On each episode of "Extreme Weight Loss," transformation specialists Heidi and Chris Powell guide one individual through a year of physical and emotional changes. The July 22 episode highlighted the importance of spiritual faith and belief as the wife of a pastor, Georgeanna Johnson, lost 165 pounds. And with the help of the nation's most elite gymnasts, she also regained her self-confidence.
At 44, Georgeanna has succeeded in the roles of perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect daughter and perfect friend. As a former gymnast herself, she feels that if she can't do a task perfectly, she has failed. And it's that drive for perfection that prevents her from trying to return to her former sport.
But when she turns to transformation experts Heidi and Chris Powell for help, it's time for Georgeanna to learn to find peace with imperfection. Exemplifying that: The goal that Chris gives her to complete a back handspring.
The list of former gymnasts who guide Georgeanna through the training process reads like a "who's who" in U.S. gymnastics history. Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton train her. In addition, Olympic champions Dominique Dawes, Bart Conner and Shannon Miller show their support by serving as "judges" when she shows off her moves in front of a crowd.
But exercise is only part of the challenge on every episode of "Extreme Weight Loss." The woman famed for baking for her family, friends and church must learn to prepare and enjoy healthy foods as well. Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, author of the "The Pound a Day Diet: Lose Up to 5 Pounds in 5 Days by Eating the Foods You Love" weight loss book, showed Georgeanna the art of making low-calorie ice cream.
Throughout the show, Georgeanna discusses the role that gymnastics played in her life when she was young. "I just had a love for the sport," she told International Gymnast magazine on July 21.
And although she had stopped practicing, she never lost that love. "It gave me confidence, and I feel like the flexibility and agility I gained from it helped me so much this year as I tried to regain my inner athlete," added Georgeanna.
She admits that the year of transformation was not easy. The first phase required her to head to boot camp for three months.
"I had never been away from my husband or daughters for any extended period of time, so being away was emotionally draining. And physically exhausting. I went from never working out to working out four to five hours a day. I missed my family terribly during that time," she admitted.
But although that was emotionally stressful, the second phase required the most physical strength for her. "Each day I had a two-hour workout with my trainer, an hour of cardio, and training with my gymnastics coach and some days meeting with my choreographer. So, it was very physically taxing for me."
But at the end of the journey, it was all worthwhile. She believes that Chris and Heidi will forever be in her life. "They will be lifelong friends."