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Published on June 28th, 2011 | by Melody Simpson


‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition’ Episode 5 Review: “Rhonda”

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This week’s episode followed Rhonda, a 433 lb woman who lost her diabetes stricken mother due to a massive heart attack and has been eating away at her secret of molestation for years. But with the help of Chris Powell, her days of mourning were slowly but numbered. With a phase one (90 day) goal set at a weight loss goal of 100 lbs and the promise of a new car if that goal was met… viewers watched Rhonda work out in her new full gym (placed in her living room) and around town with Powell with a drive and positive attitude that we haven’t seen as much of in previous contestants. LaRhonda not only earned herself a new car by working out but having such an incredibly positive attitude.

“It’s phase two and this is the time where she sinks or swims.” – Chris Powell

After graduating from college and enjoying some chips and dip with her newfound free time and no Powell in sight, things got a little tough in phase two. But with a phase two (6 months in) weight loss goal of 60 lbs, Rhonda did it again and hit her goal exactly! This time around though after the weigh in, Rhonda decided with the encouragement of Powell to let go of her late mother’s insulin needles, so as not to remember her mother in that unhealthy state. Talk about a remarkable change. Powell is not only changing people’s physical state but he’s healing their emotional state as well. Powell is changing lives in more ways than one and it never gets less fascinating to see.

Rhonda’s 9 month weight loss goal was 40-50% of her original body weight in order to be a candidate for the skin removal surgery. Weighing in at 237 lbs, Rhonda is more than qualified for the surgery and the smile on her face says it all. Seeing her beautiful smile when the doctor told her she was a candidate made it all worth watching. She was finally getting rid of her excess weight, aka “Bertha” as Rhonda calls it. Comedy may have helped Rhonda get over her excess weight in the past but now she does not have to mask her pain through the jokes. With her final weigh in at 202 lbs, now the joke is on all of those who had little or no faith in her transformation.

At this point, viewers know the routine for this show, so to be able to anticipate following the individuals in phases and sometimes with rewards is fun and inspiring. Instead of one hour of tear-jerker television and that’s that, viewers find themselves rooting for not only the individual of the week but themselves forever. Rhonda’s drive and positive attitude about exercising will stay with me forever. It will help me and many others in their weight loss goal and maintaining that goal weight as well. If she can do it, we can do it. She overcame many obstacles, few of which were revealed to America. She’s a brave girl and that’s what last night’s episode was about. My only issue with last night’s episode is that the cameras showed a brief bit of Powell giving Rhonda a grocery shopping lesson at her local supermarket, but surely, more footage could have been used so that the viewers could get some tips. Aside from this blip, this was one of the most exciting and positive episodes thus far and it is safe to say that viewers across the country cannot wait to see more individuals with the energy and attitude that Rhonda had on her journey in theirs.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.

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