Saturday, March 19, 2011

Heavy recap


Tim and Stacia


- 33

Glendale, AZ - Unemployed

Height: 4'2"

Start Weight: 240.2 lbs

End Weight: 173.4 lbs

“I’m grateful for this opportunity. I learned so much about portion control and being consistent, I am more healthy and active than ever.”

Tim is a unique client for Hilton Head Health. He is a little person with an average torso coupled with smaller arms/legs. Exercise will be challenging due to his build. He is 4’2” and his waist is 61”. His waist is 11” longer than his height. I am 5’6” and his waist is 5” longer than my body. Think about it, he was literally a little round ball of a person. Along with the physical complications that come with dwarfism, his excessive weight is putting tremendous strain on his internal organs. His medical evaluation reveals he has high levels in every category. He is on the brink of death. Despite the grim diagnosis, his spirit is high and this carries him throughout the 6 months.

During his therapy sessions Tim reveals he began packing on the weight when his mother was killed in a car accident when he was 15yrs old. Not much is shown of his sessions but I am glad he got a chance to talk about his feelings. Discussing his grief was long overdue.

Tim dives right into the process and immediately has great results. He definitely is in need of this program. I’m not sure he would’ve gotten similar results at home doing Jenny Craig and a personal trainer. Tim really needed a team to help him achieve his goals. He was the perfect candidate for this show.

In the end he lost 68lbs and has since managed to maintain the weight loss. Tim needs to lose almost 90lbs more but hopefully he will find a way to continue his journey. I wish him all the best.


- 36

Atlanta, GA - Accounts Receivable Specialist

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 435.2 lbs

End Weight: 286.4 lbs

"I knew that I had to work on healing my heart and head if I wanted lasting, life-changing success. I began learning and practicing the very habits that I plan on maintaining for the rest of my life."

Stacia is a singer/actor/performer who feels held back by her weight. She is married to a man who enables her by eating excessively as well. In an opening scene the couple are shown discussing breakfast. The choices are pizza or cereal. Stacia’s husband decides they should have pizza and cereal. Stacie one ups him by suggesting they eat frozen waffles while waiting for the pizza and cereal to cook. My mind is literally boggled by the fact they are eating three meals for breakfast. Stacia’s husband admits they have only been married for 1½ yrs and are not intimate. Stacia must sleep in a chair sitting up wearing an oxygen mask for her sleep apnea. To not do so could result in her dying in her sleep.

During her counseling sessions Stacia reveals she was molested as a child. To ease her pain, she turns to food. Stacia feels her weight is now holding her back in life. She is involved in theater and cannot be as active as she’s like due to lack of mobility. Stacia frequently cannot fit into chairs in public places. During a meal at Hilton Head she reveals that she eats in excess of 10,000 calories a day. She’s not really sure how much because she stopped counting at 10,000. Stacia’s eating is definitely out of control. As soon as she starts the program the pounds begin melting off. She embraces the program and I am so glad she doesn’t pull the fragile girl act that so many women portray when forced to show effort.

Unfortunately, along with losing weight Stacia lost that loving feeling for her husband. He no longer fits into her new lifestyle. The poor guy never saw it coming.

At the final weigh in Stacia lost almost 150lbs. That is absolutely phenomenal!!!!! At her reveal Stacia performs jazz standards for friends and family and looks like a new person. After leaving Hilton Head Health, Stacia losses an additional 15lbs on her own. She still needs to lose approximately 115lbs but I think she will achieve that goal. Stacia has what it takes and nothing will stop her now.

Heavy recap


Bill and Julia

Bill, 52

Height: 6'3"

Start Weight: 443.0 lbs

End Weight: 301.6

“I hope those around me will benefit from my transformation and be inspired to do something that they have been fearful of doing until now.”

Okay, here we go again with the former athlete who still eats like he’s in training. Is this gonna be the theme for all the men on this show? Bill knows what he needs to do to get back in shape but like most people he needs help getting there. Bill also has bad knees which is a major hindrance. Bill is a recovering addict and should stay away from painkillers at all costs. He puts his sobriety at risk by lying to his physician and the staff at Hilton Head Health. I wish the trainer had gone a little harder on him when she confronted him about his prescription for narcotic painkillers. I’m glad they brought his son in and somehow that reminded him he was an addict. They say he threw his pills away and used a non-narcotic method to deal with his knee pain. I’m proud of him for getting back up and dusting himself off. Can I just say that young male trainer that didn’t have a name was a cutie patootie? I was like train me baby, and train me hard ;-) .

When Bill showed up at his son’s game, I got a little bit teary eyed. He had missed out on so much because of his shame regarding his weight. The things we do to ourselves! Bill’s weight loss of almost 150lbs was amazing! That’s how you take advantage of a 6 month stay at a weight loss spa baby! I was so happy for him.

Julia, 26

Height: 5'8"

Start Weight: 254.4 lbs

End Weight: 166

“For years I struggled with my weight, but I feel like a new woman now. I am happier, stronger and faster than ever. I reminded myself of my inner strength, nothing can stop me now.”

I really related to Julia. While I don’t have a twin, I have an aunt who is only 4 months older than me (grandma had kids 24yrs apart!) and we were treated like twins our whole childhood. She was tall and lanky and I was the awkward chubby one. Life is funny though, after we went through puberty I’m the tall fit one and she’s the short fat oneJ. But back to Julia. Julia has a thinner twin that she’s always being compared to. Being compared to someone and always being on the losing end can be devastating to a child’s self esteem. Julia comforted herself by eating to the point of obesity. Her mother’s death added to her self medicating with food.

Julia studied at the Flo school of kick ass and take no prisoners weight loss program. She came with a purpose and rocked it like nobody’s business. Julia is another great example of someone coming on the show and taking advantage of a great opportunity. I was already emotional over Bill’s story and Julia refurbishing her mom’s bike tilted me over the edge. That 350 mile bike ride back home was such a triumph for her. Julia is truly a winner in my book. And she looked absolutely amazing at her final weigh in.

This episode of Heavy was truly inspirational and made me realize my problems are small in comparison to others. I hope they bring this back for another season because I am definitely hooked!

Heavy recap


Johnny and Jill


- 20

Tempe, AZ - College Student

Height: 6'0"

Start Weight: 404.2 lbs

End Weight: 266 lbs

“This experience taught me so much, I now understand how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. I hope to be an example and inspire others.”

Johnny is very young. And in his young life he has been through a lot. Born to a 14yr old girl, he had a very rough upbringing. Overwhelmed by motherhood, his child mother gave him up and he spent his childhood in foster care. His fear of abandonment manifested itself in overeating. Food was the one constant in his life. When Johnny arrives at Hilton Head, his spirit is strong but his body is weak. Johnny has always skated by along the fringe of life and has no clue how to workout or even play sports. He is the youngest of the group but the first to quit.

The trip to the Piggly Wiggly brought the LoL’s when Johnny sniffed at a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I would’ve done the same thing. I love me some Krispy Kreme!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so happy for Johnny when he found his biological dad and siblings. It seemed to free him from the chains of his past and allow him to now move forward in his life. The spark in his eye was evident and he seemed to explode with new life. His decision to study Culinary Nutrition was an inspired one. I definitely see great things in his future.


- 35

Gainesville, GA - 2nd Grade Teacher

Height: 5'6"

Start Weight: 305 lbs

End Weight: 210 lbs

I am so lucky to have had this opportunity to start my journey on loving and accepting myself and knowing that I am strong and deserving of a healthy and long life.”

Jill wants to have children and her weight causes major fertility issues. She teaches 2nd grade and longs for a child of her own. Jill appears to be serious in the beginning but soon the cracks in her veneer show. Jill sneaks food at night and doesn’t understand how that affects her weight loss. As a counselor points out, they are at a weight loss spa. They have individual menus designed just for them and her silly behind is sneaking peanut butter? Jill looked that woman dead in her eye and said, “Sometimes I just need some peanut butter.” It was as if she were speaking of water. Yeah, sometimes I just need some Red Velvet cake but a $12,000 a month spa is not the place to be sneaking it. Unless she has some calorie free peanut butter, Jill is a self saboteur for sure. What was even more pitiful is even in her talking head she was still trying to justify having contraband in her room. Jill is another individual with more excuses than a MotherF*cker going to jail.

Jill lost 95 lbs and that is a great feat. I wonder how much she would have lost if she hadn’t cheated…. I would personally like to see her lose another 40-50 lbs due to her short stature. Her make over was great and definitely was the cherry on top of her weight loss. While Jill has made great strides, her journey is not over. Hopefully, she will get it thru her head to follow doctor’s orders and be rewarded with the little bundle of joy she’s been dreaming about.

I'm the queen of plastic surgery

I’m the queen of plastic surgery….kinda

My friends call me the queen of plastic surgery, but I’ve never had any. The thing that is true is that I get things done. I’ve had laser hair removal, Dermabrasion, chemical peels, fruit peels, Lasik, teeth whitening, and permanent make up. All of these things have either improved my appearance or made things easier for me. I’ve never had Botox or Restalyn but only because I don’t need them ;-). If I ever do need them I have no problem making an appointment and getting it done. I’m not trying to look younger than my years, just good. It makes me sad to see women my age or even younger look like hell because they think it’s vain to spend money refreshing their looks. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting your hair colored professionally when they grays begin to show up. There is nothing wrong with getting a peel or buying a slightly pricey moisturizer that plumps up the fine lines near your eyes and makes your face feel like a baby’s bottom. I frequently have to reveal my age to new acquaintances who think I’m 10yrs younger than my actual age. It’s confusing to them. I speak like a middle aged woman but I look 28. I do not dress young for my age, I just look youthful. Why look old and crappy if you don’t have to?

I got permanent make up for my 34th birthday. Last year my 40th rolled around and I felt I needed a touch up. There were some issues with scheduling and I wasn’t able to get it done until two weeks ago (picture below). While quite pleased with myself, I heard the phrase queen of plastic surgery in my head when I looked at my end result. Then the other night I was watching R.H.o M. and thought, “My god, I hope I don’t look like one of these bitches!” There is a fine line between maintaining and butchering your face up. I hope I always know the difference.

Heavy recap


Ronnie and Debbie


Height: 6'2"

Start Weight: 446.6 lbs

End Weight: 264.8 lbs

“The knowledge I gained during this experience altered my life. I now understand that life is about choices and we all fail. The failure is not what makes us who we are, it’s the journey to recovery that makes us strong.”

Ronnie is another “big guy” who is a hell of a lot bigger than just big. He’s the quintessential football player. In his heyday he was encouraged to be corn fed and husky. The problem is that unless you are putting in football workouts to go along with that diet of extra everything, you will gain weight. Ronnie is a perfect example of a self saboteur. He knows how to workout and his fiancé is a fitness professional! The more he gains, the more he feels helpless to do anything about it. His family relies on him to be the big strong man who saves the day and Ronnie is buckling under the pressure. He has six kids, a fiancé, and was caregiver for a mother who died of breast cancer. That’s a lot to carry on your shoulders.

Ronnie steps up to the plate and does the damn thing at Hilton Head Health spa. They changed the format dramatically this episode. The participants stay the entire 6 months instead of 30 days like prior participants. This leads to fantastic weight loss as they are guided every step of the way. Visiting day had Ronnie’s fiancé joking that he could stop losing weight and I wanted to pop her upside the head for saying that. You can love someone unconditionally and still encourage them to continue their weight loss journey. I’m glad Ronnie didn’t use that as an excuse to quit. His final weight loss of 180lbs was phenomenal. I know his new sleeker profile will motivate him to keep the weight off. His fiancé will finally get that beach wedding he’s been too ashamed to have. Good for him!


Height: 5'2"

Start Weight: 400.4 lbs

End Weight: 269.8 lbs

“This experience saved my life, I gave the weight too much power over me. I now eat to live, instead of living to eat.”

Okay, Debbie was a Hot Ass Mess, a HAM. I was done with her almost immediately. I can’t stand girls who act like they are too delicate to work out. My mouth fell open when she told the trainer she was going to get off the treadmill as soon as she left the room. WTF??? Debbie is a 44yr old virgin. Not for religious reasons, either. She never comes right out and says it but she implies that her weight keeps her from dating. I’m not buying that. I know too many women Debbie’s size (including a friend named Debbie) who date with no problems. Debbie has low self esteem and is socially awkward. These things will prevent her from dating no matter what she looks like. The flirting 101 class with the trainer at the golf course was just sad. Debbie is at a crossroads in her life and seemed resigned to being the fat spinster cat lady. You do have a choice in how you live your life. I’m glad Debbie finally woke up and got with the program. It would be a damn shame if the $72,000+ spent on her went to waste. Thankfully it did not. Debbie lost 130lbs/ 30% fat and I will clap for that!

Another emotional Heavy roller coaster comes to an end. It’s funny that this episode was a great example of sabotage in its many forms. Self, family, and society tell us we can’t. We have to love ourselves enough to say “Yes we can” J

Emotional Triggers

Emotional Triggers

On this journey we call life; we come to the occasional fork in the road. The direction we choose can either lead us to happiness or self destruction. Sometimes outside forces influence our decisions.

A friend of mine recently started dating someone new. At the age of 40 he is in love for the first time. I noticed something different about my friend since getting a boyfriend. He used to always want to go to the Chinese buffet and always had triple layer cakes to tempt me with. Now that he’s blissfully in love, he’s stopped overeating. Kind of funny how that works. Love can make you do right or make you do wrong (shout out to Al Green).

In reflection I’ve allowed relationships to influence my weight/food choices as well. I always gain weight when I have a boyfriend. I’m from the south and I love to cook comfort foods from scratch. When I break up with someone I tend to lose a dramatic amount of weight in the weeks following the break up. I eventually gain it all back but you get the picture. I eat when I am stressed and forget to eat when I’m deliriously happy. Neither is healthy. In my food journal I see the patterns; I just wish I had more control over them. I guess acknowledging the problems are at least halfway to the solution. There was a time when I had no clue whatsoever.

Doing the recaps of Heavy has caused me to self reflect as well. While not obese, we can all relate to the issues the participants deal with and lead them to the place they’ve found themselves. I see myself reflected in them and in you all. What are some of your triggers and how do you overcome temptation?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Saboteurs among us

The Saboteurs among us

“With friends like these, who needs enemies?” I ask myself this all the time. At times it seems like everyone is trying to sabotage me. Most of my friends know I keep a food diary. I weigh all my food and track my calorie intake religiously. Yet I have friend who constantly wants to go to the Chinese buffet. I mean at least once a week, if not more. When I decline he says he doesn’t want to eat alone. He argues that I do so well during the week and what’s one little cheat day? He even tried to tell me that he observes what I eat and tries to model my eating habits to help him in his dieting efforts. Yeah right…… Then there’s the friend who wants to be my workout buddy. She’s been saying this for 3 yrs. We’ve never worked out together. Why? Because every time we schedule a workout, something comes up. I’ve gotten her 30 day passes to my gym. I’ve paid for hip hop classes at a local dance studio (taught by a member of the Jabbawokees) and offered to pay for registration fees for a 5K when she said she wanted to run one with me. But when it comes time to shit or get off the pot, she never actually comes through. There have been times when she called me saying she was running late and please don’t start without her, but after 3-4 of these calls never showed up. But every time I run into her around town, she tells me how great I look and we should get together to workout. Uh huh ;-).

My workout buddies are the girls I see at the gym every day actually working out. My diet buddies are you guys ;-). It’s kind of funny, complete strangers won’t bullshit you but your loved ones will. It seems like it would be the other way around. I love my friends dearly but they really work my nerves when they don’t understand why I am driven to be healthy. Do the people in your life sabotage you? Do your husband, kids, co-workers, and BFF’s try to derail your weight loss efforts? How do you stay on course when it seems like everyone is out to destroy your diet?