Fitness trainer Heidi Powell has energy we’d like to bottle. Co-host of ABC’S Extreme Weight Loss, Powell juggles four kids, an impressive fitness regimen and a multitude of jobs.

The key to her success: she keeps to her word.

By Rachel Naud

Heidi PowellNo matter what time of day you channel surf, you’re likely to come across a reality weight loss show. A bunch of toned, gorgeous fitness gurus take overweight couch potatoes through gruelling workouts in an attempt to thin them down and teach them the basics of healthy nutrition. Been there, done that. Right?

Not necessarily. ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss (EWL) may strive to shrink its participants, but it also offers something that you don’t often see in reality TV—reality. Perhaps it’s because its hosts, Heidi and her husband, Chris Powell, aren’t your typical trainers. Their compassion is authentic; their passion is undeniable; their commitment is unwavering. The friendships they make with the show’s participants are real and they run deep.

“We still keep in contact with a good majority of our participants,” says Heidi, who can also add weight loss expert and transformation specialist to her resume. Over the past six years, she and Chris have spent every holiday with at least one of their participants.

“Bruce from season four spent Thanksgiving with us and stayed the week,” she says. “[The participants] really do become our best friends and a lot of them actually work with us because nobody understands a journey of transformation like they do.”

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