12/10/04 — Barkley summoned back to TV

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Barkley summoned back to TV

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on December 10, 2004 2:00 PM

When Monika Barkley was chosen last year as a participant for Dr. Phil McGraw's weight loss challenge, she knew her life would change.

But she just didn't know how much.

Not only did the Wayne County resident reach her goal of losing 51 pounds, she was also chosen to receive an "extreme makeover" on the television show by the same name.

Monika Barkley

Mrs. Barkley outside dressing room at the Dr. Phil Show

Mrs. Barkley has maintained her target weight and continued the healthy lifestyle she learned from Dr. Phil. Now she's getting the opportunity to help a Texas family during Dr. Phil's Family Weight Loss Challenge.

"I'm mentoring the Hall family out of Richardson, Texas," she said.

Another of last year's participants in the weight loss challenge is working with a second family.

"The two families are competing," Mrs. Barkley explained. "My family won the first challenge."

The second family challenge will be aired Dec.16 on the Dr. Phil Show.

Besides acting as a coach for the family, Mrs. Barkley is sharing her experiences as a weight loss challenger on her Web site monikabarkley.com. She also has a message board through the Dr. Phil Show web site, where she corresponds with other families and individuals interested in changing their lives.

"We call it the Divine Secrets of the Ha Ha Sisterhood," she said. "It's a public forum for people to join in on weight loss, using the keys outlined by Dr. Phil."

In addition to her work with the family, Mrs. Barkley is working on obtaining certification from the American Council on Exercise to be a personal trainer. After that, she will work on a certification in nutrition.

Her goal: To become a lifestyle coach based on Dr. Phil's seven keys.

"I wanted to use my life and experience, and share how this has changed my life," she said. "Right now, working with this family, I'm getting hands on experience."

Mrs. Barkley was leaving today for Texas, where rallies are being held at the Gold's Gym in San Antonio and Dallas for the two families involved in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.

The show being filmed this weekend in Texas will be about family resolutions essential in getting a family involved in losing weight. That show will air the first week in January as part of Dr. Phil's resolutions week.

In addition to working with the Texas family, Mrs. Barkley is hoping that some Goldsboro families will join the challenge.

"I'd love to have some local families participate as well," she said.