Tuesday, July 2, on ABC, Extreme Weight Loss tells the story of the weight loss goals of married couple Jason and Rachel. It’s another first for co-host Chris Powell, as it’s the first time he’s eve worked with a married couple. Will Jason and Rachel’s marriage continue to be wedded bliss, or will their struggles towards their goals end up damaging their relationship, perhaps forever?
At the start of Extreme Weight Loss Jason and Rachel, After 18 years of over-eating the couple’s gained a combined 350 pounds. The couple are shown at their home, playing with their twin five-year-olds. But, Rachel feels like a “crappy mom” because she gets winded too easily, and can’t play as long with her kids as she wants. Jason “is the biggest idiot in the world” in his words when it comes to explaining why he has a hard time losing weight.
They talk about a period in their lives when they split up, and Rachel lost some of her excess weight and re-connected with an old boyfriend while they were apart. She said she now thinks of it as a mistake, and is back with Jason; but, they’ve had “screaming matches, marriage counseling, everything” according to Jason. Their life has definitely had some rough patches.
Rachel said that she “hates herself” and that Jason should “hate her for something.”
She is surprised when she gets a call from Chris Powell who says he’s in Detroit. On speaker phone, he tells the couple that they have been chosen; but, they need to be totally committed, and they need to lose two pounds each that very day. He tells them if they do that, he will be with them as they lose the rest. They need to burn 7,000 calories each in seven hours.
Jason mentions that his heels feel like he’s stepping on a rock, and he’s just not sure he can do it. The time keeps passing, and he is afraid he won’t lose the two pounds in time.
I don’t want to get left behind. I don’t want her to be stuck with an over-weight husband. I’m going to do this for Rachel.” Jason says.”
Jason loses the calories, and when they meet Chris, they are overjoyed. But, Chris is concerned that Rachel has lost more calories than Jason. Usually, men lose more. Chris wonders if Jason really had ever wanted to lose the weight in the first place.
At their initial weigh-in, Jason weighs 362. He’s very embarrassed, and says “it’s tough for me to have her see how much I weigh.”
Rachel weighs 290 pounds, more than she has even when she was pregnant. They’ve built up “protection” against each other, by gaining weight. Chris wants Rachel to love Jason for who Jason is. Jason confesses to Chris that he wasn’t involved writing the letter, and when Chris asks him: “Did you want to do this?” Jason says: “No, I don’t.”
Chris goes ahead and has them do an all-out workout. Chris tells him “You need to do it over and over and over,” and says Jason has to “fight for this opportunity.”
Jason finally says he “wants to be a better man,” and says this is all for “me, my family….”
Something clicks for Jason. He says he thinks now that “they can actually do this.”
Chris says that they have each other, so he won’t come home with them.
Chris says to them that if they lose 150 pounds in the next 90 days, combined, he will send them back to the Empire Sate Building in New York on a family trip. That is where Jason proposed to Rachel.
Chris says that he feels “so much better” about where Jason’s mind is, and thinks that they can make it.
Jason and Rachel are happy to be back home, and with their twins. Chris’s crew renovated their house, and turned their garage into a massive gym.
At first, Jason is confident he’ll do well, and he begins to eat properly, too — but, he starts getting frustrated, not seeing the weight drop off like Rachel is seeing.
Chris goes to their house, fearing that Jason is once again waffling about whether or not losing that much weight is possible, and something he would like to do.
When I see Rachel and Jason they look great. But, are they half-way on their 90-day weight gaol? I don’t know.” Chris says when he arrives at their house.
“You lost 41 pounds,” he says to Jason. When Rachel is weighed, he tells her “You lost 39 pounds.” They lost a combined total of 80 pounds already.
Chris says to Rachel that he’s heard there’s a “mud run” this coming weekend. Rachel wanted to do something like that, she’d said earlier; Jason doesn’t look as happy, but he agrees to participate in it, also.
“It was like my worst nightmare,” Jason said, when he saw he it was like. It was an obstacle course/run. There was no set time limit to complete it, but the “mud run” was grueling. They even had to climb up a wall using a rope.
Jason had a difficult time getting over the wall, but the made it. They ran through fire at the end of the “dash.” Jason says it “pains me to say it, but it was fun and I’d do it again.”
The 3 month weigh-in was dramatic. They had to lose 150 pounds combined to win the New York trip. Rachel weighed in first. She lost 75 pounds on the dot.
Jason’s turn was next. He wanted to lose even more than Rachel did. He weighed and lost 86 pounds. “Finally, he has the proof he needed that transformation works.”
Their next weight loss goal: to lose 100 pounds combined. Again, Jason doubts they can do it. He says: “It will be near impossible,” to lose that much more weight that quickly.
Jason ends up driving to Chris Powell’s house in Arizona with his suitcase, and he spends some time there working out. He tells Chris: “I can’t do all this stuff. Wife, kids; I can’t keep ita ll together.”
Chris asks him: “Is that why you’re here?” and Jason answers: “Yeah, I needed a break.”
Though that’s far from good news, it does show that Jason wants to succeed, despite his disbelief that he can. He wants to succeed, if not for himself, then for his wife and family.
Jason, to me, seems to be learning to like himself again, and he is becoming more likable to the TV viewers, by showing that he wants to do something he feels is impossible, for his wife and family, out of love.
Jason tells Chris: “This is too much.” Going to work, spending time with his family, losing weight; it’s too much for him — but, he tells Chris that, if he continues, he wants to do other sorts of exercise, like lifting weights and punching.
Chris agrees to this, and Jason has a renewed commitment to succeed. “275 pounds, buddy, c’mon!” Chris tells him. Jason lifts it, doing a dead lift.
At New York City, the six-month mark, Chris meets them in Central Park for their weigh-in. Rachel weighs in at 187 pounds, losing 28 pounds total.
Jason would have to have lost 72 pounds to make the 100 pound total goal. Chris hopes that he’s lost at least 50 pounds. He, instead, weighs in at 255 pounds, having lost 21 pounds.
For most of the competitors I’ve seen who participate in the year-long Extreme Weight Loss program, this Phase 2 seems to be the toughest. I think Ryan, last week, is the only one I’ve seen meet and surpass the weight loss goal for Phase 2.
“If you keep going like you’re going, surgery isn’t in your futures.” Chris tells the couple. They need to make up a lot of ground, and go back to the intensity they had in Phase 1 to have a chance at meeting their over-all weight loss goals.
Jason and Rachel need to make sacrifices to meet their over-all goal and qualify for the skin reduction surgery, Chris says into the camera. He has the couple work out with weights, run on the treadmill, and he inspires them to keep up their intensity.
“Time is of the essence,” he tells them.
Jason and Rachel do have some fun in New York City, going on a horse-drawn carriage ride. Then, at the top of the Empire State Building, Jason gets on his knees, and tells Rachel how much he loves her. That was one of the night’s most emotional moments so far. He also made and gave her a book of photographs about everything they’d gone through that year so far.
“Rachel saved my life by pushing me to do this,” Jason says.
The pair continue working out, and we see a montage of scenes of them lifting weights, doing an exercise with ropes, and more. Jason begins to embrace the changes that he sees happening, but Chris tells them that there’s “some trouble-shooting” that has to be done.
They have lost a lot of weight when Chris sees them next, and he is pleasantly surprised by how much thinner and fitter they look. Jason had worn a size 56 in the waist pair of pants.
The weigh-in happened next. Rachel weighed 158, having lost 29 pounds since the last weigh-in. Chris told them that Dr. Stoker would have to agree to their surgery, and he want them to lose at least 45-50 percent of their original weight.
Jason did great — he had to lose over 40 pounds, and he did — he weighed 215 pounds. He told them now he can tell Dr. Stoker: “They need this. They deserve this.”
Rachel and Jason were both very nervous at meeting the doctor. He said that Rachel had a lot of skin on her arms to be removed, and with the gall bladder surgery scar she had, the skin removal surgery might prove to be difficult.
As well, Jason had thicker tissue than he’d like to see, and it’d be slower to heal. The couple had told each other that if one didn’t qualify, than the other one would turn down the surgery if he/she qualified to get it.
“It would crush him if he was not approved,” Rachel said.
They were worried, but tDr. Stoker told them: “You are both excellent candidates for surgery.”
They were extremely happy, of course, to hear the news. They had the surgery scheduled, so they could have it before their final weigh-in.
Three months later, Chris Powell gave people in the crowd to see Jason and Rachel’s final weigh-in high-fives. Chris tells the gathered people that Rachel and Jason had been turning to food to deal with issues in their lives.
Their weight loss had transformed them into a stronger couple, though, and helped to bring them closer together than ever, Chris told the assembled audience.
Finally, the moment for their Final Weigh-In came.Jason and Rachel pulled up to the curb in their car, and walked out, holding hands, dressed to the nines. They looked like entirely different people. It was a long year for the couple, full of doubts and turmoil; but, with Rachel’s help, and that of Chris Powell, of course, Jason and Rachel made it.
Rachel went from 290 pounds initially to a final weight of 145 pounds! Jason’s turn was next. He weighed 362 to start the year, and his final weight was 197! How awesome — way to go, Jason and Rachel!
Written by: Douglas Cobb