If you haven’t heard the concept behind the hit new television show, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, then you have been missing out on a very inspiring show. This show follows a different obese person each episode as they complete one of the hardest challenges of their lives: losing weight and redefining their lives in one year.
This week’s episode featured Alex, who at 23-years old weighed 459 pounds, which made him morbidly obese. Alex had battled his weight since he was a young child. Although Alex has always loved the sport of baseball, he quit playing in high school because he was afraid of being made fun of due to his weight. His lack of physical activity and his love of fast food and hamburgers (one of his favorite meals: a hamburger with the bacon and cheese cooked into it and on top of it) showed a diet high in fat and calories that obviously lead to his obesity. Before his mother died from cancer 4 years prior, she made him promise that he would take better care of his health and lose weight. Alex finally decided it was time to honor his mother’s memory.
So, Alex wrote a letter to the personal trainer on the show, Chris Powell, asking for help. Chris came to meet Alex at a batting cage and immediately whisked Alex away to start his makeover journey with a boot camp experience. After completing boot camp, Alex returned home to find his house transformed to include a healthier kitchen without any junk food and a home gym with a picture of his mother to serve as inspiration. Chris then told Alex that if he stuck with the program and lost 100 pounds in three months, he would give him season tickets to the Atlanta Braves baseball games. Chris then delivered yet another surprise to Alex: he was moving in with him to oversee Alex’s transformation process.
Alex struggled with becoming mentally discouraged early on in his weight loss journey, but Chris remained confident in Alex. By the end of the second month, Alex had lost 68 pounds, leaving him with 32 pounds to lose in his last month. When it came time for the weigh-in, Alex was confident, but unfortunately, he had only lost 97 pounds in his first three months. Luckily, Chris took mercy on this Braves-fanatic and took Chris to one game, where Chris got to meet the Braves players and share his story with the men that he has admired for years.
After missing his six-month goal by nearly 40 pounds, Chris decided to enroll Alex in 24-hours of military training. In addition to getting a new haircut (military grade shaved head), he also gained a new level of self-respect from his time in the military.
Finally it was time for Alex to be reunited with his family and friends. Alex lost an amazing 216 pounds in only one year. As he walked on to the baseball diamond where he had spent many hours with his mother, you could tell that he was a changed – and much happier - man. In addition to losing weight and reclaiming his own life, the city commissioner honored Alex and his efforts by dedicating a corner in the town to his mother and her love for him.
June 7th, 2011