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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Introducing One Big Happy Family's The Coles

Dec. 29 2009, Published 12:29 p.m. ET

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Move over Jon and Kate Gosselin, there's a new family in town and this one is bigger and better - well definitely bigger!

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Tuesday night TLC will be introducing the Cole family to America in their new show One Big Happy Family.

Weighing in at a collective 1,400 lbs, the program chronicles the life and the struggles of living as a morbidly obese family who have collectively decided to shed the weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

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The Coles are stay at home dad Norris, 340lbs, mom Tameka 380lbs, son Shayne, 308lbs and daughter Amber, 348lbs.

In an exclusive interview with the Coles spill about what they are doing to shed the weight, how they have changed their lives and eating habits and how much they have lost already.

The Coles say that they have drastically changed their lifestyle and eating habits after Shane was diagnosed as being borderline diabetic. Tameka says it was the wake-up call they all needed, "We decided that we were all going to get healthier, to pull together as a family, let's face it, we needed it!"

Now in place of a sugary, high carb diet of pancakes and candy and pies the Coles are shopping at local farmers' markets and replacing the junk with nutritious, organic food. Gone are the days of eating out at fast food restaurants five times a week, and Tameka says, "We've drastically changed portion sizes and there's no junk food in the house at all. Norm even threw his big old fryer away."

Typical day of food now? Bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, spinach wrap for lunch and grilled chicken and veggies for dinner. In addition the Coles are exercising for the first time in years, starting off with family walks, gym sessions, basketball and progressing eventually, Norris hopes, to cycling and maybe even a marathon!

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And with their new diet comes a new philosophy, Norris says, "I'm teaching the kids to eat right, to look after their bodies, to live right."

It's not an easy transition for the family. Amber admits that it's tough, saying, "You have this image of yourself and you think you're never going to change and then you start changing and you have to adjust, that's hard." Tameka says, "This is a struggle for us, every day is a struggle for us, but we keep each other motivated and we have to keep going.

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And changing they are! Norris has lost 56lbs already, Tameka a whopping 67lbs, Shayne 40lbs and Amber 60lbs.

Although they're all about healthy eating and exercise these days, the Coles still miss some aspects of the good old days. Tameka says she misses "fries" Shayne misses "generally potatoes", Amber "lasagne" and Norris misses "the fried chicken I used to make."

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Amber says the motivator for doing the show was "We want to show people they are not alone, because there are others in our position. We don't want people to think they're the only ones because they're not."

One Big Happy Family premiers on TLC Tuesday at 9pm.



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