For most of her life, Stacey Halprin has struggled with her weight—and at one point she weighed 550 pounds. Depressed and alienated, Stacey fed her sadness with more and more food.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Stacey decided to take control of her life. She started by having gastric bypass surgery and followed up with a steady exercise routine and a healthier diet. She's since lost more than 300 pounds!

Although the surgery and exercise helped immensely, Stacey says that she first needed to make the decision to reclaim her life. "People say, 'How long did it take you to lose 300 pounds?'" she says. "I go, 'My entire life.'"
Stacey on people's reactions

Stacey says that when she weighed more than 500 pounds, people either avoided her or made fun of her. Things have changed since she's lost the weight, but it's not a completely easy adjustment.

"Now, when I go out, not only do people make eye contact, they just interact with me," she says. "It makes me feel unbelievable, but there are times when I do get a little angry. I think to myself, 'Why? Why did it take losing all this weight to have people interact with me?'"
Stacey's doctor, Dr. Mark Lidagoster

After Stacey lost weight through surgery, she still needed further surgery to get rid of her excess weight. As many as 10 complicated and painful procedures were required, including a breast reduction and a face-lift.

"Even after the weight is gone, some of the skin loses its elasticity," explains Stacey's doctor, Dr. Mark Lidagoster. "Bodies bounce back better when they're younger, but at the point of weight gain where some of the formerly obese are, the body has stretched to such a degree that it's surpassed its ability to bounce back."
Shirley MacLaine

Stacey is an actress who appeared in the 2000 film Bruno, starring Shirley MacLaine. When we showed Shirley the tape of the newly svelte Stacey, she was surprised and moved. She shared this message with an emotional Stacey:

"Stacey, I am so proud of you. You're an inspiration for other people. So, you've lost four Paris Hiltons here! Really, it's a remarkable achievement. And now, your comedy can come out, your sense of drama can come out. I'm just absolutely thrilled."

"My life has literally been turned upside down," Stacey says of her weight loss. "It's a hard adjustment. People think that's going to be all great; it's not all great. It's a life to get used to, it's a new person."

As she continues to live in her "new" body, Stacey struggles to maintain a positive identity that reflects who she is now. "I never thought there could be anything harder than losing weight, but there is. And that is getting rid of that 500-pound voice in your head all the time."

Wynona Judd makes an emotional admission.