On Extreme Weight Loss on ABC tonight, the episode focused on the year-long weight loss journey that Jenn, of Jennifer Snell, from Cody, Wyoming, a mother of two children who also has a terminally ill husband, undertook. She desperately wanted to loss the extra weight that she had gained as she turned to overeating to find a sense of comfort, so that she would be healthy for her kids. Snell, who initially weighed in at 342 pounds at the start of the show, knew that she needed help, so she wrote a letter to Chris and Heidi Powell, the transformational coaches who are the co-hosts of Extreme Weight Loss.
Snell is a 911 Emergency Operator, who deals with emergencies every day of her life. When her brother died at a young age, she turned to food to find solace and comfort. She said that she “never felt love” when she was a child. Her parents got divorced, and her stepdad would not let her or anyone else have anything to do with her real dad. Her brother, Peter, was trying to learn to walk and fell backwards, hitting his head. She said she had written a letter to God, asking Him to take her instead, and bring back her brother.
Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, Snell turned to food. Her weight at the start of the episode was due to three decades of overeating. She said that her husband suffered from three different diseases taht attack the immune system of a person’s body. Then, she said that she learned that her husband had been given just 2 to 5 years to live.
“I don’t know what I’ll do without him,” she told the camera. “How can I not get off my butt and do something about this?”
On Extreme Weight Loss, Chris called her up and said that he had an emergency. He said “Jenn, I’m choosing you for the transformation of your life!” He told her she had to get ready pretty fast, because she was going to get flown to Colorado to spend the next three months of her weight loss journey at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado.
Chris had Snell step up onto the scales. “Well, Jenn, you weigh 342 pounds,” he told her. He wanted her to lose 92 pounds or more in the next three months, and weigh in at 250 pounds or less. Her kids said “We can get to go to Disneyland then!”
Chris told them, “I know a lot of people that can help with that.” Then, Extreme Weight Loss went to a commercial break.
Snell will be spending the next 90 days on Extreme Weight Loss with Chris and his wife, Heidi, at eh Colorado Boot Camp. She was put on a diet of 1750 calories a day. Chris told celebrity chef, Roco DiSpirito, that “Jenn doesn’t eat any breakfast.” DiSpirito told her why eating breakfast was so vital for everyone, perhaps especailly, people who diet.
Chris had her undergo the “Fight or Flight” trial of being on a treadmill for a certain time limit, 7 and a half minutes. She said “It hurts!” and was crying. Chris said that she “needed to fight back,” and he said “I hope those are tears of joy.”
On Extreme Weight Loss on ABC, Heidi asked Snell to “Hit me!” as she held up mitts for Snell to hit. “I think you like it, being the victim! I think that you like being hit all the time!” Heidi told her. “The transformation isn’t going to happen unless you fight back!”
Snell yelled out, “No more!” and Heidi said, “Then fight back!” Snell began to punch back harder and harder, finally.
“When your husband dies, you mourn his loss, but you don’t become a victim!” Heidi told her on Extreme Weight Loss. “Choose change!” Heidi said. “When your husband dies, you need to choose to live a life of honor!”
Snell called her husband up the following day. She said that she wanted “to apologize” to him. She told her husband she was sorry if she “focused on the negatives” too much. She said “It was a very powerful moment for us.” This episode of Extreme Weight Loss was not even a half-hour in, and it was a Tear Jerk City one, already.
Back from a break on Extreme Weight Loss, Chris Powell pressed her and she exercised her heart out. She said that “the hardest part was the emotional part,” though.
She told the camera that she kept a picture of her brother with her in her sports bra. She wanted “to let go of the pain that haunts me.” She asked the Powells for a day off to go to her brother’s grave site. She had never been there before, other than at the funeral.
Snell went there with her sister. Her sister told her “I hope you know that nobody blames you. Mom doesn’t blame you, dad doesn’t blame you — it’s not your fault.”
Snell said “I now feel free.”
At the end of the 90 days on Extreme Weight Loss, Snell got ready for her weigh-in. She needed to loss 92 pounds to meet her Phase I weight loss goal. Extreme Weight Loss went to a break before her weight was revealed.
She weighed in at having lost 78 pounds. Jenn began to cry. Chris asked her “Why are you crying?”
Heidi asked her if she was “eating off-plan.” Jenn tol dher she was not.
Snell walked away, but he Powells followed her. “It’s not being different — it’s about being a better person,” Jenn told them.
“It’s okay that she messed up,” Chris told the camera on Extreme Weight Loss. “She can’t let her ego hold her back.”
Heidi said that when Snell walked away, she knew what had happened. Later, Snell told them the truth, that she “had been adding things” to her meals, like a half an avocado, that was 150 calories. “First of all, thank you,” Heidi told her, “for being honest with us. You took yourself out of the vicitm role, and took responsibility for what you did.”
Chris asked her to lose 55 pounds for her Phase II Weight-Loss Goal on Extreme Weight Loss. “You’ve been living you whole life like you’re dying,” Heidi told her. She said they were going to give Jenn and her family a vacation together with their kids to Disneyland.
“Don’t get too comfortable while you’re there,” Chris told her, “because we will have a challenge for you.”
Snell told the camera “I fell like I’m becoming strong.” After that, Extreme Weight Loss headed to another commercial break.
When Extreme Weight Loss returned from the break, the entire community of Lovell, Wisconsin were gathered to see Snell come back after the 90 Days. “To be home is the best feeling ever,” she said. Her father was there, also, to sruprise her. “When I saw him, I instantly felt so much love,” she said.
On Extreme Weight Loss, Snell told them that Boot Camp was hard, harder than she ever had thought that it would be. She asked the crowd, “Does anyone want to know how much weight I lost?” the people cheered, and she told them “I lost 78 pounds.”
Her dad said to Snell, “Me and your mom were very young. I didn’t want to sign the adoption papers. I wtached you graduate. I watche dyou many times. I wanted to say somehting but I couldn’t.” Her father was not allowed to speak to her.
He said “I was like a ghost.” He told her “I don’t know how to be a father, but I’ll try.”
Snell told the camera “I’m 42 years old, and I feel like I’m getting a dad for the very first time.”
When Snell arrived back home on Extreme Weight Loss, her husband, Dan, had the house fairly clean. When she went to the refrigerator, she said “I can’t have these things.” She told him the things that either had too many calories or too much sodium. They threw the food away together.
Snell continued working out and eating healthy foods. Chris called her up and told her he was going to take her and her entire family to Disneyland, and he said her Milestone would be running the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon there.
She ran in the snow, training for the half marathon. Inside, she practiced by running on the treadmill.
On Extreme Weight Loss, Snell had to call the ambulance two days in a row for her husband. She told her kids “Your papa is so strong.”
She promised them that they would be okay. But, Dan was actually “in 10 times more pain than normal,” she said. His spinal cord “was crushed in four spots.” The doctor said he needed surgery, and the recovery time would be six to eight weeks.
Snell did not want to leave her husband while he probably would need to undergo surgery, but she said that he would probably not forgive her unless she went, because she had worked and trained so hard for so long to take part in the half marathon.
On Extreme Weight Loss, Chris told the camera that he was so proud of Snell, but when he saw Dan in his motorized scooter, he could see how Dan’s health had gone down a lot in a short time. “The doctor said that there was no guarantee that the surgery would work, and he could turn into a quadraplegic.”
Right from the start at Disneyland, Chris asked her to get on the scales. She weighed in at 221, having missed her goal by 12 pounds.
She had lost 43 pounds. “That’s still phenomenal, it really is,” Chris said. “For you to stick to the plan and stay to the course, that’s incredible by itself.”
“Even though I didn’t hit my goal, I don’t feel self-defeated,” she said. Chris told her she needed to lose more weight to be considered for the skin reduction surgery, but then he said for them all to go and enjoy riding the rides.
“It’s hard for me to say this,” Snell said, “but my kids have not had many opportunities to do things like this, what with Dan’s situation. This might be our one shot.”
On Extreme Weight Loss, the day came for Snell to run the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon. “Today is finally her chance to have some sort of a win,” Chris told the camera. He added “It’s like running a marathon through a Disney movie.”
At Mile 7, Snell started to cramp up. Chris thought that if she got hydrated and stretched out a little bit, she could make it. But, she kept cramping up.
They made it to Mile 8, and Snell said that her knee was hurting her. She made it to a First Aid tent, but she said to the camera “This is the kind of pain that I don’t know if I can handle it anymore.”
Snell had to stop six times because she was cramping up, and Chris said to the camera “I didn’t know if she was going to make it.”
They both decided to just walk miles nine and ten. She said that a woman running by tapped her on the shoulder and said she was proud of her, because she had rheumatoid arthritis, like her husband had. Snell pushed it as she got to the finish line, and her husband was standing there, waiting for her. “He was so proud of me. I did that race for him,” she told the camera.
Back home, Dan had his surgery. she said that she had to be there with her husband. and be there to do “whatever needs to be done.” Every three hours he had to get his meds. she had three weeks to her 9-Month Weigh-In. Her husband began to feel better, and she said tha tgave her hope, and she ran again.
Though she did not want to leave her husband, she flew back to meet with the Powells. “We don’t know the results of his surgery yet, but we’re hoepful,” she said. Chris told the camera that with that night’s weigh-in, he hoped that she had broken the 40 percent mark.
She knew that she was “on the fence,” so she was worried. Chris said “If the scales said 205 pounds or less, we will walk you into the surgeon’s office tomorrow and see if you qualify for the skin reduction surgery.”
On Extreme Weight Loss, Chris told Snell that she had weighed 221 pounds three months ago. She stepped onto the scales, and she weighed in at 207 pounds. “Sooo….close,” Chris told her. She had lost a little over 39 percent of the weight she needed to lose during Phase III, 14 additional pounds; but, Chris said that was not enough for the surgeon to consider her as a candidate.
She told them “I’ll finish this. I’ll finish it strong.”
Chris told the camera that the old Jenn would have given up. She failed to meet all three of her weight loss goals, but she refused to quit.
At the end of the year-long weight-loss journey on Extreme Weight Loss, Chris Powell addressed the audience gathered to see Snell. He told them that she had blamed herself for her brother’s death, and she turned to food. He said that now, she did not think of herself as being a victim, but was a fighter. He introduced her to the crowd, and…Extreme Weight Loss went to another break.
When Extreme Weight Loss came back on, Chris asked the audience “to put their hands together for the all new Jenn!”
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been!” Snell told the audience. She said of herself in the old, blow-up photo that she “had so little self-worth.”
Chris asked her about her father. She told him that he could not be there. She said that the rejection she had felt because he was not around as she was growing up had not been real.
There were purple ribbons hung all over the place. Chris asked her what they were about, and she said that her husband had three auto-immune diseases. He had proved all of the doctors wrong, and he was there, feeling much better.
Chris said if the scale said 185 pounds or less, she would have made her year-long goal, the most important one. She had lost the weight to be around for her kids and husband, but she found out a lot about herself, in the process. Extreme Weight Loss on ABC headed to yet more commercials before her weight was shown.
After the commercials on Extreme Weight Loss, Snell took a deep breath and got on the scales. She weighed in at 182, having broken her year-long weight-loss goal, having lost 160 pounds in all.
“I used to dream about this,” Snell said. “This is the end of this part of the dream, but it’s the beginning of my life,” she told the audience.
Chris gave her a week-long scholarship to the Colorado Boot Camp to give to somebody else. She gave it to a friend she had known since the seventh grade.
“This was a transformation, but it was more of an intervention for me,” Snell said. She added that she had “been in such a dark place,” and stated that “The experience had breathed new life into everybody.”
Extreme Weight Loss: Jenn was perhaps the most emotional one yet of the season. Snell had to struggle to not only lose weight and keep on going, but she also had to face the death of her younger brother, facing her father, and taking care of her terminally ill husband and her children. Dealing with any one of those things would be a struggle for anybody, but dealing with them all together, in the span of a year’s time, must have been extremely difficult for Snell, but she stayed the course and made it all the way to the end of the year, meeting and breaking her final weight loss goal.
Written an Edited By Douglas Cobb
Extreme Weight Loss