Anchor Fights Back: Jennifer Livingston
Welcome to WABC TV’s Reset Your Life: A Healthier You blog! It follows the popular show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" with host Chris Powell on ABC as well as other timely health issues as they come up in the headlines. As a bonus, you will also find meal plans, exercise routines and music playlists throughout the different posts to help get you motivated to reset your life!
I wanted to start this blog, because like thousands of women in the tri-state, I too have struggles and triumphs with weight. I have had major weight losses and gains in the last 11 years. The highs and lows on the scale correspond with the highs and lows I've experienced through school and college, work and the challenges of adult life. I am on my own new journey once again to get healthy. Update: I'm just about halfway there! It's been nice to wear some clothes this fall I didn't enjoy wearing last year. :)
This week, a Wisconsin TV anchor and reporter made national headlines for a four-minute report about a viewer email she received. Sadly, it's not unusual for anchors and reporters to receive nasty emails about their appearance, but Jennifer Livingston chose to take action in front of the camera about it. She admits she is medically considered overweight and calls the email a version of bullying.
Here's a look:
The man who wrote the email isn't backing down. Even after all of the publicity over his comments, he said, "Given this country's present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and considering Jennifer Livingston's fortuitous position in the community, I hope she'll finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year - And to that end I would be absolutely pleased to offer her any advice or support she would be willing to accept."
What do you think?
In weight loss news, check out this report from Good Morning America and our friend Chris Powell! The host of "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" made a special appearance this week to congratulate a man who lost 100 pounds in FOUR MONTHS!!
I also wanted to share this. It's the incredible journey of a woman, documented in a creative way.
Through my own journey, I've learned fast food isn't as delicious as it sounds in the heat of the moment. Fortunately, I live in a New York City neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of fast food restaurants calling my name. I will admit though, at one point, my craving for Taco Bell was so great one time, I actually took the subway downtown for the food. I then had to take a cab back home so it would still be hot when I finally got to eat it!! (I know.) The only time I really have fast food now is when I go back home to Texas and Dairy Queen comes calling. It's all about balance in life, right?
In one state, researchers are actually paying people TO eat fast food so they can see the effects it has on our bodies. Check out this report from Nightline.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are making an unusual offer: They are paying people to add fat to their own bodies by eating an extra 1,000-calorie fast food meal each day for three months.
Dr. Samuel Klein, the lead researcher in the study, wanted to do some basic research on why only some people who gain weight develop diabetes and hypertension, while others do not. It's something he said he couldn't research by feeding food pellets to lab animals.
"What you learn in rodents does not always translate to people," Klein said. "What you learn on flies and worms won't translate to people."
Fast food turns out to be a perfect food pellet replacement because it is good for measuring exactly what people are eating. The five restaurants chosen for the study were McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC.
"[Fast food restaurants] have very regulated food content," said Klein, the lead researcher of the study. "We know exactly the calories and macro-nutrient composition within fast food restaurants, so it's a very inexpensive, easy and tasteful way to give people extra calories."
There was also a cash incentive. Participants could earn up to $3,500, depending on how long it took them to reach the weight goal. They had to gain 5 percent to 6 percent of their body weight during the three-month span and then they could work to shed the pounds again. Researchers monitored their weight from week to week.
When the hospital put out an ad seeking participants, several people came forward.
Dawn Freeman, a 50-year-old nurse who has now finished the program, started out weighing 170 pounds. She said she gained 16 pounds over the course of eight weeks.
She was compensated a total of $2,650 for her effort, including $50 to lose all the weight again, which she did with diet and walking exercise to help her get down to 162.8 pounds. The hospital guides participants through the weight loss.
Freeman said gaining weight fast -- with a doctor's permission -- only sounds easy and even seemed easy with the first meal, a Big Mac and large fries from McDonald's.
"It was really good and you know the next night I went to Taco Bell and it was, it was wonderful," she said. "This is after I have already eaten dinner."
But Freeman eventually found out that gaining weight in a hurry was hard, something Klein predicted.
"This is not pleasant for them," Klein said. "It's not easy to stuff your face every day for a long period of time."
Freeman said she started to feel awful after two weeks, "I could hardly breathe anymore."
She is glad it's over. But another participant, Dave Giocolo, was about to find out that this experiment was not a food lovers' dream.
The 48-year-old bathroom design and supply salesman said when he heard the medical school's ad on the radio while commuting to work, he called them right away.
The St. Louis native starting weight was 249.9 pounds, with a goal of adding about 15 pounds for the study. So Giocolo, who never went without his morning McDonald's breakfast burrito, started eating quarter pounders for the sake of science.
He made so many drive-in runs that he knew the calories by heart, but around week four, those burgers and fries started to catch up with him. Giocolo said his knees and ankles started aching.
"It's getting harder to move," he said.
Metabolism is a mysterious thing. For Giocolo, the weight went on, slowly it seems. One week he actually lost about a pound. That's when researchers told him to up the quantities. Around week 11, he said he was ready to be done with it.
Just last week, Giocolo finished the weight gain part of the study, hitting 268 pounds -- a gain of just over 18 pounds. He was compensated $3,225, and will receive more when he gets his weight back down to baseline.
Now his challenge is to lose the weight, helped maybe by the fact that he said he has lost his appetite for fast food, at least for a while.
I'll bring you a follow-up on this once the study is complete.
Follow me on Twitter! @carminmarie
I'll see you here soon with more encouraging weight loss stories and health news.
**This program is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor for treatment of any medical condition and before beginning any diet or exercise regimen.**