Extreme Weight Loss: Alyssa
Welcome to WABC TV’s Reset Your Life: A Healthier You blog! It follows the popular show "Extreme Weight Loss" (formerly 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 12 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. :)
This week on ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss," we met 22-year-old Alyssa from Michigan. She gained 300 pounds over a ten-year period after the death of her mother. Alyssa's mom was involved in a car accident when a deer ran into the road. Alyssa was in the car with her mother and saw her mother after she was ejected. She says, "I've never been the same since." This is a look at Alyssa at the beginning of her 365-day journey.
Alyssa said, "The real me is underneath all of these layers of fat." She said, "I'm so ready to make my mom proud." Below is a look at Alyssa's "fight or flight" workout. Chris had her run up a hill of sand to symbolize the uphill battle ahead in the next year.
Alyssa said in times of trauma, "some people turn to alcohol, some people turn to drugs, I turned to food." But, Alyssa realizes the time is now to do something about it. She said, "The death of my mom can't be my excuse anymore...It's time to take control of my own life."
Nutrition and eating turned out to be a huge part of Alyssa's struggle. She had been eating junk food for so long, she would start throwing up when she was working out and eating healthy with Chris. Chris said her body was detoxing. He said it makes sense people fear healthy eating at the beginning of a huge weight loss journey because it can have this effect and people associate the change with getting sick. Chris said once Alyssa gets through this point, her body will feel better and more energized by the clean eating habits she started. To prove a point, Chris told Alyssa he would follow her old bad habits of eating foods high in sugar and fat for one day. The problem was, he couldn't even make it past lunch! Chris started getting sick to his stomach and threw up during lunch. He said it felt like he had the flu.
Chris also introduced Alyssa to fitness trainer Drew Manning.
He spent six months eating junk food to show the effects it has on the body and then worked hard to return to his old body. I wrote about him here: Drew Manning during his Fit2Fat2Fit journey. His story demonstrates just how hard junk food is on the body. Drew said he learned a lot from the experience, including how hard it is to lose weight once someone has packed on the pounds. He also said he felt a change emotionally. He said his self esteem went down and he was even embarassed for his wife to see his body.
Chris agrees saying, "This journey is not just about the physical aspects of weight loss. It's so emotional."
Alyssa made it through her first phase with a lot of success, but when it came time for the six-month weigh-in, Alyssa shared a secret. She had been binging and purging in the last phase. She went back to Arizona with Chris and his wife Heidi to get some help. Heidi had struggles with an eating disorder when she was a teenager and young adult. Alyssa said she learned a lot in this phase and felt good again.
Alyssa did not lose enough weight by the nine-month weigh-in to qualify for skin removal surgery. On the day of her final reveal, she had also not dropped the weight required for the surgery. At the end of the show, Chris offered help with eating through a clinic in Dallas. She first refused the help, but two weeks after the finale, Alyssa decided to go.
NOTE: Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S. Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. If you need help, contact the National Eating Disorders Association. This is a link to their website: NEDA
Below is a look at Alyssa on the day of her final reveal. Alyssa said her mom has been with her through her journey. She said, "I think she's proud of the person that I am today."
This picture was posted on her Facebook page.
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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.**