Weight Loss Challenge Success Stories: Joy, Amy, Mike, Laurie, Garrett

See How They Did It!
The weight loss challenge continues.

When Joy started Dr. Phil's program, she weighed 248 pounds. Now, she's down to 140. "I used to wear a size 20, and now I wear a size 8," she says.

After trying every diet on the market, only to gain back the weight she'd lost, Joy bought Self Matters and started to get real with her authentic self. "I started this healing process that I had no idea was leading me to a complete life change," says Joy. "When I purchased The Ultimate Weight Solution and got to the second key, this lightbulb went on that I'm going to be successful this time."

She started eating much healthier food, does intentional exercise six days a week, and is no longer an emotional eater.

"I've lost 40 inches in my torso, my hips, and my thighs," she says. "I feel good about myself, and looking for my happiness from within is the best transformation that I've had. Thank you Dr. Phil for helping me lose this weight once and for all."

Joy comes out on stage to show off her new look. "What was it that finally got you moving?" Dr. Phil asks.

"The difference is I re-prioritized my life and made myself important," says Joy, who is married with two children. "I had some real problems with how I felt about myself, my self-esteem, and things that happened to me in the past," she continues, so only when she dealt with her emotions and made herself a priority was she able to start losing weight.

Joy says she most relates to AnnMarie, because she, too, was raped when she was younger, which has played a role in her weight gain. AnnMarie has been an inspiration to her. "She kept me on track. She's made the first step, she's doing it, she's losing the weight, she's tackling all those issues that she didn't want to tackle, and I was so proud of her," Joy says.


"On April 15, 2002, I stepped on the scale and I weighed 333 pounds. I knew at that point that something had to be done," says Amy, who has lost more than 150 pounds and 100 inches.

"I heard Dr. Phil say on a show, 'It's not what you eat, it's what's eating you,' and that hit home with me," she says. "I started walking half a mile a day, and my weight steadily came off. I've lost 153 pounds because of his help from the book and my exercise."

Amy shows off her new body and smiles with pride.

"I had lied to myself, I had thought eating would take away all my pain and my problems, and it didn't," says Amy, whose doctor was able to reduce by half the amount of medication she takes for her medical ailments, now that she's at a healthier weight.

"It's just amazing when you see it in the flesh," Dr. Phil says. "Your immediate past history predicts that you are going to live a healthy life."

"I was 412 pounds," says Mike, pointing out that he couldn't even bend down to pick something up at that weight. His wife Judy encouraged him to watch Dr. Phil. "The show is really what ignited me," he says. "I set a goal to lose 10 pounds. To date, I've lost 101 pounds."

Now down to a size 46 from a 58, Mike explains how he got there. "I changed behaviors. I replaced food with life, and life meant taking care of myself," he says. He also exercises every day, pushing himself harder all the time. "I'm only at the beginning of what I know is going to be a new lifestyle. Now it's time to be 43 and look forward to life, not think that it's over."

When Dr. Phil asks what inspired him to make the life decision to lose weight, Mike responds, "I have two phenomenal daughters, 14 and 12, and I have a wife that I love so much and I was afraid that I wasn't going to be around much longer for them." He emphasizes, "I'm not on a diet. I'm starting a new life."

At 197 pounds, Laurie says she was miserable. With the help of The Ultimate Weight Solution, Laurie has gone from a size 18 to a size 3, and says she's never felt better.

"I began having weight problems after I had my first son," says Laurie, who's down to 126 pounds. "I watched the weight loss challenge from the very first day it started. My husband bought me the book, and I just really enjoyed it."

For Laurie, the most important key was creating a no-fail environment. "I would eat junk food, fried food, and I wouldn't exercise," she remembers. Now, while her husband eats ice cream, she'll eat fruit and be completely satisfied. She also exercises, no longer eats fast food or eats emotionally, and plays with her kids more instead of being sedentary.

She has, however, had some obstacles. "I've had a hard time with my circle of support," says Laurie. "My mom thinks I'm too thin. My sister is envious. Thank goodness for my husband. He has been a great support for me."

Laurie recounts the vicious cycle she was in before she lost weight. "The more I ate, the more depressed I got, and then the more I wanted to eat," she says, pointing out that her sedentary lifestyle only made things worse.

"My lifestyle has changed," says Laurie, who spends time preparing her meals with hunger-suppresing food, goes grocery shopping with a list that she prepares from Dr. Phil's Food Guide, and keeps herself busy so that food is no longer her focal point.

At 253 pounds, Garrett, a 23-year-old TV weatherman, says he felt like he was on the road to obesity. After following the challenge for four months, he's lost 50 pounds.

"I felt like I was trapped in this body that I couln't get out of," he says. "Dr. Phil helped me get into my real self."

Garrett started exercising, eating the right foods, and cleaned up his environment.

He used to hate looking at his belly, but now he grabs it with pride (though he's still working on his six-pack). "I'm very surprised at how easily the weight came off," he says. "I consider this a lifestyle change, not a diet."