His mother, Loretta, believes that is a conservative figure. "I think he weighs almost 1,000," she reveals.
Paul acknowledges that he has a food addiction. "Food is my drug of choice," he says. "Whenever I get a strong craving, my body aches for it." He rarely pays attention to serving size, and in one day can consume
Loretta says that Paul's love affair with food started during childhood. "We all thought Paul was going to grow out of it, or he would stop when he became interested in sports or girls something," she says. "His life expectancy goes down every single day."
Paul mourns his condition as well. "I would love to just get up and go somewhere and not have to think about everything involved. I just want to be ordinary," he says, voice quavering.
"I recently had an experience where I injured myself going to the bathroom. I wasn't able to get up, and I had to call emergency services to basically come rescue me," Paul confesses. "I was pretty much trapped in my bed for an excess of two weeks. I couldn't get out of bed to go to the bathroom, take a shower or anything."
"Paul liked to eat, and I loved to cook," Loretta replies. "It was easy for Paul to get food as a reward or as a bribe."
"You said going places with Paul was embarrassing, so you would bribe him with food to stay home," Dr. Phil clarifies.
Loretta nods. "Yes, I did. As he got larger, it was embarrassing not only for him, but for the rest of the family. So I would give him something to eat, and he would rather have something to eat [than go out.]"
He replies, "Yeah, I think throughout my life, it has just been something we never addressed."
Dr. Phil turns to Dr. Ignarro. "Now you have done some calculations, and you think Paul is eating in excess of 11,000 calories a day?" he asks.
"That is correct," Dr. Ignarro says. "Eleven thousand calories a day, and that is at least five- or six-fold more than he should be eating."
Dr. Ignarro agrees. "That is entirely possible, and it would not be dangerous or unhealthy to do that as well."
Paul voices his concerns. "I worry most about the addiction," he says. "I know I am eating too much, but when I am eating, it feels so good. When I am eating, I get this euphoric feeling. I worry that the addiction will be more powerful than I am."
"You are basically a prisoner in your place there," Dr. Phil points out to Paul. "Where are you getting the food?"
Turning to Loretta, Dr. Phil asks, "Is that why you bring it to him?"
"Yes," she says.
Dr. Phil chides her for enabling Paul. "You will pick up fast food and bring it to him. You will bring him ice cream, cake, a family pack of chicken and you know he will probably have polished it off before you even get home," he notes.
"If we talk about stopping this flow of food to you — giving you alternative ways to handle the anxiety, depression, the feelings — will you embrace that?" Dr. Phil asks Paul.
"Yes. I don't have a choice in the matter," Paul answers.
"Yes," Paul says.
Fixing his gaze on Loretta, Dr. Phil says, "You know what we are talking about is a fight for life."
"Yes, sir. I know now, but I never realized until this last episode how confined he is and how much I contributed," she says.
Dr. Phil is incredulous. "Loretta, he weighs 1,000 pounds! Whether it is 1,000, 500 or 600, common sense would have to tell you that something dramatic has to happen," he says sternly.
Since Paul lives in Alaska, Dr. Phil will fly in a world-class expert to perform a complete medical assessment on him. "That will give you alternative ways to deal with the anxiety, the depression, and we'll put together a nutritional plan for you," Dr. Phil assures him. "I will do that if you do something for me. What I want you to do for me is tell your mother, 'Do not enable me further. I don't care what I say.' I want you to give us a list of all the
"Yes," Paul replies.
Loretta says she will participate as well. "I want my son to live," she says through tears. "I want my son to have a life that I took away from him. Before I die, I want to see him on a dance floor dancing with his mom."