Last night my boyfriend and I were watching this show, “My 600 lb Life” on TLC. This show followed Melissa and her husband Chris as she attempted to lose weight. The show spanned 7 years of her journey and was quite eye-opening…it was actually kinda sad. Number 1) to get up to 600 lbs is sad. And then Number 2) watching the enablers support the situation is worse.
About the show…Melissa had gastric by-pass surgery to lose weight and she lost a considerable amount of weight. This is to be expected. But what I didn’t expect was that during the course of this 2 hour show that spanned 7 years of her life, you didn’t see her once step into a gym or even work that hard to eat “right.” Yes, she was eating less because her stomach was now smaller, but she was eating crappy foods. She had ALOT of excess skin, which is common when you get to be that big. So as she lost all this weight her body just started looking like a lumpy, deflated balloon. And TLC surprisingly showed much of her deformed body and skin. All the while I am just stunned that she has not even tried to build any muscle at all. What is worse, since she was still eating crappy foods, when she had her skin removal surgery her body was not healing properly. (You actually have to feed your body nutrients in order to aid with growth and healing.) She was so concerned with losing weight and dieting that it became a detriment…she was literally malnourished. (You really gotta watch the show!) She basically sacrificed health in order to get down to a certain weight, but her body looked terrible and she was still unhealthy. Of course she was better off than at 600+ lbs, but still she could have changed her body AND improved her health.
I see this everyday in real life. People, (ok mainly women), are always chasing a number on the scale. They will do just about anything to hit that number including: overexercising, starvation/extremely restrictive diets, diet pills, and/or whatever trends are on the scene. And as a trainer I try to help people move away from the number chase, and more towards a healthy lifestyle. Had Melissa just changed her diet, she would have lost weight. Maybe not as quickly as with the by-pass surgery, but she would have lost it nonetheless. A slower weight loss, coupled with cardio and strength training would have helped with the excess skin. Yes, she still would have had extra skin, but with weight training she would have added some tone and elasticity back to the skin. And a proper diet would have allowed her body and skin to heal better after the multiple surgeries.
By the end of this show, I was hollering at the TV. I was hollering at her doctors and nurses that didn’t really explain a healthy diet. I was screaming at her husband who continued to eat crappy food and seemed to sabotage her attempts at a lifestyle change. And I was screaming at Melissa because I was trying to send some sense into the TV. It was very unnerving…le sigh. It just goes to show you how little doctors know about health. AND how people will sacrifice their health for their dream of being smaller. If you need proper assistance, contact a nutritionist and a personal trainer. This is what we do all day everyday. WE want you to be healthy!!