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Fat March Interview with Contestant Wendy

Fat March Contestant Wendy
© ABC Inc.
Fat March is an ABC-TV reality show that challenged 12 obese people to walk 570 miles in 10 weeks. We caught up with contestant Wendy for an interview.

What sort of show did you think you were signing up for?
When I auditioned with 4,000 other people, I had no idea what I was going in for. I just wanted to lose weight. However, after I was cast and prior to my leaving for the show, I researched Too Big To Walk in England and knew it was going to be at least a 500 mile walk

Did you encounter any problems with the walking the first 3 days?
I was diagnosed with a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis the first week of the march. I was taken to the Emergency Room at Day Kimball hospital in Putnam Conn where Dr. Michasle Myslenski M.D. informed me that I would need to immediately stop marching and get completely off my feet to avoid any further damage. I was diagnosed with a severe case of Plantar Fasciitis and Bone spurs in both feet brought on by extensive walking with no gradual buildup. I was instructed to go home and have 14-30 days bed rest. I ignored the directive until I could no longer take the pain 4 weeks later.

In episode 2, they showed a lot of grousing about the food. Was the food bland or just unfamiliar?
The food was entirely bland. Dry chicken 5 times a week, with dry rice in the evenings. Healthy food, but very dry.

Did you feel like your were starving or making a sustainable change in your diet?
I never felt like I was starving. But it was obviously a HUGE change in diet and exercise levels.

Kim really felt tortured by having to camp on the cold, hard ground or concrete floors. How was this experience for you?
I think Kim hated being uncomfortable in any way. I too hated the idea of camping at first and did my fair share of complaining about it. Eventually I came to really enjoy it and appreciate the peacefulness of being outdoors every night and the simpleness of living in a tent.

In episode 2, you and Anthony were making light of the reward competition and didn't really compete. Why did you do that?

Fat March Challenge
Wendy and Anthony toss the challenge
Photo © 2007 American
Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Eric Liebowitz
Anthony and I had no intention of winning the prize related to competition # 2. The prize was a meal cooked by Lorrie and Steve and that was NOT a prize! At the end of every day the last thing you wanted to do was spend it with the trainers. We were divided into teams. My team was Anthony and he and I were on exactly the same page. We decided to have fun with it and lose so we would not be in danger of winning the prize! Shea and some of the other contestants were unhappy with our decision and complained about us ruining things for the team. But Shea and the others were NOT on our team, so we ruined nothing for them. Our forfeit gave increased their chances to win and that is our prerogative to go in that direction.

It looks like the different personalities were clashing. How did you cope with being part of the team?
I really enjoyed everybody for their unique personalities and spirits. I fell in love with all of them.

Did the trainers give you advice in the first 3 weeks that was helpful to you?
Steve gave me awesome advice everyday, most importantly eat every 3 hours, never let your blood sugar drop or your body will go into starvation mode. And Lorrie taught me when I am full, put my napkin into the food and throw it away. Don’t sit there and keep picking at it.

We've seen a lot of ways the team was in conflict, were there instead times when you really pulled together to help each other make it?
The team was not in conflict often, considering we were followed by the cameras 7 days a week. We got along pretty well with several moments each day of someone having an experience that wasn’t pleasant. When Anthony got behind, I talked everybody into meeting him back a few miles so he didn’t have to walk it alone. That was wonderful!

When Kim was freezing and complaining the first night I set up her tent so she wouldn’t have to. Jami Lynn carried my backpack at time it was simply too heavy. I slowed down my pace to walk with Anthony everyday so he wouldn’t have to walk alone. He and I became great friends because of this wonderful time together. Chantal and Will shared a huge tent to keep warm. Jami Lynn attended to people’s blisters at night and even removed a tick from Michael. Everyday we encouraged each other on to make it through the pain and the terrain. We were suffering some moments more than others, but I always felt encouraged at my worst moments to keep moving. I know we all did.

Saturday August 18, 2007 | comments (1)

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