On this week's episode of Thintervention, Jackie sends the clients to a sport and fitness resort, where she tests their self-control with real-world temptations. (Picture a table full of fried calamari and spinach and artichoke dip.) Meanwhile, Joe considers changing more than just his appearance.
At the start of the episode, the clients receive a message from Jackie. They'll be on their own for the next three days. This time is practice for their six weeks of independence before the season finale. Bryan and Joe diligently hit the gym, but the others struggle. Mandy would rather spend this extra time with her family, and when it comes to working out, Nikki just "doesn't feel like it."
After seventy-two hours of freestyle, everyone arrives at the resort, where Craig, a trainer who has been working with the clients alongside Jackie, presents them with welcome packages. What's inside, though, is not so welcome: bathing suits.
Nikki, especially, is horrified. "We are fat people," she says, and forcing them to wear bathing suits is cruel.
But today's workout is in the pool, and they don't really have a choice.
When Shannon steps out her dressing room, Craig gets teary. She has come so far.
Outside, by the pool, Joe thinks Jackie looks amazing. He asks if she can, uh, turn around so he can see her backside. She's not pleased, and Joe, as usual, is oblivious.
The person who brings it the most today gets a prize, so "drop your robes with passion," Jackie says, and instructs the group to run in the water and then swim eighteen laps.
"I'm not a swimmer. I'm a snorkeler," says Mandy.
Stacy, who won the Pussycat Doll challenge last week, comes out on top again, and is rewarded with a private hotel room. Jackie pairs up the other clients, and when Nikki learns she'll be rooming with Jeana, she asks, "Am I being punished?" Jeana starts to cry, and Jackie consoles her: Nikki would give anyone she roomed with hell and Jeana shouldn't take it personally.
For their homework this week, the clients must show Jackie they can sustain a healthy lifestyle on their own. She recommends signing up for one of the classes offered by the resort and reminds them to eat perfectly "clean" (her term for healthy).
The cameras don't catch anyone taking classes, although you do see the women sitting poolside browsing through the resort's class catalog. Nikki shudders at any class with the word "extreme" in it.
Joe, who out of all of the clients has shown the greatest affinity for the gym, schedules a one-on-one session with Craig. When Craig confides that Jackie was offended by Joe's comment at the pool, Joe explains that he didn't mean it derisively. He was trying to express that he draws a lot inspiration from her body. Later he apologizes and tells Jackie that his "goal is to look as amazing as you look." She accepts his apology, but doesn't let him off the hook entirely. He has an opportunity to change here — not just physically but emotionally.
This conversation leaves Joe feeling both contemplative and in need of a drink. He heads down to the bar, where he finds Jeana and Craig.
"I see Jeana. I see Craig. I like Craig," he says.
And this week Jeana, not Stacy, is the group's punching bag.
The next day while driving to the extreme workout, Bryan confesses that he's freaked out by everything he puts into his mouth. He thinks if he eats a slice of pizza, he'll gain twenty pounds.
To me, this sounds like the early signs of an eating disorder, but Jackie doesn't think his concern is necessarily a bad thing. At this stage of the game, while he's learning to eat clean, he should be weary of junk food. Not to say that he'll never eat pizza again, but he'll learn how to eat these foods in moderation later in the program.
A short ride later, everyone arrives at the Newport Aquatic Center, where they're split into two teams: Joe, Bryan, Nikki, and Jackie on one team, and Jeana, Shannon, Stacy, Mandy, and Craig on the other. They'll be rowing against each other, and the winners will enjoy a day at a spa, while the losers work out. The race is close, but Team Craig pulls ahead by a hair.
Because they all did so well today, Jackie would like to take them out to dinner. When the waiter comes over, she orders what I'm sure she would call "dirty" foods: fried calamari, coconut shrimp, spinach and artichoke dip, Kobe beef sliders, and more.
The clients all exchange suspicious glances, and Bryan breaks the silence by popping a calamari ring into his mouth and proclaiming its deliciousness. Jackie recalls their conversation in the car that morning, when he confessed he was becoming paranoid about his eating.
"You didn't seem so worried just now," she says.
Bryan, with Stacy on his side, lashes out. Jackie has set them up to fail, they say.
This anger surprises Jackie. After the show, the clients will face situations like this all of the time, and they need to have solid strategies in place to handle them.
Then Nikki, until now always the drama queen, calms everyone down. She's not angered by this food and thinks the people who are need to examine their feelings. Where is their frustration coming from? Do they feel threatened? And are they blaming Jackie for their own insecurities?
"When Nikki is the voice of reason, I know that anything is possible," Jackie says.
At the last group therapy session and weigh-in before the season finale, the clients discuss their biggest challenges.
Nikki is worried about self-sabotage, and Jackie says that Nikki needs to let go of her fear of happiness. Shannon realizes she's an emotional eater. Mandy's dad used to applaud her for eating a lot. She must stop associating overeating with positive reinforcement. Stacy used her weight as an excuse for not achieving certain goals in her life. Bryan admits love made him lazy. Jeana made eating her social life.
And then there's Joe. His toughest challenge was a lack of emotion. For so long, he didn't think about himself, because he didn't think he was worth it. Dr. Ramani, a professor of psychology at California State University Los Angeles who runs the therapy sessions, asks if he'll be more gracious and gentle going forward. "Yes," he says. And I think he means it. He even apologizes to Stacy for the cankles comment.
The weigh-in reveals lots of room for improvement. Mandy lost only one pound, her smallest loss so far in the program, which she attributes to not working out at full intensity. Shannon has gained a pound. When she reveals what she had for breakfast — steel-cut oats with blueberries, scrambled eggs, and a whole-wheat waffle — Jackie says she's simply eating too much. Jeana has lost one pound and is still only halfway there. Joe lost three, Stacy two, Nikki nothing(!), and Bryan seven.
He's clearly working the program in the right way, Jackie says. What's his secret?
"It's not about starving yourself," he says, but you must literally retrain yourself how to eat. I can't help but worry about him a bit. He has learned how not to overeat, but I hope he doesn't go too far in the other direction.
Next up: The clients return after six weeks of working Jackie's program on their own — and reveal their results at the season finale.