Authors: Chris Powell
Tags: #Health & Fitness / Diet & Nutrition / Weight Loss, #Self-Help / Motivational & Inspirational, #Health & Fitness / Exercise
The recommendations in this book are not intended to replace or conflict with the advice given to you by your physician or other health professionals. All matters regarding your health should be discussed with your doctor. Consult your physician before adopting the suggestions in this book. Following these dietary suggestions may impact the effect of certain types of medication. Any changes in your dosage should be made only in cooperation with your prescribing physician.
This program is not recommended to women who are pregnant or nursing. The author and publisher disclaim any liability directly or indirectly from the use of the material in this book by any person.
Copyright © 2013 by Chris Powell
The “Image Credits” at the end of this ebook constitute a continuation of this copyright page.
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information address Hyperion, 1500 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.
For the hardcover edition of this book, Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4013-2484-1
eBook Edition ISBN: 978-1-4013-0523-9
Cover design by Victor Mingovits
Cover photograph by ABC/Heidi Gutman
First e-book edition
Original hardcover edition printed in the United States of America.
To my amazing best friend, soul mate, coach, and wife, Heidi, who has been by my side from the beginning of this incredible journey. Everything within these pages we have learned, experienced, created, and completed, together. I insisted that the rest of this dedication be written by the both of us.
To our fathers, William Grant Powell and David Grant Lane: one still with us, and one smiling down from above.
You have both taught us some of the most valuable lessons in life. Thank you for teaching us that we are all human, and it’s okay to struggle. You taught us that we are all perfectly imperfect, and that our challenges in life are blessings to make us stronger. Your examples of courage and vulnerability through your own trials continue to inspire us each and every day. You taught us that unconditional love is the most powerful thing in this world. Thank you for being our heroes.
The story behind this book is the story of my life so far, which is truly a lesson in
. But it’s also the story of my life partnership with my wife and best friend, Heidi. As individuals and as a couple we choose to be on a continuous path toward positive transformation and growth, and through the trials and tribulations we guide each other as best we can. This makes my story
story, which is Success Story #1 in this book. I want to share it with you so you can see that you can experience the same success in your life that we’ve been so fortunate to have in ours. By
to transform yourself into the best possible you, you can write your own story of fulfillment. Your incredible voyage to transformation can begin right now; it starts with making a personal commitment to making your quality of life better by getting healthy and fit—and to dropping all those extra pounds (and the emotional weight) you’re carrying around!
My story begins when I was fourteen, living with my family in Portland, Oregon. I was a frustrated athlete and a target for bullies because I’d always been the smallest kid in school. One day, my parents bought me a weight set, and I chose to transform my life. I built my muscles and became one of the strongest kids in my school, even though I was still the smallest.
Changing my body changed me—my whole identity—fundamentally. I became fascinated with fitness and the way it can transform not just
your body but your life, so in college I chose to major in exercise science and learned all about how the human body works. When I graduated, I became a personal trainer and found my passion for helping other people lose weight and feel better about themselves. I started building a reputation as a fitness expert, making regular appearances on local TV in Phoenix, Arizona.
But by 2008 I’d gotten into business difficulties and lost almost everything I’d worked for. Things were so bad that I was living in my car. That’s when my journey with my wife, Heidi, began. We first met on December 5, 2008, to be exact. Heidi was down on her luck, too: She’d gone through a divorce the year before and was fighting her own tough battles as a single mother raising two young kids. For both of us, life’s slate had been wiped clean. We were ready for a major change.
I chose to try to figure out who I was, where I was headed, and why I had such a destructive past. I dove into self-help books and life-coaching seminars. During a lunch break of one of these seminars, I saw an absolutely beautiful woman. Boy, was she toned! I went up to her and told her that her arms looked amazing. I swear it wasn’t a line (though at first she thought it was)—I really wanted to know how she was so fit. She’d been athletic all her life, had gotten certified as a personal trainer when she was nineteen, and had been weight training and playing sports for a long time. We obviously had a lot in common, and as two passionate trainers, conversation sparked up.
But we didn’t flirt or try to impress each other—at that point in our lives, neither of us wanted the stress of a relationship. I was focused on figuring myself out, on sorting out why my life was where it was, on digging down to my foundation. Heidi was there for the same reason. When the seminar ended, we kept on talking for the rest of the evening. We were incredibly open, honest, and vulnerable with each other. What a cool way to start a friendship! Our connection was about… connecting—and about unconditional appreciation and acceptance of how perfectly imperfect we were.
In the months that followed, each of us had begun to regain our happiness in life, and we were enjoying our friendship so much. But we kept each other strictly in the “friend box.” We e-mailed and texted and got
together for lunch on a regular basis. I gave Heidi exercise and diet advice, and she gave me business and financial advice. As hard-core fitness buffs, we also grew closer as we worked out together. Our awesome friendship blossomed, and we helped each other put the pieces of our lives back together.
In the spring of 2009 I asked Heidi to come to work with me. She helped me out with my business and collaborated on developing the transformation paradigm. Together, we built a website, wrote magazine articles, and produced TV segments to bring the promise of transformation to a wide audience. We became true partners, equal contributors to the nutritional, training, and psychological underpinnings—the very definition—of life transformation. We were passionate about the work and driven to make a difference. It was exhilarating to work and dream together.
Great things started happening. I was back in my groove as a personal trainer and back on local TV. Then everything really took off. Back in 2003 I’d helped a client make an amazing transformation. A fantastic guy named David Smith had asked me to help him lose some weight—a lot of weight. When he came to me, he weighed more than 630 pounds. Twenty-two months later, he weighed 230 pounds. I had coached David to a 400-pound weight loss in two years!
Six years later, David’s story had gone viral online, and the media had gotten wind of his astounding transformation. Some magazines in the UK picked it up, and then a British production company approached me about making a documentary. Before long, David and I appeared on
show interviewed us. In July 2009, the TLC cable network aired
The 650-Pound Virgin
, a documentary about David’s story.
Heidi was in my corner 100 percent, but there was still no romance. She had kids, which absolutely terrified me. She was afraid that I was a bachelor who would never understand the stresses and demands of parenting. I was wrapped up in my vision rather than in the hope of settling down. Then one day she brought her daughter, Marley, over to spend time with her while she worked in the office. Amidst the chaos of our crazy workday, I stepped back for the first time to watch her with her daughter. The moment I witnessed her relationship with her, how beautiful it was, it knocked me on my butt. This breathtaking woman had been right in
front of me all along. It was the most powerful moment of clarity. I told Heidi I was head over heels, and it turned out she felt the same way! But it took a couple of months to convince her I was ready to take on parenthood! On June 30, 2010, we got married.
I became Dad to two great little kids, Matix and Marley, who showed me the ropes of being a parent. They’ve taken me to a whole new level of being and given me a huge appreciation for what parents do as they try to guide their kids in the right direction and help them lay a solid foundation for their lives. Heidi’s guided my learning process and shown me how to create a culture of health and wellness in our family. And she’s opened my eyes to how full and beautiful life can be with a family.