A Big Loss
S1 episode 2 Aired on February 4, 2020

You know that mud race there was a glimpse of in the opening credits? That happened.

But first, this week was a real gauntlet for the contestants to survive. The Blue Team lost their leader. The Red Team was struggling with taking a leap of faith. There were tensions between teams and tensions with trainers. As if that weren’t enough, Week 2 is notorious for being a letdown after the initial weight loss wins of Week 1, because everyone’s body is getting used to a lower caloric intake adjusting to a higher level of activity. In the middle of running, pushing, and slogging through some tough challenges, you really can’t blame anyone for being on edge.

The biggest loss 

The loss of Robert is so emotional for the Blue Team that there were tears. Robert swore he’d step up to be the leader, but now that the former college football player is gone, someone else needs to step up to win big. Megan, the same person who pushed him in the gym with “no excuses,” doesn’t bother fighting back tears. Steve is also dealing with major frustration. He keeps blaming himself and using Robert’s loss as motivation—but Megan takes it the wrong way once they were in the gym. It just pushes her to the brink. 

The thing is, despite admitting to her difficulties trusting people, Megan later admits to Bob that the way she is showing she trusts Steve is by doing everything he tells her to do to transform her body and her life.

Things weren’t just tense between those two. Delores and Phi have it out with each other in the break room, with Delores insisting that it was not Robert who deserved to go home in the face of Phi’s 6-pound weight loss. Phi then gives a mic drop-worthy speech.

Working it out

Aside from Megan and Steve temporarily butting heads, there are calories to be burned in the gym—and fears to be faced. Most of Erica’s team would rather keep sweating on the treadmills than do the box jump she’s setting up for them. Box jumps are hardcore. Pushing through these is excellent for leveling up your vertical jump and building lower body muscle. The contestants even get to do a running start, which is not something you always see in an actual gym when it’s just that box facing you.

Teri is terrified. The look on her face as she realizes what Erica is up to is enough to scare her out of there, and she balks on the first jump before trying again. Phi is also frozen until she just takes that leap and realizes she’s just done her first box jump. Not bad when you just ran your first mile last week.

Say anything

Psychological issues are just as important as physical ones when it comes to conquering emotional eating. The contestants sit down with Bob in what proves to be a heart-wrenching therapy session as they reveal some of the mental factors that have been holding them back.

Throughout the last episode and this episode Dom repeated that he’s quit everything he’s ever tried. He confesses that he misses his daughter so much he’d see her if it could only be for a few minutes, but then remembers that her weight gain is already getting her bullied, and that he doesn’t want her to see her dad as a quitter. Delores finally feels secure enough to take her heavy past off her chest. The daughter of a teen mom, she pretty much had to raise herself and developed problems trusting others.

Bob still reminds them how much they’ve already been through in just a week. You have to look at not just what you need to overcome, but what you’re already overcoming.

Challenge: mudder of them all

Races through mud are all the rage, but none of the contestants have ever actually competed in one—though Micah does say that he was into getting muddy as a kid and doesn’t mind running through the stuff. Phi has to sit this one out, but rather than feel relieved, it’s making her anxious for all the calories she won’t burn.

Pushing 150-pound tires through knee-deep mud is pretty much the down and dirty equivalent of lifting weights. The contestants have to use lower body strength to get these things off the ground, upper body strength to flip them over once, and repeat over and over until they reach the finish line. Each team has six of these things to stack up, and a 5-pound advantage is at stake. That weighs a lot more during a week when everyone is losing less. 

With Micah taking a strong lead and Megan, in her own words, “[going into] beast mode”, while Kyle makes it work with teamwork as he doubled up with Dolores and Kim, the Blue Team wins by a mudslide.

Just one more calorie

The last chance workout is where the new Dom emerges. After the loss he took in the mud challenge, he’s back like we’ve never seen him, and it isn’t just the beard he shaved off to get a look at the cheekbones starting to show. He’s pushing himself like his life depends on it. Never mind the failures of the past. Dom knows that if he’s going to set the example for his daughter, this is what he has to do, because the last thing he wants to hear is “Daddy gives up”.

“There are just certain times when you can’t believe your body can do one more rep,” Kim admits about the grueling workouts. Steve is right there to keep her fired up as she keeps doing rep after rep of lifts no matter what 

The scale won’t lie

This week’s weigh-in is scarier than last week even though a few contestants say they’re feeling changes in their body. Kim is afraid her age is weighing her down. Dom is nervous that he didn’t get revved up soon enough. As much as Kristi misses her kids, she doesn't want to go home and lose the opportunity of the lifetime. Jim aka “Coach” pulls out a second win this week, having torched 13 pounds with a total body fat loss of 3.58%. Megan isn’t far behind with an 11-pound loss and 3.94% body fat melted. If you go off body fat percentage alone, she wins, so no wonder Phi compares her to She-Hulk in the best possible way.

Then the Red and Blue team tie. Everyone is muttering they’re going to be the one to go, but who will?

In the end, it’s time to say goodbye to Phi – but it’s just the beginning of her at-home journey, where she’s continues to work out and make healthy choices. Keep up the good work, Phi!