Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition Premiere: Chris Powell Saves Tony’s Life

Tonight’s premiere episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition launches with star-specialist Chris Powell and Dr. Terry Schaack at the California Health and Longevity Institute. Join us today on Nerdles for the live recap of one person’s yearlong transformation. (Refresh this page every 10-15 mins as we recap tonight’s show live.)

Tony, 49-years-old, 225 pounds OVERWEIGHT, is a child of two alocholic parents. WIth a rough childhood, he found relief in his work. Unfortunately his line of work was in fast food, and food is where he found love and joy. He even says himself, “I’d rather have food than sex.” The people who inspire him is his fiance Leslie and his two sons – one of which has cerebral palsey. He wants to change his life, and during his cake tasting with his fiance, Chris Powell is waiting to surprise him. With a big hug, Tony and Chris begin their yearlong journey of weight loss, and pesonal transformation so that by Tony’s 50th birthday, he will literally become a different man.

Tony and Chris start bootcamp almost immediately as they jump out of their vehicle and sprint the rest of the way to their training center. The last time TOny stepped on a scale was two years ago because he couldn’t find a scale large enough to weigh him – even at the doctor’s office. Tonight, he learns that he weighs a total of 398 pounds. Chris reveals he works with a lot of people and he doesn’t know many people alive over 400 pounds at 50-years-old. After the weigh-in, Tony breaks down. He’s scared. He mentions after having to be weighed on a loading dock totally set the realization on the journey he’s begun.

Trainer Tip: Google the term “Harris Benedict Equation” – this takes your age, weight, height, and gender to find out how many calories you are burning everyday. By knowing that number, you’ll know how many calories you need to burn to lose weight.

Back from the break, Tony goes through a battery of medical exams. Tony finds out he’s carrying about 23 pounds of pure fat on his body and a lot of that is on his belly. The doctor tells him if he doesn’t lose the weight, he’ll lose his life. Next, Tony meets Paulette Lambert to find out how to cook and eat great, healthy food that actually tastes great. paulette reveals that Tony’s juice drinking habits alone adds 2,000 calories A DAY. Tony’s health plan will consist of a 2,000 calorie daily diet, weight training 3 days a week, and cardio training 6 days a week.

Chris takes Tony to the gym and sees how car Tony can push it. “Don’t listen to your body. Conquer it. Conquer it!” Chris screams, “Welcome to the next 364 days of your life.” Chris asks Tony who he’s doing this for. Tony says not only is he doing for his own life, he’s also doing it for his son’s Marcus’ life who is in the hospital dying as he suffers from cerebral palsey. Right before his workout, TOny received a phone call about his son fighting for his life in the hospital. TOny himself never had much of a father-figur growing up, and he wants to show Marcus that he’s there for him. Doctors told him Marcus had only 3 years to live and he’s beat all odds. At 28, Marcus is fighting just like his Dad. But Tony breaks down afterwards, and Chris tries hard to keep his compusure and shares tears with TOny.

Chris goes to TOny’s home which has been completely remodeled and refurnished to suit TOny’s new journey. Chris sets a goal for him: lose 100 pounds in three months. If he succeeds, Chris offers to pay for his honeymoon. Chriss will be living with Tony and his family for three months to see how they live everyday. TOny, his fiance, and the kids in the house share their thoughts and feeelings with each other. Leslie shares her concerns about Tony’s weight gain, and this concerns Chris because Leslie is overweight herself. Chris suggests that Leslie needs to join Chris in this journey for them to BOTH succeed.

Nutrition Tip: Eat a lot of vegetables so you’ll feel fuller and eat less of the fatty foods.

Back to training, Chris has Tony doing Fantastic Fifties to celebrate Tony’s future. Tony has this laser focus and hopefully that’s just not for the camera. After three weeks of treadmilling, carrying tons of jugs on his back on the beach, and healthy eating, Tony’s pants are falling. He shows that he has to use suspenders now to hold his pants up. Plus, his son Marcus is doing better and is out of the hospital. But on the flip side, Leslie isn’t being much of a help. She’s not very supportivie, she doesn’t volunteer to work out, and she even complains about him NOT eating even during Christmas. Chris forsees that if she doesn’t do this with Tony, and Tony succeeds, the both of them won’t last long. Leslie feels that she’s being excluded from his newfound life, and it gets to the point where they no lonnger allow the cameras in their home because of the stress. WIth Chris’ personal camera, they tape a conversation where Tony is doubting his relationship with Leslie. The stress with Leslie is affecting his weight loss, losing only one pound a week the past two weeks. Not good for Tony’s goal.

Before the next weigh-in, Chris takes TOny to a HUGE hill that he has to top in 10 minutes. Chris is depressed that Tony is having a hard time because of Tony’s changed nature due to the stress he faces at home. Does he make it to the top in 10 minutes? Yes, with eight seconds to spare. Now, three months ago, Tony weighed 398 pounds. Does he lose the 100 pounds for his goal? We’ll find out after the break.

294 pounds. Tony did it! He gets his honeymoon with Leslie courtesy of Chris! Tony’s next goal is to lose another 60 pounds. Going into Phase two of his program, Chris will be leaving Tony on his own. But during this phase, Chris comes back as Tony has something big to tell him. Tony has left Leslie. He says his relationship has been more of a friendship than anything else, and he doesn’t want to deal with the stress. Chris has one of the most akward moments of his life. He’s promised to help Tony move out, and as they’re doing so Leslie watches over them. And it’s just pure silence and akwardness. Chris just keeps his down and never looks up at Leslie. Leslie then shares she wants Tony back, but Tony says no and doesn’t want to go through it all over again.

What is the hardest year of his 49 years of his life, Tony now finds himself homeless after breaking up with Leslie and moving out. After the breakup, Chris hasn’t heard from TOny in three weeks. It turns out Tony has been living out of his car in the parking lot of his gym. He’s also been cooking his meals at friend’s houses. Surprisingly, he’s been keeping up with the program, and says that if he can live out of his car and keep up with his program, there is no excuse for others to say that they can’t afford to eat and live healthy. He says, “That’s just a crock of S***.”

At his six month weigh-in for the end of Phase Two, he meets with Chris at the park. He finally tells Chris that he’s homeless. Tony has been too embarassed to tell anyone. At 49 years old, he’s starting all over again and he’s ashamed. Chris is such an awesome guy that he shares his personal story. Chris lived out of his own car too, staying at friends homes. He advises Tony to let go of his ego, and to ask for help. But Tony remains strong and stays in Woodland even after Chris’ offer to stay with him in Arizona. Despite this, Tony also shares that he’s started his own bodyguard business. Now at the weigh-in, we find out if Tony’s made any progress despite the craziest last three months of his life. We’ll find out after the break…

265 pounds. Tony failed. But who can blame him after all that’s he’s been through. But, nonetheless, he’s failed, only losing half the weight of his Phase Two goal. Regardless of the results, Tony and Chris move into Phase Three. Chris also helps Tony network by introducing him to a buddy who works in the bodyguard training industry. Weeks into Phase Three, Tony gets a call from his ex-wife. His son, Marcus, has passed away. There are no words to say here, but TOny keeps moving forward. At the funeral service, TOny meets and shocks his youngest son, TOny Jr with his new body and life. Chris is there at the service as well and he meets Tony’s new girlfriend, Diana. Chris is shocked after all that TOny’s has gone through that he’s now in a relationship. But if she can be there for Tony, Chris is always there to support him.

Bubbles. Marcus loved bubbles, and after the eulogy, everyone blows bubbles in honor of Marcus’ life and death. Afterwards, Tony finally reveals to his family that he’s been homeless. He apologizes for his pride and ego, but fortunately, his family still loves and cares for him and are there for him even more.

On Day 262, Tony finally lets go even more of his ego, and asks Chris for therapy. Chris mentions that Tony desparately needs it, and after his sessions, Tony has not only been losing stress-weight but also bodyweight, losing pounds in the double digits. And, at Day 270, wow! Tony has been completely transformed. My mouth just hanged open when I saw Tony walk through the door at the California Health and Longevity Institute. Chris and Tony talk. The therapy has been a huge help, he’s still homeless but living on friend’s couches, and luckily, Chris has a surprise for him. Because Tony never got to use Chris’ honeymoon gift because of his breakup with his fiance, Chris offers him a check to help Tony boost his bodyguard business. After the break, we finally get to see his extreme makeover after one whole year working with Chris.

Guess what? Tony has dimples! One of the smaller, but still awesome things that Tony earned for himself. At the semi-final weigh-in, Tony now weighs 226 pounds, losing over 172 pounds or over 43% of his original bodyweight. He now meets with Dr. Stoker to see if he’s an eligible candidate for skin removal surgery. In turns out, Tony is an excellent candidate for the procedure and it literally stokes the both of Chrifs and Tony out. Tony shares he can’t wait until he finally look past his stomach to see his shoes. At almost 50 years old, Tony is literally going to be a brand new man.

Day 365, Santa Monica, California, right in front of the beach where he first started, we’ll finally get to see Tony after his year long journey with Chris and Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. The NEW Tony is completely new. A different man for us from two hours ago, Tony now celebrates his 50th birthday with one last step on the scale. One year ago, Tony was 398 pounds. Today, Tony now weighs, but I guess we’ll find out after the break…

198 pounds! Tony has lost about 200 pounds! In fact, Tony is Chris’ oldest transformation that he’s ever done. Plus, Chris has something extra for Tony. From Walmart, Tony receives a $50,000 gift card for his 50th birthday! Tony shares his #1 piece of advice: Do it for yourself and never give up. We get a peek into Tony’s life a few months laters. He’s now living in a new apartment (not in his car), certified as a bodyguard, and surrounded by the Extreme Makeover cameras, he proposes to his girlfriend Deanna. She says “yes” of course, and now he’s got it all – love, life, and health. Congreats Tony!


Before and after: New Tony vs. Old Tony

Catch us next week, same time same place, for another new Extreme Makeover transformation only here on Nerdles!

Images courtesy of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.


  1. Laura says

    This show is all a lie. So sad how they make Leslie out to be such a terrible person. Tony was cheating on her the whole time, and leslie family did everything for tony. I’m a friend of the families and everyone needs to know truth.

    • GREG PELLER says


      • Debbie says

        I just watched this episode and I knew he must of been cheating the whole time and how he wouldn’t go to his sons death bed was just ridiculous… How selfish! I hate how the just continue to celebrate him, to me he seemed like a selfish jerk. I feel sorry for Leslie if she had to watch that show.

  2. Dan says

    Hello… To either Tony and/or Chris:

    Regarding the “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition Premier,” I would just like to know where was that park/ hill is that you walked up? I believe it is somewhere near / southwest of downtown Los Angeles but I couldn’t triangulate it too well with Google Earth. I would really like to know… I love hills like that for working out! Plus, I’ve convinced someone I know to change his life as well… including stopping his smoking to make his efforts that much easier. So far… he’s had great success.

    Anyhow, please drop me a line soon about that Park/Hill with those cement steps.


    • Yvette says

      Good Afternoon Dan,

      I think you are looking for this Baldwin hills scenic overlook in Culver City


    • says

      The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City is a new California State Park. It opened in April 2009. This park and Los Angeles State Historic Park indowntown bring nature closer to the city, and all plants and animals are protected. The stairs are at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, as well as hiking trails and a visitor center.

  3. JO says

    Congratulations Tony!

    Can Chris help me lose 35 lbs? I have tried every diet available for the last 5 years. I lost 20 lbs but but regained 14 lbs and cannot get past a 2 lb weight loss for the last year. Help!