Pumping Up and Slimming Down with Lifetime's DietTribe
It's that time of year of again: The holidays are over, but all those holiday cookies have taken their toll.
Lifetime is embracing that post-holiday season rut with DietTribe, a new lifestyle reality show that promises to offer inspiration to even the workout-averse. The new series, premiering Monday at 10 pm/ET, features five overweight friends who decide to pursue healthier lifestyles in time for their friend Anna's wedding.
DietTribe follows their efforts to try to lose weight and change their lives with the help of Stacy Kaiser, a psychotherapist, and Jessie Pavelka, a model and personal trainer. TVGuide.com caught up with Pavelka to get the skinny on the series, find out his fitness philosophy — and how the rest of us can stay motivated to get in shape, long after the holidays have passed.
TVGuide.com: Can you tell us about DietTribe and your role on the series?
Jessie Pavelka: It's about five obese women who are all best friends, and they've enabled each others' bad habits and negative characteristics since the beginning of their friendship. They have 90 days to lose 30 pounds or more, and it's going to be a lifestyle show. It's not like Biggest Loser; they're not given $100,000 to lose 100 pounds. It's just a show where we give them the tools to use for the rest of their lives.
TVGuide.com: You've been a bodybuilder and model. Why did this show appeal to you?
Pavelka: I moved to L.A. to do the acting/modeling thing, just like everybody else. But I also was a trainer... . When I saw that this was a show that mattered, that can change lives — and not just the people's lives that are on the show, but people that watch it — I thought it was an opportunity to be a part of something great.
TVGuide.com: Do you have a personal philosophy of diet and fitness that you bring to the show?
Pavelka: My thing is, take the body and the mind will follow. A lot of people come up with excuses. They find the reasons why they shouldn't. Everybody does it, I'm guilty of it... . Another thing, I say be open. Be open to everything, in terms of diet styles and training styles. Be open, and do whatever it takes to make it manageable for you.
TVGuide.com: If we'd spoken six hours ago, I might've made it to the gym! What kinds of things did you do to train the women on the show?
Pavelka: I always kept their bodies guessing. Once they conquered a work out, I made it a little bit harder. They didn't like that, but they knew it was necessary.
TVGuide.com: Were there any new challenges for you?
Pavelka: I'd say getting them to trust me in such a short amount of time.
TVGuide.com: How would you describe that process? What were some of the key ways that you feel you've done that?
Pavelka: I could only show them by my actions. It took a little while. I knew that all I had to do was show them what I knew, have them do it, and the rest was guaranteed.
TVGuide.com: Were there any specific obstacles that the friends faced throughout the show?
Pavelka: Just about every fear that a person could have, these ladies had, and they had to face those fears. I could get specific, but you've got to watch the show.
TVGuide.com: The timing of the show's launch seems well-timed with New Year's resolutions. What advice would you give to the average person who wants to get fit after the holidays?
Pavelka: The best advice I can give to someone who is making their New Year's resolution to lose weight would be if you're trying to lose 30, 40, 50 pounds, don't look at the [numbers]. If you do, you're going to get discouraged. Set short-term goals. Commit to it, set short-term goals, and if you're a person who needs someone to be around you when you work out, surround yourself by the right people. If you're around people that are eating bad and don't like to exercise, then you're going to eat bad and not exercise. It's black and white.
TVGuide.com: Yet, there must be times when people just don't want to push any harder or go any further. What do you do in those moments?
Pavelka: Whenever you have a wall in front of you, it's one of the best times to find growth inside yourself, to find a stronger you, is to overcome that wall. I think that's the way that people need to approach it.
TVGuide.com: You spend so much time and energy helping others stay focused and motivated. What do you do in your own life to achieve the same things?
Pavelka: I wake up everyday and I go for it. Everyday is a new challenge for me. I've been through some things in my life where I've grown as a person, I'm able to use the tools that I've gathered through that growth to help myself out. My idea of a good day is I wake up, I have a schedule, I get home, I play guitar, write music. I'll paint — I'm pretty simple!
TVGuide.com: What single thing do you hope viewers will take away from DietTribe?
Pavelka: I hope they will find something in their lives that his holding them back, put it into the show and figure out how this show can change your life. I hope this starts a movement across the U.S. where people realize they don't have to settle for the way their life's going. If there's darkness, and they start moving, I promise they will get some light.
Five Easy Tips for Helping to Take off Those Extra Holiday Pounds, from DietTribe's Stacy Kaiser:
1. Wear tight/fitted pants — loose and baggy ones are an invitation to eat more! Tighter ones make us eat less!
2. Always leave at least two bites behind of each item you eat. This will save you calories and help with portion control.
3. Dressing, sauces, sour cream, butter always on the side. If you can eat the food minus these items, even better!
4. Always park in the farthest parking spot and walk. Take the stairs and not elevators.
5. Recruit a friend to be your "Health Coach". Call that friend when you are feeling triggered to overeat, binge, or cheat. Make sure he or she has a good ability to distract you, encourage you and support you. It's best if you can do this for one another.
Ideally, they should be combined with a good diet plan, exercise, and working on emotional issues with food. Also, if these tips are followed all year, then you're sure to lose more weight.