That's the setup for Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. The one-hour series documents the amazing makeover of eight courageous "super-obese" people (defined as those who exceed their ideal weight by 225 percent) who attempt to safely lose half of their body weight in 365 days. The show premieres Monday, May 30, 10 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC. We spoke with Chris Powell, trainer extraordinaire, and J.D. Roth, executive producer of the show, who explained how this show is unlike any other weight loss show.
"For one, whether you as an audience member who has weight to lose or not, it taps into something inside of you," says Roth. "If someone 500 pounds can get on a treadmill, you can change something in your life, too. Little victories turn into big ones."
It's also not a competition show, so you don't have someone going home every week, says Powell. In addition, participants do not have a refrigerator full of nutritionally sound food set up to help them. They're trying to accomplish this transformation at home in the environment that got them in trouble in the first place, says Roth. "Creating new habits makes this show unique."
It also goes beyond diet and exercise. People need to address their social and environment triggers before the exercise and nutrition aspects can fall into place, says Powell, the trainer. "Most of these people 'eat their emotions' and are driven by them. We free them by releasing them from the 'reasons' why they're 500 pounds. Much work has to be done in that space first, getting down into why they are the way they are."
Making those single decisions minute by minute starts the process, says Powell. "The real curveball is dealing with the emotional aspects."
Participants are offered therapy throughout the process to help them get to the core issues that caused them to gain the weight in the first place. "They're in essence recreating their identity by transforming their thinking from a 500-pound loser to a 120-pound athlete," says Powell. "And often they still see that 500-pound person in the mirror."
Tune in to the show to watch as Powell helps each person go through his or her own personal challenges to become healthier and fitter over 365 days. Each 42-minute episode features one person's journey. Don't miss it!
Check out this sneak peak of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition!
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