AURORA, Colo. - Editor's note: ABC's Extreme Weight Loss is back for season four and this year participants will start their journey with a three-month boot camp at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC).
The non-competitive TV show follows super-obese participants through a 365-day journey as they try to safely loose half of their body weight.
The participants are guided by trainer/transformation specialists Chris and Heidi Powell.
Dr. Holly Wyatt, Medical Director at AHWC and Medical Director for the show, reflects on episode one that included Colorado Springs resident Charita.
-- The journey begins --
An episode of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss (EWL) program always begins with such optimism and the first episode of Season 4 was no exception.
Both Charita and Ty were “picked” by Chris and Heidi Powell to experience an incredible journey. They were given the opportunity to lose an extreme amount of body weight and change their lives forever while the whole world observed their transformation.
Unfortunately while two deserving people started their journey, only one, Charita, finished the 365-day life-changing journey and cashed in her golden ticket to a new way of life.
Ty opted out of his EWL transformation, letting his priceless chance slip away despite his desperate need for help.
-- Watching the show --
Watching this first episode of EWL with my friends and colleagues up on the big screen at The United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 Theatre in downtown Denver, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated and disappointed in the final outcome.
Of course, I knew what had happened with Ty already, but seeing it play out from start to finish was hard.
When I signed on as the medical director for EWL I believed everyone could succeed in the transformation process. I like the fact that EWL is not a competition. The goal is for everyone to transform their life in their own unique way. No one ever gets voted out, no one competes for a spot and everyone CAN BE the hero in their own life story.
I hated seeing Ty fail. It is hard watching someone give back a life preserver when they are in a very big ocean and you know they can’t swim.
While I was totally inspired, thrilled and super proud of Charita (after all she is our local Colorado Springs ROCKSTAR!), I couldn’t help but sit in the theatre after the premiere and wonder where things had gone wrong for Ty?
Why did Ty vote himself off the EWL Island? What could we have done to save him?
-- Motivating success --
Thinking back over the year that I worked with Charita and Ty, I see many similarities between the two.
Both desperately needed weight loss; both deserved a new way of living. Both spent the first 90 days of their journey at Boot Camp at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora.
In my practice, it’s not at all uncommon for me to see patients refuse to fully engage in a weight loss program. Many times patients know what to do and have the resources and support right in front of them, but they still don’t do the things they know they should.
When it comes to weight loss I like to say the “what” is important but that’s really only half the equation -- the “why” is the other half and it’s just as important.
Your “why” or internal motivation is critical to help you get up at 5 a.m. to exercise, to pass up the dessert and, in last night’s case, to move to Arizona to get back on track.
Both Ty and Charita knew exactly “what” to do to lose weight but they differed greatly on why they were doing it! Charita’s why or internal motivation was solid -- to be a better mother and live her life fully again.
Ty came in looking solely for baseball fame. Once baseball was gone Ty lost his “why” or internal motivation and things deteriorated quickly.
-- Pick you! --
That’s just how powerful your why can be.
If you want to transform your life -- spend some time developing your real or deeper why.
Bottom line? Chris picking Ty for the show was not ultimately enough. To really succeed, Ty needed to pick Ty -- something to think about when you decide it’s time to embark on your own journey to transform your life.
Extreme Weight Loss airs Tuesdays on ABC and Channel 7, KMGH-TV, in Denver.
Learn more about the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.