S3 E03 Ryan

06/25/13 | PG | CC

After losing his arm in a car accident, 23-year-old Ryan from Appleton, WI says it’s more difficult to weigh 410 pounds than it is to have one arm. In the two years since his accident, Ryan has suffered a lack of self-esteem, dropped out of school and become unemployed. Deep down, he knows he might waste his second chance at life if he can't get to a healthy weight, but he spends most of his time at home and eating fast food. A former high school football player and a devoted Green Bay Packers football fan, Ryan learns that Chris Powell has chosen him to participate in a weight loss journey during a visit to Lambeau Field's Packers Hall of Fame.

Ryan sets his goal weight at 195 pounds. He also wants to overcome his fear of riding a bike. Chris knows he needs to stop Ryan from thinking of himself as “the guy with one arm.” He plans to treat him like anyone else. That’s why he pushes him to ride an exercise bike hard during his initial workout. Ryan is visibly shaken when he learns that he may possibly have a tumor in his brain. Thankfully, MRI tests reveal this is not the case. Ryan still needs to make some changes. When he comes home to find his living room has been transformed into a workout mecca, he knows the time for change is now.

Ryan is tasked with losing 111 pounds in the first 90 days. He gets season tickets to every Packers home game if he does this. Ryan trains hard. When Day 82 rolls around, Chris lets his client know that it’s time for him to ride a real bike. Ryan struggles mightly to keep his balance, but Chris is right there by his side. It’s literally an uphill climb as Ryan pedals his way up the road to cheers from his family. Then… CRASH! Ryan takes a nasty spill that scrapes his skin and hurts his shoulder. That doesn’t stop him from getting back in action. Ryan now knows that conquering fear is, well, just like riding a bike.

At the 90-Day Weigh-In, Ryan comes in at 298 pounds. He beat his goal by one pound. Ryan is headed for Lambeau Field for eight Sundays in the fall! For Phase 2, Ryan must lose 60 pounds because at the 6-month mark, Chris wants him to take a bike ride with him from Los Angeles to San Diego. That’s a hundred-plus mile journey. Chris worries because Ryan isn’t getting the nutrition he needs by only consuming protein shakes. This is causing his client’s hair to fall out and giving him dizzy spells. That’s why Chris takes Ryan on a shopping spree to get him to eat healthy.

Longtime Green Bay Packers star Clay Matthews shows up to provide an intense training session. Ryan’s work ethic ends up inspiring the pro player. Still, Ryan is have doubts about his impending bike ride. He worries about damaging his lone arm. Chris knows Ryan is terrified so he gives him more time to train for the bike ride. At the end of Phase 2, Ryan comes in at 232 pounds. He lost 66 pounds. Ryan lets Chris know that his uncle passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 43. He wants to honor him by riding a bike 43 miles. He also takes his passion for football to the next level by coaching kids.

When it comes time for the bike ride, another one of Ryan’s heroes is there to join him. Longtime Packers wide receiver Donald Driver goes along for the journey. The temperature dips and fatigue sets in around Mile 33. CRASH! Ryan takes a bad spill. It would be easy to give up, but that’s not what Ryan is about anymore. He gets back on the bike. Mile 35… 37… 41! Ryan crosses the finish line at Mile 43. He has just conquered his greatest fear!

As a reward for his courageous efforts, Ryan is allowed to take the team he coaches down to New Orleans for some Super Bowl festivities. At the 90-Day Weigh-In, Ryan comes in at 202 pounds. He’s lost over half of his original body weight. Chris lets Ryan know that he has a plan get Ryan a prosthetic arm, but he’s not approved for anesthesia. That means no surgery. The doctor lets him know that he’s too malnourished so he also doesn’t want him to continue with the weight loss program unless he eats better. Ryan commits to Chris that he’ll stop worrying about the scale and only worry about eating right.

At the final Weigh-In, a cheering crowd waits outside Lambeau Field as the new Ryan makes his way to the stage. He looks amazing with a new prosthetic arm that he just got earlier in the day. Donald Driver surprises Ryan one more time by showing up on the stage. He gives him a brand new Packers jersey, one that fits his brand new body size. When Ryan steps on the scale, he comes in at 193 pounds. His original goal was 195. That goal has been achieved. Congratulations, Ryan!


Check in with Ryan following his transformation.  Watch his "Where Are They Now?" update.

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