Powell, a personal trainer and the host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," says he loves working with his clients, whom he calls the "super obese"—those with a BMI of over 50 and who are more than 200 pounds overweight. Powell acknowledged one of his clients, a co-star on the show named Alex, who was in attendance at McCormick Place.
"I've learned so much," Powell told attendees.
Powell works and lives by an acronym: B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L., which stands for Believe, Expectations, Authenticity, Unload emotion, Triggers and tactics, Integrity, Finding an identity, Ultimate responsibility and Live with a purpose.
The expectations portion may have been the most noteworthy. Powell often works with clients who plateau two months into their training regimen. He expects clients to fall or "binge" hundreds of times during training. The important thing for them to remember from either of those frustrations is to get back up and stay committed, Powell says.
Many of Powell's clients also expect that when they lose the desired amount of weight, all of their problems will disappear. Not so, says Powell. They'll still have the same financial and relationship issues that they had before. So what will the end result be for clients when they reach their goals?
"You will get your dignity," Powell says, which is directly linked to integrity, he adds, but that all requires patience.