Unforgettable Weight Stories: Nicole

"Weight is the number one struggle in my life. I'd love to lose weight," says 25-year-old Nicole, who weighs 380 pounds and is a size 32. "I feel like I am missing out." Because of her size, she is not able to do many of the things her friends do. "I can't wear all the cool clothes — the sparkly stuff and tank tops. I can't find places to sit. I don't go to concerts, theme parks, movies. I can't even wear my seat belt in my car."


"Nicole's life is pretty crummy," says Sarah, one of Nicole's best friends. "Nicole doesn't really do much. She wakes up really late,

plays on the computer, stays in her pajamas, and she eats."

"She just keeps on getting bigger and bigger. Her body is going to give out," adds Shavon, Nicole's other best friend. "Nicole's life is extremely unhealthy. Nicole lives on inhalers."


Nicole makes frequent trips to the emergency room — most recently for pneumonia — smokes, and has a hard time walking for more than 10 minutes. In an effort to lose weight, Nicole has tried every diet, but has been unable to stick to any of them.


"If there isn't an immediate result, then it's a non-working diet for her,"

explains Shavon.


"As long as I've known Nicole, she can polish off a huge amount of food," says Sarah, who has known Nicole since kindergarten and says she was the biggest girl in school. "Within the past year, I believe she has gained, like, 50 pounds ... Sometimes I feel like saying to Nicole, 'Mamma, you need to get a grip.'"


"I eat a lot. All food is comfort food to me while I'm eating it, and then afterward, I just feel disgusted with myself," Nicole admits. "During my weak moments, it's usually late at night, I'll get up and make myself something to eat. I'll eat hot dogs, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or soup or leftovers. Food makes me feel comfortable."

"Nicole's weight is putting a strain on our friendship," says Sarah. "When we go out, we want to go to the more trendy clubs, but as her friends, we compromise and always end up going to one bar that she feels comfortable in." Even at that bar, Nicole gets looks. "There are a lot of people staring, calling her fat, or just pointing at her and laughing."


"When I go out, [Sarah and Shavon] always try to get me to dance with them, but I feel that I'm way too big to be out on the dance floor," says

Nicole. "I get upset when I see all these guys hitting on my friends."

"We're still best friends, but she's just rotting away," says Sarah.


"I hope that Dr. Phil can open Nicole's eyes. My biggest fear is that she's going to continue down this path, and it's going to end up burying her," admits Shavon.  

"My biggest fear is death. I lay in bed at night before I fall asleep, thinking that I might not wake up in the morning," Nicole reveals. She turns to Dr. Phil for help. "I never dreamed that I would be like this. I'm scared. Please help me."

Dr. Phil explains to Nicole the importance of answering all his questions honestly so he can come up with the best plan to help her. "Do you really want to lose this weight?" he asks her.

"Yes, definitely," she says. "I need to."

"Is that what you think you're supposed to say?" Dr. Phil asks, "Or do you really want to do it?"

"I really want to," Nicole maintains.

"Because almost everything that you say suggests otherwise," Dr. Phil points out. She gets mad at people and yells and screams if they don't bring her food. "You said, 'I'll freak out if I can't
find something in the house to eat. I will actually throw a fit and cry. I get in a huge fight with my parents if they go out and don't bring me food back. I have candy hidden around the house,' like in the drawers in your room." He asks her who she is hiding the food from.

"Other people, if they wanted it," she says.

"So you're keeping it, so nobody else will eat it, so you have access to it," Dr. Phil clarifies. Nicole agrees and Dr. Phil continues to list her behaviors. She waits until her parents go to bed and then makes full meals. She lies about what she eats so she can eat again. "You do everything you can to keep yourself overweight," Dr. Phil says. He asks her why she wants to lose the weight.

"Because I have a lot of health problems. It's just not safe," Nicole says.Dr. Phil asks Sarah and Shavon, "What is it that makes the two of you concerned about her, what I call, readiness to do so?"

"I've known Nicole for a long time and I've always suggested going on diets and stuff, and if she does, it lasts for a day," Sarah says, noting that Nicole also lies about what she eats. "So she's not committing herself."

Dr. Phil addresses Nicole. "Is it more accurate to say you want to want to, but you don't really want to go through what it takes to do it?" he asks.

"I think I am ready. I really do," Nicole says.