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500+ for 50 – day 8: risk going too far

Last night my girlfriend and I scrolled through the DVR and hit play on a recording of one of our favorite shows of the summer, Extreme Weight Loss.  If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to tune in sometime soon.  I’m moved to tears nearly every week.  It’s an incredibly motivating and inspiring program.  This week’s episode featured a pastor’s wife and stay at home mother of two.  Since the age of 22, she has given her heart and soul to her family.  But in an effort to be a flawless mother and spouse, she neglected to take care of her own needs.  And her well-being was placed in jeopardy as a result.  Over the years as pressure mounted in her quest for perfection, she turned to eating to escape her pain.  And her weight ballooned to 315 pounds.  At 44 years old, with an empty nest at home, she began her one year journey to begin her life anew.  And her transformation was remarkable.

Trainer Chris Powell and his wife Heidi lead the chosen few at Extreme Weight Loss on their yearlong quests to drop 50% or more of their original body weight.  The first 90 days of the program are spent at a training facility in Colorado.  Chris and Heidi teach the individuals how to manage their meals effectively and they lead them through a rigorous workout schedule that pushes each participant to his or her breaking point.  Then they build them back up, and keep moving forward.  And at the end of 90 days, many of the focuses throughout the season have lost nearly one whole pound per day.  In the case of the pastor’s wife this week, with relentless effort and grit, she dropped a total of 94 pounds in just 3 short months…amazing.

Are these results typical?  On this program, yes.  In “real life”, perhaps not.  The transformations documented are accurately depicted by the show’s title as “extreme”.  But that does not mean that exceptional results are out of the reach of anyone.  Your goal may be weight loss, or it may be something completely different.  Perhaps for you it’s the launching and successful operation of a new business venture?  Or maybe you want to write a book?  Or run a marathon?  It doesn’t really matter what your dream may be.  In order to attain noteworthy success, you will need to push for extreme results in all that you do on the quest towards achieving your goals.  I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from T.S. Eliot, “only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

When you commit to making an “extreme” transformation in your life, you will undoubtedly be met by a bit of resistance from some the people around you.  There will always be critics.  Many people enjoy watching others fail simply because it makes them feel more secure in their own skin.  You have to be willing to ignore them.  Engage the people who share your vision and who encourage your journey.  Don’t get caught up in the opinions of average thinkers when you’re after something extreme.  Your support network is critical.  The stay at home mother from last night’s episode excelled during her transformation because of her determined effort and commitment, but she was also helped tremendously by the efforts of her spouse who decided to embark on the weight loss journey with her, shedding 51 pounds of his own by year’s end.

There are no limits to this life.  I said it before and I will say it again, you are no different than anyone else who has chosen to commit to a revolutionary personal transformation.  Extreme results CAN be typical with extreme effort and determination.  You just have to have the “why” behind you that will drive you to see it through.  It’s okay to be a little extreme.  Nothing great was ever accomplished by those who settled for ordinary. 

Take it from our friend the pastor’s wife who lost 165 pounds in just 365 days.  Great results await those willing to risk going too far in order to achieve all that they desire.

May God Bless!

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