The first episode was promising, though it was more like a promo than a normal first episode of a TV show. There was a big setup explaining Ali's story. The main premise of the show is that she got big because she stopped living big. She found herself stuck in a rut and stopped dreaming new dreams for herself. I find that premise compelling and more accurate than the typical view that people get fat because they are lazy. If you missed the first episode, it seems to be being rerun several times a day on the Live Well network (if you go to the website you can find out if it is playing in your area). The full episode is also available online.
This season will follow three different people:
- Jorge, a man who had gotten to 500 pounds in his twenties. He has lost 100 pounds on his own but wants Ali's help to lose the rest of it.
- Leslie, a young woman who is overweight and worried about her family history of diabetes.
- Rose, an older woman who has lost 80 pounds on her own but is feeling stuck.
I think their stories seem compelling and I'm looking forward to learning more about them. This week, we just got a basic introduction. The focus was more on Ali herself this time.
Ali looks good. She's not as ripped as she was on the finale of "The Biggest Loser," but she looks great even if she is a little softer. I thought she had gained a lot when I watched her on my television, but it was because the episode was not shot in HD even though it was broadcast that way, which makes everyone look a little wider.
I liked a lot of the takeaways of this show, which had a much more nurturing feel than "The Biggest Loser" and focused more on self-care than in shocking people with horrible statistics about obesity or getting in their faces. I think her style is definitely more that of a cheerleader than a drill sergeant, which is going to be refreshing after 11 seasons of TBL. She emphasized that people need to take time for themselves and to find a support group, which I thought was a great place to start.
My only complaint about the show is that it presented a series of random tips but nothing that could really be considered a plan. We see Ali making spaghetti squash and doing lunges in the grocery store as she shops. The closest thing I saw to a plan was her filling her grocery cart with veggies and fruit and then going home to cut everything up right away so that the healthy food would be ready and easy to grab. Because the show has its own website, I had hoped that there would be more comprehensive information there for someone who watched this first episode and was really ready to get with Ali's program, but there's nothing there but video clips from the show. At this point, viewers who feel motivated by this episode have nothing new to try, which is a shame and a missed opportunity.
I'm someone who would never do lunges in the grocery store (it looked pretty ridiculous) but would happily go to a gym and do them there. The severely obese viewers this show seems to be targeting probably already get more attention in the grocery store than they want and probably shouldn't start out right away with lunges until they lose a little weight and take some strain off their knees. I'm hoping future episodes will have more useful exercise and fitness information, and more comprehensive information about nutrition, too.
The promo accomplished what it set out to do, though. I'm ready for more.