Do you want to pay $600 to learn to starve yourself? Then Teddi Mellencamp’s All In program is for you
When Teddi Mellencamp burst onto the Real Housewives scene in 2018, we quickly learned her backstory. She’s the daughter of singer John Mellencamp, and has seemingly had a hard time growing up in his shadow. But more than that, she spent a few years of her life carrying some extra pounds, something that clearly traumatized her. The show periodically pops in a “before” picture, so we can sympathize with how hard her life must have been, living in the body of a totally normal woman.
Since surviving the horror of a little additional body fat, she’s committed herself to making everyone’s life as fulfilling as hers — and clearly the only way you can be totally fulfilled is to be skinny. So she started her own business being an “accountability coach.” When she first mentioned it on the show, I just thought it sounded like some sort of made up job someone with enough money to not work but who still needed to feel useful gave themselves. I was pretty close. It turns out being an accountability coach equals daily chiding people for eating too much and not exercising enough. Fun. I know this, because people who have been through the program are starting to anonymously share how horrifying it is. Why anonymously? Because Teddi makes all participants sign non-disclosure agreements for the right to pay her $600 to starve.
What exactly is Jumpstart? It’s a 2 -week program where you eat roughly 500-1000 calories a day and complete an hour of cardio. Then you check in with your accountability coach; sharing pictures of your meals and the daily number on your scale.
One of these anonymous survivors of her program shared her experience on Facebook, which was then posted to Reddit. Another story was also shared on Thought Catalogue.
“I did Teddi’s all in program for 2 weeks (jumpstart). It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever done,” the former client wrote. “I was maybe consuming like 500 calories a day and that is generous, it was probably more like 450. I can’t say what my meal plan was because I signed and NDA… They don’t teach you how to live a healthier lifestyle, they teach you how to starve yourself.”
This week, fashion and lifestyle influencer Emily Gellis Lande posted screenshots of the Thought Catalogue article to her Instagram stories for her over 200k followers. She tagged Mellencamp and soon started receiving similar horror stories as the Facebook post above. Some of the women shared screenshots of interactions with their “accountability coaches,” and they’re pretty horrifying.
Carry a scale with you wherever you go? Photograph your plate that contains a slice of lettuce and some cauliflower and send it to someone to inspect? Apologize for including five calories worth of mustard in your meal? As an eating disorder survivor, I can confidently attest that this is one thousand percent a recipe for grooming someone into disordered behavior.
The popularity of The Real Housewives franchise has done wonders for Mellencamp’s business. When she initially came on the show, she talked about her business and it was clear it was just a few people she was coaching herself. It now consists of thousands of women being coached by other accountability coaches Teddi has hand selected and trained, thanks to the amazing PR strategy of talking about your business on a wildly successful Bravo show weekly. And as for her new stable of accountability coaches — none of them are required to be trained professionally in nutrition or fitness. They just need to have shelled out the money to complete her program. Here’s a screenshot from her site that proves it.
The only qualification Teddi has for starting a business like this is that she’s an American Fitness Professionals & Associates certified nutrition-and-wellness consultant. According to The Cut, this is “a title one can earn through a $699 online course.” Pretty good return on investment for her.
Teddi took to Instagram to address the backlash brought on by Gellis-Lande sharing the details of her program. “I am so incredibly proud of the over 15,000 lives we have helped change,” she said. “I 100% feel confident in the fact that we let you know before signing up, exactly what the program entails. If it’s something that you want to do … we are there to do that for you. If it’s not something you want to sign up for, you don’t.”
Okay, so — no accountability from the accountability pro. Interesting. This is such a crock of shit. Also – no refunds! Because you have to be accountable!
Teddi, I’m sorry you were “fat” for a few years and it ruined your life. Really. But you know what ruined my life for three decades? Tracking meals, denying myself food, meticulously charting my weight, and obsessing over every bite I put in my mouth. And I happen to consider myself a very sound, smart individual. Mental health issues can affect anyone. Eating disorders are real, and I wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy. You’re making money off training people how to have them. That’s gross. And the worst part is, people like yourself can justify any behavior by saying you’re promoting “wellness.” Skinny does not equal healthy — I guess they skipped that lesson in the online class you took. You are not trained to completely overhaul someone’s health and lifestyle like this. You lost some weight — that’s literally all. I’m also a pro at losing weight, after decades with eating disorders. So maybe I should be one of your accountability coaches, too.
But I’m fat and happy, so I guess I wouldn’t be allowed.
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