08/05/04 — Living with new looks: TV crew back in town

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Living with new looks: TV crew back in town

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on August 5, 2004 1:58 PM

A film crew from the Dr. Phil show was in Goldsboro Wednesday to find out what life after an extreme makeover has been like for Monika Barkley.

Mrs. Barkley was chosen to participate in the "Extreme Makeover" show as a result of her participation in "Dr. Phil McGraw's Weight Loss Challenge."

She was one of 13 people selected last September from over 7,000 entries nationwide to participate in the challenge.

She met her goal of losing 50 pounds, but she also shed some heavy emotional weight. Halfway through the weight-loss program she said that she was "happy for the first time in 35 years."

She attributed that new-found happiness to the healing of childhood wounds locked inside of her for decades. Dr. Phil, the television therapist, helped her deal with her emotional issues, she said.

Her success with Dr. Phil led to her being picked for "Extreme Makeover."

After being away from family and friends for two months to have a variety of surgeries and treatments in California, Mrs. Barkley's new look was revealed in April at Billie's Restaurant in downtown Goldsboro.

Then it was time for her to adjust to life back in Goldsboro. She acknowledged that she missed the monthly visits to the Dr. Phil Show in Los Angeles, but said she was happy.

"My life is great," she said. "And my outside matches how alive I am."

The hardest part of coming home was wondering how her husband, Sam, would react to the change.

"I was scared of how he would react, and if it would be a difficult adjustment for him," she said. "It was a little tough for him at first, but now everything's great."

Sam Barkley said that he wouldn't have recognized her if he had just seen her on the street, after the makeover. But during Wednesday's filming, it was apparent that he is perfectly comfortable with his wife's new looks and new-found fame as he joked with the film crew.

Though local reaction to her changed looks has been mostly positive, she said there were a few people who looked askance at her.

"Some people give me a look, like 'you demon woman,'" she said.

During the filming Wednesday, one woman said she thought Mrs. Barkley looked great, but said some people in the community had made negative comments about her looks.

"Who?" asked Mrs. Barkley, laughing. "I want names."

Wednesday's filming is scheduled to air on the Dr. Phil Show sometime this fall.