On Extreme Weight Loss (ABC, 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. ET) tonight, Ryan Sawlsville, 23, of Appleton, WI, faces his biggest challenges of his life when he attempts to go from a weight of 410 pounds down to his goal of 195 pounds in a year’s time — and, he tries to do this despite having only one arm. Ryan lost his left one in a car accident two years ago.
I had the honor and privilege of interviewing Ryan and discussing with him some of the problems that acted like stumbling blocks standing in the way of his achieving his weight loss goal and ultimately being able to have the surgery he wanted to remove excess skin after his weight loss goal was met.
I am not sure if Ryan met his goal weight of 195 pounds, as the live weigh-in is tonight, but I plan to have a follow-up interview with Ryan that will appear here later.
Ryan mentioned to me in the interview how thankful he was to the co-hosts of the show, Chris and Heidi Powell, for having chosen him to work with and assist in his weight loss goal. He talked to me as if Chris and Heidi became more than acquaintances, but became true friends, and how they related with each other eventually as if they were family members.
Ryan first met the Powells and learns that Chris has chosen him while he’s visiting Lambeau Field’s Packers Hall of Fame. Ryan is a former high school football player and a life-long Packers fan.
He even gets the chance to meet two of his favorite Green Bay Packers football players, linebacker Clay Matthews and famed wide receiver Donald Driver.
Chris and Heidi had to come up with an extreme weight loss plan that would accomplish the loss of 215 pounds in a year’s time, and one which could be accomplished by someone who has only one arm. This was a challenge for them, as well; along the months leading up to the final weigh-in, they all changed for the better.
These episodes are geared to play upon the emotions of television viewers, and they are filled with tear-jerking moments. I’m sure that tonight’s episode will be no different in that respect.
But, the series is about real humans, after all, who are facing and confronting their own physical and psychological limits, and attempt to go beyond them. Viewers are placed in the positions of the people who have been selected –at least, that is how I’ve felt as I’ve watched the series — and it makes you wonder if you could have gone through similar difficulties, and eventually, overcome them.
Another huge challenge that Ryan faces is learning how to ride a bicycle. He has told me in the interview that he had never ridden one before, and that Chris made riding one a part of Ryan’s weight loss goal plan. I will be very interested to see how Ryan manages to overcome this and make it a part of his exercise regimen.
I strongly urge you to read the interview I conducted with this amazing, inspiring young man here and also that you watch the two-hour Extreme Weight Loss episode tonight on ABC which features Ryan Sawlsville.
You can Tweet him or contact him otherwise by clicking on these links: