Too Hot!: DeLisa

Too Hot!: DeLisa

"I'm a captain in the Army reserve. I would describe myself as a plain Jane. I looked masculine and I acted tough, but I just felt very insecure underneath it," reveals DeLisa, a winner of The Swan.

 

As part of her regimen for the show, DeLisa had a brow lift, a mid-face lift, liposuction under her chin, breast augmentation and a tummy

tuck. "The Swan is my first real success in life," she says. "I like what I see when I look in the mirror now."


Her friend, Alexa, questions if the transformation was more than skin deep. "She's gone from an average woman to a very attractive person with the same issues," Alexa says. "Before The Swan, she was very outgoing, but not overly confident. After the show, she relied less on her cleverness and her friendliness [and more on] her outward appearance."

DeLisa is uncomfortable accepting compliments. "Don't give me credit for that. I didn't earn it. I earned my degree. I earned being a captain in the military," she says. "A lot of these guys who are approaching me in bars never would have given me a second look before."

Although DeLisa loves her new look, she questions her self-worth. "Even though I look hot to everyone on the outside, I still struggle with a lack of confidence on the inside," she confesses.

"You feel like you've cheated the system, don't you?" Dr. Phil asks DeLisa. "Because you say, 'I've earned my degree. I've earned my rank. I earned all of these things and then I just kind of was given this.'"

DeLisa agrees. "I had a lot of people who helped me to achieve what I did, and I didn't feel like I necessarily earned it as I did those other things in my life. So, I guess I don't like being given credit for what I didn't earn," she replies.

Turning to her friend, Alexa, Dr. Phil says, "What do you see differently in her now than you saw before this transformation?"

"I see that she probably has bought into some of the attention a little bit and is not real certain about her identity," Alexa answers. "I think that's the biggest concern that I've seen, that she may not really know herself still, even though she's gone through a lot of changes." 

Dr. Phil points out that DeLisa struggled with her self-worth before her makeover"The common denominator is not really being in touch with who you are, right?" he asks. 

"I think that's true," she says. 

"When you make that kind of transformation, the whole idea is you've got to do it from the inside out," Dr. Phil explains. "What you want is that the wrapper just reflects the way you feel on the inside, and that's not what's happened."

DeLisa mentions that The Swan provided therapy and life coaching to its participants. "But it's four months of being completely isolated," she says. "You think you're making all these great gains, and then you go back out into the real world, and people are very harsh and very critical."

Dr. Phil brings up DeLisa's problem with getting preferential treatment. "You resent the fact that men pay attention to you now that didn't pay attention to you before, and you're the same person now that you were then. You resent the fact that they're that superficial."

 

"It's offensive. It's degrading," she admits.

 

"There's nothing wrong with what you've done. You've made that decision. I don't know if you'd make it again," Dr. Phil notes. "Body image and self-image are interlinked. They should not be. It's wrong. It's not healthy ... You can be just as loving and caring and giving and intelligent and contributing in your life whether you are attractive or unattractive."

 

DeLisa now has to define her authentic self. "Everybody has that unique configuration of traits, skills, abilities, characteristics — some are God-given; some are learned across time — that uniquely define who you are," Dr. Phil tells her. "If you haven't met yourself enough to identify who and what that is, and then accept and embrace who and what that is, you'll never be happy in this skin."

"You went and spent four months sequestered in a surgical boot camp," Dr. Phil points out, "but you've never done that kind of intensive work to determine who you really are on the inside. What if you decided, 'It's time to meet me. It's time for me to find out what I am truly all about'?"

"That would be ideal," DeLisa replies. "It's been so much more difficult because I've had to do it in the public eye and with so much public opinion about what I've done, and how I've done it," DeLisa explains. "Finding myself since the show has been interrupted by other people putting their perception on me and projecting that."

 

"That's the problem with some of those programs," Dr. Phil says. "Being in the public eye and on television is not for civilians."

 

After the show, Dr. Phil tells DeLisa and Bobbie that he will provide them with self-esteem building exercises from the Self Matters workbook.