If you have been following my tumblr at all, you know that I am a big fan of Extreme Makeover : Weight Loss Edition. If you know me otherwise, you’d know I hate reality TV, and although EM qualifies under the genre, and I do believe between editing, writing, and certain choices within the show sway audience emotion, the fact remains that the people on the show legitmately have the struggles that they share on the show, and they are losing the weight. With that said, the new season started out with a strong person, Tony.

I’ve watched almost all of the episodes twice, and Tony has to be the most persevering transformation that Chris has worked with. Tony was close to 400 lbs on the scale (398), and was someone who hides behind smiles. I have seen this in a variety of other weight loss stories. I think for a lot of people, they hide their innermost emotions under their fat (metaphorically, but in a very physical way as well). Tony, despite having a difficult life, showed the most dedication and fight in the first workout than anyone else.

Tony’s story is unique because throughout the episode he deals with a failed relationship, a dying son, a divorce, homelessness, and a variety of other problems, but through all of this, was still one of the toughest people the show has followed. Tony was truly inspiring, and his will to never give up shows that no matter what our problems are, if we want something bad enough, it can be achieved. He ended up losing 200 lbs. for his 50th birthday, so if you are even 100 lbs overweight and 25, know that people double your age and weight are out there running, lifting, and changing their lives. These stories are so inspiring to me, and show me that when I am tired and worn out, that I can move past it. I will note that you can’t exclusively compare yourself with someone else, the amount of motivation is completely a psychological drive. For Tony, his dying son was what motivated him – and if you don’t have those goals and changes in your head, your body will never mold to be the you that you want to be. It’s also a lot easier said than done. When we are on our last breath, it’s easy to say, “that’s enough” instead of going one more lap or doing one more rep. It has to come from within you, but for me, seeing these stories gives me the push to know that if someone like Tony can do it, then I can do it too.