DENVER - 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 two featuring Kathie and Josh.
-- Like mother, like son --
Episode #2 of ABC Television’s Extreme Weight Loss series featured a co-dependent mother and son who became very “comfortable” living together as they both grew larger and larger over the years.
Their comfortable habits of eating unhealthy food and sedentary living took its toll.
Kathie, a single mother for 20 years started her transformation journey at 255 pounds and Josh her 21-year-old son weighed in at 345 lbs. Both were living life on the outside looking in before they decided to make a change.
-- Getting uncomfortable --
Kathie and Josh both needed a big transformation and Extreme Weight Loss provided that opportunity. It allowed them to break out of their comfortable, safe existence and begin living life - experiencing victories and defeats. Neither transformation was “comfortable”.
Spoiler alert -- true transformation is NEVER comfortable.
-- Facing challenges --
Josh had to move out from living with his mother and to confront his dad.
Kathie had to learn to let go of her son.
They were all big changes, all very uncomfortable and all desperately needed.
Let’s face it, the path of least resistance would have taken them right back to sitting on their couch eating poorly and playing victims to the circumstances of their lives.
-- Kicking and screaming --
Watching this episode I was reminded of many of my patients at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Co. who come into the Wellness Clinic wanting to lose weight but not really wanting to change.
They are quick to write down 50 or 100 pounds as their weight loss goal, but not so quick to make the changes needed to produce that amount of weight loss.
The idea of getting up early to exercise, limiting TV time, cooking meals at home, asking for help, being vulnerable, and in general feeling “uncomfortable” with things they have never done before isn’t easy for people to embrace. Most don’t do it all and those who do, go into it kicking and screaming.
This really captures how we approach weight loss in this country. We want to lose weight but we are not willing to do what it takes for that to happen.
-- V-I-C-T-O-R-Y --
I always say that being comfortable with your life got you exactly where you are today.
If you like your life, don’t change a thing.
But if you don’t like it -- well you guessed it -- something needs to change.
Josh leaving the comfort of his mom’s home and moving to Arizona seemed like the logical choice. But, for Josh it was terribly uncomfortable. Thus, we witnessed his hesitancy to make change happen and ultimately his victory over the discomfort.
-- Your discomfort zone --
The ability to realize that getting “uncomfortable” is a necessary part of a true change is the first major step in transforming your life during weight loss.
It is so important that I tell participants in my State of Slim weight loss and wellness program on the very first night that if they want to truly transform their lives, they better be ready to be uncomfortable!
Make a promise to yourself to do something out of your comfort zone every single day.
It’s not an option -- learn to recognize and cultivate the feeling. Embrace it and know it’s part of the transformation process.
-- Get comfortable with uncomfortable --
For Josh and Kathie the pain of change and transformation over this year produced totally new bodies and each found a totally new – and more satisfying – way of life.
Ready to start on your own journey of transformation? Then, get used to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
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.