The latest episode of Fit to Fat to Fit was big on attitude and little on surprises. Following the formula that was decided way back during episode one we start off with an extremely graphic and disgusting image of Carrie, the trainer, trying to stuff down a mega burger with at least four cheesy patties squished together. Normally I might find a little joy in knowing that such a food exists in the world, but after seven weeks of watching skinny people gorge themselves, I'm kind of over it.
The 27 year old personal trainer from Salt Lake City starts off a mere 126 pounds and is convinced that she is so good at her job that she can "inspire people just by walking into the room." Let's just say that she didn't inspire me to anything except almost throw my remote control at my television. The attitude is strong with this one. Not content with just letting us know just how awesome she really is, she throws out her wisdom about overweight people and how they all just "love to play the victim." For the first time in seven weeks I have no warm and fuzzies for our fearless trainer. I'm kind of thinking that if she gets fat and then doesn't lose the weight later I'd kind of be okay with that.
We find out that Carrie's
victim client, is Kenlee, a mother of two who is big into taking care of her family instead of herself. She's extremely emotional and doesn't want to work with a trainer that is going to yell at her all of the time. Ruh-Roh. I start to think of all the terrible ways this episode will end when Kenlee begins to talk about her daughter, Makayla, who is already overweight and doesn't have a good role model to emulate. Kenlee feels like a hypocrite and is very, very sad about the entire situation. She wants to do whatever it takes to love herself again. I have all the feels right now.
Cut to Carrie who waltzes into Kenlee's life with an "I'm heeerrree!" attitude and a shocking announcement that she is going to gain weight so that when they meet again four months down the road they can work out, eat well and get fit together. Again, not feeling the warm fuzzies yet. It is obvious that Kenlee loves the idea of working out with someone "battling the bulge" instead of someone who is super skinny. She finds it just too intimidating.
After first contact with her client, Carrie runs out with her adorable (and tolerant) fiancé, Dan, to a burger joint that offers her up one of their eating challenges--a loaded cheeseburger with four patties of beef and enough grease to style John Travolta's hair. Now, I love me a good burger, but ewwww. It was not pretty. Five thousand(!) calories later she has a little round pooch of a stomach to model for the camera. There was one--I saw it. I guess I have to say she's off to a good start.
Carrie's ultimate goal is to gain 34 pounds in four months until she is 160 pounds. It kind of makes me laugh because if I ever got to 160 pounds people would think I was dying. She starts off well, gaining eight pounds her first week by going out with friends and socializing more while stuffing her face with whatever is near. I know it's counter-intuitive to the entire process but it is here that I learn about (and love) the idea of a peanut butter and jelly doughnut sandwich. I'm not well, people.
As time goes by and week seven hits, Carrie is loving "the taste of food that used to be distasteful" and reveals that "life is good so far." I'm just now realizing that a lot of the past trainers have felt the same way at this point. I'd say it's a good clue to the observer that the double pasta is about to hit the fan. By week nine she actually begins to lose weight and actively fights having to eat food. Dan tries to convince her to get over this hump and have the will to reach her goal as it will be a great way to motivate Kenlee. Essentially, Dan is training the trainer and it's great.
I finally start feeling a little something for Carrie when it is obvious that she is in complete turmoil by week 16. She's very lonely and feels isolated and mourns the loss of her active, outdoor lifestyle. She has headaches, nausea, and feels "like the walking dead." On her last day of trying to gain weight she is literally crying with the effort of having to put food in her mouth. She doesn't know how her weigh in will go, but she's not overly optimistic that she has reached her goal. But, surprise: she beat her goal by one pound. It's enough to get Carrie back in the right head space to do her job.
By the time we see Kenlee again she is crying in her car about how much she just loves Carrie, even though they haven't really spent any time together. The sacrifice that Carrie made for her is amazing and she really, really can't wait to work out with someone who has empathy for her situation. Girlfriend is in for a rude awakening. Carrie's attitude is back and she's not holding it in-- definitely not for someone who is looking for a "best friend." This is going to get ugly.
Meeting up at Carrie's studio, Carrie begins a super clinic for Kenlee demonstrating all of the ways she's better mentally and physically than she is--and then basically throws shade. In very plain language she let's Kenlee know that with losing weight "I'll leave you behind. I'm sorry. It's going to come off as it comes off." Her entire attitude screams that she has no respect for Kenlee as a person, has no belief that Kenlee can lose weight and that "Kenlee is going to want to give up, and want to cry; and she's gonna want to pout and she's gonna want to be the victim and I'm going to have to try to get her past that." Lots and lots of words from someone that hasn't even seen Kenlee do anything yet.
And don't think that Kenlee isn't aware of every single jab sent her way. She's upset that she spent four months putting Carrie on his huge pedestal because it's now quite obvious that Carrie has not gained empathy and is only interested in intimidation. She confesses, "Part of me thought, oh yeah, just keep it up and I'll continue to congratulate you on your wonderful fitness experience." The first day was not good and, apparently, that's how Carrie wanted it to be.
Day two brings a trip to the mountains and the release of the real Kenlee. Fed up with snide remarks and a little bit of "rub it in my face," Kenlee basically tells Carrie to cut the crap and "give me a #$#-ing goal!" Carrie says she's impressed and that this is the kind of outburst she wanted from Kenlee from the very beginning. I don't quite buy it, but at least some forward progress might be made now.
Week after week passes and neither woman is losing as much weight as they thought they would. Carrie, who predicted she would have her six pack pack in three weeks, registers an 13 pound loss by the end of two months. She's having a little trouble letting go of her socializing and poor nutrition choices. Apparently tequila is not good when you're trying to lose weight. Kenlee is also losing pounds very slowly, but her body is starting to thin out quite a bit.
By the time the ladies reach week nine Kenlee is falling into a few bad habits and taking care of other people instead of herself. Carrie comes over for the obligatory pep talk and, color me surprised, seems to get Kenlee moving in the right direction again. She tells Kenlee, "You let other people define you" and you need to "stand up for yourself." Kenlee sits and takes it all in. She'll be just fine.
Time passes quickly and after 16 weeks it's time for the big reveal to Kenlee's friends and family. Carrie says she's been humbled by the entire experience and that it "taught me lessons I didn't think I needed to hear. Everyone has their own struggles and I need to acknowledge that." Color me surprised but I do believe that Carrie learned a little something with this experiment. I didn't think it was possible. Kenlee walks in looking slim and beautiful and has nothing but positive things to say about her training buddy.
It would be easy for me to believe that her words are a bunch of baloney, but she seems sincere. It was very hard for both women and I think a real bond was formed. It's a very strange thing to say after the journey I just watched. Final weigh in shows that Carrie is back to just .8 pounds over her starting weight and that Kenlee has lost a total of 27 pounds. It's far below the 50 pounds she was hoping, but the inches have come off and she is looking good! I didn't like Carrie from the beginning and I definitely didn't think I would like her by the end, but she proved me wrong. Clearly, letting go of preconceived notions and giving someone the chance to shine brightly makes all the difference.
Did anyone else have any issues with Carrie's attitude? Am I just making it all up in my head? Am I just a Kenlee type looking out for all of the other Kenlees of the world? Let me know in the comments below.