My 600-lb Life
One of the most addicting shows on TV has to be My 600lbs Life and not only because you get to see people go through physical and emotional transformations that will change their lives forever, but because it reminds us that we’re all human, and everyone has their own demons. The show takes an intimate look at the lives of people weighing over 600lbs, invading their personal space and following them on their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
The transformations are shocking and utterly amazing. Let’s take a look at some of the best over the years.
Christina Phillips started her journey at over 700lbs, and was able to get down to a shocking 183lbs. Her journey wasn’t easy, but with the help of gastric bypass and a little education on healthy eating, she was able to create a new life for herself. In an interview with PEOPLE, she said,”It’s been pretty amazing having my life back. I’m able to do so much more now. It’s pretty great. Before I couldn’t walk eight feet without feeling like I was gonna die. Now, I could do just about anything I put my mind to.”
Amber Rachdi was the first episode for season 3, an episode that few people will ever forget. She lost over 400 lbs, starting at 657 lbs, and now she’s 250 lbs. Her journey took her three years and is an ongoing process that will continue forever. Amber has been open enough to share with social media about her experience and how it has effected her, “I think it’s [gastric bypass surgery] a great tool for the temporary impact it has on the leptin cycle, stomach capacity, and insulin secretion processes of the body. I think mostly what it does is buy an overweight person time to learn new habits, get into therapy, and learn to make better choices on their own. Tons of folks need revision if they don’t focus their energy on learning new skills while the surgery is super restrictive.”
Marla Mccants story was one of the most emotional witnessed on the show. She was held hostage by her ex-boyfriend, causing her weight to spiral out of control. At the beginning, she weighed in at nearly 800lbs. When she initially went to see the doctors, they were stunned at her condition and believed she was only weeks away from death. Now, she’s down to 336lbs, over a 400lbs weight loss.
In 2012 Donald Shelton was on the show at a starting weight of 675lbs. His journey was harder than many, due to his diagnosis of Guillain-Barre disease halfway through. He initially slimmed down to 275 lbs, but regained 200lbs when his disease left him so week he couldn’t walk. Committed to losing the weight, he was able to lose the weight, once again.
He remains active on social media, posting to his followers regularly, “I am in a wheelchair but don’t let it fool u i can still do everything U wont!!!!!!!!!!!”
Melissa D. Morris
Nearly 11 years ago Melissa Morris appeared on the show, weighing in at 653lbs. She went through the ringer, losing over 500lbs thanks to bypass and changing her lifestyle. She went through a divorce during her process, and had two children, adding to the stress of her weight loss journey. “Before I lost the weight, I was miserable, and barely living life. And my dream was to have kids,” said Melissa to interviewers. “I was happy to be a mom, but I was depressed because of everything I needed to give up. I didn’t expect how much my world would change being a mom, and the struggles that would bring.”
Nikki Webster was 650lbs when she started her journey. She knew she needed to change when she was almost unable to work as a costume designer, something she loved doing. After dropping down to 236lbs, she gained an entirely new lifestyle. As you can see here, her self-esteem skyrocketed and she is much happier.
Chuck Turner was almost 700lbs when he began his journey on season 2 of the TLC show. He lost 433lbs, and unfortunately, got divorced from his second wife. He also aired on a special spinoff show to show fans how he’s been doing since his original episode. He’s even started dating, hoping to find someone to share his life with.
Perez weighed in at 594lbs, so heavy she couldn’t walk without the aid of her walker. Her problems with food stared when she was molested by a family member, leaving her traumatized for years. When she was able to deal with those issues head on, she was able to accept help and lose over 400lbs. Now, she’s thriving, and even has a new man in her life.
Starting out at 654lbs, Bettie Jo was in serious danger of becoming deathly ill. She was able to lose 200lbs, but came to a standstill when she became pregnant with her son, Isaiah. During her pregnancy, doctors found a mass on her spine, which complicated things even further. Luckily, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy and is continuing her weight loss journey. “I will reach my goal. I am at a standstill right now and have been since Preston was born, but I’m not gaining; I’m just stuck in a five pounds up and down range, but I’m going to get to my goal. It might not be as fast as others have, but it’s going at the pace that’s best for me which is how I need it to be cuz [sic] when I over do it, it doesn’t turn out well and I am not gaining all my weight back — no way at all!!”
Henry Foots won over the hearts of everyone watching when he began his journey on season 1 of My 600-lb Life. He was determined to lose the weight and through hard work, he did. He started out at 750lbs and got all the way down to 250lbs. Unfortunately, in 2013, he passed away after complications from a lymphedema mass. He is missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Olivia began her journey at 578lbs, looking to take control of her life back. She had previously had two unsuccessful weight loss surgeries, but with a sleeve gastric bypass, was able to drop 400lbs. She’s had a few health related set backs, but is determined to lose more weight so she can get skin removal surgery. In her own words,”This is what determination and never giving up does…have a blessed day fbookies!!!”
The Seattle native, Diana Was went on the show with a severe addiction to food. She had a horrible childhood consisting of molestation and unhealthy food restrictions. She lost 265lbs on the show, and has now been able to live a healthy, and most importantly, happy life.
From 600lbs, to 300lbs, Zsalynn Whitworth lost half of her body weight. The 44 year old mother was left with almost 44lbs of excess skin, and when she qualified for skin removal surgery, her new life really began to take form. Now, she is really able to appreciate all the hard work she has done.
“It is perfectly OK with not being perfectly OK all the time. Because those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who lay a firm foundation of growth with the bricks life has thrown at them,” says June Mccamey when speaking about her weight loss journey. She was 600lbs, and now, she’s 242 lbs–an incredible feat.
Ashley weighed 730lbs when she began her journey on the TLC show, and like most, her eating disorder stemmed from molestation when she was a child. With help from her doctors, she was able to drop a whopping 400lbs. She says that mental changes have helped her through her journey, “…when I do get that craving, I try to think about that and think about what I’m feeling. If it’s true hunger, then, you know, I’ll eat something. But if I’m feeling angry, happy, sad, I try to revert my mind to something else. I go for a walk. I play with my dogs. I might journal. It’s a learning experience.”
Brittani Fulfer lost over 200lbs after appearing on the show, and has been able to do things she never thought possible.“Three years ago I weighed 600 pounds. Now I am stronger, healthier, and more alive than I thought was ever possible! Am I skinny? Nope! Am I okay with that? Yep! My goal is to be healthy not skinny! Remember to love yourself today! Be blessed!”
One of the biggest weight loss stories was Charity Pierce, who started out at almost 800lbs. She began this long journey in 2016 and lost 500lbs which qualified her for excess skin removal surgery. Although she had the skin removed from her legs which helped her become more mobile, she still has issues with other parts of her body,“I’ve been getting a lot of cellulitis infections. I’ve had to go back to the hospital a couple of times in the past month to be treated, and it’s frustrating because it’s really hard to keep making progress with these complications. And my body is still really misshapen.”
Starting at 606lbs, Tara Taylor was able to knock her weight down to 278lbs. She’s still actively losing weight, and now, has a new man in her life. She plans on getting married to her fiance Eugene Perkins, whom she met on the spin off show Where Are They Now.
Paula lost over 400lbs after having weight loss surgery, an amazing feat that has taught her so much about life and herself. She says the best thing about her weight loss is now she is able to be more active with her children, “I can be more active with them. I’ve learned how to be emotionally healthy as well as physically healthy.” You go girl! Now, she is public speaking, teaching others how to succeed through similar situations.