S4 E02 Kathie and Josh

06/03/14 | PG | CC

Over the past 21 years, Kathie and her only child, son Josh, have slowly eaten their way into obesity as a way of dealing with the absence of Kathie’s husband – Josh’s father – who abandoned the family when Josh was only nine months old. Last year, Kathie wrote a letter to Chris Powell asking for help. Well, help is on the way!

Kathie (52) and Josh (21) are from Charlotte, NC. She is 5’2” and weighs 255 pounds, while Josh is 5’7” and weighs 345 pounds. After an unexpected and messy divorce rendered Kathie a single mom, she became depressed and didn’t date at all for the next 20 years. Food was her comfort.

With Josh by her side, hurting from the absence of his father, whom he felt disconnected from even though they live in the same town, they both became dangerously overweight. Kathie continually consoled them both with food. With little money to spare, the fast food “dollar menu” became their daily go-to meal. In fact, they keep a giant box full of Happy Meal toys as a reminder of their bad habits.

Kathie harbors so much guilt over Josh’s childhood, she can’t bring herself to kick him out of the house. Josh, in turn, is so dependent on his mother that he won’t leave. Chris chose to help them in a very surprising, public way: on national television. While in the audience at a taping of The View, Chris told Kathie and Josh they’d been chosen, and they joined Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and then co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on stage for a live weigh-in to begin their yearlong journey.

Neither Kathie nor Josh knew what to expect when Chris recruited his wife, Heidi, to assist with their transformations, she insisted they focus not only on their health, but on their careers and personal lives as well. Also in the episode, Chef Rocco Dispirito teaches Kathie and Josh how to break away from their chronic fast food habits and turn to a new way of eating and healthier food choices.

While Kathie welcomed a new man into her life, Josh struggled to move out and to do the most difficult thing he’s ever done: confront his absent father. He gives the guy a call to leave a voicemail message. Moments later, Josh gets a text message from his dad expressing how proud his is of him. This has Josh able to head into his skin removal surgery with a much less heavy heart.

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