Flip Side Of The Same Coin

Have you ever seen Extreme Home Makeover Weight Loss Edition?

I love it.

And before you judge, because I know what you are thinking; “why is this girl watching a show that could potentially trigger her or give her more tips on insane diets and workouts?!?!” I think you should really have a look.


Because I want Chris Powell to be my life coach.

First of all, I truly believe eating disorders on opposite ends of the spectrum; compulsive eating/obesity, and anorexia/anorexia athletica, are pretty much the same, just physically manifest in different ways.

This was proven to me as I watched episode 1, featuring Jacki, who described exactly what goes on in my mind more articulately than I could ever explain, when she was explaining her situation.

Food was her coping mechanism and a mask to cover up her feelings of inadequacy and fears of failure.

She could ignore her obvious problem because she never chose to look. Secretly knowing what was there she avoided mirrors, didn’t put herself out there, or go many public places because then she would have to acknowledge the feelings that were behind the abuse that lead to physical destruction.

And then I saw her poor husband interviewed, talking about his profession as a firefighter and parademic who sees people die every single day, which breaks his heart because he worries that too could be his wife in an instant.

Oh my goodness I cried like a baby.

That is Ryan!


And I cannot hear him say those words because I am so damn stubborn, even though they have left his lips so many times.

So Jacki returns and says there are times where she has thought of divorce, not because she doesn’t love him but because she thinks he is the greatest in the world and she feels like she is a huge hindrance on his life.

…I am ashamed to admit this but I have often asked Ryan if he wanted a divorce for Jacki’s very same reason.

She wrote to Chris Powell, knowing the fight to gain her health back would be incredible, and he came into her life with a plan that would intimidate the hell out of anyone in their right mind.

BUT she achieved the immense goal they both agreed upon, and not only did she look fantastic at the end, but she had a glow/attitude that I so desperately want.

She closed the show saying how it really didn’t matter how much weight she lost, because if she didn’t make a transformation inside, she would still be an empty shell lacking empowerment and self-love.

This is so so so true.

Not only do I need to change my exterior; I need to completely reconstruct my interior.

Chris did a fabulous job helping her with that monumental task because this man did not just take her to a gym and say “ok, we need to work out for 834583 hours and burn X amount of calories.”

He challenged her with things that would alter her perception of what she could do, achieve, and obtain.

He wanted her to face her fears and become a WHOLE person again.

Chris, can you please come help me? Because it’s not fair that I ask Ryan to be my husband, nurse, friend, therapist, nutritionist, motivational speaker, etc.

Maybe this is me admitting I can’t successfully complete my journey alone; I don’t really know, but it was interesting to see my feelings, and thoughts being so openly expressed on national TV; maybe even a bit eye-opening.


7 thoughts on “Flip Side Of The Same Coin

  1. Hi CJ- First time commenter. I think you are so strong, and I can see you working hard to fight this ED. As someone who has “been there, done that” I totally get the power of the mind, and how it can destruct your best intentions. I was watching the same show last night and thought about how whether you are overweight and underweight, the mind struggles are still quite intense. Let me know if you want to talk sometime as a support- that is what I do for a living now 🙂 After going through years of a disastrous relationship with my body, I wanted to help other women who struggle- so I became a psychotherapist and a health/wellness coach to support others. I get infuriated when people say “just eat more” because we know it is so much more complex than that. Feel free to shoot me an email 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness. I struggle with bulimia and I love the same show, and Jacki’s episode reduced me to tears and hope and longing for a life coach as incredible as Chris Powell. Her emotional struggle felt so similar to mine.

    Stay strong, beautiful.

  3. Wheni read this post what i hear is that you need more support. More than one a week individual outpaient…. Chris powell literally moves in- this is th ED equivalent of residential treatment. To create these changes it is a full time one hundred percent focus. Not also working full time, not a twice a week hour long appointment.
    If the girl in the show only went to see chris twice a week for an hour each time do you think she would have been able to ever manage to get thru this? You are expecting radical change Yet at the same time setting yourself up for failure.
    Please re read this post, think about it, and ask for the support you need to make the changes i know you want yet cant manage alone. Ryan isnt your chris.

  4. Have you ever read the ABA book? It basically talks a lot about this concept in the first half of the book. I honestly would not recommend it for people who are easily triggered, but if there are meetings/groups near you, I would say go check it out.

    I’m glad you were able to see some things that you feel can support you or would help you on your journey. I would say that the next step would be to figure out how to get that in your life. Explore your options and keep an open mind!

    On a last note, remember that everything is edited for TV – even the shows that are 2 hours long. Remember that he was not the miracle worker – she was. She changed her life by using what he said. After he moves out, almost all the individuals struggle with figuring out how to implement these changes into their lives. Tt in NYC (above) is right about it having to be your main focus. It takes a lot of energy and time to recover. Keep in mind that you need to be patient, loving, and kind to yourself through this process!

  5. I am so happy you wrote about this! I watch this show too, and my mom asked me if it triggered me. I had to think about it, but realized no it inspired me! I cry on every episode I watch, because I can relate to their struggle so much. An eating disorder is basically an addiction, and we need to treat it as such, it should not be taken lightly, because more people die from eating disorders than any other mental illness! That is pretty extreme, considering people don’t view an eating disorder as “that bad”. Some outside help would be really helpful I think. I just admitted to myself I need more help than I thought I did. So, I recently got a nutritionist, therapist, and psychologist and I can already tell that my mindset has improved greatly. If you ever need to talk I’m here ❤

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