Truman grad shares her weight loss story on TV

Chantell Johnson, 25, Chicago

Losing weight is a battle that many Americans fight, and Chantell Johnson, 25, was ready to shed pounds in front of the world.

â??I told Chris that I was one of the people who knew that I wasnâ??t living my life to its fullest,â?? Johnson said.

Johnson sent in a letter to Chris Powell to be on ABCâ??s "Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition." She said she believed he picked her because she wasnâ??t sad, depressed or lonely.

â??I think he accepted that change comes in all different kinds of ways and packages and it's not always a desperate plea, it's more of a person who doesn't get a chance to shine,â?? Johnson said.

Johnson is from Chicago but attended college at Truman State University. While at school, she trained with Veeve Holtz at FKS Training.

â??When she first started it was a little rough,â?? Holtz said. â??I know she would say that exact word. It was a little rough. It was real. It was real hard for her, but as we moved along throughout the months of working together she definitely went from a beginner to I would say advance.â??

During the year, Chantell achieved her goal of running a 26 mile marathon in Paris. She said exercise has freed her.

â??I learned that exercising is the key to enjoying other things that might not be as healthy,â?? Johnson said. â??Like birthday parties and random surprise dinners at restaurants, because there's no guilt anymore. Exercise is that way â?¦ that I can live my life guilt free.â??

Not only did Chantell lose half her body weight and accomplish her goals, she also inspired others.

â??She made me a better trainer,â?? Holtz said. â??She made me look at things from a different perspective.â??

Chantell said her future is looking brighter than ever.

â??Today I am very excited about life and new opportunities. There's nothing that I fear, well there's a couple of things, but the list is not as long. And, Iâ??m excited about that,â?? Johnson said.

Johnson lost half her body weight weighing in at 168 pounds during the reveal.

To watch Chantell's episode on "Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition," click HERE.