Sunday night America was able to witness Ashely Johnson’s extreme transformation that took a year to accomplish. With the help of Chris Powell, the trainer on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” Johnson went from 323 pounds to 167 pounds on her final weigh-in.
Her journey wasn’t easy and she had to deal with challenges that included her family. They would bring junk food into the house and holiday meals were full of unhealthy entrees.
On the show she talked about trying to get her family to understand how they were making it difficult for her and they would reply that she just needed to have more willpower. Her family’s lack of support may be because Ashley was the only one in her family who struggled with weight. Arguments between Johnson and her mother also added to the stressful environment.
All of theses issues had Powell concerned when Ashley failed to reach her first weigh-in goal. A friend of Johnson’s offered her to move-in rent free. Being away from all the negative influences of her family, Johnson was able to really focus on her weight loss and succeed.
Powell also had her meet with a therapist so she could find out why she gained the weight in the first place. Through the therapy she discovered the root of her problem and was finally able to admit she was a compulsive eater and had an addiction to food. This helped her begin the inner-healing she needed that was just as important as the weight-loss itself.
At the final weigh-in, she came in at 167 pounds, meaning she lost 51 percent of her original body weight. “Believe it or not the hard part isn’t losing the weight, it’s keeping it off,” said Powell during an interview on the website’s “Extreme Makeover: Where Are they Now.”
On the show, Johnson said this journey has inspired her to become a personal trainer and wants to help others. She is currently working at Perfection Fitness and is meeting with the gyms trainer, Melissa Maher-Mata, three times a week to maintain her weight loss.
Continuing to meet with a trainer or attending support groups will be a great way for Johnson to maintain her weight loss. Unfortunately, most people regain the weight within three years, but studies have shown those who go to bi-monthly support groups keep off the weight longer or permanently.
We are so proud of Ashley and her amazing journey, we wish her long and continued success!
July 9th, 2012