The premise of the show is based on Chris Powell (cutey!), a personal trainer and motivator who helps individuals to lose weight over one year. He basically brings people to LA for the first month for what he calls his “Boot Camp” and then monitors them for one year. He sets goals for every 90 days and if the contestants reach their goals, he offers prizes or something to motivate them for the next 90 days. Chris Powell has specialized in helping the morbidly obese and says that thousands have asked for his help.
The Extreme Makeover Weight Loss show began with Rachel who at 21 years old was 220 pounds overweight. With a starting weight of 369, she knew she had a long journey ahead of her.In her family, Rachel is the only sibling that is overweight though her mom appears to be overweight as well.
There were many surprising things about Rachel. Probably the biggest shocker is that she is a PE teacher for elementary students. She says “I get out there at 220 pounds overweight and tell kids how to exercise.”
Another surprise is that she was the Homecoming Queen and Valedictorian. She said she is an overachiever who has accomplished so much but her only goal is to really make her parents proud. She feels that by losing weight she could do this.
Chris comes to Rachel’s school to surprise her and within 24 hours, they are on their way to LA for Boot Camp. The name of his facility is the CA Health and Longevity Institute.
Rachel can’t believe that her first weigh in has to be on the freight scales because she is too large for the regular scales. She says “This is my body – all the mistakes I’ve made and all the things I have done to myself.” 369 pounds was her starting weight so step one was to learn about some nutrition.
Paulette Lambert is the Head Dietician at California Health and Longevity Institute and she jumped right in to make Rachel some healthy Chicken and Dumplings! At 350 calories per serving, it is both filling and good for you at the same time. (See recipe below)
One thing Paulette said that caught my attention was that the morbidly obese women who come to the institute tend to be eating 3500-6000 calories per day when they really should be somewhere between 1500-1700 per day.
Then it one to the first work out. This was very Biggest Loser style with a full on crying, bawl fest which was great. Rachel said “I can’t breathe…I can’t friggin’ do it” to which Chris responded “Don’t you dare throw a temper tantrum right now!” It was good to see Rachel push through it though and force herself beyond her own limits. Ultimately she did not give up during the first work out.
At one point, Chris also had to get the family on board. Rachel was going back home and would need family support. To do this, he did a “walk a mile in your shoes” exercise where each family member wore the equivalent of Rachel’s weight in a special weight suit. Then they had to walk around a track. Her brother said “I didn’t know it was like that” after he completed his lap. He also thought he would be able to run a bit but realized it would not be possible. Rachel was able to jog a bit though.
Rachel’s first goal was 80 pounds in 90 days. She did workouts 3 times per day and by day 29 she was down 39 pounds. Chris had given her a Treadmill, Elliptical Trainer, and a wide variety of Exercise Equipment and created a home gym in her house. In 60 days she had lost 59 pounds. At her 90 day mark, she lost exactly 80 pounds and Chris gave her a trip to Greece.
Her next 3 month goal was 55 pounds and at the end of that they were going to climb a mountain.
During her 6 month weigh in, we learned that Rachel had a food injury, plantar fascitis and tendonitis. She didn’t reach her goal of 55 pounds but she did lose 50 for a total of 130 pounds in 6 months. Instead of the mountain climb, Chris took her bungee jumping which was very symbolic for to let go and trust.
Chris then gave Rachel her Phase 3 goal to lose 50-60 pounds in order to be a candidate for skin removal surgery. There was then a montage of Rachel exercising in which she said she did 4-5 hours per day. She was doing stairs at a stadium and running on a beach. She said “I am a beast.” But what we didn’t see very much of was what she was eating. She did mention she was sort of out of control with it.
At the 9 month mark, she had only lost 3 pounds! She said it was all nutrition, it wasn’t that she wasn’t exercising. She said there were a lot of pressures and she felt overwhelmed. Chris talked her through it and reaffirmed that she had lost a large amount of weight in a short period of time. The went to the plastic surgeon and he gave the ok for the skin removal surgery. Rachel was thrilled as she felt the skin might be a barrier to her losing more weight.
Day 272 Rachel got the surgery and then next we are at Day 365 for her big reveal in her hometown of Jenkinsburg, GA. Joyce, Rachel’s mom, has her own mini reveal as she lost 50 pounds herself!
Rachel pulls up in a limo, and steps out looking HAWT! She gets up on the scale and realizes she lost 161 pounds for the year. Her final weigh in was 208 pounds. She told Chris “You gave me a future” and turns out she is now studying to become a trainer. She is also dating and hoping to fall in love. I hope she continues her weight loss journey and we get some updates on Rachel as the season progresses. Overall, she looks amazing!
Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition Chicken and Dumplings Recipe:
Poach chicken boneless chicken breasts in about an inch of water with salt and pepper, covered for about 8 minutes.
In a large Dutch Oven or big pot, put in 1 tbsp of Olive Oil. Add diced celery, onions, and carrots. Add about 1/4 stick of light margarine. Add about 4 tbsp flour. Add 1/4 of the large box container of reduced sodium, Fat Free chicken broth. Stir until the flour is blended and it starts to thicken. Will get creamy. Add FF half and half (about 1/8 cup) and let cook down a little.
Slice chicken into bite sized pieces and add to onions, celery and carrots mixture. Add fresh thyme and chopped fresh parsley.
Then make a reduced fat biscuit mix but use Buttermilk for the milk. Spoon the biscuit mix on top of the chicken mixture …put it around the edges. Cover with the lid and the steam will cook the biscuits in about 10 minutes. Rachel said it is “Finger lickin’ good!”
Episode 2 of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition airs on Monday, June 6 at 10/9 Central. Tune in to see Alex’s weight loss. Alex is 260 pounds overweight at 33 years old. Chris makes him join the Army!
Seeing Rachel’s transformation on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition on ABC should definitely motivate you to make it happen for yourself, whether you have 200 pounds to lose, or 20!