Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge: Key #2: Jim

Jim opens up to Dr. Phil.
"As I was growing up, both of my parents did a tremendous amount of things for us. We were never held accountable," Jim says. "We were never even encouraged to do better. It was just, 'You're perfect the way you are.'"

Jim was left feeling that he couldn't trust or believe in himself. "I never confronted the fact that I ate too much and didn't exercise," he says.

"Being significantly overweight chronically " you started at 347 pounds " that's very unnatural," Dr. Phil tells Jim. "When something changes the order of nature, something seriously huge and powerful had to come into play."

"I eat not because I'm hungry, but I eat because I want to feel good," Jim says.

"What happened to making yourself feel good through achievement, through pride in your appearance and health, closeness and intimacy in your marriage?" Dr. Phil asks Jim.

"The eating was always more important," says Jim.


"Doesn't that cause you to think: 'There's something really wrong with the way I'm thinking and feeling?'"

"Yes," says Jim.

"So what do you do about it?" Dr. Phil asks Jim.

"I've changed my relationship with food," Jim says. "Before it was mindless, I would just eat to fill what I needed to fill inside myself, versus feeding myself when I was hungry."

Asked what needs Jim trying to fill with food, Jim points to loneliness, boredom, and the fact that family time was always centered around food. Dr. Phil suggests that he might be trying to recreate the feelings of love he felt as a child by equating love with food.

"It isn't about willpower," Dr. Phil reminds Jim. "You've got to decide: 'I've been loving myself with food, I think I'll love myself with life instead.'"

To do that, Dr. Phil tell Jim to program himself for success. "All the things you should have learned and incorporated into your life [as a child], you need to learn and incorporate into your life now."

"And you know where you'll get a good warm feeling that used to come from your family and then later came from food?" Dr. Phil continues. "You'll get it from the pride of achievement ... knowing that you're being a good steward of your marriage, your mind, your body, all the things you're in control of."

Jim has already started to feel that. "For the first time in my entire life I feel like I'm in control of what I'm doing," he says. "It feels so great when you're on the treadmill and you're sweating, and you say 'I'm doing it. I'm not talking about doing it, I'm not planning on doing it, I am making it happen right now.'"

"The whole point is the feelings you used to get from food, you're getting from achievement," Dr. Phil says. "You're loving life instead of loving pie. And when you get to loving life and taking care of yourself, then you can enjoy pie."

The audience applauds for Jim, who's lost 29 pounds of fat.