'Extreme Makeover' Contestant Drops 157 Pounds

by Raphael Chestang 8:36 PM PDT, July 16, 2012
Playing 'Extreme Makeover' Contestant Drops 157 Pounds

Last night's Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition featured 27-year-old Nyla, who weighed in at 435 pounds. Today, we spoke with the Houston native about the emotional episode and the root cause of her weight gain.

Nyla revealed that she grew up using food as a "coping mechanism" in response to the abandonment of her father. This seems to have been her only vice, as she doesn't drink or do drugs, but her eating habits were seriously threatening her health.

RELATED: Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition Contestant Loses 161 Lbs.

Her trainer, Chris Powell, kicked off his year-long mission with Nyla by surprising her at her favorite restaurant. When Chris met Nyla, she had just eaten 10-pounds of crawfish.

Today, Nyla has learned from her mistakes.

"To be honest, I could probably eat 10 pounds of crawfish right now," said Nyla. "The difference is I choose not to."

Making that choice is a lot easier said than done. Nyla explained that as her eating was linked to deep emotional issues with her father, she would have to conquer those demons in order to have a real breakthrough. This problem became exacerbated upon learning of her father's passing.

"It was the most overwhelming feeling I've ever experienced," said Nyla. "It was just a culmination of 28 years worth of stuff all came to a head all at once."

Nyla credited her "real friends" with helping her find some sense of closure concerning her father. Now, at 29, Nyla weighs 278 pounds but she's not done yet.

"I'm on my way down still," Nyla promised.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on ABC.