000. Steve claims nothing was wrong with her. But she made it over 200 miles with severe, severe untreated foot pain. That's 199 miles further than I would walk with it! When I had plantar fasciitis, I stopped walking for 6 weeks, even though it is my passion.

Matt is Manipulated
Anthony's poison works on Matt. First, he stops walking with Will rather than sticking together. Then at the end, he calls out Will for never expressing concern about Matt's knee pain or asking him how he was doing. Anthony gloats. Here we have everybody saying what a horrible quitter Wendy was, while at the same time letting Anthony goad people for no reason other than to get somebody else eliminated. That. Makes. No. Sense.

Eight Miles to Times Square
So NYC is the "capital of the world." OK, fine. Bright lights, big city, big bagels and pretzels on every street corner. They avoid these temptations and get their names in lights in Times Square. They've made it 230 miles, quite an accomplishment.

Weigh In
Losses for this stage: Chantal - 8 pounds. Michael - 13 pounds (46 total). Sam - 15 pounds (46 total). Shea - 7 pounds (24 pounds). Will - 17 pounds (48 pounds). Jami Lyn - 9 pounds (27 pounds and looking VERY good). Loralie - 9 pounds - "I've lost my boobs but gained my neck." Anthony - 18 pounds (55 pounds). Matt - 1 pound (35 pounds). As usual, some of the women seem disappointed, but they are losing weight at an extremely rapid rate. The only surprise was Matt - it makes you wonder whether he has been retaining water due to getting his salt balance off. He blames it on stress and emotion. At least trainer Steve has the courtesy to treat Matt's knee pain as something real, unlike how he dismisses Wendy's foot pain.

The Vote
Since nobody has lagged behind by the end of the stage, there is no good reason to vote anybody off. The rules are a bit confusing, so here is how it goes:
1. If anybody is lagging behind at the end of the stage, and that person is not voted off, everyone must make up that mileage.
2. If they vote off somebody lagging behind, they don't have to make up the mileage.
3. They lose $10,000 each if they vote somebody off.
4. It takes only 1 vote to vote somebody off. It must be a unanimous vote for "Nobody" or the one with the most votes goes home, and bye-bye $10,000 each. No word on how ties would be handled.

Drama Boy Anthony is the wild card, he has let it be known that he doesn't care about winning money - he's just there to stir the pot and appear on national TV. What a gem. Will is right to be worried that Anthony would vote him out just to create drama. Frankly, at this point I'd be casting a vote for Anthony to get rid of the drama.

After 230 Miles
I could really, really, really do without somebody like Anthony. I have to give all of the marchers extreme credit for making it through 13-17 mile days. Matt is not wise to keep grinding that knee down - surgery can't undo some types of damage.

Comments
August 21, 2007 at 2:31 pm
(1) Valerie says:

I was surprised at the time limit put on this. I have walked on many volksmarches and wouldn’t be able to handle that speed. If I finished in 6 hours I’d be doing well and in that heat if I walked at all I’d be taking breaks to cool off.

August 21, 2007 at 10:21 pm
(2) Liz says:

Yes. Don’t you think they should have just explained the AVA program to them, bought them New Walker Packets and let them loose? :)

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