Now that we’re well into season two of Too Fat for Fifteen, the Style channel’s reality show following teens at Wellspring Academy, a weight-loss boarding school, we thought it was a good time to check in again with Susan Basso, mom to Scotty on the show, after our first interview last fall.
And chat live with Susan Basso this Friday, March 25 on blogtalkradio, from 1-1:30 pm EST. Call in to ask your question or comment!
Q: Season One ended on a difficult note for Scott — he gained quite a bit of weight at home over the summer. How did you both deal with your disappointment afterwards?
Susan: First of all we don’t feel like 15 lbs is “quite a bit of weight” for three months. Of course we were disappointed, but we just picked ourselves up and started over.
Even if he did gain weight, it seems Scott and your whole family have gotten more active as a result of the show and the Wellspring lifestyle intervention.
Yes, the scale is not the only way to measure Scott’s progress. He has run four 5K races, he has more self esteem, and our family is closer than ever!
How much total weight has he lost at Wellspring?
Scott has lost over 120 pounds.
Wow, that’s amazing. Now that you have more perspective, do you think Wellspring and Too Fat for Fifteen have been helpful overall to Scott?
Wellspring, has been very helpful to our whole family including my parents.
But not Too Fat for Fifteen?
It exposed us to a lot of negative people who were NOT helpful!!!
Did Scott choose to participate in the second season as one of the main characters?
Scott did choose to participate — it was totally up to him — but he is not a main character.
Why do you think they took the focus off him? He was such a big player in season one.
His dad and I would not let them focus on him too much. He needed some privacy.
How have Scott’s ups and downs been received by your community?
No one has treated Scott any differently, and they have been very supportive and happy for him. The negative comments all seem to come people who don’t know us. Go figure.
You mean the people on the Too Fat for Fifteen message boards, who have criticized you for being co-dependent, for enabling Scott’s weight gain and not being hard enough on him. Fair?
Nope, if you ask Scott, I’m the hardest on him, but nobody sees that side of us. I love my son very much and that was used against me on the show. That’s what hurt us. The other thing people need to remember is Scott has to do this for himself. Yelling at him is not going to motivate him…..it never has.
How is your own healthy lifestyle progressing? Are you still happy about the lapband surgery you and your husband had?
We are doing well, we have good days and bad days but we get through it by supporting each other. There are times when we “fall off the wagon” by making a bad food choice, but we just start over and make better choices next time; we do not dwell on the past. The lap-band is only a tool, just like Wellspring is a tool for the kids.
Is there anything you can tell us about what to expect in the second season?
A way different Scott!!!!!!
What would you recommend that parents do if they have a child with a weight problem like Scott had, but they can’t afford to send their child to Wellspring or a weight-loss camp?
There is a book you can buy called The Sierras Weight-Loss Solutions for Teen and Kids by Daniel Kirschenbaum. It explains the Wellspring plan and lays out a 12-week program that you can do at home. We adapted it to our lifestyle and we are all committed to “Life Changes,” not a diet. It’s not easy – it’s really the hardest thing our family has done, but once we made the decision we started making the changes. One more thing: do it together – supporting each other is critical!
Susan Basso on the tough first season of “Too Fat for Fifteen.”
What to look for in a weight loss camp.
Abby Ellin, former fat camper, cuts loose on why she remains “deeply, passionately conflicted” about fat camps.