Tonight I caught an episode of a show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. I generally dislike reality shows because the majority display humanity at their absolute worst. The people on it are crass, conniving, ignorant and just plain unkind.
My exception is weight loss reality shows.
This episode featured a woman named Krista who weighed 445 lbs. She and her husband have a little girl with special needs, and while Krista was never a small gal the stress of caring for her daughter resulted in some unhealthy life patterns. First they weighed her on one of those industrial scales on the back of a loading dock, which seemed a bit harsh but it had the intended effect of driving the point home (like she could have missed it previously). The trainer then moved in with her and her family for 3 months, during which time she lost 100 lbs! Then he left her on her own and of course she faltered and gained some weight back, so he helped get her back on track. He motivated her by promising a car (the family only had one) and a gorgeous wedding dress to wear when she renewed her vows with her husband, but of course mostly by helping her recognize that she wasn’t serving herself or her family by giving in to excuses.
At around 295 lbs she ran a 5K and she finished! I do CrossFit three times a week and I love it, but a few weeks ago they made us run a 5K: it took me 30 minutes to do 2 miles of it. Thankfully they cut us off at that point because I thought I was going to die. I DON’T weigh 295 lbs and I whined like a little *itch. Where do I get off whining about anything? She went on to run marathons, and I live in fear of the next WOD where they make us run 800 meters.
Sure, I love the reveal at the end where they look all prettied up, but more than that I truly love watching them transform mentally. I love seeing them learn about changing their eating habits and how to exercise, but the thing I love the absolute most is when they realize how much stronger they are than they ever thought they were. How awesome would it be if we all remembered that about ourselves, all the time? And a new free wardrobe would rock, too.