This week Jillian spent five days in Camp Verde, Arizona on a Native American reservation with a population of 2,000 people, 90% of them obese. Diabetes is on the rise in this community and council leader Cora-Lei asked for Jillian's help. Cora-Lei, her mom, son, and sister have health issues related to obesity. Cora-Lei felt that if she would do something to become healthier, she could influence her tribal nation to do the same.
Though we were first introduced to Cora-Lei and her family, the show seemed to focus more on the entire community which would explain why Jillian stayed in the local lodge and not in Cora-Lei's home.
This week's episode seemed a bit choppy to me. It was like they tried to get too much information in a short amount of time but didn't flesh out enough of the story. I didn't feel any emotional connections with anyone, not even Jillian. Though it was interesting to learn about fry bread. It appeared to be a really bad staple in the community's diet, which they deemed a traditional food. But when it was discussed, it was determined to be what became traditional after the tribes were moved to reservations and their natural way of life taken away.
Jillian went to a community picnic and threw away the fry bread, which was basically deep fried dough. Her behavior was deemed disrespectful by the tribal leader because they don't waste food. But he later told Jillian she caused discussion among the people and thanked her for helping them find a healthier way.
It didn't appear that emotional issues were causing the health problems for this community as it did for other families in previous episodes. It seemed to be a lack of information. Once they learned why it was bad they asked for help on how to change it. This wasn't a discussion that plucked at a veiwer's heartstrings — at least not at mine and I've been told I'm too sensitive sometimes.
Jillian tried to get the community together for a discussion on how to prevent diabetes II but only a handful of people came out to hear Dr. Van Herle speak on the topic. Cora-Lei decided she and her family had to make changes and show the community it can be done. She felt leading by example would be the best way to end the apathy of her people. Working out with Jillian helped Cora-Lei find strength and to realize it was okay to ask for help.
For her last day, Jillian planned a community walk in the local park. She and Cora-Lei went around inviting people to attend. She wasn't sure if anyone would actually show up after bombing with the diabetes lecture. But this time most of the community came out to show support.
This week we didn't get a goal weight loss from anyone. Cora-Lei just said she wanted everyone in the tribal nation to make a change along with her. She wanted Jillian to see a difference when she returned in six weeks.
Six weeks later, Jillian returned to find Cora-Lei's family had a combined weight loss of 150 pounds and their health issues greatly improved. The tribal nation implemented an exercise program for everyone and Jillian gave them money to help fund it. She didn't say how much she gave as she did in previous episodes. Jillian also gave everyone in the tribe a free membership to her website and encouraged them to participate.
When we weren't given goals from the family with the focus on the entire tribe, I was expecting results from everyone not just the family. But that didn't happen. I really don't get the point of the format of this episode. I just hope we didn't get any first-time viewers this week, this wouldn't be the one to keep people watching.
I also don't understand why they showed a dog running the streets and Jillian being told they didn't know who owned the dog. Jillian said the dog was homeless and she wanted him — as she walked away, leaving the dog literally on the street. There wasn't any additional information provided. I had to sort through her Twitter responses to other people to find out the dog actually did have a home. Jillian's an animal lover but this made her appear heartless to leave a 'homeless' dog running the streets. What was the point of this scene?
I won't complain about the cost of weight loss programs this week because I owe Jillian huge props. She's holding contests on Twitter and giving away her DVDs, books, and even a cabin on her workout cruise. There isn't an income limit but that would be expecting too much for an income verification process. There were ten winners in the first contest. I know it's too much to hope for that those who can afford the prizes don't enter, but at least there is a chance for those who can't afford it to get some help. Bravo, Jillian!
Despite this one episode, I think this is a great show. Too bad it can't be longer; an hour just isn't enough time to tell the whole story. NBC has other shows on the air for three hours a week that are just silly. This one actually provides a real service and should be given more time. Make the talent show a hour a week and give the rest of that time to Losing It With Jillian.
There are only two more episodes left in this season so be sure to tune in! Losing It With Jillian airs on NBC Tuesday at 8pm EST.