“My 600lb Life” is a reality television series that’s aired on American Pay television, TLC, since 2012. The show is about the lives of obese individuals, who joins the show weighing 600 pounds, and above. Their efforts to reduce their weight to a healthy level is documented from the start to the end of the show. And then later, they are featured on a follow-up episode called “Where Are They Now”. This episode is all about, giving updates on the participants’ progress after they left the show. “My 600lb life” show highlights on the serious impacts of excessive weight gain to other organs of the body, the importance of gastric bypass surgery, workouts, and good nutrition. There is a mix of success, unsuccessful, and fatal stories from this show. Below are some of the biggest stories from individuals, who took part in the program:
1. Melissa Morris (Season One)
Melissa joined the program weighing 653lbs.”Losing weight has given me life” she says. We know that a good number of people only want to lose weight in order to get healthy or have kids. But this wasn’t the case for Melissa. Her mom had just undergone a cancer-related surgery, and Melissa couldn’t visit, or take care of her because of her massive body. Her mom had to get up to make her food, while still in bandages. It’s the utter feeling of shame and embarrassment that pushed her to get weight-loss surgery. After the surgery, her weight got down to 235lbs. And to ensure she stays on track, she – attends weekly support meetings, avoids “trigger” foods, maintains good nutrition, routine workouts, and weekly weighing. She says, she never realized what she was missing until she started losing weight! She can now enjoy life by, playing and running outside with her kids. Something she saw as a far-fetched dream.
2. Christina Philips (Season Two)
At first, Christina weighed 708 lbs. But after the show, she had toned down to 171 lbs. Her turning point came when “living became so hard”, She explains that any attempt to get up or walk a few feet left her breathless. During the course of the program, she had a gastric bypass in 2013. And in combination with, proper nutrition, self-discipline, and physical exercise, she managed to shed 500lbs. She now stays away from processed foods, soft drinks. She meal-preps, goes to the gym four times a week and gets 10,000 steps per day.
3. James King (Season Five)
Of all the cast from season five, and below, James was the heaviest, at 791 pounds. Unlike, other cast members, at the program, James continued to gain weight. It’s only at the beginning of the program that his weight dropped to 600 pounds before it started to steadily, go up again. He even became bed-ridden due to extreme obesity and cellulitis. This went on until Dr. Nowzaradan made a shocking discovery – his fiancé had been sneaking in food to him at his hospital bed! And hence, Adult Protection Services was called on her. By the end of the first episode, James’ weight had shot to 840lbs. He was then, dismissed from the program, completely. After his dismissal, some sources such as Reddit had it that he was near death; he had first stage cirrhosis, blood infection, kidney(s) failure, as well as, ballooning weight due to water retention. However, the hospital managed to control the sepsis. And with the help of his physical therapist, Rudi Pijnaken, they started the GoFundMe campaign. Its main aim was to raise funds for James Bariatric Trapeez, medical supplies, among other things he couldn’t afford on his own at the time. Later, his father confirmed to the public that he had left ICU because his condition had “improved a little bit”. Currently, he continues with his attempts to cut down his weight with the help of Rudi Pijnnaken.
4. Chuck’s Story (Season Two)
Chucks is a 50-year-old from Texas. The 600 lb Life star is known to have lost more than half of his body weight, after leaving the program. Chuck had lost his first wife through murder, in 2006. He turned to unhealthy eating habits to cope with his loss, hence gaining up to 693 pounds. This extreme weight gain led to a 40 lb lymphodema (lump resulting from fluid retention) on his leg. He confessed, he couldn’t move around, or function as he desired. His second wife Nissa had previously claimed, “his massiveness and morbidity made their marriage comparable to a career-patient relationship”. Since he couldn’t take care of his own family, the wife walked out of their marriage with their adopted son. He underwent gastric bypass surgery, in 2013. According to him, it’s the support he got from members of his church that motivated him to be thankful, and do something for himself. Because they never condemned him, but instead, they constantly prayed for him As of 2015, Chuck’s weight had dropped to 265 lbs, and the lymphodema disappeared, too. He says making long-term lifestyle changes in relation to nutrition, and routine workouts weren’t easy, but the decision helped him. Now, he can meet the physical demands of his towing job – something he could never do before. Chuck claims he can now re-build his life outside work, including attending church and meeting new people.
Obesity is currently, one of the most disturbing health concerns among adults, and kids. Unhealthy eating habit is known to be the main cause. Health risks involved with obesity are; anemia, low blood pressure, fluid retention, cirrhosis, kidney failure, and death. Seeking professional help in relation to, nutrition, physical therapies, and correctional surgery is important to successfully manage obesity.