EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: Chris and Heidi Powell Preview Season 5 | Give Me My Remote

EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: Chris and Heidi Powell Preview Season 5

May 26, 2015 by  

EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS - The hit show “Extreme Weight Loss,” a uniquely riveting, docu-series about weight loss that takes you on unprecedented 365-day journeys of courageous and resilient “super-obese” people, will premiere Season 5 on TUESDAY, MAY 26 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network. Chris and Heidi Powell return as the transformation specialists and trainers for EWL. (ABC/Paul Trantow) CHRIS POWELL, HEIDI POWELL

(ABC/Paul Trantow)

EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS returns for its fifth season tonight, and in addition to some big-name guest stars — including an appearance in the season premiere by Kobe Bryant and the Lakers — what’s going to get people talking is the journey this year’s participants go through.

“They truly are the craziest, most jaw-dropping transformations you’ve ever seen,” EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS trainer Chris Powell shared. “The before and after [for the participants], words don’t do it justice…it’s pretty wild.”

I spoke with Powell and his wife/fellow trainer Heidi Powell about what’s in store this season, including EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: LOVE CAN’T WEIGHT…

This close to the premiere, what kind of emotions do you have?
Heidi Powell: This is the moment we look forward to with our peeps all year long. It’s the moment where they can finally let the world see what they’ve accomplished. Not that they need that, because they’ve ended their journey with us, and entered the next phase of their journey with so much pride and confidence and integrity and self love. But now, we get to give them the cherry on top. We get to show to the world — and brag to the world — about how amazing they are.
Chris Powell: We’ve been living this journey with them for the last year, so we’ve seen all of the emotional struggles and the triumphs happen. All of these lessons to be learned, and we’re excited to share those lessons with an audience, so it can inspire their own change…we’re so fired up about this.

What can you share about the people viewers will meet this year?
HP: [The season premiere] has twins, who are absolutely incredible, and two of the most genuine people I’ve ever met in my life; deserving people, and they’ve been through so much. I can’t wait for the world to be inspired by them.

We worked with couples this year, which was one of my favorite parts of the year. We had a bachelor and bachelorette, and we not only helped them lose weight and transform their lives, but we also gave them marriage advice. We got to help them begin their life together. That was really exciting. Chris and I got to use our own experience and [share] it with these people.
CP: And this season, instead of only working with super obese individuals — and obviously we love to do that, because they have the longest journey of anybody; if they can do it, anyone can do it — but we chose a couple of individuals who still had a lot to lose, but their journeys didn’t take quite as long. It was kind of an eye-opening experience for us, because Heidi and I were expecting a nine-month to year journey for almost everybody, there were a couple of individuals who became fast frontrunners in the group. A couple of them hit their goals in six months, which is just jaw-dropping for us; broke all of our records. It just turned into some epic journey where you realize the power of the human heart and human mind.

How does it change the production schedule for you when they finish so quickly? Do you go back at the planned times to see if they’ve maintained things?
HP: It actually didn’t change one single thing Chris and I did behind the cameras. For the producers, of course they had their own things they needed to film, and they film things dependent on [contestants’] individual journey. As far as Chris and I go, an individual that completed their journey in three months, we kept in contact with and included in everything, the same as we did for the people that ended in a full year.
CP: The whole thing is beautiful, because now we can show what the transition is into maintenance. So many people watching the show get to see the weight loss journey, but they don’t get to see what the transition into maintenance is really like; that’s a whole other challenge, and a much longer journey than the weight loss part. It’s really cool, because the person who finished in six months, we got to transition into maintenance, and focus on that aspect. It was wonderful for them, in terms of their long-term well-being, and it’s wonderful for us, in terms of the audience, because now they get to see what it looks like.

This many seasons in, have you noticed a change in how contestants approach this? By now, they might have expectations about the experience, who you are, etc…
CP: I think the folks coming on to the show do know what to expect. You know what’s funny? I think they do come into the process thinking, “Okay, they’re going to film a TV show, I’m going to do a lot of diet and exercise.” And Heidi and I will sit down with them on day one, and be like, “Okay, this is probably what you think: we’re going to show up, you’re going to do some workouts on camera. You’re going to diet and exercise, and you’re going to lose a lot of weight. If that’s what you think, you’re very wrong. This is not the process. We can’t have a talk about weight loss without speaking about integrity. Heidi and I are here every day and we’re going to coach you through this.” We tear everything apart. For the exercise stuff, we talk about it in an hour. [We tell them,] “Now, let’s talk about the emotional and psychological approach to exercise — the fact that this is not a weight loss show, it’s a show about rehabilitation. Now, let’s talk about your emotions, let’s talks about your psychological approach, let’s talk about your true self. And by the way, Heidi and I are just like you. We’ve had our struggles.” We’ll open up to them about everything we’re dealing with; the fact that we’re human. “We’re real, we’re just like you, we’ll go along with this right besides you, not just as coaches.” Instead, we become their friends.
HP: As far as our personal relationships go, I think everyone naturally starts the year with a bit of an intimidation factor. They see these intense workouts on-camera, and also, I guess living life with two people [who are] on-camera. They realize quickly we’re one of them. We really do become their best friends throughout the process.
CP: We don’t expect them to trust us right off the bat. They’re guarded as well, as well they should be: that’s how they survived for so many years. It’s important for us to earn their trust over time, and once they open up, that’s when they can truly heal.

As a couple, you’ve also taken the step of bringing some contestants into your real home, around your kids. What debate is there about when things should be kept separate, and how many participants you can realistically allow into your home?
HP: We do bring people in and make them family. Chris and I were just saying, we can’t think of a holiday in the past six years where we haven’t had people from the show in our home. That includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, whenever it is — they become a part of our family. We open up about all of our struggles and our deepest, darkest fears. We become vulnerable with them, because if we can show them what a strength vulnerability is, in turn, they’ll open up and be vulnerable with us. It works wonderfully. It’s just as healing for us when we help them through things, as it is for them.

We are very careful with how we let people in. Obviously, our children and our family is the most sacred, important things we have in our life. Luckily, every single one of our peeps goes through a background check. And not to say, oh, you need a background check before we let you in front of our kids, but it does take time for us to get to know people before we let them into our home, and around our kids. You have to be really careful with stuff like that. It’s not like we throw caution to the wind and let everyone into our home.
CP: We chose people for this journey that we want to spend a year of our lives with…and we got to spend three months with them in Colorado, so we get to know them really well. And then we come home to Arizona. And if someone is struggling, and they need a jump-start on their journey, it’s like, “Come along! I know you. I know your family. I know everything about you.” At the same time, we also have our own family here who are wonderful. They are the caretakers of our children when obviously we’re out and about [filming]. Our children are very protected.

Looking at this upcoming season, what celebrity experiences have you excited?
CP: I must say, meeting Kobe Bryant and the Lakers was amazing. And the Miami Heat. I was out in Miami and they opened up their doors for us. They were such an incredible organization, so hospitable.

We were so blessed to have so many celebrities and organizations reach out to us this year. NASCAR and the NFL have been just amazing. LeSean McCoy, he’s the best running back in the league, we did a whole thing with him; what a class act. NASCAR actually took us racing in Las Vegas. We had some wild adventures this year, and I’m giddy with each and every one. I keep checking stuff off my bucket list like crazy.
HP: The most exciting for me is being able to combine weight loss and weddings. I’m a girl, I love wedding and frilly things, and we worked with three couples this year [with EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: LOVE CAN’T WEIGHT]…we helped brides and grooms lose weight before their weddings, so I got to help plan weddings alongside [MY FAIR WEDDING’s] David Tutera, which was amazing an so much fun to see not only these lives change and relationships strengthen, but also these amazing weddings at the end. It was really cool. It was a lot of fun. When you see these weddings and how great David Tutera did…it was amazing. That was my geeky moment.

EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on ABC.

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Comments

6 Responses to “EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: Chris and Heidi Powell Preview Season 5”

  1. rime on May 27th, 2015 3:52 am

    Choose foods that stall
    But that does not weigh too heavy. Soups, salads … meals are eaten in the beginning to get less hungry.

  2. MommyWeight.com on May 27th, 2015 8:16 am

    Great tips! I love Chris and Heidi, they to a great job on the show.

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