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Episode 1 – Let's Get Physical


by Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

Author Note: Sorry for the delay of this piece, but I was busy watching the Patriots solidify their place in Football history. Gooooooooooooooooooo PATS!!!!!!!!!! Whudda thunk it?

This was the first episode. I came about watching and reviewing Celebrity Fit Club in a round-about way. I am a fan of both ANT and Ralphie May, having covered their endeavors in comedy and their exploits on the series Last Comic Standing. I happened upon the show as I was flipping through channels and saw episode 3 first. You can get the recap here.

ANT shows us around. He is the host of this here show, “queen” of the castle, so to speak. ANT is also a weight-loss success story. He lost over 30 lbs himself so the man can offer some inspiration to the celebs. He is a success story and hysterical. (Check out his web site at http://www.antcomic.com for more info on ANT the legend, the comedian, the man!!!)

He says that this will be an amazing experience for the celebrities. They will face harsh realities, however. They may win some fabulous prizes in the challenges, but they are going to go through a lot. It won’t be all fun.

So, ‘inquiring minds’ wanna know- What made the celebs join up for this tour of duty?

Mia Tyler is a beautiful and famous plus-sized model. She is also the daughter of Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and sister to actress Liv Tyler. She is driving one of the Mack Trucks to the castle, with some of the castmates in tow. She says she feels like “large Marge” and isn’t sure what she’s set herself up for.

She does want to lose weight to be healthy and not ‘thin’.

(Author Commentary – I thought it was awfully tasteless for them to put the celebs in Mack Trucks. But, I guess I’m just sensitive about those things!)

Daniel Baldwin is an actor. He is one of the “Baldwin Brothers” – you know them – Billy, Alec and so forth. He’s got the killer instinct. In fact, he’s quite competitive and is taking this fit club idea seriously. He says that if people are slacking off on this challenge, he’ll kick them in the a$$. He says it’s time to lose the weight. He’s ready.

Biz wants to do this for the ladies. He wants to show them that he’s “got what they need” so he doesn’t have to be “just a friend” anymore. (If you don’t get the quotes, they’re references to Biz’ rap hit of over a decade ago.)

Judge Mablean of Divorce Court fame (she makes Judge Judy look like a softie) wants to have a Janet Jackson stomach. The visual will haunt me for months – I picture Mablean’s face on Janet’s abs and well, it ain’t pretty.

Wendy Kaufmann, aka the Snapple Lady, says it’s important to her to lose the weight and it’s important to the people who love her. This concerns me because I wonder if Wendy’s doing this just for herself and for the right reasons. I’ve found in my own personal experience that you have to lose weight for you. Other people’s expectations can’t really come into play or it can lead to disordered eating (and thinking).

Kim Coles says that she just wants to be able to burn her girdle before the show is over.

Ralphie May, a comedian, and Joe G., a chef turned actor from the “Sopranos”, round out the celebrity contestants on the Fit Club. We’ll get some more info on them soon.

Now that we’ve been introduced to the celebs, let’s meet the experts. Harvey Walden IV is the drill sergeant and the fitness trainer. He says that he wants ‘every muscle in their fat bodies to ache’ by the end of this process. Nice, huh!

Marisa Peer is a psychotherapist who specializes in hypnosis. She has worked with celebrities and royalty. She believes that much of overeating can be linked to emotional issues and will work with the contestants on that.

Dr. David L. Katz is a graduate of Yale Medical School. He is overseeing the health and nutritional aspect of the action. He wants to help the celebs focus on changing their lifestyles and not just losing weight.

At this time, we get some feedback from the celebs’ about their first exercise session with Harvey. Wendy says it was traumatic and Ralphie said he’s never had to run before because he’s “got a Lexus.”

It’s time to get the teams together. The experts pick Daniel Baldwin as the first team captain. They say he has a strong character and will pull his team together. Daniel says he’ll lead by example. He’s going to commit 110% to this process. His goal is to weigh 220 or less by the end of this experience.

Daniel says that the public thinks he’s a troublemaker. He’s had troubles with addiction in the past, but he’s sober now and has been for a number of years. He’s also a tough guy and we see him getting a tattoo in his one-on-one segment. He jokingly referred to the show as “Celebrity Fat Club.”

Currently, Daniel’s weight is 264. His body fat is 20.1% (which, according to charts, puts him in the BMI of a normal weight. Goes to show that the charts aren’t always right!). He’s actually shocked when Dr. Katz tells him that his blood sugar is close to diabetic levels. His mother had the disease.

Perhaps, that will give Daniel even more motivation; however, he seems pretty serious about this. He’s got a target of 5 lbs for the next week.

The second team’s captain will be Judge Mablean. The experts chose her because of her take charge personality. They also think that she’ll take control of her team and show them the right way to do things. Her daughter says that her mother (who’s single by the way, guys) is “even tougher in real life than on Divorce Court.

Mablean says that she doesn’t care about finding a man. This is about her health. There is hypertension in her family. Judge wasn’t thrilled that they were going to broadcast her weight to the world. (The celebs get weighed on a scale in front of the experts, each other and the tv-viewing audience.)

She’s 208 lbs. She said that was devastating. Mablean doesn’t seem to have much use for Marisa (but – since we’ve watched subsequent episodes we know that’s certainly the case!).

She has a 5 lb target loss for the next week and her body fat is 29.1%.

Now, the team captains get to pick their teams. They are instructed to choose teammates based on who they think will lose the most weight and who is the most committed. ANT reminds them to think back on performances at Fit Camp.

Daniel chooses the person he thinks is one of the best athletes. She also reminds him of himself when he was her age. Obviously it’s the lovely Mia Tyler. Mia says that growing up backstage has shaped who she is today. That you just can’t be a ‘lawyer’ with that upbringing. You have to be an entertainer.

She is married to Dave Buckner of the band Papa Roach. She loves her ‘chunkiness’ and says that she’s sexy regardless of how much she weighs.

Currently, she’s 210 lbs and has 33.2% body fat. She’s gained 30 lbs in the last year and her hubby has gained about 50. She says she moved from the city to the suburbs and being married has helped wreak havoc on her model figure. Harvey calls those excuses. She says they’re reasons and doesn’t let him give her that s**t.

She is given a target weight loss of 4 lbs and wonders why it’s not 5 lbs like the team captains. Harvey said it’s healthy for her.

Judge Mablean said that Mia was also her first choice. She regroups pretty quickly and chooses Ralphie May. She says that he’s a winner and not a loser. We see a clip of Ralphie joking that he was told that he was ‘too fat’ to play the fat guy.

He has the most weight out of the celebs to lose. He’s well over 400 lbs. Ralphie tells us that he’s almost ½ the man he used to be, though. He was once over 800 lbs.

His girlfriend, Lahna Turner, is also a comedian. She said that the weight was an issue for her at one point, but then she realized that if the only reason she wasn’t with Ralphie was because he was fat, that wasn’t a good enough reason. That was prejudice. She’s a rare woman, Lahna.

Ralphie wants to lose weight so that he can have kids some day and be there for Lahna. He wants to teach his kids how to ride a bike and to play ball.

When he stepped up to the scales, he joked that he should take his jacket off. His weight was 480 lbs. He was happy with that because, only a year ago, he was over 600 lbs. The panel congratulated him on how far he’s come, but recognized that they had a long road ahead of them still.

Marisa showed pics of Ralphie as a baby. He was normal size. She asked “what happened?” Ralphie told her that he had a car accident at 16. He broke a lot of bones and, due to a long hospitalization and inactivity, which led to more weight gain which made it harder to move (I know that vicious cycle from my own experiences) – this created a horrible situation that contributed to such a massive weight gain.

Ralphie’s body fat level is 72.7%. The panel gave him an 8 lb. target loss.

ANT asked Biz whose team he didn’t want to be on. He said the judge’s. They asked Kim. She said she wasn’t sure. Daniel chose Biz next because he’s got a lot of heart. He’s like a big teddy bear.

They refer to Biz as the “clown prince” of hip-hop. He became a top DJ. He is currently 344 lbs (body fat is 27.2%), which upset him a lot. He says he has to lose weight. His figures that the lifestyle a DJ leads – lots of late nights, etc. has not helped him with his weight loss goals.

Harvey asked him if he exercises. He doesn’t. Harvey wants him to incorporate exercise into his life – and pull his pants up. (For the full scoop on Biz’ Butt Crack issues, check out this recap.) I’ve already devoted enough time to Biz Markie’s pants problems. I have the nightmares – and therapy bills – to prove it.

Now, for Judge’s second choice. It’s a person she feels is ‘determined and focused’ – Kim Coles.

We see Kim, in her segment, joke that she uses her elliptical trainer as a coat hanger. She talks about how, as a young girl, she developed early and got too much attention from older guys so she put on weight to make herself less attractive.

She’s a woman now and ready to break down her wall of “extra fat”. She’s 220 and has 34.7% body fat. She wasn’t surprised with the weight because she’s been weighing herself. She knows that she comfort eats and she has to stop it.

Harvey questions her commitment. He gave her a target of 6 lbs. She said it’ll be tough. She almost looks like she’s gonna crack. ANT tries to give her some encouragement and Mablean ‘rides’ her a little bit. Tells her to get ‘can’t’ out of her vocabulary or something like that. (I can’t imagine where their problems stem from!)

Daniel’s next choice is Joe G. He is second to last picked and says, “hey, it’s about time.” He wants to ‘win this thing.’ Okay. Great. Joe may be best known as Vito Spadafaro on the “Sopranos”. He’s a big guy with a big heart. He loves his food and his fiancée, Dianne.

He was a chef for years. Wanted to be a saucier – a person who makes sauces. He loves the ‘sauce’. He says he was in shape until he got into the restaurant biz. He wants to keep his fiancée off his back. She gets on him about his eating.

To be on the “Club”, Joey is leaving Brooklyn for the first extended time period in his life to go to LA.

The experts question his commitment to the program because he seems to be less emotional than the other contestants about this whole issue. Harvey gives him a 7 lb. target weight loss. Joey asks for an extra pound. He currently weighed in at 302 lbs with 27.7% body fat.

Last but not least is Wendy. ANT tells her she’d have been his first choice. Wendy hides an addictive personality behind her sweet, funny and bubbly façade. She conquered a drinking problem some years ago and said that she gained 70 lbs pretty rapidly after she became sober.

She weighs 245 lbs with 43% body fat. Dr. Katz notes that it will be harder for her with a higher body fat percentage to lose weight. Her basal metabolism is messed up.

(Basal Metabolism is the minimum # of calories that your body needs per day to perform vital bodily functions – like breathing, circulation, etc. You can raise this level by adding exercise which is way people who regularly exercise can often eat more calories without gaining weight. Note too that if you consistently eat below your BMR – basal metabolic rate – you will slow down your metabolism!)

Wendy has a good attitude. The panel notes this. Marisa asks her if she has ever thought of herself as slim. Wendy says she doesn’t see herself as such. She has a 5 lb target loss.

So, now that the teams are selected, ANT wants to know if they’re happy with the configuration. They all give a thumbs up. Now is the time for the teams to get on the big scales. ANT says it’s a brave step that they’ve undertaken and wants to applaud them all for this.

Mablean’s team weighs 1,154 (combined) and Daniel’s is 1,120. They calibrate the scales so that it will even up to make competitions fair. That’s it for this episode and, as ANT says, “the scales don’t lie.”


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