Breaking Amish: The Fake “Reality”


breaking amish

So, we sit there, week after week, watching so-called, “reality shows” but, the question remains, are these shows as reality based as what the networks and producers want us to believe?

TLC introduced its series “Breaking Amish” to viewers, having us believe that five young people, left the Amish and Mennonite communities for “The English World” as they have termed it.  The show has proclaimed to be following these young people (3 females and 2 males) as they make their journey out of their religious world and into the world of Mainstream America.

During the first season, we saw Rebecca, Abe, Sabrina, Kate and Jeremiah, leave their respective Amish and Mennonite communities and families to pursue a life outside of the strictly held, religious communities that they were raised in.

As viewers, we were led to believe that these young men and women were leaving their homes, on camera and we were joining them on their journey as it happened.

The alleged truth seems to be appearing in bits and pieces and TLC, has now come out of the closet to say that not all of what you see is real and it will be addressed in upcoming episodes.

From what can be ascertained, rumor has it that all of these young men and women had long since left their communities and this was not their journey as it happened or when it happened as TLC has its viewers believing.

Kate had been courting modeling for a few years prior to the show’s start and, had been arrested for a DUI in Florida.  The show touches upon her DUI but, doesn’t address the fact that Kate had already been breaking free for a long time.

Abe and Rebecca were introduced on the show to viewers as complete strangers who fell in love and got married on the show but, in reality, these two had been married prior to the show and have a child together.

Jeremiah, is rumored to have left the Amish community and living elsewhere for possibly, over 14 years!  Yet, as viewers, we were made to believe that he we were also witnessing him leaving at the show’s beginning.

TLC has made this statement regarding the allegations of the show being a fake.

“Our Amish and Mennonite producers that we hired  introduced us to Amish and Mennonite men and women who were already  determined to leave. They had already made  the decision to go out and see the world, with or without us. They  courageously allowed us to follow them on this journey.”

It seems that what TLC did not tell us was that they had already left the Amish and Mennonite communities and these shows were nothing but dramatizations of their “stories”.

How much more of these shows are real and how much is not much better than a script, written and based on a real life story?

If that is the case, then it is no longer a “reality show” but, simply another drama series that has been at least, somewhat scripted on life events of some people and, who knows how real even that much is?

Fake or Foolery?  The characters broke Amish and TLC broke our trust.

So-Long, Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini at the Toronto film festival in 2006.
Actor James Gandolfini, best known for his character, Tony Soprano in the HBO hit series, The Sopranos, has died.

Gandolfini was in Rome, Italy on vacation when he suffered what is believed to have been a massive heart attack at the age of 51. Officials say that he was taken to hospital where they declared him dead. An autopsy will be performed.

I wasn’t a fan of The Sopranos and rarely watched more than ten minutes of the show but, he was larger than Life and was well known throughout the show biz world, even for those of us who weren’t Soprano fans.

Recently wed for a second time in 2008, Gandolfini leaves behind a wife and a daughter from this marriage and a son from a previous marriage.

Bloggers Beware…

I recently wrote a blog review about two weight loss online programs. I had tried both, personally and was attempting to give my review of both as I get a lot of search engine visits to my blog because of a previous piece that I wrote about losing weight while eating dessert.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Powers That Be in WordPress, looked upon my blog entry as an advertisement of some kind for one or the other of these programs and suspended my blog for three days.

I neither work for either of the companies that I was reviewing nor, was I getting any sort of compensation in any form from either one. I was simply comparing two online weight loss methods that I, personally had tried, along with the pros and cons to both from my own experiences.

The bottom line Fellow Bloggers, is that it’s prudent to be extremely careful in how you word your blog entries if you are doing a review. It may be misconstrued as a violation of WordPress Terms of Use…or that of any other blog provider.

And, by the way, I never did receive an answer as to why my blog was suspended. I had to guess at it and still haven’t received an answer. It’s simply back up, without explanation.

Be careful in how you word your entries so as not to fall into the “gray category” of misunderstandings or you could lose your blog and heaven knows, it takes time to write them. It’s hard to see them down and inaccessible when it’s avoidable.

Losing Weight Online Review

Weight Watchers has been around forever.  It’s a sane, sound weight loss system that doesn’t need any introduction to most of us, struggling to lose weight.  It has a sound track record that goes back decades and promotes a healthy way of living versus a diet.

As with most things nowadays, Weight Watchers no longer requires you to go to meetings in order to be with the program as they’ve taken it online.  However, it’s not free.  Actually, it’s rather costly for what it is, in all reality.  It’s an online program that you follow on your own, keeping your own weigh-ins and measurements and exercise tracking on your own.

While one can see the costs in up-keeping data space and web design costs, it’s a little dubious as to why it is so costly when there is a perfectly wonderful online program that works on the same basis but, can be either free or a paid account…both of which are far less costly.

If you’ve never heard of this site before, it’s called “Spark People” and happens to be one of the best online weight loss programs that I’ve encountered thus far.

With the free program, you get all of the same trackers and more as Weight Watchers provides as well as a few extras.  You also get discussion forums and the ability to connect with others who are also aiming for the same goals that you’re trying to obtain.

If you’re 50 and over and want to meet other 50 and overs, trying to lose weight and get healthier and into a healthier lifestyle, there’s a board and group for that goal.  If you can name it, there’s a discussion on it and if you can’t find it, you can start it.

Spark offers your own trackers or, it will supply a meal menu for you with your own adjustable menu items.  It tells you how much you’ve had in a day and how much more you can have, without going over your limit.  You set the limit of how fast you want to lose and they do the calculating for you as to your particular weight, goal, speed, exercise ability, lifestyle etc..  It’s really all encompassing for free.

While Weight Watchers has developed the Points System, Spark operates on a calories level.  Not much of a hassle or difference and honestly, having come from an age where calories are what we went by, it seems far easier to know the caloric value, fat levels etc., than to figure out points.  Try going to McDonald’s and finding the point value for Weight Watchers food counts.  You’ll get their charts with the caloric value as well as all of the other stats but, you won’t find Weight Watcher’s points values.  You’ll have to pay for their charts to factor how many points you’re about to eat.

Some very eye-opening knowledge can come from counting calories versus points.

Did you know that you can have a grilled Southwest Chicken Sandwich at McDonalds for less calories than one of their dinner salads (using their dressing)?  Wouldn’t you think it would be the opposite way around?  Check out their website to find out for yourself.  It blew my mind to realize that.  I also realized that it’s ok to have a McDonald’s apple pie with my tea and not blow my calorie balance for the day.

I was astounded to go find out that ordering a toasted bagel in Tim Hortons was more calories (almost double) than having a jelly filled donut and, we don’t want to talk about the muffins.

Looking at caloric values can make you think smarter and be more aware that what you thought “should” be better for you, actually isn’t.  Whereas, with a points system, you’re still not sure where you stand because not many places will post Weight Watchers points values but, pretty much all major restaurant chains have a website where their food values are posted…especially, fast food chains.

Would I put Weight Watchers down?  Absolutely not!  It’s a sound and well researched, time honored and healthy way to lose weight.  However, it can bite into your wallet if you don’t have extra cash laying around month by month/week by week.  This is where Spark can come in and keep you on track, without the cost.  Of course, they will also offer you a Premium account, which does cost but, thus far, the free version has done well for me and a few others that I know who are now trying it out.

Take a look for yourself and see what suits you best.  Both are wonderful, sane, healthy and lifestyle changing methods to a healthier, slimmer, fitter you.

Best of luck!