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The Adversity Advantage

Apr 21, 2020

Today I have the honour of hosting a couple that is without a doubt one of the most profound life transformers on the planet.  Their impact can be felt globally through their ‘Transform App’ and ABC show ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ They are Chris and Heidi Powell. 

However, in today’s show, our main focus won’t be on their success, but rather on their adversity journey. The trials and tribulations they’ve had to encounter and fight through in order to be who they are today. 

Numbing the pain and suffering with Vicodin – Chris’ background story.

In 2006. A young Chris was pumped up with big dreams on how he wanted to make a difference and impact on people’s lives. This saw him invent a nutrition product, which he’d later on patent and borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund. Chris then outsourced the manufacture of his product in China. Soon enough, he was going to start making an impact.

This however, was never meant to be. When his product finally arrived from China. It was not at all what he had in mind. Its quality and design were all wrong and of poor quality. This broke Chris mentally. He would soon after this, develop an anxiety disorder.

When it rains, it showers. Two months prior to the failure of Chris’ dream Nutrition product. He had a back-disc problem which saw the doctor prescribe Vicodin as a way of numbing the physical pain. When his investment tumbled into pieces, and Chris was emotional and psychologically broken, he found out that Vicodin was not only a remedy to his physical pain, but his emotional pain as well.

Thus, began an addiction journey that would last two years.

Chris totally withdrew from the world. He never wanted to be around people unless he was high on Vicodin. It was all grey clouds and loneliness when he was alone and sober. But under the influence of Vicodin, Chris would change to all smiles and life of the party.

Chris convinced himself that no one wanted the boring sober Chris. Alongside his closest and most caring companions who were also drug addicts, Chris built his entire lifestyle under this philosophy.

And, because he was deep in debt and totally broke because of his newly found addiction. Chris’ friend, who was hooked on oxytocin allowed him to stay with him rent free.

A new start

Chris’ roommate leant towards suboxone as a way of trying to fix his addiction on oxytocin. What resulted was a traumatic experience of Chris driving his nearly dead roommate to hospital in order to be treated.

Driving back home. Chris couldn’t help but reflect on the events that nearly took his roommate’s life.

Constant reflection and self-examination would see a broken Chris seek refuge in a neighbour’s house for 2 weeks, where he solely underwent his detoxification.  


Heidi’s story.

Newly divorced, and still suffering from her own personal issues and insecurities, Heidi found herself searching for fulfilment in other people through relationships and connections.

Heidi was ever scared of being left alone to her thoughts, which would always torment her because she knew she would always have to face the truths and facts in her broken life.

Heidi was a people pleaser and couldn’t say no to any requests, because she was afraid of being deemed valueless by ones she turned down.  

She would later on go to see her therapist because of the identity crisis she underwent after the divorce with her husband. Her therapist suggested that she attends a self-improvement seminar as a way of fixing herself.


Meeting Chris

To deal with her personal identity problem, Heidi decided to attend the entire seminar with no makeup on.

While at the seminar fate would have her bump into Chris, who Heidi was not even in the tiniest bit interested in.

What followed after their first encounter at the seminar was a string of communication between the two. The following day, after Chris granted her a present in the form of his Nutrition idea to make a difference in people's lives, Heidi couldn’t help but feel Chris’s dream to help people and make a positive impact worldwide. They only kept getting closer and understanding each other from that moment. Heidi knew she could help Chris get to where he wanted, whilst Chris taught Heidi that it’s ok to have dreams that you want to achieve in life.

While he was still recovering from his addictions and loss in the once gigantic self-confidence and belief he had in himself, Heidi believed in Chris until he was able to believe in himself again.


You’re definitely in for an inspiring ride in today’s interview. Stay tuned and find out more about the obstacles that Chris and Heidi have gone through in their lives, and how it has helped shape them to be the victors they are today. Get to also find out about how Chris started his ABC Show ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ and what personal strategies and philosophies that has propelled their success in every project they’ve undertaken.



(1:25) Chris’ adversity background story - struggling with his addictions

(6:44) Making a turn and starting a new drug-free life

(8:05) Lessons Chris learnt from his Vicodin addiction

(12:09) Heidi’s adversity background story

(25:23) How Chris started his Weight Loss show

(31:16) Inspiring and transforming their clients into changing their lives

(39:31) How Heidi slowly built trust with Chis’ client’s

(42:56) Purpose and diversifying their approach towards helping people

(47:51) What’s next for this dynamic couple?



  • I was oblivious of my constant reliance on Vicodin. I cherry picked all the reasons why I should be doing what I was doing. Because deep down inside, i didn’t think I could live without it - Chris on his early addiction and dependence on Vicodin
  • I built a support system of friends who were drug addicts. Some of the most amazing, wonderful, caring and loving people I’ve ever known in my life, and we were all drug addicts. We kept feeding ourselves that story (that we’re nothing without the drugs) to feed our addictions and keep us going.  
  • I found myself, because of my own issues and insecurities, searching for fulfilment in other people. I tried to numb the pain that I had been through with relationships and connections.
  • Whether good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. You build your identity around a foundation, even if there’s major cracks in it. - Heidi on building her identity around the foundation of her first marriage although it was toxic for her. 
  • I lost all of the belief that I had in myself and Heidi believed in me, until I could learn to believe in myself again. And that saved my life. 
  • If you’re a trainer and you want to create change in someone’s life, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, the bottom-line is they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
  • And this goes across the board. The one thing that we’re trying to achieve over time, is getting our clients to believe in themselves, and their abilities. And the vehicle that we use to get there is integrity. This involves starting every big transformation journey very small.


Quotes from the lessons Chris learnt from his addiction experience.

  • I realized that I was not invincible. I now understood how easy it is for anyone to slip into an addiction. 
  • I learned how to take responsibility for the choices that I make. Addiction got the best of me because I wouldn’t take responsibility for my choices and actions.
  • All humans must have a purpose in life. If I have no purpose, then my vices will get the best of me.


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