MTV’s “I Used to Be Fat” – Makenzie

(I got out of class early because everywhere in Kansas is frozen.)

Eighteen-year-old Makenzie is this week’s MTV’s “I Used to Be Fat” participant. She just graduated high school and has plans to go to cosmetology school.

As a child, Makenzie was never worried about being overweight, but as she grew up, her peers called her fat, which made her turn to food. In eating, she found satisfaction.

Makenzie’s family, especially her father, stresses the importance of marriage and having a “storybook romance,” and this is why she has to lose weight.

Instead of focusing on her health or body image or self-esteem, her father wants her to lose weight in order to fit into the image of a beautiful woman.  He put her down, told her men wouldn’t want her and absolutely murdered her self-esteem (in my opinion).

At the beginning of this episode, I hated her father.

“I don’t like guys because I know that they won’t like me,” she said. (Really? That’s terrible. I say, “Thanks Dad!”)

During his first visit, her personal trainer Mike emptied her kitchen of the processed foods and sweets that she had been eating. Her father volunteered to eat whatever Makenzie ate. (At least he plans on contributing in a positive way, but I still don’t like him.) Mike also came over and taught them all how to eat healthful meals.

Unfortunately, her parents (FATHER) are not into the healthful eating at all, and her brothers are jerks. I hope they gain 20 pounds each.

Thankfully, Mike knows why Makenzie needs to lose weight -unlike her family -health and self-esteem, doing it for you and not some guy, and exercising and dieting to please your body, not a body image.

Her starting weight was 273 pounds. She wants to lose at least 100 pounds in 99 days. At her first weigh in two weeks later,  she lost 10 pounds. After another week, she dropped only two pounds, hitting a massive wall.

Her father begins to push her to do better next week, as well as pressure her into thinking about her marriage. That made her feel like she would never be good enough to find a man to marry. Good job Dad! (Sarcasm.)

At a point like this, when weight loss plateaus, people need support, not constant reminders that no one thinks they are good enough.

I’m not surprised Makenzie was overweight  because of her environment. As Mike said, she is a product of her environment. It is unfortunate that her family didn’t take the time or make the effort to help her before this point. They are, in fact, loving, but I don’t think they’re doing it right for her.

At her next weigh in, Makenzie weighed 261 pounds. She lost no weight and discouragement settles in. Her next workouts are straining her commitment to exercise and weight loss.

Her struggle is not only with the scale; she also has to fight her own inner demons when it comes to working out.  I know a little bit about this one. She said working out is not something she is excited to do, which I also understand.

She hates it. I hate it, too, girl.

So Makenzie’s discouraged, and Mike calls a family meeting. Actions speak louder than words, he said. Her family needs to participate in her journey. Her brothers started her off by spending a work out playing soccer with her.

THANK GOD FOR THE YOUNGER BROTHER! He said Makenzie’s motivation should not be to find a guy. I like him now, as well as the other brother. They are not going to gain 20 pounds. Good job!

After her father worked out with her, he got to see what she did every day and how hard she worked, and he found a way to be proud of her. Okay Dad I’ll give you a break. You better pull through for her.

At 20 days to go she weighed 245 pounds, and she looks like she’s lost weight. She has lost about six dress sizes since the beginning of summer. At her final weigh in, after 99 days, Makenzie weighs 224 pounds. She lost a total of 49 pounds. While she is depressed, Mike reassured her that she can still beat the 51 pounds she has left before reaching her goal.

Excited but fearful, Makenzie has a heart-to-heart with her father before college. He finally makes her realize that she is beautiful no matter what, that she needs to be confident and that she doesn’t have to be perfect. Dad, you came through for your daughter. I’m proud of you.

I’m proud of you, too, Makenzie.

Three months later, Makenzie walks through the door of her family’s home and looks FANTASTIC! Her feelings about her body and herself are finally moving up the ladder just as her weight dropped down the chute (board game reference!). She weighs 197 pounds.

Makenzie’s transformation was not as drastic as Gabriella’s, Marci’s or Dominick’s transformations, but she still seriously kicked butt and officially looks amazing -especially since her confidence level is sooooo high!