Anyone watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? Its one of my favorite summer shows. Last night’s episode was incredible and a real inspiration for me. One that may just save my life. I’ll recap for you Peeps that missed it:
This week’s makeover is Jacqui. She’s a 30-year-old wife and sales department manager for a health & wellness company. She is more than 200 lbs overweight and currently struggling with infertility.
During her introduction interviews, she takes a moment to look at herself in nothing but her skivvies for the first time in a zillion years. She starts hyperventilating and says she might be sick. She can’t believe that the camera people aren’t running away to vomit. She is horrified at the state of her body and can’t imagine how her husband finds any of that attractive. Hm. Been there, girl friend! Still there some days.
Then Jacqui reveals that she was a fairly normal weight until she was 14. That’s when she was raped at a party and began to feel like she didn’t deserve any better. Yikeys. Poor kid! At this point in the show, I’m already feeling a kinship with Jacqui and I begin to wonder why I started gaining weight as a child. Hm… I was actually underweight until I was about 10. Worth a ponder at some point, I think. Stay Tuned, Peeps!
Next, Jacqui describes her marriage to Shawn as wonderful. He’s the first man to ever make her feel special. He interviews that he loves her, but is worried about her weight, worries he’ll lose her. She goes on to say that she feels like a burden to him and sometimes considers divorce just to make his life easier.
They both discuss that she has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which is related to her obesity and renders her pretty much barren. She again mentions leaving him so that he can go on to have kids with a healthier wife.
Gah! If my size had made it difficult for me to get pregnant, I think I’d be so depressed. I can understand how she feels because having kids was something I always dreamed of as well.
Another dream Jacqui reveals is that she’s always wanted to be a singer or musician, but people discouraged her because her size would hold her back. Who are these people? What? Have they never seen an opera? Haha. Fat lady singing, yaddayaddayadda, you get me, right? *sigh* Good times. Aaaaanyway…
So at this point in the show, Chris the Wonder Trainer surprises Jacqui at a cafe or bar or something where she is watching her friends’ band perform. He walks in playing an acoustic guitar and singing to her and it’s friggin adorable. He sings that he’s chosen her for an Extreme Makeover and it’s off key and pitchy, dawg, but it’s just the cutest thing ever. Hubby and I debate over whether Chris is gay or not, but it really doesn’t matter. A guy + a guitar = adorable.
He asks her to promise to commit a year of her life to this journey of weight loss and healthy living. She promises and cries. I tear up a little too. Jacqui really wants this, you can tell. Nice.
24 hours later, Chris and Jacqui are at the California Health and Longevity Institute for a week of Boot Camp.
First step is to weigh in. In the cargo bay. On a freight scale. Holy shit this is humiliating. I think Chris does it this way to shock the client, to give the enormity of their obesity real gravity. See what I did there? I laugh to hide the pain, okay?
Jacqui weighs in at 355 lbs. She says, “What kind of person doesn’t understand how to take care of their own body?” Aw, Jacs… I had a similar thought when I began my diet back in September. How could I be so dumb? Blah.
She goes on to say that fat people have to be nice or happy or kind in order to get others to look past their size and give them a chance. Hm… Maybe. I’d like to add funny to that list. Or snarky. I’ve met a few fat snarksters in my day.
Second step is a nutrition lesson with Paulette. I want Paulette to live with me and cook for me because everything she makes looks scrumdilliumptious. This time she makes a shrimp and broccoli pasta- shrimp has more protein and less something bad than other meats and the broccoli adds bulk to the meal so you can get away with only 1 cup of pasta. I gotta say that I’m already doing these kids of tricks (adding veggies to brown rice or whole grain pasta so that there’s more food to eat with fewer calories). So, I feel pretty awesome. 😀
Chris explains that for the first 90 days, Jacqui will be eating 1500 calories a day- 5 meals, low sugar, controlled sodium, etc. She’ll also be working out 6 days a week for 2 to 4 hours a day. He says that she’ll be at a 3500 calorie a DAY deficit and therefore could lose 1 lb each day.
Third step is the medical testing step. They put her in that weird space capsule thing to get a reading on her body fat percentage. They test her lung capacity and her blood pressure and all that. They try to draw blood for the rest of the tests, but can’t hit a vein because of her fat. Eventually they decide to tap a vein in her foot. Wow. Jacqui is humiliated. They don’t pull any punches at the Cal H&L Inst, yo. They also do some fertility tests and the doctor tells her that if she does the work this year, her fertility should return and that at that point next year, she’ll be more apt to conceive. Jac cries that other doctors told her that gastric bypass was her only hope. Aw, again, Jacs. Tear.
Step four Chris takes her to the gym to customize a workout. They hit the recumbent bike (I want one), do the pushing a weight across the floor on a dolly thing, do some sit and lift dealies with 12 lb hand weights. That looks hella hard. And apparently it is because Jacqui breaks down at this point and says she cannot go on. Every client does this on this show, at this point. And every time, Chris pulls them through it.
This time he asks her why she is doing this. She says she’s doing it for her husband. To have kids. To take her power back from her rapist. To finally stand up for herself. Wowsa. Good television right there. She continues her sit and lift dealies with new aplomb.
Next we see Chris and Jacqui going home for days 8 to 90 of phase 1. Chris’ team has renovated her garden, her kitchen, and her living room. Gone are the lazy stuff, the bad foods, the TV, and the couch. Now she has fresh veggies, a healthy pantry, and a home gym. Where do I sign up? (I looked. You have to need to lose at least 50% of your body weight to apply. So, not me.) Also, I’d miss my TV. Can’t she watch while on the treadmill? Geesh!!
Also, Chris moves in for the rest of phase 1. Nice.
He writes his Phase 1 Goal for her is a 90 lb loss. If she meets this goal in 3 months, he’ll pay for her & Shawn to finally take a honeymoon. To Ireland. Oh heck yes!!
We see a montage of Chris & Jacqui working out, video blogging, all that jazz. Then it’s time for the Family Letters Meeting. They do this every episode too. Chris asks Jacqui’s family to write her a letter about how her weight worries them and what they wish for her. Always a tear jerker segment and this time is no exception. Her Dad cries. *sigh* Love.
Next we have another workout/video diary montage. Jacqui says she’s working out 4 to 5 hours a day and she feels the 90 lb goal is just so overwhelming, she can’t believe she’ll be successful. Chris tells us that she’s down 42 lbs in 42 days and that he wishes he could tell her that, to give her inspiration, but rules are rules. I wonder how he weighs her without telling her anything. Must have a good poker face.
Chris takes Jacqui to a community theater. She says she loves to perform, but hasn’t even been to watch a performance in years because she doesn’t fit in the seats. As a challenge, Chris has her sit in all 300 seats. About midway through, she wants to give up. “What happens if I can’t do anymore?” she asks.
“I don’t know. What happens?” He counters.
“Then I am a failure.”
Chris interviews that he’s worried that her fear of failure might bring this whole journey down. He knows that she will stumble, everyone does. What will she do then?
This, my Peeps, is the point I am at in my own Mojo/Weightloss journey. I stumbled, big time, post holidays and I just can’t get out of my own head, get back in the groove. I keep trying though. I won’t give up.
Chris asks Jacqui in the theater, “What happens if life isn’t fair?”
“I keep going!” she replies. Me too, Jacs, me too!
After the 300 seats, Chris tries to get Jacqui to sing on stage to an empty theater. She refuses. She explains that when you’re overweight, people are already staring, already judging. Why put yourself out there on purpose to invite criticism. She just can’t present ONE MORE FLAW.
Okay. Yes. She explained my feelings perfectly. Wow. Ugh.
They end the rest of phase 1 with another workout montage. We see Jacqui working out with Shawn, with her mom, with her sister. She’s got one hell of a support system. Awesome.
Weigh in has finally arrived. Her family is there to witness as Jacqui smashes her goal and shows a 92 lb loss. She is down to 263!!! Woop woop! Ireland awaits, but not until the 6 month weigh in. Chris says that he has set up a challenge for her at her 6 month point- a 100 km bike ride through the hills of Ireland. Squee! How awesome is that? It’s totally awesome.
Her Phase 2, six month goal is a 50 lb loss. Easy peasy, Jacqui says. She gives Chris a goodbye gift. It’s a bracelet that reads EMPOWER. She tells him that she always had the tools to change her life, but he showed her she could use them. Now she feels powerful and strong. You go Jacs!
We see her continuing to work her ass off, literally, and she decides she’ll need to either quit or go part-time so that she can meet her goal. Shawn says, “I got this. Quit.” Yeah, Shawn!!!
We see Shawn interviewing her for her video diary. He keeps asking her how it feels to be smoking hot and how did she get so beautiful. It’s just so sweet. Love it.
We also see her riding a bike at a local park to train for Ireland. She just has this fierce determination that is inspiring. Now I really want a bike. Dammit.
Now it’s the 6 month weigh in. In Ireland. The scenery is breathtaking. Shawn is by her side. He can’t keep his hands off of her. Cute!
She crushes this goal too and loses another 53 lbs. Down to 210 now. A total loss of 145!!!!
That is a person. A grown person. Good going, Jacs! I really feel like she’s a new friend. I love her.
Chris sets her phase 3 goal of 32 lbs loss. It would put her at 50% her original body weight and she’ll more than qualify for the skin removal surgery.
She says, confidently, that it’s no problem.
She and Shawn enjoy their honeymoon. He even carries her over the threshold. They look so happy. I’m happy for them. I long for the day Hubby and I can do these things.
At some point, Chris shows Jacqui and Shawn some clips of her journey. Shawn cries. Jacqui says that she felt like she was drowning, but now she knows she can do things. I again, totally relate. At this point, I feel sometimes out of control and lost. I need to focus, to resolve. If Jacqui can, maybe I can too.
Shawn offers to join Jacqui on her ride. She jokes that he couldn’t keep up back home! He counters that he just didn’t have the proper bike shorts. haha. She worries that she’ll fail. Nonsense, he says. Literally, he said, “Nonsense.” I thought that was just hysterical.
It’s the day of the ride and Chris interviews that this challenge with bust the lid off of Jacqui’s potential. They are riding through the Gap of Dunlow and it looks like torture to even walk it.
As they begin the steep climb into the Gap, Jacqui falters. She interviews that at that point she had two options: 1. Get pissed and ruin the rest of her ride; 2. Get back on and try harder. I am beyond impressed that she didn’t have a third option of quitting and going for a pint and some pub chips. That’s probably what I’d do. What? No! Stop that.
Anyway, she finishes the 100K, and enjoys the rest of her honeymoon. Too much for her liking, though, because she gains 7 lbs.
We see her going through phase 3 and being very frustrated, still working her butt off and eating well, but still second guessing her progress.
She interviews (probably the most significant statement for me) that once her weight is no longer an excuse for her not to achieve her dreams, what then? Then she’ll be the reason for her failure and she’s terrified.
Me too, Peeps, me too. Could THIS be really what holds me back every time I see my goal in sight? Am I using my obesity as a crutch? I think I might be. Damn.
Before the 9 month weigh in, back at the California Health & Longevity Institute, Chris forces Jacqui to sing an impromptu song in front of a random conference room.
Chris says, “Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.” Damn. That should be on bumper stickers or tee shirts.
She sings and gets a standing ovation. She’s still pissed at Chris. Haha. Little bastard.
Next she sees the fertility doctor who tells her that her chances have gone from a 94% reduced fertility to a rate identical to someone without PCOS. Yeah!!! Baby making time!!!
But, first, she gets on the scale. A real one this time, not a freight scale. And she has lost 35 lbs. She’s down to 175, a total loss of 180. She’s lost more than she currently weighs. She definitely qualifies for the skin removal surgery.
Before she’s wheeled in to surgery, she interviews that she used to feel bad about being proud of herself. But now she feels she is worthwhile. I hope to feel that way too some day.
The doctor interviews that they will remove 6 square feet or 2 and a half vertical feel of extra skin. Holy Jeebus. That’s a lot.
We don’t see Jacqui again until the 12 month weigh in. The BIG Reveal.
Chris tells a packed house at some theater type place that Jacqui was his perfect client. And she was, Peeps. I’ve never seen an episode of this show where the client didn’t stumble and fail to make a goal. She was a monster.
Jacqui comes on stage and she’s just flipping stunning. She looks like a different person. She radiates happiness and confidence. She locks eyes with Shawn in the crowd and mouths, “I Love You.” He looks like he could just burst with pride.
She tells everyone that her personal goal weight was 155. Chris says that he felt that goal was a bit lofty. Jacqui gets on the scale and…
148 lbs! A total loss of 207 lbs. She is my hero.
My new inspiration. I won’t be deleting this one from the DVR….