Tuesday, July 26, 2011



So did you catch the latest EXTREME MAKEOVER WEIGT LOSS EDITION last night...with Krista, the 445 lb wife and mother?

Uy, uy, uy, i LOVE that show. I was crying, i was elated, i was so motivated, i was just blown away by how amazing and kind (but also insanely tough) trainer Chris Powell is, and how Krista reminded me so much of myself. I so identified with her.

I know i'm strong and when Krista found out she was ALOT physically stronger than she ever believed, i just shook my head in agreement and cried in recognition of myself - she's...ME! I'm so much stronger and able than i give myself credit for.

And so are you...

Powell pushed Krista so hard. And she needed it. (So do I!) Powell made Krista literally push a CAR around a racetrack! And she DID it! She also jogged in marathons and against her intentions to give up, completed them!

Watching Krista, with her pretty face and super fast weight loss made me think of my OWN miraculous 140 lb weight loss in only 8 months. My God, i DID it once before! Why do i so often think i can't do it, when i KNOW i've done it?

I also related to Krista as a bride. Krista wore a black dress to a quickie wedding that Powell deemed sad, so as a special incentive gift, Powell bought size 32 Krista a new beautiful dream wedding gown, in a size 18, so she could have a proper wedding. I'm waiting until i get THIN to get married and wear my beautiful gown. I should just BUY the thing and work to get IN IT!

Krista was frustrated with dieting. "I try to figure out the best way to diet. I just can't seem to figure it out." Either can I. It feels like rocket science to the sufferer, but what they show on the screen demonstrates the basis of the approach - EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE and EXERCISE, and a low fat diet.

"Are you ready to be a hero?" Powell asked Krista. I remember what it felt like to be a raw hero. Her face lit up, "I am!" "Then let's do it!" Powell said after a big hug.

"Health and happiness, Krista, health and happiness, do it, do it!," he encouraged her. "You're not giving up, are you? Are you giving up, are you giving up?" "Come on, fighter!"

She fought.

This episode was one of the most uplifting of the series. I heard so much wisdom! Powell said, "Krista, you weigh 445 lbs, and I promise you, that any pain you'll go through working out with me will pale in comparison with the pain you've endured at your weight." That really touched me... We obese face such intense pains DAILY! Physical aches and pains of carrying so much weight, humiliation and embarrassment not fitting in seats, on chairs, in cars, emotional pain when we get turned down for jobs, people snicker at us, people look at us disgusted, friends turn from us.

Krista was also full of excuses (like i am, and so many of us are), and Powell pushed her, yet seemingly never without compassion. He comforted her when she hit her breaking point and could go no further in their first workout. "I know your back hurts. I hear you. I'm here for you." (He hugged her and she cried.) Now that she was in a more receptive emotional space, he smiled and said, "Now i want you to do something for me. Do 20 more lunges."

He got his way...

Krista did more than she ever THOUGHT she could. The pain didn't kill her and in fact, she realized that her body hurt from head to toe after these intense workouts, but she welcomed the pain now because of the self pride she now felt.

The voice that talks to us and tells us excuses, that we're in too much pain, to stop pushing us, Powell understands. He told Krista, "You know that voice you hear? I'm going to push you so hard, the volume will turn up louder than you've ever heard. I need you to push through that and don't listen to it!"

With Powell's help, she did it. She followed through. Despite all of the excuses and pains. Despite the volume turning WAY up!

What a lesson! What inspiration! That means WE can do the same!

Powell simply wouldn't let Krista get away with giving up on herself. Later in her journey, she was running a marathon and wanted to stop before completing it. Powell knew if he lost her now, he may lose her forever. He reminded Krista of her true motivation (to be well enough to care for her ill daughter) and used that to bring her back around. What a psychological genius he is. "Krista, didn't you say you wanted to finish so you could take care of your daughter better and she would see you cross the finish line?"

Feet that wouldn't move began to jog again. He'd touched a nerve.

How many times do WE make excuses? How many times do we make excuses, and people BUY them? "My knees hurt, my feet hurt." Who says to you, "Do it anyway! and give me a hug when you're done."

Powell seems to be the perfect mix of compassion and toughness. I usually HATE the trainers on these shows, but Powell has heart. Oh, God, i love HIM, AND...he's HOT!

Also, the show, weekly, just totally puts into perspective how CRITICAL exercise is. Powell has these super obese people working out for 4 and 5 hours....a day! When was the last time YOU moved more than 2 hours in one day? Do you think you CAN'T? I bet you can. And so can i. If 500 lb people can do it, hell, i can and you can do anything.

Jack Lalane was fond of saying that exercise is KING...and diet is QUEEN. How often i forget this! I get overly obsessed with dieting and watching my food, get discouraged and give up. If i only would just continue to exercise, I'd eventually get HUNGRY and WANT to stop eating when i've had enough. These days, I overdo it with raw food, don't exercise, and then eat more later when i'm not hungry. What a dissappointment i am to myself when i get into these negative cycles. Whereas, if i would just exercise daily, my weight and compulsive eating wouldn't have the CHANCE to ever get so bad off. I know i'm doing wrong, I beat myself up, i eat more, i deny myself movement because i don't feel i deserve to be good to myself. I'm "bad."

Powell reminds me how beautiful and strong and able i am. He believes in Krista and he believes in ME.

I really related when Krista went through similar cycles of confidence/ strength/ positivity/ routine....versus.....overwhelm/ inaction/ excuses/ negativity/ depression/ laziness/ weightgain that I go through. In fact, each episode of this series brings to light that EACH super obese person on the show goes through the VERY SAME cycles that i do, losing sight of their goals and falling back into old habits!

ALL of the episodes have featured failure, faltering after the 3 month "honeymoon" when Powell lives in and trains the super obese daily. When they need to do it on their own, they've all faltered, gone back to old habits, old foods, old compulsions, stop calling and emailing Powell, avoid him.

Maybe this is the human condition....to lose sight of our goals...and to need to be reminded, motivated, pushed in the right direction.

Isn't this what every GOOD and CARING parent does for their children?

We, super obese, are children in need of a good strong parent. We need MORE support than we're wrangling in for ourselves to overcome the fat obstacles and emotional and spiritual obstacles we've created for ourselves.

Powell shows us the hidden strength beneath all of the fat and all of the excuses and all of the low self esteem and believing we can't do anything. He shows us who we were meant to be by being a good, tough, loving and caring parent.

My parents let me get away with murder. Did yours? Is that why we have food problems? Are we just grownups with an out of control rebellious streak that our parents never wrestled from us?

Please watch Krista's entire Makeover episode here on ABC: http://abc.go.com/watch/extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition/SH55124938/VD55136516/krista
_ _ _ _

I have begun to think so highly of Powell, that it really tremendously DISSAPPOINTED and SHOCKED me to find out that the new weightloss website he is a spokesperson for is such a joke.

During the Makeover episode, Powell nonchallantly mentioned his new online weight loss program http://www.reshapethenation.com/.

You know that I and millions of others bit last night, and ran to the computer to bring up the diet site on the internet. Powell's picture was on the front page, along with a man he helped to lose 400 lbs.

Man-o-man-o-schewitz, if i could follow a program built just for me, as the website promised, and begin to do heavy duty workouts motivated by my online trainer, CHRIS hotstuff Powell, man, i would be so happy!!

I clicked all of the buttons to sign up for the program, gave my credit card number, and clicked through pages to figure out HOW to do the program.

After each click, I waited. I waited. I was still waiting!

Screens took excessively long to change.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a video came up that didn't feature Powell, but some other guy, who was he?, talking about us having a carb day today and that today would be an 8 day and all of this stuff i had ZERO idea what he was talking about. "You're gonna do a 2 first, then a 5 here, then a 7, okay people? Make it a good day and i'll be here for you tomorrow."

What a LOUSY intro to the program. First no Powell, no 'hello, welcome to the program, i'm going to walk you through it,' and worst of all, nothing made sense. And when the video was over, i couldn't get out of it. I had to reboot the program to move forward.

Everything i clicked on took at least 5 minutes to come up.

Ah, i see, i'm supposed to eat cottage cheese for lunch on spinach. Breakfast would be a peanut butter smoothie. Dinner would be steak on a salad.

Whew, if i ever missed Weight Watchers with the ability to use POINTS to choose foods you like or need to substitute, i missed it now.

The exact menu i was supposed to eat was so specific. Well, i suppose i could have eaten soy powder as a sub for each meal. That would have been soy powder in my smoothie, soy powder on lettuce and soy powder on spinach. Delish!

I figured it'd be challenging, but assumed I could use nuts/seeds as subs.

There were no raw vegan proteins listed as substitutions for flesh.

One of the comments i caught said we could leave Powell a facebook message if we had a question.

I went to his facebook page.

Nowhere to leave comments.

pffft! I think i've been had.

I read what looked like hundreds of comments below from others who were also intensely frustrated with the program with no one to answer their questions.

It's not as if it was set up well and we were all just whiney dieters wanting to be spoon fed the program. It was, above all, SLOW.

I clicked to another area...and the wait was even longer, 6 or 7 minutes.

Was i going to have to deal with this slow ridiculous sham program DAILY?

I called up immediately to cancel my order.

A man with a Phillippino accent said, "I'm sorry, the $49.95 is non-refundable".

"Let me speak to a Manager."

"The manager is not taking any calls right now," he said.

I bet he isn't. He's probably too overwhelmed with cancellations.

"So, you are going to cancel my subscription and i won't receive any further charges on my credit card, right?"

"I'm happy to report that you'll be receiving an 8$ discount next month, ma'am," the Phillippino said proudly.

"Wo, why are you talking to me about next month. Hang on a second here, there is going to be NO next month, do you hear me? I am requesting to cancel immediately and have no other charges added to my credit card! I am not remaining a member for next month. Do you hear me?"

"Oh, i thought you said you wanted to continue," he said.

"When during this entire conversation did you get THAT message??"

They are so sneaky, reading those scripts. You MUST be really aggressive to get what you need with these salespeople, and say it over and over and over again. They will twist anything you say, do what they want and hang up on you.

I hung up and called my credit card company and explained that the website was a hoax, it didn't even feature Powell on videos, and that the thing was so slow, it was unusable. I explained i was told the fee was non-refundable but i wanted to get a refund nevertheless.

After a 3 way call between Visa and Reshape the Nation, in which i demanded Reshape refund my unrefundable money, I got a promise for a refund, witnessed by Visa, and a promise from Visa that they would see to it that I get it.

In a familiar accent, I heard, "Don't worry, ma'am, you called the right place."

The Visa guy was a Phillippino, too.

_ _ _

Lesson 1 - Never sign up for something online without reading the fine print. Most people won't go to the trouble to contact their credit card company to negotiate a refund. Reshape The Nation is going to make a lot of money even if people are NOT using the program because the initial fee is non-refundable!

Lesson 2 - Powell must have agreed to this venture and sold his image as a front man for it....without checking out if the website was functional and good. It is HORRIBLE.

Lesson 3 - Even though Powell seems like a total ASSHOLE now, I don't want that to discourage me or you from watching the Makeover shows...they are SOOOO inspiring. In fact, i should watch one episode DAILY! They're available online. And if you lack motivation and a strong internal parent, maybe you need to watch the episodes, too. www.hulu.com/extreme-makeover-weight-loss-edition.

Lesson 4 - Though i feel OFTEN, "I can't do it on my own," I can do it on my own. That is an excuse and I just listen to my own excuses and believe them because i'm a shitty parent to myself, i'm not tough and i'm all compassion. "Poor baby, rest if your feet hurt," i tell myself.

If i did it before, i can do it again.

Furthermore, everytime i have a set back, i just have to get right back up and start all over again. Forgive myself and move on. Stop moping about what "IS," how fat I am, blah blah blah, and get about working on what i "WANT."

xoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Annalisa201 said...

Hi! Found your awesome blog when I was searching google for The Diet Alternative by Diane Hampton. Ran across your blog post from last year about it. You might want to consider re-reading it again :) It was a good one. And also, I can relate. Although I didn't put my credit card info through, I did spend a good hour contemplating it yesterday on the Reshape The Nation site. SO glad I didn't after reading this! So sorry you had such a rough time. I've been there, done that. So glad I didn't do it! Wow. Anyway, best of luck!!! And again, awesome blog :)