Monthly Archives: February 2010

Confessions of a Reality Show “Loser”

For obvious reasons I was compelled recently to watch a special on The Learning Channel (TLC) entitled, Confessions of a Reality Show Loser. It was a show that chronicled the journey of Season 3 Biggest Loser champ, Erik Chopin who lost an astounding 50% of his original weight to earn the top honors on the season right before mine.

Up until recently Erik held the all-time largest percentage lost. I remember sitting at home watching his finale with my husband. Our jaws literally dropped to the ground at his final reveal. His transformation was completely amazing!

Since then, (about three years later) he has gained about 75% of the weight back. His frustration with the process and with the lessons he learned (or didn’t learn) fueled the hour-long special. I know Erik and his wife Michelle personally. So I watched with great interest. I think some of the things I learned from watching are worth sharing with you here.

For example, Erik shared that after losing this astonishing amount of weight, he noticed almost immediately that he might have problems keeping it off. He began a pattern of eating poorly and skipping the gym. Then he would follow those days with extremely low calorie intake and painfully hard workout sessions.

That set in motion the mentality that “exercise is the punishment for bad nutrition.” That’s a defeating mindset.

Erik also shared that after months and months of depriving himself of the foods he loved, he just wanted to get his hands on some of those things. A common response to long-term deprivation is eventual overindulgence.

We simply can not have an all-or-nothing mindset. It won’t work. Food is to be enjoyed. But it’s got to be the right kind of food.

I guess what I appreciated the most throughout the whole show, and what I want to share as encouragement to my blog readers is that it doesn’t matter how big your successes are, you have to continue to work hard to maintain success.

It was a wake up call to me.

We get discouraged by the failures in our past, but ironically our accomplishments can also defeat us. The commitment to good health is a never-ending battle. Like in my life, just because you’ve done the hard work one time doesn’t mean it’s over.

Jillian Michaels has told me many times, “The only way to truly fail is to stop trying.” I am committed to never stop working and never stop trying to live these lessons.

In the end, Erik is trying to regain his healthy lifestyle. Although he’s received a lot of criticism for his excessive weight gain, don’t we all agree that everyone is deserving of a second chance? That’s God’s nature. And I am most thankful for second chances in my own life.

So don’t be hampered by the successes or failures you’ve experienced. Let every day be a new start to living the life you deserve!


The Worthiness Message Marches On!

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record. But it seems like I am compelled to reiterate that the most important lesson I have learned on this journey life has taken me on is that of the innate worthiness that lies within each of us. It’s bestowed upon us by our creator. We all have value and worth not because of anything we have done or not done. But because God says so.

This was confirmed once again to me recently through an e-mail message I received from a dear friend of mine, Ashley. Her beginning words caught my attention, “The worthiness message marches on!”

Ash shared with me a message a dear friend had sent out to a distribution list of people encouraging them along the lines of worthiness as she was reading my book, Fat Chance. How humbling to think that people are reading those words and really taking them to heart. But after all, that’s the reason I felt led to write the book. So I am glad it’s making an impact of some sort.

Even so, it was a wonderful reminder to re-read and re-absorb the wonderful truth of our worthiness in God’s eyes. So I wanted to share some of those sentiments with you today.

She very precisely determined the main point of the book is that the reason THE MAJORITY of people out there don’t reach their true potential is because not only are they not focusing on it, they don’t BELIEVE THEY ARE WORTH IT. And, because we don’t believe we are worth it, or our dreams are worth it, or our potential is worth it, it’s just easier to sit back and keep focusing on our imperfections, the things that “will never change” and so we settle. Settle for second best, settle for good enough, settle for the leftovers.

I finally came to the conclusion that I am worthy of living the life of my dreams. The moment someone finally says those words out loud and therefore agrees in their spirit that he or she is in fact worthy, things change. Everything changes! It was true for me. It will be true for you too. You are precious to God. You are purposed for good. And you are worthy of the life of your dreams.

You’ve been given EVERYTHING you need to be successful in life. You just have to BELIEVE it.

May God bless you on your journey to finding your true worth.


Only Pack Some Things for the Journey

My husband just celebrated his birthday a few days ago. He received so many sweet messages and nice cards, but one in particular stood out to me. It wasn’t the card itself (although it was nice, too), but the handwritten sentiments inside. They came from a family member and were simple enough, but filled with wisdom.

She wrote, “I usually get very reflective during the days surrounding my birthday. I think about where I am and where I’m going. This year I packed some things to take with me; likewise I chose some things to leave behind. I hope the journey this coming year takes you on leads to adventure, healing, and a refreshing that only the Lord can bring.”

The concept of packing some things to take with us into the future and intentionally leaving some things behind really struck me as brilliant. I like the visual of that statement.

I’ve said before that not everyone struggles with a physical weight. But everyone does carry a weight of some type with them. It may be financial, or relational, or it may even be a weight you didn’t even place upon yourself—but you may have carried it for years—from one birthday to another. The good thing is that we don’t have to carry those things that don’t enhance our lives and uplift us! That realization is so liberating.

Of course, I don’t know when your birthday is—but I encourage you not to wait until then to take this introspective look at your life. There are things that we can all pack up and take with us into the next phase and there are things we—for our own benefit—must leave behind.

So like the wishes that were extended to my husband, for each of you reading this I hope the journey this coming year takes you on leads to adventure, healing and a refreshing only the Lord can bring.