TV weight loss program changes everything for Tarrant County mom

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on July 18, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 20 at 2:59 PM

HASLET — Staci Bridwell has been fighting obesity her entire life. She dropped out of high school because she could no longer fit in in the chairs in the classrooms.

"I was, you know, in a bad place," she said. "I was desperate. I really wanted to change my life, but I had no idea how."

Bridwell's weight affected every facet of her life at home and at her job as an S-ray technician.

"I would walk into my patient's home sometimes, and they would go, 'Whoa!' They would literally be afraid of me because I was so big," she said. "I was bigger than anyone."

Feeling hopeless and desperate, she wrote trainer Chris Powell for help. He chose her for his ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," which aired Monday night.

"After the first three months, I lost 105 pounds," Bridwell said.

Powell showed her how to eat healthy. She worked out with four hours of cardio training and an hour of weight training every day.

After a year-and-a-half on the program, she lost a total of 211 pounds.

"I feel amazing," Bridwell said. "I mean, there are no words that can describe it... I feel reborn. I feel like there's a whole new world for me to explore out there."

The 32-year-old mother of two says she has reclaimed her life.

"I can buckle my seat belt. I can walk up flights of stairs — not just one. I can walk up many flights of stairs without getting out of breath. I can sit down on the ground and get up and play with my kids. I can run," she said.

Bridwell said other overweight people can learn from her journey. She said if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it — even if it means losing hundreds of pounds, a task she once dismissed as impossible.

"I put everything I had into this and I came out victorious."

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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