When Jacqui McCoy first met trainer Chris Powell, she weighed 355 pounds at her first "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" weigh-in. But there was more behind McCoy's story and transformation than just a food addiction.
McCoy was 14 when she attended a party where she was raped by a boy. After the childhood trauma, her weight spiraled out of control. "I just couldn't deal with it," McCoy said. "I kind of used food to help me cope."
An Internet sales manager living in West Palm Beach, Fla., McCoy, 30, has been battling food addiction and obesity for more than half her life. When she married her husband, Shawn, she weighed more than 300 pounds. Her biggest fear was not being able to have a child because of her weight gain.
"I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, knowing that because of my weight, we're unable to have a child," McCoy said.
Powell challenged McCoy to a 90-day, 90-pound weight-loss exercise program. The workouts were emotionally draining for McCoy, but Powell was there every step of the way to motivate her to get through them.
"Once I lost so much weight the first 90 days, I started to recognize my own power and my own worth, and that I could do these incredible things," she said
After McCoy met her goals, she earned a trip to Ireland for the honeymoon she never received. When McCoy got to Ireland, she got another surprise: Powell told her she would have to ride a bike for 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) through the hills of Ireland.
The ride was grueling and there were times McCoy looked as if she would quit, but Powell was once again at her side when she crossed the finished line.
Back in the states, McCoy met with doctors after her 90-day regiment to find out she can now have the children she has always wanted. McCoy also went under the knife to remove almost six square feet of excess skin.
Then the time came to reveal what was 365 days in the making: McCoy lost 207 pounds. "This is the largest percentage weight loss in any reality-TV show ever," Powell said.
Now, a year and a half after the record-setting weight loss, McCoy works with Powell and his team to maintain her weight at 155 pounds. McCoy credits Powell for helping her reclaim her life.
"I know that he met me in the darkest time in my life and he didn't have to love me and invest in me in the way that he did…," McCoy said. "I am forever grateful and I love that he's proud of me."