Jackie Warner's Thintervention

Why you must watch Bravo's new weight loss show

You’ve seen the format before: A group of obese men and women are sick and tired of being sick and tired, so they embark on an emotional and physical journey to shed the weight and gain some self-respect. The Biggest Loser. Losing It With Jillian. Dance Your Ass Off. Ruby. By the end of the series, the audience is rewarded almost as much as the contestants themselves with dramatic reveals and tales of lives uplifted. So why do we need another one?

If you watched Thintervention with Jackie Warner last night on Bravo, you have your answer. Everyone’s favorite Girl Crush, gymbot Warner debuted her new reality show, featuring eight women and men looking to shed various amounts of weight. For the next few months, the show will chronicle their workouts with Warner, along with therapy sessions, diet overhauls, and six weeks of being on their own, without the benefit/curse of a bulldog professional looking over their shoulder every six seconds.

While it shares certain elements with other bootcamp-style weight loss shows (running until exhaustion, exercise challenges), there’re a refreshing element of compassion injected into the dialogue. “You're not going to die,” she assures one woman who claims the treadmill will do her in. “You're going to live. I promise. You will get stronger, like a bull, over the next few weeks." And she mixes in a little cognitive behavioral change -- critical for successful weight loss. “Workouts are not painful, they are pleasure,” she says. “We need to reframe.”

Warner’s style of workout is called Power Circuit Training, which keeps cast members constantly moving from machine to machine. Their homework assignment on the first day is to go home and clear all sugar out of the house, or at least anything with more than 5 grams of sugar in it. All eight of them receive a Blackberry and are required to send in daily food updates.

That night at home, they receive a text from Warner: “Give me two miles tomorrow morning. I don't care if you run, walk, or crawl.” Not to be flip, but at least she’s giving them options. If they feel like they can’t jog it, they can walk it. By getting away from an all-or-nothing mentality, Warner is making fitness more accessible.

I also appreciate that no one is attempting to lose a totally unattainable amount of weight (60 pounds is the greatest weight loss goal; 25 is the smallest.) And Warner offers real-world tips that the audience can use. She goes to participants' homes and shows them how they can implement fitness right then and there, like having Mandy do wind sprints on her tennis court with her son, or forcing Bryan to run up and down the stairs a billion times to burn off the two cookies he cheated with. At Mandy's home ambush, Warner gently explains that she can show her son love by feeding him berries, not brownies, as well as spare him future weight issues.

Lastly, Thintervention is not a competition. There’s no money at the end -- the reward is how strong they will feel, inside and out, for having attained their goal. So there’s no need for sabotage or mean-spiritedness among the eight.

Throughout the next few months, we’ll be posting Tuesday recaps of Thintervention. To help you stay current, here are some key details about the men and women we’ll be following:

Age: 36
Starting weight: 259 lbs
Wants to Lose: 60 lbs

This actor/independent film producer and his hot partner, Miguel, have named Bryan’s expanding gut “Viola.” Of his first impression of Warner, Bryan says, "She looks like she has bigger balls than me." Bryan admits to hiding food -- mostly sweets -- from Miguel but is slowly learning to “kick the sugar whore” out of his life.

Pounds lost after first episode: 7

Starting weight: 174 lbs
Wants to Lose: 25 lbs

You might recognize this former Playboy Playmate from the Real Housewives of Orange Country. Jeana has been discouraged as a result of incredible disrespect from her ex-husband and sons in regards to her weight (ie he ex used to refer to her as Shamu in public.)

Pounds lost after first episode: 4

Starting weight: 223lbs
Wants to Lose: 50 lbs

This snarly Australian transplant works as a life advisor and enjoys her vodka like most people enjoy air. She once told her personal shopper at Neiman Marcus that she was pregnant as a way to explain her weight gain.

Pounds lost after first episode: 6

Starting weight: 224 lbs
Wants to Lose: 50 lbs

Calling herself “the 007 of camouflaging,” Stacy partly blames her weight issue on her Jewish culture and its emphasis on food. She also struggles with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition that can cause weight gain, as well as infertility.

Pounds lost after first episode: 7

Starting weight: 230 lbs
Wants to Lose: 40 lbs

Smarmy and with a weakness for cheeseburgers, Nikki thinks Joe’s only losing weight so he can “bang hot chicks.”  The high-end event producer does admit to having confidence when it comes to approaching women but when it comes to “closing the deal,” his weight stands in his way.

Pounds lost after first episode: 10

Starting weight: 180lbs
Wants to Lose:  30lbs

One-half of the show’s sole mother-daughter team (with Shay, Below) Kim is a former athlete and fitness model who recently lost her breasts and uterus to cancer. Both she and her daughter turned to food – especially ice cream -- for comfort.

Pounds lost after first episode: 9

Shannon aka “Shay”
Starting weight: 204 lbs
Wants to Lose: 50 lbs

At 50% body fat, the college student (and youngest contestant) wants to reach a size 6 but keep some of her “Beyonce curves.”  During a belly crawl relay on the beach, she showed her sense of humor by revealing, "My thong was up my vajajalos, but in the front. Like a wedgie. It's a vedgy."

Pounds lost after first episode: 5

Starting weight: 167 lbs
Wants to Lose: 30 lbs

A former professional cheerleader and self-professed “spoiled” stay-at-home-mom, her son calls her, “scavenger off of our plates.”

Pounds lost after first episode:  5

Watch Thintervention with Jackie Warner on Monday nights 10/9 C on Bravo.

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