I Know what You Ate Last Summer - Wednesday April 18

i know what you ate last summer (3/4)

This documentary series follows six obese British teenagers as they spend two potentially lifechanging months at Wellspring Adventure Camp in California. In tonight’s programme, the group return from their mountain hike, Nyondo gets into trouble when he breaks the camp rule forbidding romance, and Alyssa finally turns a corner.

It’s three weeks into the group’s time at Wellspring and it has proved emotionally and physically tiring for Alyssa, Nyondo (AKA Eddie), Adam, Jorjie and twins Lizzie and Emmanuella. They’ve learned that exercise can be fun; realised that healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean boring food; and learned how to shop wisely. Six of them have even hiked eight miles up a mountain – while rebellious Alyssa and injured Adam wait at the bottom – and are enjoying themselves at the top. They’re losing their inhibitions and behaving like normal teenagers – and their new-found confidence is also being applied with regard to the opposite sex. Physical relationships are strictly forbidden at the camp, as they can destabilise the group, but Nyondo has secretly been seeing Christina, one of the American girls attending the camp. Despite being warned by camp counsellors about appropriate boundaries, Nyondo remains defiant and decides to keep seeing Christina.

At seven o’clock the next morning, the teens are in high spirits: it’s time to head back to civilisation, and it’s downhill most of the way. Emmanuella is suffering from a bad ankle, but vows to stick it out. However, her ankle gives her so much trouble that she has to stop. “‘I wanna go to fat camp, I wanna go to fat camp’… what was I thinking?” she mutters, before hitching a lift on a horse for the rest of the journey – which she also did on the way up. When she gets to the bottom, Emmanuella admits that she feels as if she has failed somewhat; she’s lagging behind sister Lizzie, who, by contrast, has really thrown herself into the project.

Alyssa has also been having problems. Having refused to hike up the mountain with the others, she is finding the whole experience difficult to handle. She is allowed a call home to her mother, overseen by the camp director and Alyssa’s behavioural coach Whitney, and begs to be allowed to come home. Her pleas fall don’t cut any slack with her mother, who says: “Don’t tell me that you’re going to be happy to come home and be fat, because that’s a load of rubbish.” Alyssa is still determined to get out of Wellspring: “I’m going to get myself sent home,” she vows. “You watch.”

The rest of the gang are delighted to be out of their tents and back at the Academy of the Sierras – and their enthusiasm seems to have affected Alyssa, who starts cheering up and writes her mother a letter. She’s decided to stay, and finds herself loving the exercise session after lunch. “I knew I could lose weight,” she says, “but I didn’t think I could do it like this – and enjoy doing it as well!” However, the exercise session ends in disaster when Nyondo falls during a tug-of-war competition and fractures his wrist. He’s carted off to hospital, where he has an operation to set the bone. He’s out of hospital within a couple of hours, and watches sorrowfully as the others enjoy a surfing lesson.

Also this week, the teens get a lesson in low-fat cookery; the weigh-in brings unwelcome surprises for some; Nyondo is punished for breaking the rules, and is sad when Christina decide to leave; a dance is organised to say goodbye to the Academy; and the group find sticking to the programme a challenge when they visit a local restaurant. Some, like Adam, throw caution to the wind and opt for high-fat choices like steak, icecream and chips – but others manage to restrain themselves and stick to the low-calorie menu. With another four weeks to go, will the group keep up their good work and be able to maintain this momentum?

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