On her 20th birthday, Ashley, a fashion conscious cosmetology student, receives the ultimate gift when trainer Chris Powell tells her that he will guide her through a body transformation process that will change her life forever. It’s Ashley’s goal that, by the final weigh-in on her 21st birthday, she will have lost half of her 323 pounds.
During her first workout, Ashley reaches a point where fear starts to take over. It was screaming for her to stop. So Chris screams louder. Ashley’s a fighter. She pushes through the pain to overcome the fear. She’ll need to do this every day for the next year. It all starts with Phase 1 where Chris asks her to lose 80 pounds in 90 days. If she reaches this goal, Chris will provide her with her own apartment.
Chris believes a lot of Ashley’s weight gain can be traced back to the abandonment she feels from her estranged father. That’s why he sets up a meeting between the two of them. Ashley confronts her dad. She wants him to be there for him. That’s not something this guy is willing to do. Ashley isn’t getting much help at home either. Any support she had from her family at the beginning of this journey has disappeared. That’s why on Day 58 Chris steps in. Promises are made and broken.
Ashley wants to be more independent, but her mom constantly makes her doubt herself. This leads to one disappointing weigh-in after another. Ashley’s negative family dynamic is stifling her. Things pick up when she moves out of the house for a week, but things go right back to the way they were when she returns home. Ashley’s mom is very defensive when Chris confronts her about all the junk food that’s still in the house. At the end of Phase 1, Ashley is at 255 pounds. She doesn’t hit her goal.
Ashley will not be getting her own apartment, but Chris arranges to have her visit a therapist during Phase 2. She continues to work hard and even passes her driving test. Things are still rough at home with her mom. That’s why Chris tells Ash to jump at the opportunity to move in with a friend. At the six-month weigh-in, Ashley is at 217 pounds. Again, she didn’t reach her goal. But she’s still lost 106 pounds total.
Ashley’s first time on an airplane is for a trip to Hawaii. When she arrives, Chris choppers her over to a remote location where he tasks her with a 15-mile hike to the top of a crater. Ashley will have to do this alone as part of a rite of passage. She completes the journey to achieve a true sense of accomplishment. The adventure doesn’t end there as the only way Ash can get down to ground level is via 700-foot zip-line. Once again, Ashley comes through like a champ.
Ashley’s next goal is to get to around 190 pounds. At day 225, Ashley loves the fact that she can now fit into her sister’s jacket. Things are also going well with her mom. She also takes steps to make things right with her father. It’s an emotional meeting that ends with Ashley knowing that her dad is only capable of doing so much. That’s not going to stop Ashley from continuing to grow on her own. At the nine-month weigh-in, Ashley comes in at 179 pounds. She’s able to get the skin-removal surgery. Woo hoo!
Ashley’s final weigh-in takes place in Las Vegas for her 21st birthday celebration. Family and friends gather in force to see the results of her one year transformation. Even her dad is there. Cheers erupt as Ashley bounds down the aisle looking great. At the final weigh-in, Ashley is down to an amazing 156 pounds. She lost over half her original body weight! As her reward, Ashley gets a $50,000 gift card from Walmart to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now it’s time for Ashley to party Vegas-style!