One Big Happy Family

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new weight loss reality show on TLC on Tuesday nights. One Big Happy Family follows the Coles family (Mom, Dad, teenage daughter, teenage son) as they work together to shed some serious weight, for serious reasons.They each weigh in at between 300-400 pounds, and mother, father, and son are experiencing health problems. So far, the daughter’s ego seems to be the only thing ailing.:)

This is a family that seems to truly love each other. The teens are as obnoxious as many teens but seem to respect their parents. (I realize this might be for the cameras, but to me it seems genuine.)  Part of the family ritual is sharing meals together: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese, lasagna, etc. (I’m not sure, but that might have all been in one meal.)  They like to eat and they like to laugh and aren’t apologizing for either. When we first meet them, they all acknowledge the weight issues, but they don’t seem to be particularly motivated to do anything about it.

That all changes when a series of doctor’s appointments reveal the very real threat of serious health problems. Then Mama gets fierce and tries to get them turned around. The results are often thought-provoking, sometimes hilarious, occasionally sad, and refreshingly real. No trainers, no nutritionists,  no product placement (thank the Lord!). Instead, we see Dad learning that spinach can be served fresh. Mom broils meat for the first time ever (with Cammy-esque results.) The son has to endure the humiliation of an idiotic neighbor referring to him as “fat.” The daughter breaks a chair she’s sitting in and tries to laugh through the embarrassment. Many of us have lived these moments or moments similar enough to relate.

Some of the show’s moments that ring most true to me are also generating some controversy. Critics claim that the show exploits the Coles and portrays them as exaggerated characters, not real people with real problems. I’ve tried to look at it from this point of view, but honestly, I just don’t see the show in the same way. It has me wondering if there’s some sort of cultural disconnect, but I’m not sure if it’s related to size, or perhaps to race, or maybe a little bit of both. All I know is that each of these family members has said or done something that reminded me of ME 100 pounds ago. (Mom’s healthy cooking efforts remind me more of me NOW.) These are my people.

Y’all remember how much I loved Ruby (Style Network, new season starts Feb. 14)? Well, I love following the Coles just as much! Led by one tenacious mother, with reluctant support from a family that doesn’t exactly embrace change until they experience it, their efforts to turn their lives around the best way they know how has me wanting to stand up and cheer with each small victory. The Coles make my heart happy…and hopeful.

Okay, your turn. Have you seen this show? Like it? Had to look away? Fell asleep? Don’t like weight loss reality shows in general? Please share.

19 thoughts on “One Big Happy Family

  1. I have seen this show and I was suprised how much I not only liked the concept, but also "bonded" through tv with the family. I found myself rooting them on – especially the son because he seemed to really want to get going!

    I can't wait for Ruby to come on!

  2. i have not seen it yet but will look for it. sounds inspirational! and who can't use some inspiration.

  3. I can't figure out how to turn on my TV, so I don't watch anything unless I can get it online. (I have males in the house, who are fabulous, don't get me wrong, but they come with 2,000 components and literally 5 remotes, one of which is a $200 universal remote sitting useless in its cradle because my sweetie hasn't had time to fool with it. Ahem. Sorry for going off topic.) I have a hard time with reality tv though I did catch snippets of Ruby online and enjoyed them very much. I am picturing the valiant mother trying to turn the bus around against what sounds like overwhelming resistance. Food habits are SO hard to change but they do tend to be self reinforcing if you go far enough in the right direction. I will be cheering for them too!

  4. Haven't seen this yet, but you have certainly peaked my interest. I kinda feel for the Mom already, trying but not getting any help. I would imagine there are a lot of families out there like this.

  5. I LOVE this show. As someone who is just starting out on this journey, I find them to be people that I can relate to but also be inspired by. Let's face it- they are REAL life and I feel like if they can do it- I can definitely do it.

    Glad you are enjoying it as much as I am!

  6. I haven't seen the show yet but I will keep an eye out for it.

    Thank you for your support yesterday. It really meant a lot to me, and helped so much!


  7. I'll have to check it out. I watched "The Biggest Loser" for the first time last night and am not sure I liked it. I will give it a chance for awhile before I pass judgement on weight loss reality shows.

  8. I really like this show as well and agree that it is the dynamics of the family that is so appealing. I like their "Truth" nights. It will be neat to see where they end up.

  9. I seen the advertisements and I really need to TIVO it. It sounds good. Thanks for sharing your opinion of it. :)

  10. I heard about it & saw some interviews with the family but have not seen the show. I best check it out & record it for viewing!

  11. Thank you so much for this blog as I myself is going through the process of trying to loose weight. All I can say is congratulation.

    I love the show 100% because of the unflagging LOVE that family seems to have for one another.

    so flipping rare these days…

  13. The only way to lose weight is to take responsibility for yourself! Our health is our most important asset. For many people, being overweight is associated with being uncomfortable in their own skin. To assist with weight control; keep a daily food journal and every time the urge to snack is felt, first drink a large glass of clear water. This simple act will help you to eat less. Water will soon become one of your best friends. The major reason so many people in America are overweight is because we eat too much for comfort! It does not hurt to treat ourselves with something special once in a while, what is necessary is that we limit our portions and do not overeat! It is also necessary to keep our body properly hydrated, so drink a full glass of water with each meal or snack. Being overweight ******, but after reading a book, I lost 85 pounds! Words can not express how good I feel! This is a comment which I recently received about the book Lose Weight Using Four Easy Steps

  14. I haven't seen the show, but after reading your take on it, I'm going to check it out.

    I LOVE Ruby, and cannot wait to see the new season. :)

  15. I've never seen either show but I guess I wrote them off because of BL and it's new ad-centric self. I assumed they were the same. I'll have to check it out. Although, I often find myself snacking and watching the shows which is counter intuitive 😉

  16. I agree that it is a good show that actually seems real. They are trying to lose weight like many people; without the aid of personal trainers, personal chefs and/or personal nutritionists. The try and fail but keep trying. Hoping it's going to get easier for them.

  17. Pingback: They’re Ba-a-ck! One Big Happy Family

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