Honk if you heart Chris Powell!
So this week's episode touched me in soooo many ways.
Jacqui was 13 when she was sexually assaulted. Her response was to gain weight. By 15 she was obese. It was a coping mechanism that stayed with her. And at age 29 she was 355 lbs and unable to get pregnant. She was extremely embarrassed by her weight and even gave up singing because "no one wanted to see her on stage". My heart broke.
Early on in the show she has a breakdown in the changing room. She can't even look at herself in the mirror. How is she going to do this on TV? Oh I felt her pain. The Former Fat Girl avoided full length mirrors like the plague. She talked about how you can fool yourself if you don't see it. AMEN SISTER! I know exactly what you mean!
For these initial weigh-ins they have to use industrial scales because the regular scales are not accurate over 350lbs. My heart just breaks. I cannot applaud her courage enough. I NEVER EVER would have done that. You may remember that only one person knew how much I weighed for the longest time. And it was not me. I cannot stress how much I could not handle that number. And once I found out what it was it was sooooo much higher than my brain led me to believe.
I was particularly struck by a moment early on when she talked about how when you are fat you try to be "Happy, jolly, and funny" that way people will look past your appearance and hopefully like you. Wow. I feel like she is my kindred spirit. It's like we have the same thoughts. One of my friends constantly tells me that one of the things she loves about me is my constant smile and laugh. It's been my "public front" for so long it's hard to turn off. But, often it is just a front. :0(
So Chris took her to her 1 week boot camp before bringing her home. She is totally me! She has such a fear of letting people down. She doesn't want to disappoint. Seriously, I was practically looking in a mirror this whole episode.
Her goal for the first 3 months was 90lbs. It's going to be tough. But, we watched her progress and it was so obvious she was going to make it. Her transformation was immediate. If she made her goal then she and her husband would get the Honeymoon in Ireland they always wanted.
They got married six years before and never took their honeymoon. A trip to Ireland is an active trip and she did not think she could enjoy it. *Sad face*.
Did she meet her goal? Oh holy heck she did! They are going to Ireland! My favorite part is that Chris was going too! He can come on my Honeymoon!!!! He would meet them there for her challenge: 100K bike ride. It's going to be hilly and windy. She lives in South Florida...um...it's flat. Felt her pain for the training.
Before her 3 month weigh in she went to her office to see about working part time. Her journey requires so much focus. They could not offer that. So she spoke with her extremely supportive husband who told her to quit. This is too important. I heart him! Support is sooooooo important!
So when they arrived in Ireland you could barely recognize her. WOW! Chris as amazed. They got started on the bike ride and it was tough. She struggled, but eventually got to the point where he couldn't even keep up. YEAH!
There was a minor set back when they got back home. She had gained 7lbs and was very mad at herself. I wanted to give her a hug. Travelling is tough. You are out of your comfort zone and schedule. Flying and eating different things can bloat you. As much as I wanted to scream and tell her that, I knew the mental setbacks she was going through. It does not matter what the cause is. Seeing a big number like that takes and emotional toll. It could set you back weeks or months if you let it.
She got back into the game and soon it was time for her 9 month weigh in. I don't remember what the goal was, but that's not important. What is important is that the doctor said that her chances for conceiving were very very good! YEAH! Oh and yeah, she met her goal. That meant the skin removal surgery. I didn't think she would need it, but they showed her arms, legs and belly. It would help her. She did not need as much as many other candidates so her recovery time is better.
Fast forward to the finale and Miss Thang comes out in a smokin blue dress! STUNNING. I cried. I was so happy for her. Before her final weigh in Chris admitted that her was very aggressive and he did not know if she could do it. But she did! She lost 207lbs. Her final weight was 148lbs. She lost over 50%. YEAH!
She is now a weight loss coach (MY DREAM!) and will be back with Chris next season helping others. I am so jealous. That's what I want to do!
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