I met a great group of women being a part of that group. It was sad when I had to leave the group because school and work were becoming too much to handle while juggling the events that the group had planned.
One of the awesome women I met was named Rachel. She was a mother to twins - a girl and a boy - around Jelly's age. She was a stay-at-home mom, but had previously been a special education teacher. Being that I was on the pursuit for my education degree, I was automatically drawn to her.
One thing about the group - there were a lot of "fit" mothers in attendance. Beautifully lean. Regular exercisers. Healthy eaters. And then there was Rachel and I.
Another reason I think I was drawn to her from the get-go.
Rachel and I were the two biggest members of the group. We both looked to weigh about the same amount of weight, and I felt more comfortable when she was around... because I was with another person that was my size.
When I did start really losing weight and getting active, I'd already left the Mommy & Me group and Rachel and her husband had moved to Michigan - but Rachel and I stayed in touch through Facebook and my blog. She often sent me messages or left comments on my blog about her interest in doing the same. And she started her own blog, with her husband, about trying to lose weight together.
I could tell how devoted Rachel was about losing weight, at first... but as my posts about weight loss began dwindling, so did Rachel's. And it was about the same time we kinda lost touch with each other. No more little messages or encouragement from either side, because it was apparent we had both just given up... again.
Fast forward a couple of years, and Rachel and I are still friends on Facebook. We don't talk, really, but I keep up with her goings on....and one day I get a notification that Rachel has a new page. It's titled...
Extreme Weight Loss: Jason and Rachel
And I'm all like WHAT THE WHAT???
Yep, I find out that my lucky toot of a friend AND her husband have been participants on Chris Powell's show Extreme Weight Loss. The show where people have a year to transform their lives and lose the weight.
My first reaction was total jealousy. HA!! Just kidding... not really. No. My first reaction was happiness. I was going to watch one of my favorite shows and actually personally know one of the participants. I started following their page and watched for updates on when their show was going to air. I was also genuinely happy that she and her husband were getting such an amazing opportunity, and I knew in my bones that it was the opportunity that both of them desperately wanted and needed. I know because I had conversations with Rachel "back in the day" about how awesome it would be to go on a show like Biggest Loser, and get the help we both desperately needed.
Their episode aired last week.
All I have to say is WOW.
To see what these people went through, accomplished together, and what came out on the other side is more than inspiring... it's damn right motivational!
I sat and watched the entire two hours going through every emotion possible. Happiness, sadness, anger, disappointment, and joy. I cried. I laughed. I yelled at the screen. I jumped up with excitement. I've watched those shows many, many times before... but this time it was different. Because I knew that woman on the screen. I had shared conversations with her about how much our weight affects our lives and how different our lives would be if the weight was gone.
And there it was... her weight was gone.
And her husband's.
Together, they lost over 300lbs! She lost HALF of her body weight. And she looked amazing...they both did. They didn't even look like the same people when it was all over with.
Jason and Rachel have started a new blog to chronicle their journey on Extreme Weight Loss, and to share how they will continue their life post transformation. And the best part is, I really know that it's going to stay gone. I don't know Rachel that well, but I got to know her well enough to know that the weight loss isn't something that would come lightly. She battled it for so long, there's no way it would go to the wayside.
And I'm excited to read everything they have to say. I eagerly await their tips and strategies about what they went through and how they accomplished what they did. I feel honored that I have a friend from the past that got such an amazing opportunity. And lucky that I'll now be able to learn from her and hopefully use the information for my own benefit.
If you want to check the blog out, visit www.ourfamilybalance.com
There's already a few posts waiting for you to check out with some great tips and information.
One thing I do know is that I may not be lucky enough to get Chris Powell to train me. I may not get a year going through the hell Rachel and Jason went through. I may not even get the opportunity to ever look as amazing and beautiful as Rachel does, or as fit and handsome as Jason is now. But, they can give me the hope and information I can use to at least try.
Another tool added to the tool belt.
I can't speak much for Jason, because I never met him... but I'm so happy Rachel was given the opportunity. I know her well enough to know that she will pay it forward. She will enjoy helping others and providing encouragement and support to those looking... like me. Her heart is a good one, and if she has the opportunity to help someone that really needs it, she will do what she can to try.
So, I say CONGRATULATIONS to Jason and Rachel. I am so freakin' proud of you both. You inspire me to move. You inspire me to eat better. You inspire me to keep the faith that no matter how tough it gets, I can continue and succeed.
And it's also the first person... and probably only person... I'll ever get the privilege to say that I knew, personally, from the show.
I'll be reading. I'll be following your directions. And when it's all started working and I'm rocking my new, healthier body...I'll be expecting to take a little trip to Michigan for my own big reveal. HA! Just kidding. Not really.
OK, I must go... but now that I'm done here, you really should go check out their blog. Tell 'em I sent ya. Because I can guarantee, that while you may enjoy reading what I've got to say here... it's nothing compared to the goodness (and actual help) you'll be able to get from them.
But, just make sure you come back here tomorrow....I'll eventually have good advice to give. One day. I hope.
Till next time!
a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman