Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition – Episode 4

Chris Powell set a new record for total weight loss in a year!

This episode featured James, a 26 year old. James is a former football player and power lifter from Ft. Worth Tx. He began gaining weight in high school after a football injury. He seemed to be a promising player. I’m not sure if the injury was career ending, but the weight gain sure was. He believed that he weighed as much as 700lbs. He had already begun losing weight on his own.

His starting weight with Chris was 651 pounds.

The show followed the same model as the previous three episode

  • Chris surprises the person
  • They go to LA to a health and longevity institute
  • They weigh in on a loading dock scale
  • There is a week of boot camp
  • Chris trains them really hard to see if they are ready
  • Chris moves in with them for the first three months
  • They are given 3 or 4 three month goals
  • There is a reveal at the end


James was a little different than the previous three people on the show. His football and power lifting personality came through in that he was combative, confrontational but very determined. I think there were some moments that Chris might have been a little afraid of him..

His Phase 1 Goal was to lose 150 pounds. That is crazy. That is 50 pounds a month… If he lost the weight Chris would give him a bike that can support up to 500lbs. Again I really like this reward, it has nothing to do with food!

During the first 3 months James lost 154lbs. That is awesome. He got the bike.

The Phase 2 goal was to lose 80lbs. During the second three months James ended up with pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism. He spent a week in the hospital. His attitude was that he wasn’t going to focus on his weight loss until he was fully recovered. He didn’t focus on it and it showed. He only lost 11lbs. during the second phase.

Chris had set up a football scrimmage with some “pros”. I don’t know if there were or not but they definitely were real athletes. Both Michael Irvin and Nate Newton (former Cowboy’s) were there to drill James. Man did they, but James responded and earned their respect. I found it interesting that Nate Newton was there. He was huge when he played football. Apparently he has lost over 100 pounds since his playing days. It was a great example for James to see.

Then I think that Chris Powell made the decision of the year! He allowed James to set his own goal for the third phase. It was a great decision because as Chris said to James, “I think you like to do things your way.” Allowing James to take control of his journey and the inspiration that came from the football scrimmage seemed to make all the difference.

At the 9 month weigh in James lost another 92lbs.

Because of James’ weight and a hernia that will need to be operated on, he wasn’t a candidate for skin removal surgery.

At the reveal James weighed in at 338lbs. He had lost a total of 313 pounds in 12 months. That is incredible.

At the end of the show they mentioned that he had moved to Austin to start a new life and he was still trying to get below 300lbs so he could have the hernia surgery.

Awesome transformation!

Here are the quotes from the show.

“Go back to the happiest moment of your life. Remember how you felt, and start your journey there.”

“How’s it fell to be alive?”

“Your new environment must be conducive to your weight loss.”

“Understand how powerful and extraordinary you really are.”

“This is your journey and your journey alone.”

“One day you run out of excuses and when that day comes, that’s when your life starts to change.”

Another Great Show!

Remeber to leave your comments below, I love them!

Click Here To Learn More About The Nutrition Program That Chris Powell Created


Click Here To Sign Up For The Fat 2 Fit 56 Day Makeover


See you next week…


  1. This is by far one of my favorite post you have done on weight loss and healthy living. I disagree on some points but most of the points you made i can respect.

  2. Okay I’m cnoivnced. Let’s put it to action.

  3. Hi Kat,

    Thanks for your comment. Quite often there is some pain from a hernia. Usually it’s from the contents of the abdomen being pushed through the defect of the muscular wall of the abdomen. Fat is one of the things that can push through. Because of James’ ultra high body fat percentage, I’m going out on a limb that what you saw was mostly (if not all) fat pushing through. It didn’t seem to effect him, so I’d think that any pain he might have experience was probably a dull ache. The big concern is that the hernia can worsen and more contents from the abdomen can push through. This can happen with exursion, so I’m sure that Chris and the medical staff watched him pretty closely.

  4. I really hope he can get that hernia taken care of soon. I don’t anything about hernias, but it just looks so uncomfortable, sticking out like that. Best of luck to this guy. I really liked this episode, largely because he had such an interesting personality and such an interesting combination of aggression and determination. I kind of thought Chris was maybe afraid of him at a couple points as well! But the little man stood his ground…I even liked that in one little clip from one of the montages, you saw James carrying Chris around as an exercise, while Chris yelled at him.

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