Where Are We Now

MARISSA: In the beginning of this process, I was like any other hopeful contestant. I had hopes and dreams of Chris and Heidi choosing us, and our lives being perfect from that moment on. Unfortunately, as great as they are, the broken pieces of myself were not glued back together immediately once we were chosen. I think that my pieces were actually broken further at that point due to the fact that I had to face said issues head on that I had refused to face for so long in my life. My fake facade that I had presented to the world of being ‘ok’ was about to be exposed on national television, and though I signed up and consented for just that to happen, I don’t think I was truly prepared for the truth to be out there in such a raw way.
SHANE:Marissa loves Extreme Weight Loss, like, shes a huge fan. She’d go on about how she loves Chris and Heidi, how they would change our lives…boy was she right! Her father committed suicide and instead of mourning him, she shielded her heart, made it hard and impenetrable, smiles and all the pleasantries to the world, but a whole lot of angst inside. She spiralled into a world of alcohol and spent many years drunk, never mourning her father’s death or dealing with his verbal abuse and what it had done to her. When we met she had come out of a long stupor. The party all night, drink yourself to oblivion lifestyle had worn thin. She wasn’t ready to cope with her issues, but she was ready to be sober again.
I spent most of my life being a coward, laying back and letting the world walk all over me. My childhood was less than the most wholesome of upbringings. I was beaten, sexually and verbally abused…I was told I was worthless, that I would never be anything. I believed. I never tried, never had even a glimmer of confidence. When I met Marissa, I was broken, bad broken. I’d separated from an ex wife that horror movies are made about, I was abusing alcohol and neglecting my health… I was ready for the big door to shut right on my ass for good. I was, until I met Marissa. Marissa is my true life angel. She walked into my life and everything changed. The nonsense cleared from my numb skull, I began to realize how ridiculously I’d been living, a waste! 35 years of emptiness, despair and struggle all boiling underneath a calm exterior. I was looking for someone to save me, instead I found someone as hurt and scared as I was.
Marissa and I fell in love. We have always loved each other. Even in the darkest hours of our relationship neither of us could deny we love each other. Together we comforted ourselves into a sedentary lifestyle that never asked anything from either of us, physically and emotionally. We are great together, but when it come to those points in life when the real stuff needs to be addressed, both of us would turn our heads and look way.  Not to mention having over 300 lbs of fat on the table! Obesity like that is all consuming, honestly and truly, it’s a death sentence. Hard to realize that until you lose the weight.
At bootcamp something snapped. One night Marissa and I began talking about the next days call sheet. That led to us talking about her father’s suicide. She speculated that Chris and Heidi were coming to confront her about it. It terrified her. She cried and was inconsolable. The next morning at Central Park, Denver the terror surfaced. She lost it, I mean totally freaked out. She spent a lot of years avoiding anything to do with the suicide and the pain her father caused her.
I’d become removed. I was overwhelmed with the demons that I finally began to confront. I felt like I’d come to do this transformation and Marissa had abandoned me. She disconnected, its the damndest I’ve ever seen, she can shut right down, do not pass go, do not… She can turn emotion off like a spigot and ain’t nothing gonna open that spigot till she says so! Anyhow, we both were about a third crazy! This is how we left each other after bootcamp.
MARISSA: Going into this amazing process, I knew I was broken. What I didn’t know was that my rock, my love, my stability was broken too. Through my self-absorbed ways, I had forgotten that Shane was a person too. I had never even asked him how he felt, or why he had let himself get to such an unhealthy point. I didn’t consider the fact that he could be broken as well. He had always been there for me, listened to me cry myself to sleep at night, and comforted me when I was down and out about my childhood and the passing of my father. He was and is a great man who has supported me through a lot. He is right. I did freak out that day, and to be quite honest, I don’t really remember any of it. I know it happened. I don’t remember conversations or specifics. From that day forward, I had changed, and probably not for the best. I built up an even taller wall around my heart, and pushed everyone who cared about me away. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I do know that I continue to deal with those demons. I still have a lot of work to do to get to where I need to be emotionally. However, I do know that I love Shane, and after the cameras were gone, and I didn’t have so much pressure on me to make decisions, I realized that I did love this man. I always had. I wanted to make it work.
I can honestly say that the break up scene was the worst day of my life. The decision had already been made at that point to call off the wedding. It was the first time I had seen Shane in 3 months, and I couldn’t believe how amazing he looked. I left that scene completely confused, wondering if I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. Shane and I went back and forth. Together for a little while, then I would push away again. I just couldn’t figure life out. I knew I loved him, but I also liked the freedom. Then, someone recommended I read a relationship help book which I purchased on Kindle, and immediately began reading. My eyes were opened from the moment I cracked the book. I finally realized that I had been creating quite the story in my mind about how horrible of a person he was, when in actuality, I was the one at fault for a lot of things. I am not saying Shane is perfect, and he will not either. This man has put in the work over this last year though. He has truly searched his soul for reasons why he does and says the things he does.  Through reading the book, I found that I was horrible at communication, and the lack of communication had resulted in me building a wall of resentment towards Shane for no real reason at all. Each time he would say something to me that offended me, instead of immediately telling him “Hey, that’s not nice, that hurts my feelings”, I would hold it inside, turn it to brick and place it on this giant wall of resentment I had built over the last seven years of our relationship.
With that being said, SEVEN years is nothing to write off. We have a history…and a long one at that. After reading this book, I began talking to Shane again. This time with a softer heart. The book and the thoughts it had provoked in my mind allowed me to finally soften my heart toward him again. He really wanted me to be with him to live this new, amazing life with him. I thought about it, weighed out the pros and cons, and realized that I wanted to give “us” another chance. I mean we were completely changed people, and I had yet to give this new man a chance. In the middle of June, I moved with him. I have since started a new career at a medical weight loss clinic that I love, and can see myself going far in. Shane and I have began couples counseling to help us to deal with residual issues that need to be addressed, and we are looking forward to our long, healthy, future together.
To answer your question that I know you all are dying to ask me, yes… I regret not getting an amazing dream wedding I could have, but honestly, I believe that it just wasn’t time for us. You would think after seven years, it would be time, but if you think about it, those first seven years we were two shells of humans going through the motions. We were not living. We were existing because we had to. I believe there will be a wedding in the future, but at this point, we are starting off slow. We are new people, inside and out, and we have to start all over to be able to really get to know each other again. It’s amazing that a year of weight loss can do this to a person, but for those of you that watch the show, you know it’s not just about the pounds on the scale. It’s about the emotional weight that is directly connected with the physical weight. It really changes a person and their outlook on life.
I will forever be grateful to Chris and Heidi, the production staff, and ABC for the opportunity to go through this year of transformation. Because of them, we will have the chance to live the life we have always dreamed of. Shane is officially the best performing cast member in the history of the whole show. He lost 242 pounds in 7 months time. This is more weight in that amount of time than anyone else. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of him. He is an amazing man, and can really accomplish anything he puts his mind to. I’m looking forward to our long life together. He continues to teach me new things about nutrition, health, and myself every day. I am working on being less self-centered (which is really hard to do in this society we live in). We are both continually working to better ourselves. We are not perfect, and do not claim to be. We know that we both have faults, and definitely have plenty of room for growth!
Thanks for watching our show, and I look forward to your comments. (The nice ones at least 😉 )
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162 thoughts on “Where Are We Now

  1. I loved your episode. After going through my own putting up a wall, and gaining weight/not being happy with myself, I totally related to getting to know the “new” you once I’ve started losing the weight. You realize you have changed a LOT and it’s even more so not physical but emotional. thank you so much for sharing your story and letting every one know that the struggles of weight loss is way more than just physical !

    Ps. After going through depression for so many years it’s amazing and inspiring that you are/were volunteering at a suicide prevention place !

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    1. I loved what you just wrote–full of insight and honesty. You both deserve so much credit for facing those demons that are much easier to avoid. No matter what happens in the future regarding your relationship, this opportunity to heal together is a wonderful gift you have given yourselves. I was perplexed by people who called you names, Marissa, in the Facebook posts. It took courage and self-searching to make that decision and in the end was much kinder than marrying when it wasn’t the right time or possibly the right person. Best wishes to you both.

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    2. Good for you two! What good would a dream wedding be if you went through a nightmare divorce afterwards, which was a real possibility considering how you felt a few days before the wedding was supposed to happen? You are wise to realize that you had something wonderful and to be willing to put in the hard work it takes to make a relationship work. It sounds cliché, but communication is key. Men and women communicate so differently that the same sentence can have a totally different meaning to each person. When I say, “I have nothing to wear,” it means I have nothing I want to wear. When my husband says, “I have nothing to wear,” it means he has no clean clothes, lol!

      Wishing both of you love and happiness however things turn out for you. Losing weight and being fit can’t solve all our problems, but it sure can make them easier to deal with!

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      1. Haha! I read further down and saw the book you read was LOVE AND RESPECT. The analogy about having nothing to wear came from that book, as you probably know. Before my husband and I got married 6 years ago, we came close to breaking up. A friend suggested we read Love & Respect. Coincidentally Emerson Eggerichs was holding a seminar locally soon after we read the book. We had the honor of seeing him and his wife in person. That book truly saved our relationship. If we hadn’t read it we quite possibly would have missed the chance to spend the rest of our lives together. We’re not perfect, and we still fall back on Love & Respect when we get on the crazy cycle.

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  2. I am so impressed with you both! Your journey of self discovery is inspiring. No, the fairytale ending was not what we got, but really, that’s why they call them fairytales! Life is hard. It’s going to fight you every step of the way. Marrisa showed integrity by stopping the wedding. “Selfish reasons” or not, you knew you were not ready for that commitment. Best wishes for your life ahead, whatever it brings.

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  3. Thank you for your inspiring story! Marissa I am so proud of you for being strong enough to back out before there was a divorce. Now you both can grow together into the people you were meant to be! So happy for both of you!

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  4. Shane and Marissa,
    I’m not a big TV watcher and I’ve only seen 2 episodes of extreme weight loss love can’t weight. But something about the two of you struck a chord in me. I was very emotional watching the entire episode, I even re watched it! Then I felt strongly compelled to “Google” you guys to get an update bc there was no way I could believe you weren’t together. I’m so happy to hear you are working on things, you guys have the most sincere connection and care for each other.
    I, too, have been on a journey of getting healthy and your story ispired me. So, I have it saved on my DVR, you guys are in my prayers, and I hope the world for you both. I’ll think of you guys every time I want to give up, I think your story has taught me there is some emotional digging I need to do to find my triggers. Thanks again 🙂
    -your friend, McKenzie

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  5. I just wanted to tell you that I wish the 2 of you best of luck in the future. I understand what it feels like to lose someone who is so dear to your heart. I lost my 1st daughter who was stillborn in 2011. It never goes away. My grandfather also committed suicide. I completely understand the heartache and the pain. I’m glad your going thru counseling it will help.

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  6. Yay!!! I am so happy to hear that you both are trying to work things out!!! I will be praying that you both will heal from your wounds and will continue to move forward on your journey together!!! Blessings!!!

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  7. I think both of you are beautiful people. I have a history of addiction and after loosing 110 pounds life isnt all happily ever after as I thought it would be. I uncovered my demons and my triggers and where to find support. The hard part is loosing the weight between my ears. The wieght only takes months. The show glosses over the addiction part. You setting in your car freaking out over eating the cookie dough “whats wrong with me? ” Addiction. Just keep working on those fears that make you want to run. My prayers are with you for the greatest good for you both.

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  8. Shane & Marissa: Happy to hear you are giving each other a second chance. I have always felt that unless you are a whole person first you can’t be truly successful giving yourself to another. Our total happiness and well being can’t be dependent on another person. Praying you will have a long and happy life together.

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  9. I think you are awesome! I have the same brick wall built up and would really love to know the name of the book that helped you.

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  10. I think you are awesome! I have the same brickwall built really high and horrible communication. I would really love to know the name of the book you read that helped you.

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  11. Was broken hearted after watching your episode, but very happy to hear that you are working hard to rebuild! Best wishes for continued successes in your health & relationship! Hoping you two find exactly what you need in each other! Much Love!

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  12. Wow! Thank you for being so honest! I went through a big breakup a long time ago and I know how much it hurts. But I know how good it feels to look back and see all the reasons you shouldn’t have gone through with the marriage. You both showed a lot of courage. I’m so glad that you both are working it out the right way and not rushing back into it. God bless you both!

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  13. I am so happy you didn’t throw away your seven years together, you just need to grow together in your new life and now you can discover other things that you LOVE about each other….So happy for you both!!! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  14. I think you both are awesome and two strong people. Throughout the episode I felt like I could connect with both of you in different ways. Marissa, the scene where you were talking about how you had such a good workout, but still ate cookie dough was something I could identify with because of what’s really going on behind the eating. And same with the break up scene. I chose to end a relationship and was struggling before I did because I felt bad and didn’t want to hurt him. Being able to connect makes me not feel alone. Your story is real life and the struggle was real. Thank you for sharing. I wish you both the best and a life filled with happiness.

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  15. I am so glad I found this blog and read your update. Marissa, you showed a lot of strength and courage making such a tough decision in the face of a lot of pressure. Shane, you were so classy and showed such dignity.

    In this blog post, i am really impressed with the insight into the issues you both have acquired. What a healthy new life you two are embarking upon together at this point, both inside and out! I wish you all the best.

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  16. Glad you guys worked things out!!! We were really disappointed that you guys were letting go of a 7 yr relationship but now understand. Whats the name of the book?

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  17. Shane and Melissa you are both amazing, your weight loss and the fact you did it both so quickly, you should never forget the determination to reach your goals, yes we all fall off the wagon but hey life’s too short to dwell, live life and enjoy (Your comment Melissa on “why do I do that “when you had the cookie dough, yes we have all asked ourselves that question, but we are real people and you get back on track) I only lost 47 pounds not the amount you two did. Congratulations and and I do hope you get that Wedding, it does not have to be fancy either.

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  18. Shane and Marissa,
    I really enjoyed your episode! I think I felt about ten different emotions in that short amount of time! I am so excited to see that you are trying to work things out because you two make an adorable couple. I’ve been married for 34 years and I guarantee you there are still ups and downs to this day, but it is all worth it. I don’t think any relationship is without its issues, but anything that is worth something is never easy. I think you both kicked that weight loss challenge in the butt and if you can do that you can do anything! Whether or not it all works out or not, you both look great and best wishes to you both! You have many of us cheering you on!

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  19. I watch this show each week and love it each time . I do believe we
    Can be codependent on people and that weight loss (major weight loss) can change a person . At first I
    Thought what was wrong with her that she didn’t want this awesome man but the more I thought about it you each needed time on your own and you have both been through so much in life that maybe you needed a break was sad but you both have the right to decide what is best for each but was soooo happy to see this post on how you are slowly learning to love and communicate again and I wish you the best !!!! Be proud of what you both have accomplished !!!

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  20. I am so excited to hear that you and Shane are working on things. I was heart broken screaming at the tv saying it can’t be so. Much love and respect to you both that was a lot to go through on public television. I’ll keep you both in my prayers … Look forward to more updates.

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  21. I’m so excited to hear you are working things out!! My husband and I were devastated when you broke up. We were both watching the show and were stunned!! You both look awesome!! Good Luck!!

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  22. i loved your episode, and I was shocked and disappointed that the dream wedding didn’t happen. But trusting that God’s timing is perfect, it just wasn’t the right time! I am joyful that you are slowly getting to know each other again as your whole, healed selves. It was obvious that you love each other. But sometimes taking some time alone to reflect, you know you’re together for the right reasons! Wishing you both continued love and blessings on your lives’ journeys!

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  23. Marissa – While it was weird to watch someone I know on national TV (this is Trynia from HS!) I’m so glad that you got this opportunity! Your story was absolutely amazing and heartbreaking. Craig and I were both crying through the whole thing! I am so impressed that you were able to recognize that you needed time to grow independently before entering marriage. Since you and Shane obviously changed so much throughout the whole process, it makes sense that you needed to step back to make sure you didn’t reignite your co-dependency and negative habits. But of course, I’m also happy to hear that you guys are back together – he seems like a pretty great guy! Anyhow, I hope that you’re getting a lot of positive messages from people and that things continue to look up for you!

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  24. Marissa and Shane I just got through watching your stories on EWL. I must say I was truly inspired by your story. I think your giving back attitude will serve you well Marissa. I can definitely relate. I was diagnosed with Schizzoaffective Disorder back in 2003. I have since fully recovered and I now have become a Certified Peer Specialist to work with others diagnosed with a Mental Illness. I am all about giving back and I now hold a annual Mental Health Awareness Night every May for Mental Health Awareness month to help spread awareness about Mental Illness. I too have battled Obesity my entire life. Three years ago I weighed 527 lbs. I now weigh 225 lbs and feel the best I have ever felt in my life. I just wanted you to know I was touched by your stories and wish you the best of luck in both of your lives from this point on. I would love to be able to reach out and interact with you two. Feel free to contact me on my email dannyhalfthemancoleman@gmail.com

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  25. She still isn’t owning up to being stupid. She padded herself by saying that being self-centered is a social tendency. Whether that is true or not, just own your ridiculousness please.

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  26. Marissa and Shane,

    I am so pleased to hear you guys are working on your relationship. I, like many here, was devastated for you both by the end of the episode. I was angry, I was confused, I was sad. I felt I needed to know more. Initially I assumed I would find that you both were leading separate lives and we’re happy. I was pleased to find you both working on your relationship. Marriage is hard. Having dealt with depression myself, I can’t say I haven’t felt smothered by my husband and our marriage. It is a journey… That takes passion, love, kindness and understanding. I’m proud of you both! Keep us all posted!

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  27. I watched your show and was so proud of you both. I was so saddened to see you broke up. But praise God you both are together again and still working on YOU AND HIM. I cry on every show cause I don’t have the motivation to get going. I’m lost!!!!!! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  28. If u face troubles again, instead of breaking up try living separately but still in a relationship. My boyfriend (of 8 yrs,) & I have never lived together & it was such a revelation for me – thinking how previous relationships would’ve been if we hadn’t lived together so quickly. We both treasure alone time so we’re not an exact example but principles of it definitely can work for others, BUT trust is paramount so if there is any jealousy it can’t work.
    We tend to become isolated from friends when in a relationship by being “joined at the hip” but losing self-identity for the sake of our partner isn’t doing them any favors. We want each other to be at their best, to fulfill our potential in life, so we must give a little rope & let healthy self-expression be discovered.
    Congrats on re-finding each other!!! Couldn’t be happier for u 2 cuz u both seem like great ppl. & it’s awesome that you’re doing this blog, it helps so many – & can be so therapeutic for yourselves. Keep being brave in searching your true feelings out & knocking down internal walls – it’s so tough at first but So Fulfilling as u get further & further & begin to see the beauty (inside&bout) that others see in you.
    & Keep Smiling – u both have beautiful smiles.

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  29. Your story was beautiful and inspiring! Many of us (myself included) can understand when you live many years with depression, so much so that when you start coming out of it, you start feeling like a new person. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to my old habits once I started hurting less.

    You and Shane accomplished so much in those few months. The amount of work and dedication you put into your transformation is nothing short of extraordinary!

    I wish you two the best of luck, and hope that you continue to grow and self-improve.

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  30. I love the “Extreme Weight loss” it’s an amazing show and, never miss a episode!! Thanks for sharing your story, i can relate to so much that you went thru, I’m so Happy for you and Shane, and hope you make it to the alter, Your an amazing couple!! I have to say I shed some tears on your episode, Good luck in the future, and may you find you Happily Ever After !!!

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  31. This makes me so happy! I’m very proud of you both. I hope you realize the gift you have been given each and every day (each other) and that you enjoy all of your amazing blessings!! Much love and happiness…and contentment to you both!

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  32. I think you were brave to face your feelings and to take caution. So many people get too wrapped up in preparing for the wedding and never prepared for the marriage. As someone who has been happily married for 27 years…I think you absolutely did the right thing! And I’m so glad you guys are learning more about each other and take it slow. You are an inspiration!

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  33. My name is Don. I am from Hollywood. I guess some would consider me kind of a “macho guy” I had never watched this show, nor tv period. I was bored out of my mind and ended up watching the first ten min of this episode, and I was hooked. I found myself yelling at the tv when Marissa was breaking up with Shane. I felt like some old woman who yells at the tube when watching daytime soaps with her 20 cats in a damn trailer. I was acting like a damn sissy after the show, worried about Shane. I am so relieved to read this blog. I was bummed after Marissa broke it off, I damn near felt like she was breaking up with me! It is a big relief for me to find out they’re back together and Marissa came to her senses. I now need to work on myself and break my new addiction which is watching tv and eating Ben & Jerry’s.

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  34. Congratulations to the both of you. I loved your episode and, Marissa, I can relate to you on so many levels. I can’t imagine having your life shown on national television. The pressure much have been unimaginable.

    I leave for EWL Destination Boot Camp this Sunday. I am so excited and am hoping to be looking back in a year and really understanding what you both went through on some level.

    Prayers of blessing to you both!!!

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  35. Wow…I so remember this episode. I thought you, Marissa were incredibly brave in admitting that at that time a wedding was not for you. So many people think only about the wedding and not the marriage. If you would have had that “dream” wedding…..would you two have found this mutual respect? Would you have worked as deeply on yourselves? Perhaps not. Shane–you did so well on the show…I was impressed with how much weight you lost. On the show I was also so impressed on how gracefully you handled the break up….I could tell that you truly wanted what was best for Marissa….so I knew that you loved her. It made me a little sad so I am really happy for you two that you are back together. What I did not realize – until now is what you went through. When I started following Bruce P on Instragram….I have always been amazed by his courage…so when I left a message about facing the same demons he did – it felt good to let it out just a little. I didn’t understand why you started following me on Instragram….until I read this blog. I have tears in my eyes because no one should have to fight those demons and I’m sad to read that you did. I’m a little late to the party as I truly did block it our for 40 years-until about 5 years ago when it started to emerge. I’m still dealing with it but now it makes my struggle with food and alcohol make sense. I guess it’s only normal that on the show….taking away those coping mechanisms then makes us face what we have been avoiding. I truly wish the best for the two of you and thanks for being brave enough to share. It gives those of us watching some hope.

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