S1 E04 Episode 4: James


06/19/11 | TV-PG | CC

Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition: James

James is a 26-year-old man who had hopes of becoming a pro football player. Now he gets winded just walking down the street to the lamppost outside his home. His abdominal hernia can't be fixed because it's unsafe for a person of his stature to go under anesthesia. James has been engaging in late night workouts so that no one else will be around to see him. It's a start, but he needs help. Well, help is on the way.

Chris Powell surprises James at one of his 2 a.m. gym sessions. They jet off to Los Angeles for boot camp and the initial weigh-in which registers James at 651 pounds. There's some combativeness during the first workout, with James making demands for water. Chris won't give him any until he finishes the fight. When James returns home to Texas, his home has been transformed to an environment conducive to weight loss. His bedroom is now a home gym.

James is tasked with losing 150 pounds in three months. If he does this, Chris will reward him with a special bike that will hold his weight. James drops 51 pounds over the first 30 days. He's getting support from his family, with his mom being his biggest advocate. On day 50, Chris challenges a stubborn James make a roundtrip run to and from that pesky lamppost. He makes it with a few seconds to spare. At the 90-day weigh-in, James is down to 497. Time to go for a bike ride!

The next phase involves losing 80 pound over three months. James works hard right up until the day he's admitted to the hospital after suffering from heavy fevers and shortness of breath. This illness threw a monkey wrench into his workout regime. At the next weigh-in, he's down to 486. That means he only lost 11 pounds.

James is introduced to former Dallas Cowboys stars Nate Newton and Michael Irvin. Why? Well, for his milestone, James plays a little football under their watchful eyes. The workout impresses Michael Irvin, as well the men James plays against. Then it's time for Phase Three. Chris asks James how much he wants to lose this time around. He sets the goal of 30 pounds a month to get back on track.

As day 270 rolls around, James heads back to Los Angeles for the next weigh-in. Chris realizes that his client is a completely different person. His target weight was 396. James comes in at 394. That's 257 pounds lost in nine months. Three more months to go!

At the end of a grueling year, James is brought to the site of Super Bowl XLV where a cheering crowd awaits. His transformation is amazing. At the final weigh-in, James comes in at 338 pounds. That means he lost 313 pounds in one year. As a reward for this remarkable achievement, Chris gives James two tickets to the big game. You could say this entire experience has been a total touchdown. Way to go, James!

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