Tonight, MTV aired two episodes of its True Life series, True Life: I’m addicted to food and True Life: I can’t stay thin. I think the irony is the season that these episodes aired.  It’s the end of December, a few days before the New Year and a time of deep reflection for many.  This is also the season where gym membership rates usually increase about 20-30 percent from those who commit to losing weight in the New Year. (Most gyms have a retention rate of about 60% annually.) These two MTV shows were both entertaining and educational, a great motivator. In True Life: I can’t stay thin, MTV follows Adam and Kinsey as they struggle to keep weight off.  Adam’s story is the most surreal because after reaching a personal weight max of 325, he secluded himself from friends and family, quit his job and school, and focused intently on losing weight for 6 months. He lost more than 140 pounds by restricting himself to 400 calories per day and remaining sequestered in his apartment, except for essential travel.  The show documents his transition to normal civilization (e.g. socializing, eating normal healthy meals, traveling) and captures his struggles with binge eating and its effect of immediate weight gain. This was a very personal story.  I admire his dedication to such a goal, but his extremism also speaks to the psychological effects of weight. Conversely, on True Life: I’m addicted to food, MTV follows Alisha and Jennifer as they acknowledge and respond to their food addictions. Jennifer, a black female and aspiring singer from New York, looks like an average black female in the US – slightly thick, big personality, and embracing her curves. But, the cameras follow her on a deeper level – she eats to her destruction, when she is bored, fearful, upset, happy, etc. And *side note*, her food choices look absolutely delicious at times (she visited this crab shack and I promise you that I will be visiting Joe’s Crab Shack this week)! But, her eating habits (etiquette-wise) are a bit embarrassing, but I digress with that point also.  The show just gives an honest look at one’s trek to obesity: simple, destructive habits that, individually, look innocent and are momentarily satisfying but, collectively, are unhealthy.  These stories made for good, reflective television. Reality TV at its best! I think about my food cravings, my comfort foods: cherry cokes, French fries, fried tilapia, and candy (mmm). Needless to say, I logged on to LA Fitness’ website and saw that they have a current special, no enrollment fee and no contract.  I need to exercise regularly if for no other reason than to counteract those delicious extra calories that I consume with joyous delight. Yep, I am joining. Tomorrow. Thanks MTV.

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