Tuesday night, Extreme Weight Loss fans cheered on Cassandra Dumas from Quartz Hill, California, as she achieved an impressive weight loss of 175 pounds in a year and transformed the way she approaches life.** “I realized that I was not living life the way I imagine,” says Cassandra, a 44-year-old high school guidance counselor and athletic coach. “Within a short time, I had seven friends and family members die. That shook me up — it made me think about life, about the short amount of time we all have.” She asked herself if she was really living her dreams and pursuing her passions, and the answer was no. “I was too heavy to travel comfortably, I wasn’t dating, and I didn’t want to try new things — it was time to make a transformation.”
Growing up with a love of travel
“I’ve always been a go-er,” says Cassandra, who caught the travel bug when she studied abroad in Austria and spent a semester exploring Europe. “I’ve visited so many places —Trinidad, Ghana, London, Italy, Greece. I thrive on learning about different cultures.” An All-American athlete four years in a row in college, Cassandra’s future as a professional athlete ended prematurely due to injuries. A few years later, she started gaining weight. “The point finally came when I just couldn’t travel anymore. On a plane, I was embarrassed — I worried about fitting in the seat, or I always felt like I was taking someone else’s space.” Cassandra hit an all-time high of 405 pounds and started losing weight on her own (dropping 40 pounds in a year) before TV Celebrity Transformation Specialists and Vemma Bod•ē™ Spokespeople Chris and Heidi Powell chose her for the show.
A program that worked for her
“I have wanted to lose weight for a long time, and I knew generally what kinds of foods to avoid,” says Cassandra. “What Chris and Heidi gave me was the gift of putting everything together. Chris’ program taught me the importance of eating every three hours and exercising. I learned that some foods I’d thought were healthy were sabotaging my weight with hidden calories or high sodium. Chris and Heidi also taught me to believe in myself. At boot camp in Arizona, I learned that we can push harder than we can imagine. We are much stronger than we believe. Your mind will tell you to stop before you really have to.”
Zipping down the scale**
Cassandra committed to Chris’ program, ate the right foods, and exercised four hours a day. Since she doesn’t like cooking, Cassandra worked out a cooking schedule that minimized meal preparation. “In college, I was so busy, doing three sports and working at the library, that I had to map out study time in advance. That’s what Chris and Heidi have us do with this program — they have us plan out every workout and all five daily meals in advance. It really makes a difference.” She says that Bod•ē products were helpful in keeping her on track. “When I’d leave for the gym in the mornings, I’d grab a Bod•ē Burn and an apple — it gave me 20 grams of protein and a healthy carb. I love how it makes me feel. I also like the Chris Powell Bod•ē Shake — the chocolate is amazing.”**
She says that both Chris and Heidi played a big part in her transformation. “You see the show, and it’s mostly Chris, but Heidi is always there in the background helping out, encouraging. Heidi gave me a necklace that says ‘fearless.’ It really touched my heart. To me, it says I can do anything I want to.” Chris put that new courage to the test when he flew Cassandra to Costa Rica for one of her milestones, indulging her love of travel and challenging her to try new things. “I went zip-lining in Costa Rica! I was scared to death, but I loved it. I couldn’t have had that opportunity at my previous weight.”
Next stop: adventure
By year’s end, Cassandra lost 175 pounds, looking vibrant, healthy and utterly gorgeous.** She went from a size 30/32 to a 14/16 and achieved a transformation on the inside as well.** “It’s amazing what a difference being more mobile and fit makes in your life,” she says. “I can try out kayaking or hot air ballooning now. I can fly on a plane again! I’ve been to the beach this summer, I’m dating, and in Vegas I went pool hopping with friends and I felt comfortable. I’ve just had a foreign exchange student arrive for the semester and I’m traveling to Brazil in a few months. This feels like the life I imagine. Like my mother says, I’ve got my spirit back again!”
Watch Cassandra and all of the transformations this season on Extreme Weight Loss, Tuesday nights on ABC. Miss an episode? Catch up here: http://abc.go.com/shows/extreme-weight-loss.
**Results not typical, you may not do as well. Two pilot studies conducted by Vemma showed that 55 participants who followed the Vemma Bod•ē Transformation Plan for 12 weeks using Vemma Bod•ē Burn, Bod•ē Rest and Bod•ē Cleanse, lost an average of 14.8 pounds. Not all participants will complete the plan, or accurately follow the directions and guidelines of the plan. Vemma Nutrition Company recommends you follow a healthy approach to weight loss by consulting with your physician or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise, diet plan, nutrition or supplementation program, particularly if you suffer from any medical condition or regularly use prescription or over-the-counter medications. The Vemma Bod•ē products as part of the Vemma Bod•ē Transformation Plan should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and 10 minutes of daily exercise.