Unforgettable Weight Stories: Jennifer

Unforgettable Weight Stories: Jennifer

"My life is more miserable now then when I weighed over 300 pounds. The more weight I've lost, the more distorted my body's become," says Jennifer who struggled to lose 162 pounds in three years. "Now that I am at my goal, it's like a cruel joke. I have excess skin. My body resembles a melting candle. I feel like I'm in a 70-year-old body. My skin just hangs. It reminds me of pizza dough. "Because of her excess skin, she hasn't been able to live out her dream of wearing cute clothes, going shopping anywhere she wants, and wearing a bathing suit.

 

Brian, Jennifer's husband, has noticed a change in their relationship since she lost the weight. "Her end result of the weight loss has turned into a catastrophe," he says. "Our relationship is more like roommates now. She doesn't undress in front of me. Jennifer and I have been together for three years. I have not seen her nude once."

 

Jennifer agrees. "My amazing weight loss is destroying my relationship with my husband," she admits. "I don't want my husband

to touch me and know how mushy I really am ... The thought of being naked in front of my husband is terrifying. I don't want to have sex. I feel repulsive. That's why I've told him, 'Just leave me alone.' I've even told him to have an affair so at least he'd be happy that way." Although she makes these comments, Jennifer is in love with her husband. "He's everything I've ever dreamed of," she reveals. "It's just I don't feel like I'm living up to his dream of how we should be."

Jennifer explains that Brian has always been in top physical condition, something that's important to him. "I didn't expect him to have somebody in his life next to him who was overweight," she says. 

"I'm angry every time I see weight loss shows, because everybody's so happy, and nobody ever shows the reality of how the flesh is, and how your body looks after the fact," says Jennifer, tearing up. "If I knew then what I know today, I probably wouldn't have lost as much weight."

 

"All this makes me feel helpless. I just feel like I can't do anything for her," Brian shares. "I tell her she's beautiful; that's not good enough. She is a beautiful woman, and I accept her for who she is."

 

"My greatest fear today is to lose my husband," Jennifer says as she turns to Dr. Phil for help. 

 

"How has this affected y'alls relationship from your point of view?" Dr. Phil asks Brian.

Brian says that he fell in love with Jennifer over the phone before they even met. "Since she lost all

the weight and appears the way she does, she's just not very happy, and she does not want to be intimate with me," Brian explains.

 

"You're pushing him away, not because you don't love him or care about him. You're pushing him away because you feel self-conscious," Dr. Phil says to Jennifer. "It's kind of like, if you show him any kindness at all, then he's going to want to be close, and you feel very uncomfortable with him even touching you."

"I know what I look like and I know what I feel like, so why would I want him to feel that and look at that, when it's not nice?" Jennifer asks.

"You had this dream, this image, of this wonderful body that you would have when you lost weight," Dr. Phil says.

"I've always had the perfect picture in my head of what I wanted to look like," Jennifer says.

"But then that dream turned into a nightmare," Dr. Phil says.

"The more I lost, the scarier it was," Jennifer agrees.

"Are you serious when you say you'd rather have the weight back on?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Not all the way up to that extent, but possibly some of it. At least I'd be filled out a little more," Jennifer says.

"You understand, whether you gain the weight back or whether you live with the situation that you're in, that you have to deal with the reality," Dr. Phil tells Jennifer. "You can't be aggressive toward Brian. He did nothing wrong. All he's done is loved you." He asks if she likes who she is as a person.

"I love myself as a person," Jennifer says.

Dr. Phil introduces Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Dr. Richard Ellenbogen and Dr. Steven Svehlak, who have agreed to work with Jennifer to resolve her problem.

Dr. Ellenbogen shares his thoughts. "This is very difficult surgery. There are a lot of different areas on her body that we have to evaluate. We also have to evaluate her emotionally. Certain areas will be more important than other areas to her," he says. "This is team effort surgery."

"From what you've seen, do you feel like this is something that you can have a positive impact on?" Dr. Phil asks.

Dr. Shevlak replies. "There are several areas we can definitely help," he says. "What she has to understand is that you're trading the loose skin and that extra fat for scars."

Dr. Phil addresses Jennifer. "You will join the treatment team, and you will participate in the decisions, the goals, the realistic expectations to embrace this and improve yourself," he says to her. "Everything comes with a time and a cost, it takes time and effort. You have to go through surgeries which are not risk-free, but this gives you the opportunity to get back in control of what has got you so backed up and shut down." He asks if she would like to move forward with the process.

"Yes," Jennifer says through tears.