Anyone who watches reality television knows that it isn’t all real, after all, whether it’s Loser, Housewives, or Hills, they still have a story to tell and a show to produce. But it’s one of those things that no one talks about. Until now. James Garrison, a participant in Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition‘s first season earlier this year, is calling himself a whistle blower and exposing what he describes as mistreatment of the shows participants.
“You read it here first… The Biggest Extreme Makeover Loser WhistleBlower,” said Garrison at the end of a nearly 2000-word diatribe against Extreme Makeover’s producers and cast, calling out by name JD Roth (the man also behind Biggest Loser) and the show’s trainer Chris Powell.
In our interview with James after his episode aired he described health problems he was having as, he says, a result of his rapid weight loss, which meant losing 313 pounds in 365 days. This month he had another rush to the hospital which resulted in the removal of his gall bladder. It got him thinking.
“Well it took another near death stay in the hospital, my second in a year, to realize exactly what I was promoting. Yes, I lost 313lbs in one year on ABC’s Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, but should you? The answer is no. No one should lose that much weight that fast and if anything I am proof positive as to why its not a good idea. Those are unrealistic expectations that in reality are more harmful than good,” is the statement Garrison wrote in the blog post that started it all.
He says that post was also followed up by personal emails to Roth and Powell, explaining his health problems, the $50,000 in hospital bills from the past year, and asking for help with it all, which he says were ignored.
“I guess what is hard to understand is, after emailing JD. Roth and Chris Powell asking for assistance with my medical and over $50,000 in hospital bills I was ignored.”
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.
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. (more…)