On Extreme Weight Loss on ABC tonight, Cassie, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was healthy and physically fit as a child and young woman. However, after she became unexpectedly with child at 21, she decided to give up her son for adoption. After that, her sense of loss and guilt caused her to overeat. The decision has haunted her for 18 years. At times, she now feels like she just wants to die. With the help of transformational coach and trainer, Chris Powell and his wife, Heidi and NFL star Donald Driver, she will attempt to loss over half of her body weight during the course of an entire year and get down to 173 pounds or less.
Cassie, 39, is almost 200 pounds overweight. When she signed her rights away to her son, she had also just been thrown out of college and had no money. Cassie would like to meet her son, but she does not want him to see her looking like she does currently. She has been married to her husband, Ryan, for 17 years.
“He only works 8-15 hours a week,” Cassie says about her husband. She adds that she put him through golf school and about three-and-a-half years ago, her husband cheated on her.
“If I could go back, it would never have happened. It will never happen again,” Ryan says.
Cassie says that after that happened, she ballooned up over 350 pounds. She feels “like I don’t deserve to be happy.” She adds that she does not even like to leave her house anymore. Both she and her husband even have separate headphones for their TVs.
“What does that tell you? I don’t want to die in this house, watching TV. I literally lie on the couch, stuffing myself with crap,” she says.
Chris Powell has a surprise aranged. He talks on the TV screen, directly to her. “Is that your husvband? What’s he doing?”
Ryan answers “Drinking.”
Chris tells her that there is a moving van in the driveway right now. She asks her and her husband to put everything in the truck that might tempt her and then take a video of it. The TVs go into the truck, as well. Ryan makes a pact not to drink liquor for the entire year, also.
“I feel closer to him than I have in a long time. This is his turn to step up and prove he’s in it,” Cassie tells the camera.
Chris said when he was on the TV screen that if he is satisfied that everything is on the moving van which might get in the way of her losing weight, he will accept Cassie on Extreme Weight Loss. She must give up her old way of life, basically, in order to transform both externally and internally.
“There was a whole bunch of feelings. I was intimidated, overwhelmed,” Cassie said. she had her luggage and videotape with her when she meets Chris in Colorado at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.
“You are going to give your own life back to yourself,” Chris tells her.
“This is me, world — take it or leave it,” is the sort of attitude that he wants her to have during the year. He says he wants to see how badly Cassie wants it, how much she is willing to change her old patterns. She weighs in at 347 pounds at her initial weigh-in.
She would have to weigh in at 173 pounds by the end of the year-long journey to lose weight in order to get to half of her body weight. She weighed that when she gave birth to her only son. “I want you to lose 101 pounds in 90 days,” Chris tells her. That will be her initial weight loss goal.
“She will go on daily workouts with both me and Heidi,” Chris says. He also makes sure that she learns proper nutrition “and how to live life in a totally different way.”
“I didn’t know my first week at Boot Camp would be so intense,” she says after a week in Colorado.
Though she starts off well, Cassie gets depressed when she does not see results soon enough and she begins to miss her husband. She considers quitting and going back home to Wisconsin.
“I don’t want America to think that I’m a failure,” she tells the camera. “I was in a dark place and didn’t know if I wanted to stay in Colorado.”
“It only took one small thing to make her feel defeated,” Heidi says. She felt like she did not want to continue on, saying “it was not for her.”
“I’m homesick and want to go home to my husband,” Cassie tells Heidi.
Heidi talks her into staying. “I think she didn’t intend to leave. She was just in a bad place emotionally. She needs a victory, she needs a win.”
Chris gives a challenge to Cassie, to climb all of the stairs leading almost vertically up the side of a cliff where a waterfall is coming down.
“C’mon, Cassie!” Chris tells her, shouting encouragement to her. “You’re going to do it again,” he says. “This is your moment! C’mon, finish it! That’s the real Cassie!” Finally, they were at the top of Seven Falls.
“I can do anything!” Cassie tells Chris. “For the first time in a long time, I can do anything.”
Chris gets a phone call from Cassie. He is afraid that she will say she is going to give up. However, she tells Chris that she sent her son a letter and he sent her an email that said he had to think about it, but he might like to meet her one day.
“This is the moment I have to take the momentum and run with it,” Chris tells the camera. Cassie is working out harder than ever, working out with Heidi, in particular. She sent her son a card and a gift on his birthday. She wants to lose her extra weight and qualify for the skin removal surgery so that she will not be afraid as much when she gets to meet her son, Nathan.
Then, Cassie decides that she wants to reach out to her son and she calls him. He is stunned, at first, but at least he does not hang up on her. Calling him did not turn out to be as bad as she had built it up in her mind.
“What the heck did I wait so long for?” she says.
“How about if I call you back after I’ve finished what I’m doing?” he asks her. She tells him “Okay.”
“You and Chris have helped change my life,” Cassie says. “I’m so grateful for this.”
At the 90 Day Weigh-In, Chris tells the camera she “wants to lose the weight, not only for herself, but for my son.”
If Cassie weighs 101 pounds less than she did when she started, she will have made her Phase I Weight-Loss Goal. She ends up weighing in at 277. She is shy of her goal, but she tells Chris and Heidi she will not miss any of her other goals.
Chris setts Cassie’s Phase II Goal at losing 45 more pounds. She will be by herself, except for her husband, Ryan.
“I’m so much more confident now. I had zero self worth and didn’t think I was worthy of this journey,” she tells the camera. Now, I know I’m worthy.”
“She’s an amazing woman. She’s my inspiration,” her husband says.
She speaks in front of a large audience of people to tell them about how her experience has been going so far. Then, suddenly, Chris and Heidi are there to surprise her, leaving Cassie speechless.
On the stage, Chris and Heidi ask her “Are you ready to meet your son?”
Then, Extreme Weight Loss on ABC went to another commercial break.
This is proving to be another tear-jerking but great episode. When Cassie meets her son, they hug. Cassie has tears of joy in her eyes. “It’s a feeling impossible to put into words what it felt like to hold him.” It’s been 19 years since she has last held him.
“I’ve always loved you, more than I’ve ever loved anyone else in my entire life. Meeting you now, I can finally move on. My hope and my heart is open to you, if you want it.”
“Thank you,” he tells her.
“I feel like a whole person now,” Cassie says. Three months ago, I was sitting on the coach and had no sense of self-worth. Now, I’m getting to see my son,” she says.
Cassie sees that there is still beer in the refrigerator and there is nothing for her to eat. “I thought he had made all of these changes when I was gone, but he hasn’t changed at all,” she says. “I don’t deserve this. I need happiness, someone who will work with me instead of against me.” She is seriously considering getting divorced.
“Instead of just you sitting down and talking to him, why don’t we all sit down and talk with him,” Chris tells Cassie. Heidi calls Cassie’s husband “dead weight” and says that she might be better off leaving him.
Cassie confronts her husband, telling him “You don’t really value what’s important to me now.”
“I’m sorry that you had to come home to that,” he says.
“If you don’t support each other in this process, your relationship won’t last,” Chris says. “I’m telling you, it won’t last.”
“I’m in,” Ryan says. “I had a lot of things going on, and I unfortunately fell back into my old habits,” he says.
Chris tells her that he has a “surprise” on her front porch. It is NFL star, Donald Driver. He will help her with her workouts and in meeting her Phase II Weight Loss Goal.
“I know that he will help guide me, along with Chris and Heidi,” Cassie says.
Donald Driver puts both her and her husband through a brutal workout. Heidi and Chris have their guys set up a lot of exercise equipement in their house.
“She’s gotta keep going. She can’t stop now,” Driver says.
“The more things that we do apart, the more we will grow apart,” Cassie says. Chris feels like Ryan is going back to his old ways.
As a last shot, Chris springs for a Couple’s Retreat to Hawaii for her and Ryan. Also, Chris weighs her and sees if she has made her Phase II Goal. She weighs in at 232 pounds, seven pounds short of her goal. She has not met her second goal.
“Let me tell you, next time you step on the scale, I want to see wonderful,” They still have her Milestone Challenge ahead of her. “It will not only challenge her physically, it will put their marriage to the test.”
Chris has them met him on a golf course. That puzzles Cassie. “Today, for your Milestone, you (Ryan) will have to shoot the best round of your life. With this on your wife,” Chris has a 115-pound weight vest brought for Cassie o wear as Ryan plays.
“It’s not only the extra physical weight that she has carried, but it also represents the emotional baggage that she has carried around for years. Every time you shoot par, I’ll take 20 pounds off,” Chris says. He adds to Cassie “You’re here to support him, not to nit-pick him.”
“I need help finding the ball,” he says right off the bat. He seems psyched out and the presure of doing well has put him off of his usual game.
“Ryan is blowing shot after shot after shot,” Chris says. “He keeps making up excuses.”
“I just don’t do excuses anymore. He just keeps up making excuses,” Cassie says, disgusted at her husband and thinking that his excuses are not helping anything get any better.
“After the ninth hole, she just let him have it,” Chris says. “I carry all of the weight, and when I need you, you don’t come through. I’m done with this. I’m over it,” she says in disgust.
“I need you to step up and be a freakin’ man. I can’t put up with this,” Cassie says.
“Just out of curiosity, Cassie,” Chris asks her, “What are his intentions?”
“His intentions are good. I know that he loves me. I can see that he loves me.”Cassie says.
“Will she walk away? It’s important for her to make that decision,” Chris says.
Cassie and Ryan begin walking hand-in-hand on the golf course. Chris tells Ryan “A transformation might mean that you’re better off living apart.”
“I know. For sure,” Ryan says.
“It is worth it. You are worth it to me,” Cassie tells Ryan.
“It’s worth it to me, too,” he says. She sees that he genuinely did care about her and did not want to see her suffer. Then, he was able to perform better and he shot better golf, lessening the weight of the vest.
“It’s time for Ryan to prove to himself that he’s a good golfer and can make it,” Cssie says. Ryan does much better.
After that day, Cassie relates that their relationship changed for the better. The both work out together more.
“Together, we are way stronger than when we’re apart,” Ryan says.
Finally, the day of the Nine Month Weigh-In arrives. Heidi says “Cassie looked unrecognizable to me. Unrecognizable.”
“Now, I can’t imagine my life without working out,” she tells Chris and Heidi. “It’s so great to have my husband back We were like glorified roommates for so long Now, we’re back to being husband and wife.”
Chris tells Cassie “I gave you the goal to shoot for it, to ultimately get to 208, or less. In the hundreds would be even better.”
“I’m hoping I made my goal. It will be close,” Cassie says.
She weighs in at 202 pounds. She was so close to being in the hundreds, but she did lose 33 pounds and she felt more confident and happy. “Cassie is winning the game in my book,” Chris says. He and Heidi will take her to see the skin removal doctor.
When Extreme Weight Loss on ABC came back from another commercial break, Chris, Heidi and Cassie meet with the doctor. She feels like she has carried around a lot of baggage and she would like to lose her extra skin. The doctor says that she has a lot more fat that she could lose. He says that she would be a much better candidate after she loses the weight.
“For me, it would be much better if I wait,” Cassie says. “There is no way I’m not going to get the skin surgery. I’m not going to miss another goal,” Cassie tells the camera.
At the end of the year, in front of a huge audience of family, friends and well-wishers, Chris tells everyone “I can assure you, she does not look like that anymore,” Chris says, pointing at the blown-up image of Cassie prior to the year beginning.
He tells the sad story of her giving up her baby boy and then putting on a lot of weight. “Emotionally and psychologically, she had a parking brake on. The emotional weight was reuniting with her son. Now, that weight is gone. You are about to be blown away. Put your hands together for the all-new Cassie.”
Before revealing what Cassie now looks like, Extreme Weight Loss went to yet another commercial break. This is one of the most touching episodes yet of Season Four of Extreme Weight Loss and that is saying a lot.
Cassie looked stunning in a blue dress with a belt. She walked up and gave her son, Nathan, who was on stage, a big hug. Chris invited Ryan up onto the stage and she hugged him, also.
“This is how I always felt that I was. It’s persistence that will get you to your goals. It’s the Six Month Milestone that changed everything,” Cassie says.
Chris has her walk up to the scale for the final weigh-in. She wanted to keep her promise and lose over half her original body weight. She hopes she will weigh in at 173 or less, to put that in her past.
We see black-and-white scenes of her past year as she is weighed. The audience erupts in cheers, but…before we at home can see what Cassie now weighs…Extreme Weight Loss went to another commercial break.
Cassie wants to keep her promise she made to herself at the start of the year that she would lose half her body weight. She ended up weighing 171 pounds! “I blew it out of the water!” she says. She has lost 176 pounds in the course of the year.
“My life begins today,” she tells herself, Chris and the audience.
Chris then gives her the opportunity to “pay it forward,” to give a week-long scholarship to someone she thinks would benefit from it. She gives it to her friend, Kelly.
“I want to be where she’s at,” Kelly says.
“I’m hoping to be able to start a family,” Cassie says. “Now, I can move on and start my own family, with the man I love more than anything else in the world. I couldn’t accept love from anyone because I was such a dark and negative place. I owe you both so much.”
What an incredible episode of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC this one about Cassie was, so inspirational and so touching on many different levels! Cassie did not make her initial weight loss goals and felt like she was trying to do everything all by herself. Ryan was not giving her his full support at first. But, meeting with her son after having given him up for adoption put new determination into her and she continued on, despite not being perfect and meeting all of the weight loss goals. She ended the year in a truly spectacular fashion, not only meeting, but beating, her goal of weighing 173 at the end of the year. She wound up weighing in at 171 pounds! Awesome job, Cassie!
Written By Douglas Cobb