I must say, this is pretty frickin impressive:
Even his facial features look completely different, don’t they?
He’s Michael Ventrella, champ at the TV weight-loss game, who had a lot to gain by losing a lot: “By the final show, he had lost 50.19 percent of his body weight, a total of 264 pounds.”
Weight is difficult to lose. But what’s even worse is that it’s notoriously hard to keep off. The “Biggest Loser” TV show features mega-overweight people who undergo a very public process of huge and speedy weight loss, supervised by physicians and trainers and filmed almost every painful soap-opera-ish step of the way. Perhaps that public exposure gives them an extra dimension that will keep them from backsliding; perhaps not.
Speaking of backsliding—which is easy to do, because the body defends a certain weight, and strives mightily to achieve its former bulk—here’s an article from last September that tracks former winners of the show. The basic trend is to gain some amount of weight back, but not to return to close to the original gargantuan size.
Some have kept all the weight off. But either effort requires extraordinary willpower and almost total dedication. These people cannot just live normally and expect to be thin. The most successful ones become professionals, quitting their day jobs, running marathons or other extreme forms of exercise, writing cookbooks, becoming trainers, and/or joining the inspirational diet speech-making circuit. The specter of the humiliation of weight gain (which, after all, cannot be hidden)—of yo-yo-ing like Oprah or Kirstie Alley—understandably haunts and goads them.