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"Rod" (Tallahassee, FL) - 49-year-old Rod is a fun-loving drama coach who always wears a big smile on the outside to hide the self-doubt and unhappiness he keeps buried deep down. He longs to audition for roles on Broadway, but his 448-pound frame has made achieving that dream impossible. Additionally, though Rod serves as a caretaker for his elderly parents, he's never told his father that he is gay. Realizing that his excess weight and his hidden sexuality have kept him from fully expressing who he really is, Rod wrote a letter to trainer and transformation specialist Chris Powell asking for help. His yearlong physical and emotional journey, which will include auditioning for the Broadway musical "Chicago," will be documented on the hit series "Extreme Weight Loss," airing TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network.
For years, Rod struggled to tell his family about his sexuality. Though he recently came out to his sister and mother, Rod's father still doesn't know that his son is gay. Reluctant to start changing his life without telling his loved ones who he really is, Rod comes out to his father before starting his weight loss journey.
Also in the episode, Chris will help Rod chase a lifelong dream of becoming a Broadway performer. In New York City for his 50th birthday, Rod will get the chance to audition for the smash-hit Broadway musical, "Chicago." While in the city, Chris will also issue Rod his biggest challenge yet: climbing the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building.
Rod's transformation hits a roadblock when his food addiction threatens to get the best of him. Can Rod overcome years of bad habits and keeping secrets in order to lose the weight and get healthy? Or will his addictive nature cause him to fail Chris' program? It will be an emotional 365 day journey that will also include an appearance from Carla Hall of "The Chew," who teaches Rod how to make healthier versions of the Southern food he loves.
New in Season 4, in addition to working with Chris and Heidi Powell, each participant spends the first 90 days of his or her weight loss journey at the renowned University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC) in Aurora, CO. Chris and Heidi, along with AHWC's medical director Holly Wyatt, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, guide participants on their journeys to safely lose up to half their body weight, ultimately revealing an amazing metamorphosis. The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center offers some of the country's most advanced research and science-based expertise, focusing on a comprehensive weight loss and weight loss management approach, including fitness, nutrition and wellness services.
At the end of this episode, Rod will "pay it forward" by giving a friend or family member the opportunity to transform his or her life. The CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center will provide a scholarship to the one-week, evidence-based Extreme Weight Loss: Destination Boot Camp transformation program.
"Extreme Weight Loss" is produced by Eyeworks USA. JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Matt Assmus and Brant Pinvidic are the executive producers.
For more information on "Extreme Weight Loss," visit ABC.com