Friday, November 06, 2009

View From the Phlipside - Losing It

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

If you've listened to this program for more than a few months you know about my media man crush on the show "The Biggest Loser". Over the last 18 months I've been on a journey of getting healthier and losing over 40 pounds. "The Biggest Loser" has been and continues to be a great inspiration in my journey towards better health and my final goal weight. So you would think I'd be excited about a spin off from the show.

Truth be told I'm a little worried about it. The show features workout monster in chief Jillian Michaels and is rather ironically called "Losing It with Jillian". If you've never seen the show then you've avoided Jillian's legendary screaming slash intimidation style of coaching. It's not at all uncommon in the gyms of the world but it's usually done by big, muscle bound male trainers rather than rather attractive, diminutive female trainers. Jillian screams, curses, questions your intelligence, your courage, everything short of your parentage. To be honest it's my least favorite part of the show. Yes, a fair number of us need more than gentle persuasion to get up off our enormous American lard butts and make a change in our lives. I just find abusive language to be uninspiring.

So the concept of Jillian "invading homes" as the network puts it to help families get healthy doesn't strike me as a good idea. Somehow she's going to come into their home for a week, identify their problems and help them fix it all - in a week. For me that's the fatal flaw in all this. It's yet another quick fix for a problem that didn't happen quickly. Changing your lifestyle is hard. Learning new ways to eat is hard. Trust me I still struggle with it. So to pretend that a week with a high powered trainer and celebrity chef Curtis Stone is going to make everything all right is just fatuous. The idea that deep seated family problems can be rooted out in a week's time should be offensive to families that are struggling with these issues and the professionals who work with families. And when you reach the point that your health as a family is bad enough to consider calling in an outside expert, let alone a TV show, then you are looking at some deeply ingrained problems.

My family is slowly making our way through our eating problems. We're doing it through exercise, better eating habits and mutual support. I think we'll pass on the side order of hyperventilating media trainer. And maybe her TV show too.

Call that the view from the Phlipside

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