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Reality show Extreme Weight Loss is about more than just losing weight. Audiences do not just see a contestant who loses weight to look great, but who has a back story to that reflects their eating habits. Losing weight is not just a change in appearance, it is a change in lifestyle and perception.
This week, a four hundred pound firefighter came on the show and shared his story. A year ago, the firefighter, Josh Hanes, lost his father in a car accident. His father died in front of him, and he has been traumatized ever since. The emotional turmoil has hindered Hanes from losing weight, but he is ready to take control of his weight and life. Hanes is not alone. This week’s episode also featured Kelli Poles, a former college athlete. After tearing her ACL, Poles had to leave basketball behind which sent her into a depression. Poles had spent so much of her life dedicated to basketball that the pain led her to eat to fill the void the sport had left. Her social life marginalized after she stopped playing which perpetuated a cycle where she would eat more while she was alone, put on weight, and have an even quieter social life. Poles says that obesity backed her into a corner and that she did not fight to get out of it. However, Poles is ready to accomplish something in her life again.
Boot camp was difficult for Hanes, but communication with his trainer Chris Powell led to improvement. Although there were many instances where Hanes wanted to quit, his confession to Powell about his PTSD lubricated the process; Hanes was sent to therapy, which helped him emotionally, so he could stay on track at the boot camp. Hanes’ three month measurement showed that he had lost 112 pounds. The progress continued, and after a year Hanes went from 400 pounds to 247 pounds. He has even started modeling. Hanes says that he is confident and enjoys a lifestyle in which he can perform his job very well with his healthy lifestyle.
Poles’ case was different, though. She jumped into the program with dedication, and it made her feel like an athlete again. She lost about a pound a day. Within six weeks she went from 50 percent body fat to 30 percent body fat, and by her three-month weigh-in, she had lost 88 pounds. By her six-month weigh-in, Poles had lost 210 pounds. Poles in the first woman on Extreme Weight Loss to have her time reached so early. She reached her goal very quickly. Extreme Weight Loss is about more than losing weight, though, it is about changing one’s lifestyle. At her weigh-in after a year, Kelli was down to 208 pounds, compared to her initial 331 pounds.
Both Poles and Hanes qualified for skin reduction surgery, and they both look fantastic. Poles even got to meet some Miami Heat basketball team players, and is no longer single. She says that she is confident and happy. Fitness experts Chris and Heidi Powell have successfully met their goals with their clients. Extreme Weight Loss has proven to be more than a reality TV show; it is a show that captures positive transitions in life, for people who are unhappy.
By Tania Dawood
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Photo Courtesy of RXAphotos’ Flickr page- Creative Commons License