(NEW YORK) — Sally Adams was an active child who grew up to be a slim, athletic woman, but a severe leg injury changed her life. As a result of the injury, Adams, a Washington, D.C., tour guide, gained 200 pounds. She consumed 10,000 calories each day.
She acknowledged how serious her habits were. “It’s like putting a gun to my head,” she said.
Then, Chris Powell, fitness expert and the trainer on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, entered her life in a dramatic way: He showed up one day on one of her tours, and challenged her to change her life.
She started his program weighing 335 pounds, and losing the weight wasn’t easy.
Despite Powell’s trademark aggressive workouts, Adams, 45, a married mother of one son, still wasn’t losing the weight required to meet her goal.
“As a woman in my 40s, losing weight is much harder and I’m not going to lie and I’m not going to tell you it’s otherwise,” Adams said today on Good Morning America. “So you’re playing the long, slow game.”
Powell found himself uncharacteristically unable to relate to his client.
“She has a beautiful little son but he is a little disaster-maker. He is all over the place. It’s like every mom out there who’s trying to lose weight but they’ve got kids, they’re busy,” Chris Powell said. “The thing is, I get it but I can’t completely relate to it. Even as I was trying to carve out all the time for exercise and nutrition, there were still some difficulties there.”
Determined to find out why Adams was falling short, Powell called in the big guns: his wife, Heidi, the mother of their three children and a trainer herself.
“I can relate to Sally because I too am a working mother and I have three kids. I know how challenging it can be…to fit everything in,” Heidi said on GMA. “Having the experience myself, I was able to call her on some things that I knew were just excuses. She is a strong, strong girl.”
Eventually Adams was reminded of her intentions and what motivated her at the beginning of the program. Her determination from back then provided the impetus for her to conquer the difficult workouts and reclaim her life.
“It’s like asking someone how does it feel to resurrect from the dead,” Adams said of her transformation. “In some ways the struggles I went through last year are exactly what make it so sweet because I got through those really hard times.”
At her final weigh-in, Adams, had lost 138 pounds.
“I don’t think the show even showed how disabled I was when I started the process. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs normally,” she said. “It was an amazing experience. You’re not giving up hope when it seems like hope should be lost. That is a really hard thing to do so getting through that was great.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN