The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution, Pt 3: Key #2, Dr. Phil, Richard, Jeff

Key #2: Healing Feelings

Dr. Phil flies in via helicopter to talk to the teams about Key #2: Healing Feelings. All of the teams admit that they eat for comfort. Dr. Phil says that until they heal their pain, they won't lose the weight.

"We eat emotionally, right?" Dr. Phil asks them. "We eat to comfort ourselves, we eat to entertain ourselves, we eat to celebrate, we eat when we're depressed, we eat when we're lonely, we eat when we're happy. We eat emotionally, and it's been said that the fork is the most dangerous weapon in society. So what we've got to do is stop using food for anything other than nutrition.


"I don't want you deprived. I don't want you where you're hungry all the time. In this journey, if you're hungry, eat, but eat the right things. We just want to use food for nutritional purposes, not emotional purposes. This is lifestyle realignment, and there are 7 Keys involved in that."

When Dr. Phil asks for an example of eating emotionally, Richard shares that when he's depressed, he goes to fast food restaurants and then eats, in shame, in a grocery store parking lot, where no one can see him.

"You lost your dad, and then you lost your grandmother. How did that change you?" Dr. Phil asks.

Richard struggles to speak through his tears. "It's just really difficult because the first time, when my dad died, I got a Red Cross message when I was in the army, and by the time I got home, his body had been moved by the coroners, so everybody else got to see him and hold him before they took his body. My grandmother died of cancer in 2005, and I was too caught up with work, and I didn't get home to see her. I missed her funeral too, so it's just a lot of closure issues. I just wish I could've said goodbye," he says, wiping his tears away. "I feel terrible about it."

"What would your dad say if he saw you in the shape you're in now?" Dr. Phil asks.

"The first thing he'd do is probably just hug me and tell me to suck it up, and give me a hug, and let me know that he loves me, and tell me to stop destroying myself and to start living my life like I was before," he says, crying. Richard admits that he hasn't really let himself grieve for his loved ones.

Dr. Phil points out that eating when you're emotional can make you feel better for the short term. "That's the reason they call it comfort food; food comforts you. But it's a fix, just like a drug," he says. "You have to deal with psychological problems psychologically. You deal with medical problems medically. You deal with nutritional problems with nutrition, but you don't mix and match. You don't mix psychological problems with food. If you're hungry, you don't go read a book. But if you're hurt, you go eat. That doesn't make sense, does it?"

"No, not at all," Richard says.

With Richard and his brother, Jeff, standing before him, Dr. Phil tells Richard that his risk of having a heart attack is seven times that of the average person, and that Jeff is scared that he may die. Looking at his big brother, Jeff tearfully tells Richard that losing him would be like losing his best friend. "You're a good guy; you've just got to see it. You're an awesome person, man," he says.

"You lost your dad. You lost your grandmother. It's the cycle of life," Dr. Phil tells Richard. "You don't have the right to do what you're doing. You don't have the right." Dr. Phil places a photo of their father and grandmother against Jeff's chest. "They wanted you to have a life. They wanted you to be happy. They wanted you to take care of yourself."

Dr. Phil shares that he buried his father as well, but can still feel him in his life spiritually. He encourages the brothers to embrace the emotions of losing their loved ones, not hide from them. "Talk to your dad when you feel like talking to your dad. I wouldn't do it in the line at the grocery store, but talk to him. You don't have to put him out of your mind, but you've got to quit beating yourself up over it. It's OK to cry for these people, but you do have to let them go. I'm not telling you not to hurt. In fact, I'm telling you to hurt. It's OK," Dr. Phil says. "What a place to make peace," he says, in reference to the beautiful beach scene that surrounds them. "Leave them here."

Later, Richard says, "I just let everything go. It felt right. I just felt like a new person."