Dr. Phil asks Stacy how the world sees her.
"Do you seek to do that on purpose?" he asks.
"Oh yes. With my problem, it's just more of an image thing. I think you get further if you look nicer, I guess. That's the way I've been taught," says Stacy.
"So you want to come across as strong and confident and everything is cool, you've got it together," Dr. Phil summarizes.
"Right," she says.
She opens up about her childhood. "I always felt fat and ugly. My mom would say I was fat. I can purge up to six times a day. Some people will put their fingers down their throat. I could just lean over and use my stomach muscles and it's gone. I can throw up without making a sound. It's definitely like an art. Starbucks is generally one of those things that it's easy to throw it up because you know that there's just so many calories that if you left it in your system, you're going to get fat. My little girl walked in on me once. She was like, 'Mommy, you don't feel very good?' And I was just so horrified. Every day I get scared. I don't want to leave my kids behind, I don't want to leave my husband behind because I love them. I don't want to die."
"Tell me about what it's like," Dr. Phil says.
"It's a process of just not feeling and releasing the stress."
"They called me fat, ugly, amazon woman," Stacy responds in tears.
"Why do you want to stop?" Dr. Phil presses.
"Because of my kids. With all my heart. I'm doing a good job. I want to be at their weddings. I want to be able to help out with the things that my parents didn't help me out with. I love my husband."
"Does your husband love you?"
"Oh yeah, more than anything."
"He knows I'm doing it. He just doesn't know how often."
"Let's just play the future out. What happens if you leave here the same way you got here?"
"Have you thrown up today?"
"Because I haven't allowed myself to eat that much."
Debra chimes in: "She didn't eat anything. She had three carrots the first day we were here."
"Are you so superficial that you will allow appearance to dominate your life and jeopardize your children having their mother available? Are you that superficial?"
When Stacy agrees with Dr. Phil that her children don't care how much she weighs, Dr. Phil emphasizes: "Your kids wouldn't love you any less if you had an ass like a $40 mule. They would love you no matter what."
Stacy feels helpless. "I just can't stop," she says.
"You can stop; you just haven't stopped. You haven't had the tools, you haven't had the support system, you haven't had the honesty, you haven't had the willingness to put it on the table. It's just kind of like a tornado: You've got to have all the atmospheric conditions hit at the same time in the same place to create that event. Maybe this is that event."
"I hope it is," she responds.