08/28/2013 04:01 am ET Updated Aug 28, 2013

'Extreme Weight Loss': Former National Shot-Put Champion Regains Health, Confidence (VIDEO)

A former champion athlete faced the hardest challenge of her life on the latest episode of "Extreme Weight Loss." Cassandra was, at one time, the national champion in shot-put. After college, though, she admitted that she turned to food as an emotional release.

Since then -- and Cassandra was now 45 years old -- she'd gained almost 200 pounds, weighing in at 364 pounds. The weight gain really got out of control after the failure of her marriage. Cassandra said she became a hermit. But it was time, and she was ready to change all of that.

Chris Powell had another challenge for her beyond her body transformation. Halfway through their year together, he challenged her to go to a speed dating event. This was her first big dating event since her divorce.

“It’s a big step because I have the rest of my life to live, and I just want to have fun, and I want to meet that special someone," Cassandra told one of the men on the date. He then surprised her by asking her out to dinner.

Her self-confidence only skyrocketed after that as she continued her weight loss journey. In the end, she dropped 175 pounds to weigh in at 189 pounds -- she said this put her back at her "national shot-put champion" weight.

More lives are changed every week on "Extreme Weight Loss," Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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