A Wake-Up Call
Dr. Phil takes on the town of Elgin to lose weight.
When the residents of Elgin decided to get real about losing weight, Dr. Phil sent in Weight Loss Challengers Jim and Thomas. They invited the town to follow Dr. Phil's seven keys and be part of this year's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge.

Wearing padded suits, Thomas and Jim address a crowd of Elginites. Thomas says, "You can step out of that weight you're carrying the same way we've stepped out of those suits. I've lost 105 pounds since starting the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge."

Jim, who has lost 141 pounds, says, "I spent my life making up this personality that I was this funny guy so I didn't have to admit to anyone that I was fat. Every day when
I wake up and get out of bed is like living again."

Jim and Thomas also lead the participants in a victory lap around the track. Mertis, who feared her 18-year-old grandson, Brandon, was using drugs and wasting his life, joins them.

"Dr. Phil, thank you so much for getting my grandson on the right track. He's so happy now," she reports. "Now I'm thanking you again for getting me started on the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge."

One of the main problems Elginites face is getting a healthy meal. Jim and Thomas met with restaurant owners to help overhaul the town's over-fried lifestyle.

Showing a copy of Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook, Jim asks if the store owners would be willing to incorporate low-fat or fat-free recipes on their menus.

One proprietor says Dr. Phil's recipes for shrimp teriyaki and banana creme pie sound delicious.

"We're hoping that you guys can get healthy and lose some weight in this town," Jim explains.
"What do you think about the people down there? Are they ready to get fired up and get going on this?" Dr. Phil asks Jim and Thomas back in the studio.

"These people are going to have to make big-time choices and big-time sacrifices because there's so much fried food there," Jim reveals.

Dr. Phil says that Elgin's problem is not unique. "You go to every town in America and you see the same thing," he says. "It's got to change everywhere. People have got to start demanding to have healthy alternatives on the menus."

Jim says, "Much of the resistance came from the restaurant owners who said, 'We put a fat-free burger on the menu; it never sold. We never sold one veggie burger and we had it on there for a month.' So the choices do have to change."

Thomas concurs. "A lot of the places we went to had put some healthier things on there, but like they said, it wasn't their number one sellers. Although they were getting people coming in who said, 'There's no place to eat if you're on a diet in this town.'"
Dr. Phil has Kirby on the phone, the owner of the 3-H Cattle Company Restaurant, who says he wants to be a role model for the town. "You're a big meat seller, right?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, we are," Kirby says. "About 90 percent of the stuff we sell is fried."

"Is the life expectancy there about 23?" Dr. Phil jokes. "I understand that you want to start the Challenge by being the first restaurant in Elgin to offer a "Dr. Phil Healthy Choice" menu at the 3-H Cattle Company. Is that right?"

"Yes. I think we could all use that," Kirby says.

Turning to nutritionist JJ Virgin in the audience, Dr. Phil says he will send her to Elgin to help the restaurant chefs prepare healthy recipes the way she did for the Ultimate Weight Loss Challengers.

"Bring it on. We can do it," JJ says.

Dr. Phil assures Kirby that his menu additions will be healthy and delicious. "We'll make sure that you don't run your customers off by it not tasting good, but they'll learn some new habits," he says.