This guest post written by James Garrison, who lost 313 pounds on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.
This week’s episode of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition (EMWLE) we meet Staci, a wonderful mother of two and wife to her disabled husband Rodney. Staci isn’t just your average wife and mother of two; she is also the caretaker for her husband and sole provider for her family. Imagine a life so caught up in the everyday struggles every family faces, now imagine most those struggles and then some falling squarely on the shoulders of Staci. All this led to a staggering weight of 456 pounds that, in her words, is a crushing statement to even say.
During a workout a revelation is made that somewhere in life she gave up on herself and ever being thin. In seventh grade she was already over 200 pounds and being made fun of, and by high school she was too big to even fit in a desk, which ultimately led to her dropping out. It’s during this workout that Chris Powell reiterates to her that she needs to stop playing the victim and take responsibility for her own actions.
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It’s hard for most of us to fathom stepping on a scale that reflects a number in the 700s, but it was very much reality for James Garrison. This 26-year-old had a high school football injury that he never quite recovered from. He self-medicated with food and was unable to workout, two situations that lead him to the first season of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.
His first weigh-in with trainer Chris Powell set the scale at 651 pounds, a weight that classified James as “super obese.” The show’s nutritionist, Paulette Lambert, told us that “super obese” represents those who are more than 200 pounds overweight, which is about 10 percent of the U.S. population. However, 365 days of dietary changes and a dedicated fitness plan helped James lose about 50 percent of his body weight; his final weigh-in (which took place in February 2011) showed him down 313 pounds.
James found his way to Extreme Makeover when a casting representative for Biggest Loser told him he was too heavy for the show, but there might be a chance on EM. He says the entire process started 18 months ago and that “I never thought it would actually end,” giving a sense of relief that his episode had finally aired.
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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.
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We had an opportunity to speak with dietitian Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE from the California Health and Longevity Institute about ABC’s new show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. She’s the dietitian behind the scenes working with the eight individuals whose journeys will be featured on the show.
The eight participants are considered super obese, a classification for those who are more than 200 pounds overweight. Lambert explains this level of obesity, and how it affects more than 10 percent of the U.S. population.
She also explains what the diet looks like for the participants – a low-calorie, balanced diet made of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Click here to see our interview.
Chris Powell, trainer for Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
From the producers of Biggest Loser and MasterChef comes a new weight loss reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. The season premiere will air at 10p.m. May 30, followed by subsequent episodes every Monday on ABC.
Each episode will chronicle the journey of one of eight participants in a non-competitive attempt at life-changing weight loss. All of the participants are approximately 225 percent above their ideal weight or are roughly 200 pounds overweight. They will spend 365 days gaining a new approach to what many call an unmanageable life. Trainer Chris Powell will work one-on-one with each contestant by going into their home and facilitating an appropriate diet and exercise regimen for the individual. A large emphasis will be placed on healthy weight loss in order to accomplish long-term results. With an unorthodox approach, Powell will interact intensively with each participant for 12 months. At the end of it all, viewers will share the joy of physical and emotional transformation through extreme weight loss on-screen with the participants.
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