Thousands of people sent in tapes to be considered for the Weight Loss Challenge.More than 7,000 people sent in tapes to be considered for Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Challenge. Here are some of their stories:
"When I look in the mirror, I see fat. I see someone I don't want to be. I'll look, and then I'll look away. I'm disgusted...The worst feeling is walking into a building and having people stare at you, and you know that they're staring at you because you're fat...My biggest fear is never being able to find somebody to share the rest of my life with."
"I'm a prisoner in my own body. I'm cheating myself out of living. It's nasty to be in here and not be able to break through, and to fail continually."
"It makes me very sad, yo-yo dieting. I've probably gained and lost 10 people. I feel like I just could unzip the fat suit and take it off."
These two women took a more comedic approach when they submitted a video tape to be considered.
"We've been through everything together, through thick and thin, and the thick is obviously winning. So remember, pick us!"
Terri, who weighs 264 pounds, also wants to be considered for the challenge. She has what she calls a "booty shelf."
"If somebody's behind me, I worry they might sit a tray on my butt," she says.
"I have struggled with this weight issue my whole life," she says. "There are things that I can't do with my son. I can't even get on a bike without the tire going flat. He sees me like this and he thinks it's OK for him to be like this, and it's not." Fearing that she won't live to see her 10-year-old son grow up, she says, "This isn't an option for me anymore."
Dr. Phil tells Terri, "But you didn't just discover that today. You knew that the last 10 diets you've been on. Why now? Why here?"
She says, "I need to be accountable, and I want to help other people."
Dr. Phil drives home the point that Terri needs to have realistic expectancies about her weight, explaining that looking like she did in high school or like a supermodel is not a likely goal.
"God made us in a lot of different shapes," says Dr. Phil. "On the tennis court, they call me 'double wide,'" he jokes. "I'm a big guy and I've got to accept that.... I get as healthy as I can for the size that I am."
The goal, he reiterates, is to find a realistic weight that's healthy, and to take care of yourself.
"I hate my weight," says Janine, a stay-at-home mom who weighs 190 pounds. She describes herself as "a fast-food junkie," and often hides her body by wearing overalls. "I can't stand my body," she says. "I don't feel comfortable in it at all."
Her weight issue, which she's struggled with for about 10 years, is affecting her marriage. "We have no sex life whatsoever," she says. "My daughter sees me battle with my weight and now she tells me that she looks fat."
Dr. Phil wants her to understand that losing weight won't "fix" anyone's life. "If you've got a crummy husband and bratty kids and a dead-end job while you're overweight, you're going to have a crummy husband, bratty kids and a dead-end job when you get down to the weight you want," he says.
Jim, a radio DJ in Chicago, weighs 360 pounds. He'd like to start a family, but his wife Dana fears he'll die young and she'll be left a single mom. "I gave up on Jim years ago," she says. "It's hard to say you're not attracted to your husband."
Is Jim ready for the challenge if he's picked? "What if I say that in order to get right and get healthy, you're going to have to change some of your relationships?" Dr. Phil asks.
"That scares me," Jim answers. "But I need to make this change now because I don't know if I'll have a second chance at that."
Monika, who weighs 195 pounds, says her husband is her biggest critic. He calls her "wide load," and has humiliated her in front of co-workers. "He thinks it's funny, but it's extremely painful," says Monika.
But if Monika is picked for the challenge, her husband says he'll support her. He adds, "I need to go on it too."
"Yeah, I was just getting to that," Dr. Phil jokes. He asks Monika, "Isn't the truth that internally, you're starting to agree with a whole lot of what he's saying?"
"I've heard it so long, yeah," she answers.
Dr. Phil says, "You've got to get real about this, and that means you've got to tell him to shut up, and then look yourself in the mirror and say, 'I ain't going to listen to this any more from you either.'"