MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Marci

6 Jan

I watched the first episode of MTV’s “I Used to be Fat”, (which was about Gabriella, recap here), so I tuned in for the second episode. This time around it was about Marci, 18, who wants to lose weight. But that’s where the similarities to Gabriella’s episode ended.

MTV I Used to be Fat, Marci

Image credit: MTV

Marci’s episode was very different from Gabriella’s. In a nutshell: Gabriella was a happy teenager and wanted to lose weight to please her pushy mother, imho. Gabriella seemed to have everything—friends, a social life, a homecoming queen tiara. I thought she looked happy and confident just the way she was.

Marci has no friends, no social life, nothing. She doesn’t look happy or confident. Marci rocks the gothic look, with dark eye makeup and black clothes. She sits in her room all day, watches TV and eats. This isn’t a great lifestyle, no matter what dress size or age. Marci was taken out of 6th grade because she was bullied for her weight. Since then she was homeschooled and sheltered.

What are her goals in life? Her first goal is first to win friends. (Well, there’s one. Heather, a pretty blonde, who has a crush on Marci’s trainer.)  Marci’s second goal is to go shopping for cute clothes. Well, cute clothes come in many sizes, but you can’t always find them in the boutique around the corner, granted. Not her fault, though.

And Marci’s third goal is to lose weight. Marci weighs 250 lbs  and has 89 days to lose 90 lbs—that is her goal. Her personal trainer is ex-military and offers her a very straightforward, boot camp style workout, lots of tough love. I did like that he inquired about Marci’s goals besides weight loss, and he seemed to listen. I liked that he hugged her, sweat or no sweat. Of course, he also used the phrase “you are so fat!” to shame her into working out harder–that’s where he lost all brownie points again.

But they did a variety of exercises, including boxing, and Marci seemed to enjoy it, which I thought was great. A way to vent your frustration.

Marci’s mother seems like a very gentle, loving mother who never denies her daughter anything, including driving her daily to fast food joints. Marci’s mom is a pushover—or so Marci’s trainer says. The family never eats together, but Marci eats her fast food alone in her room. Marci’s parents are divorced since she was four years old and ever since she was given everything her heart desires. Food became her source of comfort and love.

Marci learns how to chop onions and peppers. She never prepared her own meal before. Why her mother never involved Marci in the kitchen before I have no idea. But I thought that part was great about the show, mom and daughter together in the kitchen, cooking. They tried out something new together, which is so much more important than losing weight.

Then there’s more exercise, more sweat, and after losing 50 lbs, Marci and her mother go shopping in celebration, but the cute clothes still won’t fit. If I were Marci, I’d blame the clothes, not myself. But it was set up like a personal challenge so I fully expected that she visits the shop again after more weight loss.

And after 89 days and losing 90 lbs , Marci has achieved her goal. So she goes shopping again and lo and behold, the ‘skinny’ dress fits.

I thought what Marci needed most were friends, lots of them. She seemed like a girl starving for friendship. She wasn’t self-confident or happy at the start of the episode. In the end, it was quite fun to see her turn the tables and boss her trainer around on the lawn. We see her leaving for a Halloween party, dressed up like a dark angel with black wings. She feels gorgeous and amazing and confident.

I felt Marci gained something positive from the show, even though I don’t agree with the method it was achieved. She learnt how to cook, she had fun working out, she seemed to have a new sparkle in her eye. Marci did it for herself, not for anyone else—well, if you don’t count anyone who ever bullied her for being a “fat girl”. I thought the overall message was that you have to lose weight to have a happy social life, to find friends. Which isn’t true. But you don’t gain self-esteem by sitting in your room all day, every day, so how could Marci possibly have developed a healthy self-confidence?

I wish someone could have taken Marci by the hand and introduced her to new people, social activities, volunteering, anything really, to get her in contact with people outside her immediate family. It wasn’t about losing weight for her, she seemed lonely above anything else.

(Related post: I Used to be Fat, Dominick)


8 Responses to “MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Marci”

  1. portlandsfunnygirl 01/06/2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I’m with you on this one. You know, if they maybe had her join a support group or yes, going out on outings, meeting new people, she probably would have a greater chance of keeping the weight off. She may be too timid after the show is over to actually trust people now. I dunno about you but this episode also left a bitter taste in my mouth. Way to go for her learning stuff and bonding with her mother. I just she can keep up the confidence to go out and not go back and hide in her room. You know?

    • Chickie 01/06/2011 at 7:42 pm #

      Yeah, I know what you mean. It would have been awesome if the friendly MTV people could have helped her get in touch with some kind of fun support group. Not a weight-loss group or anything, could be a knitting group for all I care, or bowling, or a movie club. Anything to get her outside the house and meet people and have fun. I felt so sad for her, seeing her hiding inside the room, sigh.

  2. sleepydumpling 01/10/2011 at 12:05 am #

    The really worrisome thing for me, is that when she gains the weight back, and we know that she has a 95% chance of doing so, then she’ll be back to feeling miserable and lonely and unworthy.

    If they’d simply worked on her self esteem and confidence, got her socially active, and made her feel good about herself, then she’d be well on the road to a much happier life.

    Poor kids, I just want to take them all under wing.

    • Chickie 01/10/2011 at 10:07 am #

      Yes, my sentiment exactly.

  3. Amanda 01/10/2011 at 5:48 pm #

    You look awesome! I know how hard it is to struggle with weight…at my heaviest I was 240 then got “stuck” at 220 for a long time N then lost weight N got back to 165 but I’ve gained some back and weigh 180 now…its always a struggle but don’t stop!! Your gorgeous!

  4. Michael Howard 01/14/2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Ik the outcome of the show cause I do know Marci, but I won’t spoil it for everyone, but I will say for a fact that Marci did her best and should be extreamly proud of what she accomplished.

    • Chickie 01/14/2011 at 9:16 pm #

      Absolutely should she feel proud of herself!


  1. MTV recap: “I Used to be Fat”, Gabriella « VivaFAT - 01/12/2011

    […] (–Related: Episode 2 recap, I Used to be Fat, Marci–) […]

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