Tuesday, October 03, 2006

'Biggest Loser' Finalist Mentors Obese Student, Touts Low-Carb Diet And Exercise

"The Biggest Loser" finalist Kelley Minner lost over 100 pounds

Reading stories like this piece about the continuing impact of the contestants who have appeared on the hit NBC reality television show "The Biggest Loser" brings a great big smile on my face because it reinforces the positive impact one of my favorite shows is having on our culture.

"The Biggest Loser" finalist Kelly Minner, a teacher at Lehigh Valley Performing Arts School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, lost 102 pounds last year and was approached by one of her former students about losing weight recently.

An extremely talented young opera singer named Adam Bonanni weighed as much as 308 pounds at the age of 16 and he thought that was normal since most famous opera singers are quite large. But, as I recently blogged about world-class opera singer Richard Margison, that stereotype is already changing. So Bananni knew he needed help with his obesity and quick.

How convenient it was for him to have a "big loser" right there at his school with him! Minner was all too gracious to help Bananni and taught him everything she learned about healthy nutrition on the show from the trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels as well as the tireless work ethic regarding exercise.

Lose Big with Jillian Michaels

Minner patiently explained to Bananni what good eating habits were all about by sitting down with him at lunch. This one-on-one mentoring by Minner helped him realize that the junk food he was eating was destroying his health and making him fatter and fatter.

Get this (and I LOVE it!): She recommended Bananni start eating more high-fiber, LOW-CARB foods along with regular exercise to help him lose weight. HA! What dietary approach did she say? NOT low-fat, NOT low-calorie, NOT portion-control--but rather livin' la vida low-carb! WOO HOO! Can you believe it?!

Although it wasn't easy for him, Bananni lost an eye-popping 40 pounds in the first two weeks (the length of the Induction phase of the Atkins diet) and a total of 110 pounds in nine months. WOW! He dropped 10 inches off of his waist and finds that his breath support for his opera singing has vastly improved. His whole life has changed for the better and it's all because a former "Bigger Loser" contestant cared enough to pay it forward with her own success. Perhaps Bananni will have the opportunity to share what he has learned with someone in the future as well.

Biggest Loser Diet Club – Sign Up Now

Wasn't that a fantastic story? I want people to remember this the next time they start bemoaning how "The Biggest Loser" is demeaning to the overweight and obese or that it's causing unreasonable expectations for people desiring weight loss. Nobody ever said it's an easy road, but Minner and Bananni prove that it can be done if you focus on the right things to get you there.

I for one am so happy to hear that the low-carb lifestyle principles are being taught to these "Biggest Loser" contestants. I knew Bob Harper was supportive of low-carb living and his disciples like Minner are dutifully sharing the lessons they learned with those they cares about the most. That young man is very lucky to have a teacher that was willing to go beyond the call of her duty as a music educator to teach him some even more important lessons about life.

This brings me to an excellent lesson we can learn from this story. Never underestimate the power of mentoring when it comes to weight loss. Hooking up someone who has been through the struggles and overcome them with those who feel so hopeless and run down because of their weight. Wouldn't it be awesome to see what happened with Minner and Bananni become a national trend? Weight loss success stories all across the United States and around the world stepping up and making themselves available to walk side-by-side with others who need some gentle guidance.

The weight loss revolution that would ensue is well within the realm of possibility. But obese people will need to swallow their pride, admit they have a weight problem, and be willing to go through the rigorous work to make it happen. Also, the mentors would need to practice patience, diligence, and commit themselves fully to that individual who needs their help.

Why wait for a government program to start doing this? Go out there and start helping that neighbor, friend or loved one who is crying on the inside because of their weight. There's no need for them to suffer any longer and feel so all alone in this. Share with them your story and then let them know you'll be there for them every step of the way.

One by one by one we WILL make a difference and obesity will start to plummet. Are you willing to sacrifice just a little like Minner did to see phenomenal results just like Bananni? If so, then get started TODAY!

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