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!