Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Undressed

Undressed: Taking Everything Off and Putting on What Matters Most
By: Mark Cornelison
Lucid Books, 2014
English, 164 pgs

"Sometimes, just when you think life is going just the way you expect, things can change. What once was normal and acceptable is replaced by a sense that there is a better life to be lived, often in surprising ways. This describes Mark Cornelison, contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, before his life-changing experience on this popular show.

Mark realized that the life he was living had to look different and he gave God the freedom to, not only change him physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. This new chance to live life brought with it a message that he knew could change other people in the way it had changed him.

The world he had complicated with stuff, that we all think is important, was taken away one layer at a time. He was then clothed with a new, simple life. Now he shares the story and challenges you with what he has learned from the journey.

Come see what needs to be taken off of you so that a better you can truly live.

About the Author:
Mark Cornelison wanted to go on The Biggest Loser because he was ready to make the life changes necessary to get healthy and hoped to give his "smokin' hot wife a smokin' hot husband!" He says a poor diet and lack of exercise led him to start gaining weight in high school. As a youth pastor for more than 17 years, his weight had reached an all- time high and something had to be done.

At 43 years old and 295 pounds, Mark suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and acid reflux. Mark enjoys doing volunteer work and going on mission trips, both of which were being significantly effected due to his weight. He knew it was time to make a life change when he began taking an anti-anxiety medication in efforts to deal with the side effects of his other prescriptions. A married father of three teenagers - two sons and one daughter - Mark started season 13 with his son, Chism, who gained much of his weight after an accident when he was younger.

After Mark left for the show, Cathy decided to make changes for herself so that the two of them could share this journey together. She began researching all she could about nutrition and healthy eating as well as developing a consistent exercise routine. By the time Mark returned, Cathy had lost 40 lbs. on her own and had created a home where healthy living was the norm.

Mark returned over 100lbs lighter with a new life. He currently has no medical conditions to be monitored and has been removed from all of the medications he was taking before this experience. Besides being role models to their family; their greatest joy is now having the physical and mental ability to do and be anything Christ calls them to be. After taking a stand on the show which ultimately led to Mark walking away from any and all prize possibilities with only two weeks left to go, they have both seen the doors open to sharing the truth of how God is alive and well behind the scenes in Hollywood.

Since the show ended, they have traveled across the US to encourage others. In 2012, they founded SweatCor ( and now work to communicate hope and encouragement with students and adults alike in regards to ministry and health.

In churches, Mark brings a message of what God did in and through him from this experience. his message, "People Matter" has been well received in many churches and groups across the country. It will certainly inspire your body to look past the things that life says are important and to focus on the only two things that really matter...

This experience has deeply changed them and their family...and this is still only the beginning.

I am a long-time fan of The Biggest Loser. For many years, I would watch the show and eat my ice cream and wish that I could "do what they do". Knowing full well that I would never put myself in a television situation or into a highly stressful situation away from my family for months on end. I have a lot of respect for the people who put themselves into this situation, where the good, bad and sweaty ugly are all laid bare for all of the world to see. But I took ideas, exercises, nutrition information and motivation from the show. I knew that I could make a change.

I remember the season that Mark and his son, Chism, were on the show. I remember watching them, knowing he was a youth minister and wondering how they were going to "stay real" on a show that seems to focus on the fantastic. I enjoyed the parts in the book where he gave behind the scenes information about the show. I like that he and another pastor on the show, Buddy, started a church on Sunday nights for the cast. And then the crew started coming. And then they stayed close. And then their lives spoke into a skeptic's heart. God used these men and this situation to bring a child into His arms and His home. That's what matters in the journey.

I am deeply appreciative of the words and the openness in the book. Mark speaks from the heart and tells you flat out that he didn't have it "figured out" for a long time. I know so many people who think a switch gets flipped or something when we come to know Christ. Like we're supposed to suddenly have it all together and understand everything. Well, that doesn't happen. We're still ourselves. We still have to learn and grow and seek and find. It's a process and it's the only thing in life that is 100% totally worth doing.

I'm not totally sure if this season is the one where I made a change or the next one was, but I got up and changed. I stopped making excuses and stopped doubting. I looked at life and health differently. I've lost 100 pounds in the last 5 calendar years. I've put a few back on lately and I've used every excuse for them. A foot injury. Blogging and doing product reviews. No time to exercise (even though my treadmill stares me in the face almost all day).

This book is re-motivating me. I have my tennis shoes on right now and am looking forward to the walk I'm about to go on. I'm going to get back into 5K shape. I'm going to do it again, and better and not stop this time.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.


Mark Cornelison said...

Thanks for the great review! People can find the book available on Amazon and our site

Keep at it!

Mark Cornelison said...

Thanks for the great review! People can find the book available on Amazon and our site

Keep at it!