EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: GEORGEANNA, THE GYMNAST!

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Oh, Georgeanna. You, my wise friend, were an absolute dream this year. Chris and I cannot begin to tell you just how amazing it was for us to get to know you AND Scott. Your family will be a part of our lives forever. Thanks for blessing us as much as (or more than) you say we blessed you. Your hard work, determination, kind heart, mothering instincts, and never-ending quest for perfection (the perfectly imperfect kind, of course) made for one heckuva year and transformation. I know the sky is the limit for you…I can’t wait to see what you conquer next!

Georgeanna made such an amazing transformation, and I am so thrilled to hear about what she’s been up to and what life after EWL is like for this hot mama!

Heidi: As moms, we can sometimes get SO caught up in our mama roles that we forget about caring for ourselves and even lose our own identities. In the beginning of your transformation, you shared that that was a major problem for you. Do you feel like you’ve found yourself again? Who is the new Georgeanna?

Georgeanna: I definitely did not have any balance in my life.  It was all about my family, what they needed, and what I could do for them. Although I desperately wanted to lose weight and change, I never told my family that I needed some time to focus on myself.  I loved my life, felt successful in other areas, but had not waved the white flag and asked for help until I reached out to you and Chris.  The new me is much happier, and much more at peace with myself.  I have a confidence and a well-being that I haven’t had in years.  And I am much healthier!

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H: Healthy AND Happy – doesn’t get much better than that! You got the chance to train with your childhood idol gymnastics superstar Nadia Comaneci for months! Holy cow! That must have been so amazing…and maybe a little intimidating! Tell us what that was like.

G: It was incredible!  The first day I went to the Bart Connor Gymnastics Academy, I knew I would be meeting her, but I still turned into my seven-year-old self and cried as soon as I walked into the gym and saw her.  She is the main reason I wanted to start taking gymnastics as a child.  I was 7-years-old when she won the gold, and she has been a lifelong idol of mine.  But she was so sweet, so encouraging, so humble and nice, that she put me right at ease.  You know, no pressure, or anything, relearning gymnastics with NADIA!!  I definitely had moments that I would just be freaking out inside.  She showed me the final pose of her floor routine, then we both did it, and I just thought, “Is this real life?”  I also got a chance to just talk to her about her Olympic experiences, and it meant so much to me for her to open up about her training in Romania.  She told me that when she was competing in 1976 she was just a kid who was hoping her mom was getting to watch her on TV.  She is an amazing person, and I feel so honored to have spent time with her.

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H: What a once in a lifetime opportunity you had, my friend! Despite a few imperfections during your final gymnastics routine, you got the most AMAZING responses from some of the greatest gymnasts in the world! It was such a proud moment for me, and I can only imagine what you were thinking! Can you share what that was like?

G: I was SO nervous going into my milestone.  I had been working hard, but was feeling like my body was not cooperating with me, so I was very nervous about being able to do some of the skills I had been trying.  I never could nail the front handspring during my routine, and I had landed it pretty well in practice.  I had not gotten to the point where I could do my back handspring by myself yet, so I was a little frustrated going into that night, but I had the best time!  Even though it was tough to get out there in front of so many people and do something I was struggling with, I felt the love from the crowd and ended up really enjoying myself. The fact that Shannon Miller, Bart Connor, and Dominique Dawes said they could tell I was a gymnast and could see that I knew how to carry myself, well, it doesn’t get any better than that.  And of course, I had the BEST coaches!  Having you and Nadia encouraging me made all the difference.

H: So the big question…any more gymnastics performances in your future? You were such a natural!

G: No more performances, but I do want to keep on doing back handsprings!  I had to stop gymnastics following surgery and recovery.  And to be honest, my skin has been so tight that I am just beginning to feel that I can really stretch and move enough to give it another shot, so I am ready to get back in the gym and make sure I can still do my back handspring.  I didn’t work all year just to do it a few times!  I want to continue to keep that skill and possibly get my roundoff back handspring.  We’ll have to go to gymnastics together again next time I see you!

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H: During your finale, you and Scott both agreed that this experience not only changed your life, but your marriage also. How has your marriage and life changed since the show ended?

G: Now that the show is over, it’s just about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and finding an overall wellness we didn’t have before.  We were happy and content, but out of shape.  Scott and I used to spend time together going out to eat and watching TV, but now we rarely ever do either of those things!  We still work out every day together and have found a great group of friends at CrossFit.  We’ve gone hiking, and I rode a bike for the first time in years!  It’s been so fun to try new things.  I would have never done any of those things before.

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H: Let’s talk about the final weigh in. You surpassed your goal (and your high school weight!) by FIVE pounds! How incredible did that feel?

G: It felt amazing!  When this process started, Chris would ask me what I thought I wanted my final weight to be.  Sometimes I would say 155, and sometimes I would say 160.  I just couldn’t believe that 155 was possible.  But as I began to get into the process and realized that my body really was responding to the changes in diet and to the workouts, I began to believe I could get to 155.  The great part about my weight loss is that the testing with Dr. Holly showed that I only lost 2 pounds in muscle over the course of the year, so 163 pounds of the weight lost was FAT!  99.5% of what I lost was fat, so it came off in a very healthy way.  Even though I am much smaller, I am stronger than ever!

H: 163 lbs of fat lost?! So incredible! Throughout the show you struggled to embrace your imperfections.  How did your experience change your perfect pastor’s wife mentality? Are you feeling okay with being “perfectly imperfect” now?

G: I am definitely okay with being “perfectly imperfect.”  I know that finally being comfortable with myself and having a peace within myself has made me realize that I can’t worry about what others think.  I just need to know that I am the best version of me that I can be.  I definitely used to worry about what others thought, or worried that they felt because I was overweight that there must be something “wrong” with me.  I never wanted my family to be embarrassed by me because I was fat.  And I just have to say that my church has been so supportive, and I have felt so encouraged by my church family.  They completely embraced me and made me feel loved all year.

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H: When we first met you, you had a love affair with sweet treats. What are your go-to craving kickers to battle that sweet tooth now? Any quick tips you can share?

G: I still have a love affair with sweet treats, but now I know it has to be in moderation.  If I’m having a total craving, I have a square of dark chocolate.  I keep a bar in the fridge, and I allow myself one or two squares a day.  I also love Greek yogurt with strawberries and Kashi cereal.  It’s a great “treat.” And I’ve made Rocco’s frozen yogurt a few times.  It’s a big hit at my house!  If I feel like if I have to have something really wonderfully sweet, I wait for my reward day and get a cupcake or a donut.  But just one!

H: So, Miss Georgeanna, the kids are out of the house, you’ve rediscovered yourself, and you’re looking better than EVER! What’s up next for you?

G: Just as we talked about at the finale, paying it forward is big for me.  I have launched a website, fitiswell.com, to continue to share my journey.  My hope is that by sharing my journey as I continue to stay fit, that I can inspire others to get moving and make changes.  I stayed stuck for so long, and was so overwhelmed with self doubt, that I don’t want to see anyone else wait as long as I did to make changes in his or her life.  I have written an e-book detailing the three big diet mistakes I was making, and it’s available for free on my website.  You and Chris changed my life with the information you passed along to me, so now I want to share all that knowledge I’ve gained with others and let them know that it’s possible, no matter where you are in your life, to become a better you.

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H: Paying it forward, I LOVE that! You tackled some major self-esteem issues during your transformation and came out on top. Any advice for moms out there battling the same problems?

G: I had some major self-esteem issues, and I had a lot of negative inner dialogue and felt like a failure because I couldn’t seem to lose weight or commit to making changes.  Throughout the process as I began to lose weight, and with the support that you and Chris gave me, I began to gain confidence.  Now I feel better than ever!  My advice to moms would be to be willing to share your weaknesses with someone, and be willing to say, “I need help.” I spent so long trying to act like I had it all together that I was afraid to just say, “I am not happy with myself, and I have to make some changes.”  I would tell other moms it’s okay to focus on you, and there is time to spend an hour a day on yourself.  Sure, be a great mom, but don’t lose yourself in the process.  Being a mom should just enhance how great you already are!

 Georgeanna, you are such an inspiration! You’ve accomplished SO much, and we are SO proud of you!!

Xoxo,

Heidi


19 Comments

  1. Monica - August 2, 2014

    Oh my goodness.. I just watched Georgeanna’s episode, and made me cry because I can relate to her in so many ways, having spent my childhood training as a ballet and jazz dancer, but then struggling with weight ever since. And also, the church ministry aspect, having been a volunteer missionary for a number of years. Unfortunately, I got terminated because I was never able to bring my addictions under control. But Georgeanna’s story has really inspired me, now at 43 years old, to start moving forward with some of the necessary changes. Watching her overcome the mind battle was particularly encouraging, and dealing with the perfectionism. I’ve been holding back for the same reasons. I never want to try anything because I can’t do it perfectly. Anyway, thanks Georgeanna! This story has truly helped me so much to start believing it might actually be possible!!

  2. Annie - July 28, 2014

    The best “after” for a woman yet! Georgeanna looks awesome! Her hubby too!

    Congrats!

  3. Jamie - July 24, 2014

    This was my favorite episode. I will be 44 in a few days and it was inspiring for me to see a 44 year old that could still get the weight off. I could really connect with her on many levels. What an amazing job and such an inspiration! Thank you.

    • Ruby - July 28, 2014

      I am with you, I have watched the episode more than one and LOVE IT. I really feel that Georgeanna was easy to connect with. I also really loved that Chris and Heidi both gave us more information as to what their clients do to accomplish their goals. Hope the show incorporates more of the nutrition and workout information as they start to film the next season…

  4. Ruby - July 24, 2014

    Heidi and Chris First I love you both. Your so inspirational. I need guidance. I had a heart attack at age 22 and stroke 9 months later when I was 3 months pregnant with my now 9 year old beautiful son. Now at 33 it is HARD to lose weight I can’t be as mobile as everyone else. I’m limited. I walk with a limp and have no control of my right arm. I don’t want to leave my son being so unhealthy and not fighting for my life. Can carb cycling help me even if I can’ t exercise like others? I’m willing to walk to the moon and back if it meant I had 1 more day with my son. I’m to young to die!! Help please.

    • Team Powell - July 24, 2014

      Yes, it can work for you! I’d discuss the program with your healthcare team and work together to formulate an exercise program that will work around your medical issues. Best of luck! 🙂

  5. Colleen Mixter - July 24, 2014

    Georgianna’s transformation by far is my favorite episode!! From the very beginning I could relate so much with her. I loved her attitude and the way she carried herself. The respect you guys gave to her faith was awesome and didn’t go unnoticed. Faith and family are such a big part of my life it was wonderful to see a woman my age going threw empty nesting (which has such a huge impact on your life and self identify) being about to transform with her husband by her side supporting her… awesome simply awesome!! Thank you Chris for choosing such an inspirational person who through her journey has inspired so many of us!

  6. CJS - July 23, 2014

    Heidi – Chris – last night was very inspiring and I am very grateful that you chose Georgeanna to show other perfectionists that life does not have to be perfect and that even supermoms should be able to take time for ourselves.

    Georgeanna – you are beautiful inside and out and such an inspiration. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story.

  7. Holly - July 23, 2014

    I am so happy for ya! I used to do gymnastics and I’m 41 and I’m about 40 pounds over weight but I’m stuck, no support, or motivation! I’m so jealous ya had all that support! You inspire me georgeanna!

  8. Kelly Clark - July 23, 2014

    Your physical transformation is amazing. But what most people can’t see from your pictures is what an incredibly sweet, smart, thoughtful person you are as well as beautiful. And that there’s no doubt you will use your success for the benefit of others!

    Love you with all my heart!

    Kelly

  9. Ellen - July 23, 2014

    Georganna; You are the definition of Awesome! I admire you. I watched Tuesday nights program and felt the frustrations that you went through!

    Like you, my two sons are grown (23 & 27), so that don’t need me as much….except to fix meals, do their laundry, etc.

    Most days I have time on my hands so I sit at the computer….three times a week I clean a friends house and volunteer at a local food bank.

    I just wanted to write and say thank you for being on Extreme Weight Loss….and much success to you on your journey!

  10. Yvonne Oranday - July 23, 2014

    Georgeanna was so inspirational. I totally can relate to her. How she felt about herself and had always put others before herself is how I live my life right now. I see myself thinner, and healthier but continue to struggle. I hope following Georgeanna, Chris, and Heidi will give me the motivation. Thanks for the tips, and answers to some questions that will help me along on this journey I also long to go through. Thanks so much.

  11. Mary Laarman - July 23, 2014

    Georgiana, do you think your faith in God helped you to keep going? I am just so proud of you. I am working on losing about 40 pounds. I have learned how important it is for your health to have whole foods. I do love one cheat day a week also. I have had an especially difficult first part of this year as I had cancer and my husband’s sister and father both died in the same week about 3 weeks ago. I gave up on trying during that time and gained, so I am back on it. I swim for an hour every day. So, yes, it is very encouraging to watch you get it done. You look amazing. So happy for you. It is so awesome to see one’s confidence get bigger as their body gets smaller. Enjoy your new life and the awesome example you are. God bless, Mary Laarman

  12. Lori - July 23, 2014

    I loved this show.. My story isn’t gymnastics .. But ballet. I’ve longed to have the courage to take classes again. My weight gain happened in three key events.. Infertility- scared to workout too much or it might mess up my cycle.. (So up to190) then my son diagnosed with autism at 3.. ( up to 230). Then car accident with herniated disks in neck and back send me up to 270. Made me think .. The perfection thing is a problem for me too. I’ll never have the perfect family due to autism and it’s cruel because in the beginning.. I thought I could conquer it for him. But I can’t .. Just bidding time till my life ends and No more pain!

    But your show gave me hope!! Thanks so much!! You need a book on the nutrition portion!! I’d love to take a ballet class within the next 365 days!

  13. DCD - July 23, 2014

    Absolutely Amazing! Great job. Although I don’t need to lose weight, I am constantly setting new goals for myself. This year is to do a Fitness/Bikini competition and dead lift 215lbs. When I watch this show, I keep telling myself… If they can do it, so can I! Thanks to Chris and Heidi for sharing their knowledge to those that need it and supporting them on their journey.

  14. Toni Olivares - July 23, 2014

    Georgeanna is a true inspiration!…. Heidi where did you get that gorgeous dress??!!

  15. Bev Richard - July 23, 2014

    Watched last night, she did an amazing job!! Backflip – WOW!!!

  16. Schana VanBrunt - July 23, 2014

    Y’all are so inspirational!

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