Dear Jillian Michaels,
I respect you. I think you do a lot of good in the weight loss community. I think that your books and television programs move people and I also feel that you give good advice to people fighting the weight loss battle. SO many people try to copy your style and it is not even close. You are special and there is a reason why you will always be one of the most inspiring trainers out there.
With all of that being said, you do not inspire me to lose weight. No trainer has.
That is not an insult.
That is not a smack at what you have done.
That is not to belittle your accomplishments.
That is to tell you how far I have come as an overweight person. How defeated I was at 420 pounds and how happy I was once I lost the weight. How scared I was when I started to gain back the weight and how much I fought to never be obese again.
How anyone can chew on a star when they reach for the sky. Because you can get a star if you reach high enough.
It was not that long ago that I was a 420 pound monster sitting in my 1997 Acura at 3am on a warm Thursday Florida night. To the right of me I had $40 of Taco Bell food, shoveling it in my mouth. I was not hungry, yet, had the desire to eat. My stomach was hurting bad, yet I was still inhaling burritos. That is what addicts do. They get food and then get sad because they realize the food will be gone soon.
It was not that long ago that I would cough blood. I never told my wife about it. I would just walk, cough and blood would gush out of my mouth. I remember one time someone saw me do it and I told them it was just Hi-C. It did not scare me then because I was going to die. How many 400 pound men live to be 100? Better yet, how many live to be 40?
It was not that long ago that I could not hug my wife.
It was not that long ago that I slept in a different bed because of my weight.
It was not that long ago….
Yet I needed to find the one person that could inspire me.
My wife would have given anything for me to lose weight. Her tears did not stop me from eating; do you think you would have?
I promise you, if you knocked on my door I would not have lost weight.
If I was on a ranch I would not have lost weight.
I needed to talk to the one person that would inspire me.
See, the biggest misconception is that overweight people are lazy. They are weak.
Overweight people eat. That is it. They eat more calories than they burn and they do not move as much as they should.
And I could not be overweight anymore.
Jillian, I did what most people dream of. I lost weight. Over 220 pounds. I did not quit my job, I did not go on a Hollywood diet and chances are you have not heard of me. I lost 220 pounds for me. I kept it off my wife, my two kids, myself. I write about it now, yet I am no “rah rah” guy.
I will always look at this from an overweight perspective.
Every day is a beautiful struggle.
There are failures and successes.
There is no cure.
No new product is going to make my life easier.
I am a guy who can do what normal people can do now. That is what I want from life now.
Jillian, I think you are good for the weight loss community. Keep on kicking butt. Keep on inspiring.
I want you to know I respect you a great deal.
I hope you respect that this “overweight guy” does not find any bit of the media inspiring for weight loss. In order for me to have lost over 200 pounds, I had to be inspired by my family and myself.
Yet, I am sure there will be a day where we are on the same talk show. I will introduce myself and hug you.
But more importantly now…my wife can put both of her arms around me.
Tony Posnanski…a former “fat” kid.