Bright Side

17 Impressive Stories When a TV-Show Helped People Lose Weight, and the Results Were Worth the Struggle


Popular TV reality show “My 600-lb-life” helps people with obesity lose weight and improve their health. The participants literally shock viewers with the numbers on the scales that are often over 600 lb. Millions of viewers can’t stay indifferent to the way such people live and how they overcome the difficulties.

Bright Side has collected 17 examples of unbelievable transformations that people went through. Thanks to the show, they managed to lose weight, improve their health, and completely change their lives.

1. Amber Rachdi

Amber Rachdi was an overweight insecure girl who knew only one way to comfort herself — food. By the time Amber turned 24 years old, her weight was critical — around 660 lb. She moved from the apartment she rented to live with her parents because she could no longer take care of herself. Her daily diet consisted of 4 giant meals and she ate a heap of candy in between.

When Amber joined the project, she had to say “goodbye” to this lifestyle. She had a gastric bypass surgery and she started working on herself. She went to the gym and saw a therapist and the results were amazing. Just 6 months after the surgery, Rachdi lost more than 88 lb and a year later, she lost an additional 55 lb. After she lost weight, Amber broke up with her boyfriend who didn’t mind her gaining weight and married another man.

2. Christina Phillips

Christina Phillips grew up in a family where her parents argued all the time so the girl ate a lot to escape from the problems. By the age of 12, she weighed 286 lb, and by 25, she weighed more than 660 lb. The girl became insecure, she stopped leaving her house and she was fully dependent on her mother and her husband.

Christina managed to lose 522 lb in just 2 years. She had a gastric bypass surgery. Apparently, she is not going to stop there as she continues to eat healthy food and exercise. But doctors are now worried about Christina becoming anorexic.

3. Marla McCants

After Marla McCants was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, she developed an eating disorder caused by stress. She was scared that the boyfriend who wasn’t legally punished would return and kill her. Marla’s ex-boyfriend was caught when she was 43 years old. By that time, she was already addicted to food and weighed 793 lb. She didn’t get up from the bed — she fried chicken right in it.

Marla realized that she didn’t want to be found dead in her own apartment surrounded by food. And when she was moving to Houston, a blood clot formed so she was really scared and decided to fight for her health and for a new life.

4. Donald Shelton

Donald Shelton went from weighing 674 lb to 295 lb in 4 years. He had a gastric bypass surgery but during treatment, doctors diagnosed him with Guillain—Barré syndrome. The diagnosis didn’t let Donald do any physical exercise, so he is in a wheelchair. But Donald didn’t give up and is not going to.

5. Melissa D. Morris

Melissa D.Morris is one of the first participants of My 600-lb-life. She was a woman who dreamed of having a child. But she couldn’t get pregnant because of her extra weight — she weighed 652 lb. Thanks to the gastric bypass surgery, dieting, and a lot of physical activity, Melissa managed to lose almost 154 lb. This allowed her dream to come true — she managed to get pregnant. But after her pregnancy, her weight started to return.

When she reached the 273-lb mark, Melissa cut her daily calorie intake to 1,200 calories and lost 176 lb. Now she is really careful about what and how much she and her family eat, she is very active on social media, and she motivates other people to live a healthy lifestyle.

6. Chuck Turner

Chuck Turner had never had problems with extra weight but everything changed when his wife was murdered. After the tragedy, Chuck tried to escape from the pain by eating a lot of food. He was able to stop only when he weighed 692 lb. He remarried and had a son. But the man couldn’t help his wife raise the baby because he was barely able to get up and he had a tumor on his leg. Thanks to the project, Chuck lost almost 418 lb and became a totally different person.

7. Susan Farmer

Susan Farmer dreamed of losing extra weight and her giant belly. It was like getting out of a jail she put herself into because of her eating disorder. Susan had a gastric bypass surgery and changed her eating habits with the help of experts. She also started doing regular physical exercises.

As a result, she lost 407 lb. Susan received a lot of support from her friends who let her swim in their pool. After Susan had the extra skin removed, the first thing she bought was jeans. The last time she wore jeans was in middle school.

8. Nikki Webster

Nikki Webster was 33 years old when she realized that she had a deadly addiction to food and her life was in danger. It all started when her parents let her eat whatever she wanted and didn’t control the process. They even sent plates with food to her room. By the age of 33, she weighed 649 lb and she could barely stand and get up without someone’s help.

Only then Nikki’s father took her to the hospital to have a gastric bypass surgery, but she had to lose more than 45 lb on her own before the surgery or she would die. After a course of psychotherapy, she had a new diet and did a lot of exercises. She lost 198 more lb, met a person she fell in love with, got married. Now her weight is 235 lb, she is happy, and she has a healthy lifestyle.

9. Paula Jones

Paula Jones couldn’t escape from her body on her own and she was scared that her children would be left alone soon. Before the gastric bypass surgery, she lost a lot of weight on her own and after the surgery, she weighed 268 lb.

She also had the extra skin removed. Now Paula weighs 198 lb, she continues to eat healthy food, she has an active lifestyle, and she motivates her Instagram subscribers to lose weight and to overcome similar problems.

10. June McKaymee

June McKaymee started gaining weight after her son died. The woman was trying to escape from grief with food and her husband helped her without any objections. He brought his wife giant plates with beef, cheese, sauce, burritos, and nachos, but when June weighed more than 595 lb, he stopped doing this. After that, June was scared and she asked experts for help when she realized that this life-threatening problem needed to be solved. Thanks to the gastric bypass surgery, dieting, physical activity, and psychotherapy, now she weighs 300 lb.

11. Brittani Fulfer

Brittani Fulfer suffered from obesity and she was worried that her husband was disgusted by her. But anyway, she spent 6-8 hours a day on eating food and lying in bed. It was harder to Brittani to lose weight because she had thyroid cancer and problems with her immune system.

This diagnosis that she got when she was 19 years old complicated the process of losing weight even more. But Brittani managed to do it anyway. She did a great job with the assistance of experts and lost 332 lb in 3 years. She overcame her addiction to food and continues to restore her health.

12. Diana Bunch

Diana Bunch grew up in a family with a lot of children. Her mother was often ill and her father lost his job a lot of times. The crisis impacted the atmosphere at home and made Diana feel insecure. She thought that nobody cared about her and that she was completely worthless. The girl dreamed of some attention. At the age of 11, Diana was sexually harassed by 2 teenagers and this stress left an imprint on her personality. She couldn’t tell anyone about what happened and started eating a lot to escape from the problems.

By the age of 40, Diana weighed 335 lb and she lost her job. Her niece did the grocery shopping, and her friend Tracy came several times a week to help her take a bath. After 15 years of such a lifestyle, Diana weighed 600 lb and she stopped walking. She was scared that one day she would go to sleep and never wake up because of her weight, so she decided to fight for her health and life. After very difficult challenges, a surgery, and changing her eating habits, Diana managed to reduce her weight to 222 lb.

13. Zsalynn Whitworth

When Zsalynn Whitworth made a decision to lose weight, her husband didn’t support her. He said that he loved big women and that if his wife would lose weight, he would stop liking her. He even tried to sabotage Zsalynn’s attempts: for example, he refused to buy lettuce for her.

After a year of fighting with extra weight, Zsalynn divorced her husband, met a new love, and continues to improve her health.

14. Lupita Samano

Lupita Samano spent 10 years in bed because of her weight and her husband Gilbert took care of her. But the price of care was constant humiliation, insults, cheating, and drinking. And when Lupita became a participant of the show and started losing weight, her husband’s attitude to her become worse and worse with every pound that she lost. He was really jealous and turned into a very insecure person. Now Lupita weighs 209 lb and she is happy in a new relationship.

15. Charity Pierce

Charity Pierce is a 38-year-old single mother who was the most overweight woman in the world. Her weight was 798 lb. She decided to lose weight for her own wedding with a 22-year-old man Tony. Aside from obesity, Charity had lymphedema which causes huge swelling. The woman couldn’t move and leave her house.

But the wish to be beautiful and walk down the aisle on her own legs motivated Charity to overcome the difficulties on her path to being healthy. She now weighs 299 lb after 30 lb of tissue was removed and she continues to do exercise on a regular basis.

16. Olivia Cruz

Olivia Cruz weighed 579 lb when she joined the project. At that time, she lived in her mother’s basement and was fully dependent on her family. She couldn’t do the simplest things without help. She survived several serious surgeries, and her weight was reduced to 198 lb. Now she continues to keep this weight while dealing with a medical issue with her knees. For the first time in 15 years, Olivia was able to go to work and make her dream come true — she became a chef.

17. Mayra Rosales

Mayra Rosales holds a record among women who have obesity. Her weight before she started losing it was 1100 lb. The woman couldn’t walk or take a shower and she could barely lift her body. Her family had to take care of her. A tragedy pushed Mayra to make a decision to change her life and start fighting for her health. Her nephew received a serious head trauma and died soon after. The woman tried to prove to the police that she accidentally fell on the child but the police discovered the truth — it was Mayra’s sister.

She was sent to prison and Mayra had to take care of the children. This put her in an impossible situation and she decided to start losing weight. She survived a series of very dangerous surgeries, changed her eating habits, started doing physical exercises, and managed to lose 80% of her initial weight.

It takes years to become obese and, of course, it’s not a good idea to lose control of the situation and lose the ability to have a normal life. But why do people often miss the right turn and only realize they are in danger when it’s almost too late? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section below.

Preview photo credit Amber Rachdi/facebook, TLC
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