Dr. Phil's Sister On A Weight Loss Mission

(Editor's note: Since this story aired, we've had many requests for a Dr. Phil weight loss group. To join a local group, contact  helpmedrp@yahoo.com )

Reporter: Shannon Samson

New Media Producer: Kerry Corum

Talk show host Dr. Phil is on a crusade to fight fat in the country.

And if you've been following the show, you know he's making progress with many of his guests.

But what you may not know is who he's helping here in Evansville. His own sister.

Deana McGraw says her younger brother is no different now than he was 20 or 30 years ago.

She says Dr. Phil has always been an achiever, the only difference now is that cameras follow him around all the time. Deana's very proud of the way her brother is using his influence, and grateful for how he's inspired her.

Plenty of new faces crowd the gym in January, but there's one that's been here since October. That's when Deana realized she was at her lowest point, suffering from diabetes and an immune disease that made her muscles so sore, she could hardly walk.

The steroids she was taking for it, made her put on weight. Deana says, "I think the debilitation had hit me so bad, I don't know if I would have been around much longer."

Unlike the rest of us, Deana didn't need to turn on the TV to get advice from the famous weight loss crusader. All she had to do was pick up the phone and call her little brother - Phil to her - Dr. Phil to us. Deana says, "Sometimes you don't want that personal touch."

Because this is a man who won't let you make excuses. Her famous sibling sent her to doctors, and paid for a gym membership and personal trainer to work out with her five days a week.

Dr. Phil even bought her a treadmill for her home. When Deana got on it, she could only manage to walk for a few minutes at a little over a mile an hour. Now she's nearly doubled that speed. Deana says, "I can't believe I was on that treadmill at 2.6!"

And she can't believe how much her eating habits have changed in just three months.

Deana says, "Vegetables to me, if you couldn't fry 'em, there's no way you could eat 'em. And now I have a lot of vegetables. I have them raw. I have them cooked and I've actually learned to like them."

And Deana sure does like how quickly she's seeing results. She's lost 17 pounds, five inches and nearly three percent of her body fat.

Before all this success, Deana taped an episode of her brother's show. She says it was no fun being the bad example. "I just hope the rest of the world stays around while I get skinny and they won't just remember I'm just a fat sister."

See the "before" Deana on the Dr. Phil show this Wednesday at 3:00 on 14WFIE.

Dr. Phil plans to have his sister back after she loses more weight, and we'll continue to follow her progress too.

She wants to lose 100 lbs. Her husband has already lost 33 pounds, so it's definitely a family effort.

To find out more about the weight loss challenge, or a link to the message board to find other people in the area interested in starting a support group, click here.