The second episode of ‘Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, aired on ABC on June 6, 2011. The episode followed the story of Alex, as trainer Chris Powell guided the 459 pound man in a effort to lost over 200 pounds. Alex appeared on Good Morning American on June 7, 2011, to update viewers on his progress.
Extreme Makeover Weight Loss – Chris Powell helps 459 pound Alex
Alex, 23, had been raised in a loving family and had enjoyed watching sports with his family. When he was just 18, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently died. Her dying wish was that Alex would lose weight and get healthy. Instead, Alex had gained weight, partly due to his long-standing habit of eating fast food and partly because Alex was an emotional eater who comforted himself with food. At 459 pounds, Alex had to stand sideways to get into the bathroom, because he could not fit into the door otherwise.
Alex sent a letter to Ttainer Chris Powell, asking for his help. Powell said he got hundreds of people asking for his help, but he chose Alex as one of the people he would work with. Powell moved in with Alex for three months so he could get him strong start to the weight loss plan.
Powell set a three month goal of a 100 pound weight loss, which is a big goal. Powell guided Chris in a better eating patterns and a rigorous exercise routine. If Alex made his three month goal, Powell said he would reward him with season tickets to see the Braves.
After three months, Alex stepped on the scale. Powell asked him how he thought he had done and Alex replied that he thought he had made the goal. Alex lost 97 pounds, which was three pounds short of his goat. It was an impressive weight loss, but the three pounds cost him the season tickets. . Alex was disappointed, but said he felt good about losing 97 pounds. Powell could not give Alex the season tickets, but he did take Alex to a Braves game before leaving him on his own.
Powell set the goal for the next three months. He moved out, leaving Alex on his on, but was able to moniter his activity. Powell was upset when he could see that Alex was playing video games instead of working out. When the second three month phase was over, Alex was weighed and had gone from 361 pounds to 341 pounds, which was 40 pounds short of his goal. Powell asked what had happened and Alex confessed that he had lost focus and fallen back into old habits.
The fix for the third phase of the program was to take Alex to a real Army boot camp. Alex had his head shaved and was pushed into the fitness program that the people of the Army have to practice. Alex was twice the size of the more fit recruits, but the men gave him support and helped to motivate the overweight man. They cheered him on as Alex repelled a wall, a challenge that told him that he could do anything.
At the third weigh-in, Powell announced that if Alex weighed less than 270 pounds, he would be a candidate for surgery to remove the loose skin. Alex exceeded the goal and weighed 261 pounds, for a total weight loss of 197 pounds.
Powell took Alex to a surgeon, who agreed that Alex was a candidate to remove the loose skin. Alex had the surgery and appeared at the end of the show, being cheered by the community, and proud of his transformational weight loss.
Alex appeared on Good Morning America on June 7, 2011, the day after the show debuted. George Stephanapoulis asked about his weight loss and Alex replied that he could lose an additional 10 pounds, but he was happy and confident. Alex said that before the weight loos, he was introverterted and had no self confidence. He was happy that he had finally kept his promise to his mother. Alex even said that he is helping his brothers lose weight. He also said that he thought that him mom would be pround of the young man he has become.
Asked for his advise to others, Alex said, “If I can do it, anybody can do it.’ He also said that it is important for people to ‘get up and get moving,’ sharing, ‘ In the beginning, just getting moving is important. It is not the intensity, it is the time.’ Alex suggested that people should get up and go for a walk in the park to start their way to fitness.
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