Jackson Carter

Starting weight: 328 pounds
End of Week 10: 235 pounds
Total loss: 93 pounds

Previous Weight: 250 pounds
Weight Loss: 15 pounds
Current Weight: 235 pounds

It's here!!! The show that everyone has been waiting for - MAKEOVER WEEK!! There is always something special about makeover week. I have used the analogy over and over again that when we first went onto the show we were broken down buildings. Over time, we have torn our building down, poured a new, stronger foundation, and started work from the ground up. Even more special, this season we will be sent home and our makeover reveal will be with our family and loved ones. It doesn't get much better than this.

We start out by hopping into a limo and we get taken to a super nice mansion. We toast with sparkling water to a new life with our families (and hopefully a haircut because the topiary growing off my cranium is in desperate need of repair).  It's all so glamorous, we feel like movie stars. I'm waiting for my $10,000 goodie bag full of fancy creams and puppies like the celebrities get at Oscar pre-parties.

As we pull up to the mansion, we see two figures standing just outside the front doors. We get out of our limo and when the dark tint of the window has been lifted from our eyes, we see Tim Gunn and Ken Paves. "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" I scream in my head as I begin to fangirl out.

I LOVE Tim Gunn. I have had a monster crush on him since I was a nerdy tween in middle school taking sewing classes. It takes every strand of restraint I can muster not to run over and tackle him. He's even nicer and more adorable in person. And Ken? I could just dunk him in my coffee and have him as a pre-Tim snack. Is this real? I'm thinking one of those crazy trainers has finally killed me and I have gone to heaven.

We get whisked away into the fitting rooms where Tim has selected some outfits for us. I get to try on a brightly colored shirt, a patterned cardigan and hipster cranberry pants. The bow tie was a nice touch. It's like Tim dove deep into my psyche and picked out my dream outfit for me. At 328 pounds I never would have worn something with so much pattern and color. I worked so hard on masking my body and now I finally get to celebrate it.

We are then taken to Beverly Hills where Ken Paves (AKA hairmaster) will get us nice and groomed out. I'm thinking Ken had our house bugged weeks ago because he knew exactly what I wanted. Super short on the sides, leave the top long for a sort of sexy, German soldier look. As Ken put it, he gave me the David Beckham look.

I'm looking good, I'm feeling good, and I am ready to go home and see my family. I get on the plane thinking I will need a seatbelt extender like I always do. But to my disbelief, I HAVE LEFT SEATBELT EXTENDERS IN THE DUST!! It really is the small victories that bring the most joy.

Coming home is sort of a surreal experience. Even though 10 weeks doesn't feel like a very long time, I had gone through a lot of change emotionally and physically in that time and I don't know how it's going to be now that I'm back at the scene of the crime.

My welcoming committee has congregated at the Ogden OUTreach Resource Center, the youth center where I volunteer. When I walk through the door I am greeted by 50 of my friends and family. I can't believe that this many people came to support me! It's all so emotionally overwhelming; I don't know who to hug first. Well, of course my mom gets first crack on the hug train, but I don't know who to turn to next. This is exactly what I needed at this stage in the game. It's easy to forget how far you've come and focus on how much more work you need to do. But now that I am in a room with 50 of my biggest, loudest fans, my accomplishments are really put into perspective.

I love seeing everyone, but it's time to get back to work. One of my biggest struggles in weight loss has been balancing my time. So I make a goal for myself. For every hour I spend volunteering, I will spend 20 minutes in the gym. I need to learn to make my health a priority and I think this is an excellent goal. I'm able to teach a class on goal setting at OUTreach and still have enough time to get to the gym for a couple hours. Things are going well and I love being able to balance my home life with my ranch life. I can do this.

Of course, no home visit goes without its struggles. And I find mine at the same place most everyone else in America does: The kitchen. My parents' kitchen is full of sugary cereals, frozen dinners, and almost no vegetables. It's time to have the talk with my mom about nutrition.

I sit her down and explain the stuff I need to have in the kitchen to succeed. Even now, it's hard to watch the interview with my mom. She's so well-meaning and is, without a doubt, the best mom in the world. It was never her intention to let the family's eating habits go the way they have. I am so happy that she understands and is supportive of my goals. I can't thank her enough for all the love. I have the greatest mom on earth.

Back at the ranch it's time for the weigh-in. Our at-home challenge was to lose five percent of our body weight to earn immunity. I had spent last week off the ranch and had no doubt in my ability to lose the weight without the gym and trainers. I get up on the scale and lose 15 pounds!! I didn't just hit my goal, I slaughtered it! What's better? Everyone was able to lose the weight and there was no elimination. We all survived another week.

If there is one thing I want everyone watching this episode to take away from it, it's that you can do this! Even with a job it's possible. Even when taking care of a family, it's possible. In fact, make health and fitness a family affair. You'll be shocked at how involved kids can be when their parents feel passionately about something. Make a difference, make a change, and take a step forward.

Much Love,
Jackson