S3 E05 Jami

07/09/13 | PG | CC

28-year-old Jami from Philadelphia was adopted from Chile at the age of two. She struggles with self-esteem and tips the scales at 292 pounds. Jami works at a prestigious ballet school, surrounded by slender, athletic teens. This serves as a constant reminder that, although she preaches smart choices and good health, she herself is not practicing those skills. Jami needs help to lose weight and gain self-esteem. Well, help is on the way!

Chris Powell realizes that Jami’s transformation won’t just be about weight loss. She needs to starting believing in herself. Jami leaves her job at the dance studio to move home to Massachusetts. Chris tasks her with losing 80 pounds in 90 days. Jami trains hard even on the days when she’s supposed to rest. She attends her grandmother’s birthday where she runs into her adoptive mom, Lin. She has a strained relationship with her to say the least. Jami believes the only reason Lin adopted her was so she’d have someone to take care of her when she got old.

Chris is concerned when he learns that Jami has been weighing herself. That’s too much pressure at this stage. He heads to Massachusetts to stay with her for the rest of Phase 1. There’s a noticible difference in his client, but Chris knows it’s possible to lose weight too fast. He wants to slow things down and actually have Jami consume more calories. At the 90-Day Weigh-In, Jami comes in 218 pounds which is six pounds shy of her goal. Still, she feels like she’s been successful. This pleases Chris because he knows she’s now in the right frame of mind.

Chris decides to make Phase 2 not about the numbers. He wants her to do a cross-training competition at the end of three months. Chris also lets Jami know that he has a round-trip ticket to Chile so she can see her birth mom. Jami works hard, but she injures her hip at Day 165. When it comes time for the Chile trip, Chris challenges her to swim across the world’s largest pool. This water workout will take the place of the crossfit competiton. Jami swims the length of the pool and then runs around it. She completes the task in just over 42 minutes. Chris is thoroughly impressed.

Jami is nervous as she heads off to visit her birth mom in Santiago. Her name is Roxanna. Both women are in tears as they embrace in the middle of a park. Jami realizes that her birth mom never stopped loving her. She can’t take away any of the sadness that came with this difficult decision, but Jami feels that Roxanna still gave her a piece of her heart. That’s something she’s carried with her for her entire life. Jami then meets her little sister, Jasmine. The 11-year-old little girl asks her big sis if she like Justin Bieber. She does. Jami gives Jasmine a neckace that stands for “sisters of the heart.”

Jami visits the area where she was born. It’s a place that had very sad memories for her mom. The home they once lived in is now nothing more than a cement slab. This was no place to raise a child. Jami remembers having dreams about her old street. She thanks her mom for bringing her back there. Mother and daughter must go their separate ways once again, but Jami assures her that this is not goodbye. She is grateful for the gift she was given by a selfless woman.

Jami visits Chris in Arizona. She looks and feels incredible. When it comes time for the 6-Month Weigh-In, Jami comes in at 192 pounds. She lost 26 pounds. It’s not a huge number, but the scale is going in the right direction. Chris asks Jami to join him and his wife, Heidi, in their workout. Afterwards, Jami admits that she was possibly considering suicide before Chris showed up in her life. She heard his voice saying “you can do this” which help pull out her own voice. It’s moments like this that make Chris realize that this is so much more than just a weight loss show.

Back in Massachusetts, Jami tries to build a better relationship with her adoptive mom. She realizes that she would have to wait forever for Lin to be the mom she wants her to be, but there’s nothing stopping her from loving this woman just the way she is right now. Smart. Healthy. Impressive. At the 9-Month Weigh-In, Jami comes in at 177 pounds. She lost over 39 percent of her original body weight. She learns that she’s a good candidate for skin removal surgery. She gets a video message from her adoptive mom letting her know how proud she is of her. Lin lets her daughter know that adopting her is the best thing she ever did in her life.

Three months later, it’s time for the final Weigh-In. Both of Jami’s moms are part of the cheering Philadelphia crowd that waits atop the Art Museum steps where Rocky Balboa once ran. Everyone goes wild when Jami finally arrives. She looks amazing and shocks the crowd by stripping down to a bikini before stepping onto the scale. Jami is down to 162 pounds which means she lost 130 total. Incredible! Chris presents Jami with some treats from Walmart including a $25,000 gift card. Jami thanks Chris for opening the door to her new life.

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