A Letter to Chris Powell
I’ve mailed it to several different email addresses I found online to try and get it to him and try to enlist his help it paying it forward and helping me help more people that started out where I am by assisting in my goal to be a personal trainer and work with the super morbidly obese just like Chris. I will keep this page updated if I ever hear back from the letter I sent. Gosh knows I’ve written TONS of letters to other Famous people over the coarse of my journey and none of them have ever found me important enough to get back to me.
Heck I might even publish all the letters I’ve written on this site some day. It’s amazing how little help is out there when you have someone as determined as I was looking for it.
Dear Chris Powell,
I’m writing you because quite honestly I feel that you are one of the most compassionate and understanding people in the extreme weight loss industry. I see the emotion and compassion that you have for the people you help and it touches me beyond belief. The inspirational gifts that you give people on your show to set incentives for them is by far the most generous thing that I have seen thus far from any trainer in the major weight loss industry and it truly shows how much you care about these people and how much you want to empower them to change their lives and complete the transformation that they have dreamed would be a possibility for them.
I interviewed for your show last season and didn’t make it; largely I would guess do to the fact that I had a gastric bypass and had already lost the majority of my weight. At the time I was just getting ready to start the skin removal surgeries and had no idea how I was going to manage paying for them. I applied to your show asking you guys to consider taking on someone that was done with one portion of the journey already and just needed help getting to the next part. I understand completely why I didn’t get on your show, I understand why you probably would not have taken me on as a client, you believe in major weight loss the natural way, and I had a gastric bypass. A lot of people think that is the “Easy” way out. I assure you it isn’t.
My start weight in June of 2010 was 420lbs, I was so heavy and my BMI was so off the charts that I had to lose 70lbs on my own before they would even consider putting me on the table. I lost that first 70lbs in two months and my surgery was scheduled for October. The next year and half for me was an emotional roller coaster. I thought I was ready to take on the internal demons that had allowed me to let my weight spiral so out of control. As a survivor of childhood and teenage sexual abuse and having spent my time in therapy I thought I had my head in the game and ready to go forward. Little did I know that life would test me so much; 3 weeks before my Gastric Bypass I discovered my Husband was having an online affair and I was ready to leave him until he feel sick himself, ended up in the hospital and I decided that I couldn’t let his actions change my decisions, I decided to stay, have my surgery and see if there was a way to salvage the marriage later.
My choice to have surgery largely had to do with my aging Father, his concerns for my safety and a conversation I had with him early in 2010 about how scared he was. He told me I was committing suicide with food, which he was scared I would die before I saw forty. Three months later in January of 2011 my Father had a stroke that sent me back to California where I had to face not only my Father’s health but discovered my Mother had become a hoarder over the years. I spent three months there; living in a tent in my parent’s back yard trying to get that house in a condition that I could leave it in and feel comfortable knowing my Father would at least be comfortable. Three months in, with only at 18 month window of “opportunity” after the gastric bypass I now had to drop everything and give three months of my life to my Father. I ate healthy; I got my exercise working on cleaning out that house and garage day in and day out and I promised myself that when my Father was gone, it would be time for me again.
I finally left California in March, came back to Portland Oregon, and got back on track; my weight at the time was 260lbs. On June 22nd I hit my 200lbs lost mark and weighed in at 219lbs and a week later I was back on a plane to California to sit there and hold my Father’s hand as he passed away. I felt like I had failed him, failed me, and failed my journey. In what would become one of the most dramatic and defining moments of my life, my Father passed away on July 5th, just 15 days before he would have turned 85 and my world shrunk. Suddenly I was faced with the distrust of my husband and the loss of my Father, the only two men I had trusted implicitly through my life were gone and I had no clue what to do, I felt abandoned and betrayed by the two people I last expected to ever make me feel that way and I finally realized that I wasn’t quite done battling those inner demons, I needed to learn that I could do this on my own without anyone else there holding me up.
After I had lost my first 100lbs with just walking and had no clue where to go next I had hired a personal trainer and had been working with her for several months. Her own personal story fighting back against an abusive relationship and finding her footing in exercise and fitness had lead her convert her garage into a home gym and start working as a personal trainer to help other women find their strength to fight back as well. Suzie had suggested to me just a few weeks prior when I had hit my first ever plateau that I start adding some running into my walks. I was walking a good six miles a day and she assured me that if I started doing a little interval running, run for one minute, walk for four, and sort of thing that I’d get that scale to move again. I laughed when she suggested it; in fact, I think I told her the only way I was going to run was if someone was chasing me.
My first time running was during my time in California waiting for my Father to pass away. I love to run now, I feel connected to my Father when I do it, I find it’s truly the only time that my brain stops running in a million directions at once and lets me find center, focus and balance and just feel free. It’s amazing.
In the year since my Father has passed away, I applied for your show; started running more and more, broke my foot and ended up on crutches putting me out of the gym for another 8 weeks and have been extremely saddled both emotionally and financially by my Family in the aftermath of my Father’s passing. Yet through running and exercise I have found the courage and strength to persevere. I met my first weight loss goal of weighing under 200lbs by my one year surgery anniversary on October 19th, 2011 when I stood in front of a group of patients considering bariatric surgery as a guest speaker and realized that something I had been considering and tinkering around with for the last few months was actually where I was heading next, I had a way to go to get there, but I want to help these people.
From beginning to end in my Journey I had medical professionals there every inch of the way to help me and give me tools, but the one thing they lacked teaching me and educating me on was exercise. They told me how important it was, they told me how much and how often I needed to do it, but they didn’t tell me how to do it and more than anything I suddenly wanted to make sure that there is someone there to teach these people how to exercise.
I had my first skin removal surgery in February of 2012 and managed to recover fast enough to get back on my feet by May 24th and walk a half Marathon with my Trainer, several of the women that she works with and my closest girlfriend and was back to interval running 5 days a week doing anywhere between five to seven miles a day before my most recent skin removal surgery on August 2, 2012.
At a party I attended last weekend my Trainer and I talked about my decision to get into personal training and getting my ISSA Certification so that I could work as a personal trainer like she does. My goal is to go back and work with people that are Super Obese as I once was and be able to provide them with affordable training sessions that can either be done in a private gym environment that they can come too or also, be brought to them at home in the form of a mobile training unit for those that truly are uncomfortable in a big gym environment or whose size prevents them from using a lot of gym equipment in the beginning. My Trainer’s goal is to get her personal training business out of her garage and into an actual gym space. It only seems appropriate we start working together!
The reason that I’m writing you Chris is because this is a part of the entire spectrum that people are overlooking. Of all the people out there involved in helping the super obese, you are the only one that goes the entire distance, making sure that you see them from beginning to end, making sure you include life changing rewards, and that you don’t leave them where they are trading one problem for the next, insuring that if they lose the amount of weight necessary they also get the excess skin removal that they need. But what about making sure there are people out here in this community that can help them? What about making sure that there are other people out there as passionate as you about helping them? You touch the lives of eight different people each year on your show Chris; you help them and make their lives a hundred times better.
Imagine if you touched the lives of 9 though, and one of those people wasn’t someone that was just starting out on the journey, it was someone that was already at the end of it and instead of giving them the tools to help just themselves, you spent the time giving them the tools they need to touch the lives of 8 more people next year.
There are so many ways you could do this Chris. You could sponsor someone like me, bring them into your world, think Donald Trump and the Apprentice, or Gordon Ramsey and Hell’s Kitchen, the Secret Millionaire only with Personal Trainers that are about to take on apprentices.
I believe Chris that it is your sincere desire to help the Super Obese that sets you apart from others out there, your heart, your sympathetic nature and the extents that you go to for your clients are amazing. They say that one person can change the world, and you are definitely an example of that, you have inspired people to do amazing things in this field.
I’m just one woman that shares the passion, desire to help and love for these people that you seem to have and I’m hoping that hearing my story will inspire you to take the next step in this industry. We need more people like you out there and I could be one of them Chris, if only you’re platform opened up a little to help people like me help other people.
I sincerely hope this letter will manage to find its way past the pre-screeners and desks I’m sure it hits before yours and actually gets to you personally; I’ll do everything I can to make sure it does.
Thank you for your time Chris and for the inspiration you’ve been to me without ever even meeting me.
UPDATE: August 29th, 2012: I recieved the following email from the Customer Support address at firstname.lastname@example.org directing me to Chris Powell’s Management Team. This is the first time any letter I have written to anyone has gotten answered!
From: Customer Support [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 1:42 PM
To: Jaime Williams
Subject: Re: Paying it Forward: We need more Chris Powell’s out there!
Chris’s management team can be contacted at:
PLE Management, LLC
Maybe they will answer me! I forwarded my letter to them today with the following message added:
Dear Chris Powell’s Management Team:
I have been sending this letter all over the place trying to get it into the hands of Chris Powell. Hopefully this is the right address now.
Cross your fingers for me! Want to help my cause? Forward my letter to Chris Powell’s Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him why you think he should help me too! Please let me know if you do by emailing a copy of your letter to me at email@example.com so that I can post about it!
OH MY GOD!! CHRIS POWELL RESPONDED TO ME PERSONALLY ON FACEBOOK!!!!!
On Sunday I decided to try posting to Chris Powell’s Facebook wall to see if I could get my letter to him. He responded to me today on Facebook and I litereally got up and jumped around waving my arms in the air. If you have ever had someone inspire you so deeply and touch you so remarkably that they truley become someone you consider your own personal hero, to have them take the time to contact you and tell you that they are proud of you and believe in what you are doing is just an AMAZING feeling. This quite literally brought tears to my eyes. To have Chris Powell tell me that I am amazing, holy smokes I’m on cloud 9 right now!
I am EVEN more determined than EVER before. And OMG if Chris Powell does do his own Certification Program I would litereally be beside myself with Joy to be a part of it. Chris if you read this after it is updated, thank you for being the one Celeberty out of dozens I have written to over the years that atually took the time to respond. You’ve touched my life even more than before and I didn’t think that was possible. Read my Blog Post on Gastric Bypass Babe Diary from 9/25/12 when this happened Titled “Chris Powell Responds to my Letter“
Another Update! I wrote Chris Powell another small note this week and once again he answered me back! It’s AMAZING to have someone that is quite literally your hero, communicating with you and telling you they are proud of you. Thank you again Chris, you continue to motivate me and each time you tell me you are proud of me it just makes me want to do MORE.