by Guest Blogger Robbi Hess
Spoiler alert. This is not my usual writing-type blog post. The other day I was sent an advance copy DVD of a new A&E program called, "Heavy." My first thought at watching and reviewing the show was, "I am not a reality show type person" and I've always thought, "If you don't want to be where/who you are, then change it." After watching this show, though I realized that sometimes even if you want to be somewhere else or someone else, it isn't as easy as just willing it to be so.
I found myself drawn into the stories and struggles of Rickywayne and Jessica and, honestly as I sat there munching on a brownie I wondered, "how far are any of us from being in that situation?" Who hasn't been a downward spiral where all you wanted to do was sit around the house in sweat pants and wallow? And now with the "invention" of Pajamajeans, well I can have the illusion of getting dressed without actually having to.
You don't even have to be struggling with a weight issue as monumental as Rickywayne or Jessica, just being "a little overweight" puts you at a disadvantage in life in general in some situations. Children are more obese now than they ever were in the past. Why is that? Easier access to fast food? Parents too busy to cook healthful meals? Sedentary lifestyles? Well, yes, to all of it.
As I sit here writing this post today, it's 5 degrees outside, the windchills are below zero, the snow is flying. Do I have any desire to get outside and walk? Heck no! Can I afford to go to a gym? Not really. Do I struggle with some of the painful mental pasts that Jessica and Rickywayne have dealt with? Thankfully no. But after watching this show -- my first reality program, ever -- my heart went out to the two of them. When they were weighed in at the end of the episode I fought back the urge to cheer right along with them at the weight they'd lost. When Rickywayne struggled with his shopping list and trying to but healthy foods instead of sliding back into bad eating habits, I was so glad he called for help on which lunch meat to pick. I never thought something that I take for granted -- knowing what to buy and what not to buy (even though I don't always do it) would be such a cause for celebration, but it was.
I'm honored to be part of a Q&A that A&E is hosting on Monday, January 24. It's an online special fan chat and live online Q&A session via streaming video with participants from the hit original series “Heavy.” Starting at 10 PM ET/9c viewers can log on to the “Heavy” facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Heavy) or AETV.com to chat with fellow fans during the episode’s premiere. I get to write in and ask a question of either Rickywayne or Jessica or their trainers. What will I ask? Haven't figured that out yet. Will I be rooting for the continued successes of these two strong-willed individuals? You bet I will.