Yesterday I watched this week’s episode of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, and I have to say Chris Powell has really grown on me, though the show is quite predictable. This week we watched the 365 day transformation of Mike, from Tarpon Springs, Florida, who started his year at 493 pounds, and a burning desire for a girlfriend, an experience he had never before had. Chris enlists his big Greek family, who all seem to live on the same block, to support Mike by also pledging to lose weight and they agree to shoot for a 500 pound loss, while Mike attempts to cut his weight in half. Most severely obese have serious self-esteem issues, but outside of the extra big belly, Mike actually seems to have a pretty good self-esteem which improves drastically after he begins losing weight, and Chris promises to get him a dating coach/match maker if he loses 120 (I think that was the number) pounds in the first 90 days…and he nails it. He has a “mixer” with some pretty hot girls, who think he is charming but has little sex appeal. Clearly it’s the weight, but he shows them and after being fixed up on a blind date, finds himself in a relationship with Meagan, who is also overweight. What bothered me about this episode is that we see his family doing their part to lose weight, but we never see Meagan jumping in. Mike claims she is a great support and encourages him to workout but never do we see her hop on a bike, lift a weight or run or even walk with him. Really? This can never have a happy ending.
What impressed me the most was Mike’s ability to do a full-blown triathlon with his trainer. He blew out the swimming and the biking and though he claimed to have never even run a mile (huh?) he pushed out the 6 miles completing the tri in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Wow. THIS is mind over matter–or body. This is the kind of stuff that inspires me to more physically. We are reminded that “coming out of one’s comfort zone” is NOT going to be comfortable!
After the 9 month weigh in, Mike visits the skin removal surgery doctor who says something that makes a ton of sense. He says, without the surgery, there is a better chance the “client” will regain weight due to how frustrating and difficult it is to exercise with all that extra skin getting in the way! Of course, Mike has the surgery and next time we see him is at the final weigh in. Here we learn that his family has lost a combined total of 442 pounds!!! Mike weighs in at 238 pounds, having lost more than he currently weighs. Though he tells Meagan that he loves her, in the follow-up, where we seeing him doing a motivational speech in Hawaii, he tells us that they are still friends, but no longer a couple. No surprise there! His self-esteem is now so good, he says he is even considering modeling. That’s what I call transformation.
After the show, I was inspired enough to hit the pool for a personal best of 60 laps. I am adding a few laps on to my long swim every week, in order to hit the 100 lap mark by summer’s end. I was sad, last night, to watch the swimmer who inspires me, hometown “girl” Dara Torres, fall short on her chance to go to London this summer. At 45 she was competing against girls who weren’t even born yet when Torres went to her first Olympics. Though she won’t be competing for team USA, she is truly a winner and represents the over 40 crowd really well and will continue to inspire for many years to come. You did a great job, Dara, and I loved the Coral Springs swim cap! Where can I get one of those?!?!?!
Happy birthday to our niece, Stefy. Hope this is YOUR year, filled with peace, clarity and lots of love.