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TV Review: Losing It With Jillian – “The Alvarez Family”

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This week Jillian went to Miami, Florida to help the Alvarez family. David and Carmen have two children; the youngest, David Jr. age 9, is already pre-diabetic. The family met with the doctor for a checkup before they could work out with Jillian. Dr. Herle insisted that David Sr. have a sleep apnea test before he could do any exercise.

Jillian drove David Sr. to get tested to be sure he went and got it done correctly. The results were mind-blowing — he stopped breathing over 60 times and required a CPAP machine (which increases pressure in the throat so the airway doesn’t collapse) to sleep. He also couldn’t work out very hard which seemed to please him. He knew Jillian couldn’t kick his butt and smiled his way through his mild exercise.

Jillian focused on Carmen to help her find her voice and tell David how she felt about his attitude. David Jr. was following in his dad’s footsteps so David Sr. would have to help change things for their children’s health.

David Jr. was being picked on at school for his weight. Jillian could relate to the young boy because she was picked on at school for being overweight. Karate helped Jillian so she introduced David Jr. to martial arts. He loved it right away and said he wanted to do it forever. His birthday was the week Jillian was there, so she got him all the equipment he would need at home to practice. He said it was his best birthday present ever.

Jillian confronted the entire extended family about their eating habits. She came right out and asked David Sr.’s mom how she would feel if her son died. She explained to them that their food choices were poison. She went through the food and threw away all she considered harmful to their health. She taught them a better way to eat. Jillian took the family to a farmer’s market to get fresh fruits and vegetables. She then showed them how to cook healthy.

I really liked how she gave the young boy some of the focus and helped him to understand he had a choice about his health and his future. Jillian really seemed to have a way with the kids, she helped them understand without scaring them.

I enjoyed this episode because we got some of the Jillian I enjoy. She got in Carmen’s face a couple of times, which really helped draw out her feelings and get her motivated. We didn’t get to see a lot of this side of Jillian during the season, and I wish she had shown up more. The compassionate side was nice but when you hear the name Jillian Michaels, you expect to see someone get their ass kicked. Besides, her more emotional side really wasn’t all that apparent.

The family promised Jillian they would work really hard for the six weeks she was gone. When Jillian returned she was shocked. David Sr. lost over 50 pounds, Carmen over 25 pounds and David Jr. lost over 25 pounds and looked like any other healthy 10-year-old. David Sr. was taken off his high blood pressure meds and David Jr. was no longer pre-diabetic. David Jr. also started an after-school program to teach kids what he learned about being healthy. Jillian gave him some money to cover the cost of his program. Jillian didn’t say how much she gave him.

Before Jillian left for the last time she and David Sr. hit the gym. She wasn’t able to work him out when she first met the family because of his health. After his weight loss, she was able to give him a real workout.

There were a few inconsistencies by the end of the season. Jillian stopped saying how much the check was worth she gave the families, she didn’t actually live in the homes of some families, and before she left the last couple of families didn’t give them a weight loss goal. However, I did notice on their official NBC site the outtake clips include some of the goal-setting scenes.

They seemed to play around with editing; we heard about a lot of scenes that never aired. Jillian told of a scene on the reservation that was powerful to her. Fans waited for it but it didn’t make the final cut or the outtakes on the site.

About Ruthie

I'm devoted to animal rescue. I also work in internet public relations for TV personalities. In my spare time I like to sit on the sofa on my front lawn and watch the grass grow.