Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When Reality TV Hits Home

This past Monday night I watched the series premiere of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.  It is one of the numerous weight loss reality shows now on television.  I have seen most all of these shows, mostly as research for my job, but also just for the shear inspiration that can be pulled from these stories.  I have said in this blog before about how “reality TV” typically cannot (or should not) be considered reality.  However, I am amazed at how closely some of these shows resemble what I face with my clients each day. 

I will say that Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is a bit different since it deals with the super obese.  Super obese people are a step above morbidly obese.  Morbid obesity is characterized as a BMI over 40 or 100 pounds overweight.  The super obese have a BMI over 50 and are more than 200 pounds overweight.  I have yet to work with a super obese person, but I have worked with morbidly obese.  After watching the show this week, I am not sure there a specific line when someone passes from living life to struggling through life.  How many pounds overweight does someone have to be before they realize they are threatening the quality of their life, the length of their life, and their potential for happiness?  One reason why I really hope Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition does well is because it can show Americans that change is possible.  If these super obese people can transform their lives, anyone can do it.  There is nothing more inspirational than that.  So far, the statistics look good for the show.  The series premiere pulled in 7.1 million viewers, proving that America is intrigued by this topic.  But more importantly is how many of those 7.1 million people will be inspired to make a transformation of their own? 

My high school graduation,
I was overweight & uncomfortable
I would encourage anyone who is even on the brink of obesity to make a change now.  It is so much easier to get healthy when the road is shorter.  Plus, being 100 pounds or more overweight puts you at serious risk for all types of medical problems, many of which are irreversible.  I came to the realization that I need to make a change in my lifestyle a little over a decade ago.  I didn’t feel good about myself, I felt uncomfortable with my body, and I simply was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror.  Like so many, years of seeking comfort in food as well as a lack of knowledge about what I was supposed to be doing led to my weight gain.  When I decided to get healthy, I researched & experimented and found that there is no secret – you simply have to exercise hard and eat nutritiously.  It took me a couple of years to make the full transformation.  But I can honestly say that I look and feel better in my 30’s than I did when I was 18.  There is no quick solution, no magic diet pill, no extreme contraption that will shed pounds.  You simply must change your lifestyle. 

I’ve said it before, but it simply amazes me that Americans today are spending more money on diets & weight loss that we ever have; however, obesity continues to rise.  And the trend doesn’t look good.  Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention put the prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults at about 66% currently.  However, if current trends continue, 86% of Americans could be overweight or obese by the year 2030.  Even more troubling, one doctor says that by 2048, all American adults could be overweight or obese.  

Let’s turn that trend around.  There is no more time left to feel ashamed and be stalled by your fears.  There is no time left to say “I’ll start tomorrow”.  We have to start today.  If you’ve watched weight loss shows on TV and been inspired but just haven’t made the move yourself, now is your time.  Whether you need to lose 15 pounds or 150 pounds, together we will transform your life.  We won’t be on reality TV, but those who witness your transformation will definitely be inspired!  I will help you make that first step, and I will be there for each stride you make as you get healthy.  I’ll go beyond improving the appearance and together we’ll start a revolution!  Go to to see all the ways I can help you and those you love.  And make sure to sign up for my newsletter.  It’s been extremely popular and everyone loves the recipes & tips each week.  You don’t want to miss out on one more week! 

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