For years, viewers have watched TLC’s My 600-Lb Life, witnessing morbidly obese patients completely transform their bodies and lives. The patients profiled on the show all start out hundreds of pounds overweight, with the devastating health and emotional problems that come with that. From being unable to walk and do everyday tasks to being homebound, the patients suffer the most extreme physical and emotional consequences of obesity.
But all of them have something in common — hope and a desire to change. In comes the show’s central figure, Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. “Dr. Now,” as his patients call him, is a bariatric surgeon who performs weight loss surgeries on his patients and coaches them along the road to a healthy weight. Over the seasons, dozens of people have made a complete turnaround, going from barely mobile to active and fit. And while most patients on the show lose weight, there are some that really stand out.
Check out some of the most stunning weight-loss success stories to ever be chronicled on My 600-Lb Life.
Amber Rachdi’s transformation is one of the most jaw-dropping. When she first appeared on the show at age 23, sheweighed 657 pounds and said she felt like a “nasty, yucky monster.” Her legs carried a great deal of her weight, and, as a result, she said she couldn’t stand for more than 30 minutes at a time. After losing 20 pounds in order to qualify for gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Now, she underwent the procedure and ended up getting down to 377 pounds within a year!
But she didn’t stop there, she ultimately lost over 400 pounds and kept it off, profiling her journey with glamorous pinup-style selfies on Facebook and Instagram. She explained on Instagram, “I spent a long time not liking me, so I’m documenting moments I feel pretty.”
Rachdi, who confessed on her episode ofMy 600-Lb Life that her weight prevented her from being intimate with her then-boyfriend, now has a lot to celebrate when it comes to her personal life. She got engagedin 2016 and has since tied the knot.
Brittani Fulfer’s story is nothing short of remarkable. She started out weighing 605 pounds at only 5 feet, 1 inch tall. She was so motivated to change that she and her husband, Bill, moved from Oregon to Texas in order to be near Dr. Now’s office, where she underwent weight loss surgery.
According to Women’s Health magazine, she lost almost 400 pounds and dropped down to 222. She explained her reason for having surgery to the mag, “I felt I had more to offer myself, friends, and family than just having them help take care of me. I was too young to feel so old.”
She said she is cherishing every moment of her new life, and she told Women’s Health, “I knew when I started this journey that my life was going to get better. But, I had no idea that my life was going to be this amazing! My weight was my prison. Now I am free, and I can do whatever I want whenever I want.
Angel Parrish weighed 570 pounds when she first appeared on the show, riding in a wheelchair and relying on her boyfriend, Donnie, for everyday needs. She said that her eating habits had been triggered by the trauma of placing a baby for adoption at age 14, and the situation got worse when she later experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to a son with Donnie.
Donnie went so far as to say that she “just stopped living” after their son Andrew was born. He threatened that if she didn’t get help, he’d have to leave her and take Andrew with him.
Parrish rebounded in a big way by losing over 150 pounds through diet changes, and then undergoing weight-loss surgery with Dr. Now. She adopted a fitness routine and ultimately dropped over 300 pounds. After losing the weight, she reflected, “It’s been a long time since I could look at myself and see someone that I thought was beautiful.”
After slimming down, she was able to be a more active parent, and said, “I wake up and it’s not to eat — it’s to get Andrew ready for school!”
Melissa D. Morris
Melissa D. Morris was one of the first people to be profiled on the show, and she started her weight loss journey over a decade ago. She began her journey at 653 pounds and was forced to ride around in a scooter to carry out basic tasks like grocery shopping.
After undergoing weight loss surgery, she dropped down to a stunning 137 pounds! And to make things even sweeter, after 12 years of trying to get pregnant, she finally became a mom, welcoming three children over the years. She struggled with her weight after her pregnancies, but still weighs significantly less than she did when she began. She told TLC in 2017, “I weigh myself every single day. I am so fearful of gaining all my weight back, especially because it was so easy for me to gain [weight] while pregnant.”
She also shared some advice for people who might want to change their lives like she did. “I advise others that the first step towards a healthier life is identifying what you’re doing wrong. You must first figure that out because you cannot fix what you don’t acknowledge,” she said.
Christina Phillips weighed in at 673 poundsat only 22 years old when she first visited Dr. Now, and said that she was so embarrassed about her weight that she only left the house at 3 a.m. when she was unlikely to see many people.
She told Women’s Health, “Getting up and walking just a few feet made me feel like I was going to die. I couldn’t drive, walk far, or go out with friends and family. I was miserable, and I knew I had to do something.”
With the help of Dr. Now, Phillips had weight loss surgery and experienced a shockingtransformation — her weight loss ended up being so extreme that she actually lost too much weight! The doctor advised her to gain 15 pounds in order to be at a more healthy weight.
In 2017, she told Women’s Health that she weighed in at 171 pounds and said, “My life has changed so much since the weight loss! I can do things I never imagined possible… I’ve been able to try indoor skydiving and… I can walk miles without getting tired.”
Nikki Webster is one of the most notable success stories on the show. She originally weighed in at 649 pounds, and her weight was affecting her career in costume design. Luckily, she had strong support from her family (her dad lost 40 pounds in solidarity) and was able to undergo gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Now.
According to People magazine, she ultimately lost 450 pounds. In 2017, she told the mag, “It’s hard to imagine now how I used to live. It’s just become so vastly different. … It has been the hardest two years of my life, but it’s been the most victorious and exciting.”
She explained how she stays fit, tellingPeople, “I do a lot of walking, that’s my favorite thing to do. I’ll walk at least 2 to 3 miles a day or I try to. I’ll also try to do weight training and that kind of thing. I go to the gym every now and then and do those sorts of things.”
In 2018, Nikki revealed on Facebook that she’d gotten married, writing, “I kind of got married. He’s the absolute best, and I honestly couldn’t be more happy…It’s been a busy few months.”
When Paula Jones decided to lose weight, she had a powerful and tragic motivation — her husband had died from weight-related complications from weighing over 600 pounds. A year after he passed away, Jones herself weighed 542 pounds and worried that she too would suffer a life-threatening complication from obesity, leaving her four children on their own.
She decided that it was time to change and paid a visit to Dr. Now, but she was stunned when she set foot on the scale and saw her weight. “I’m huge. I look like a monster,” she said sadly.
Jones followed through with her commitment to trim down, moving her family from Georgia to Texas in order to have surgery. According to Woman’s World, it paid off and she experienced amazing results, ultimately losing 400 pounds! The mag reported that her relationship with her kids has improved, with Jones saying, “I can be more active with them. I’ve learned how to be emotionally healthy as well as physically healthy.”
Chuck Turner weighed in at 693 pounds when he first appeared on the show. He said that he started gaining weight years earlier after his first wife was murdered. He eventually married his second wife Nissa and they adopted a son together, but his marriage became strained when his obesity prevented him from helping her with anything around the house.
According to In Touch Weekly, his situation had grown even more complicated because a 40-pound growth called a lymphedema had developed on his leg, hindering his movements even further. He told TLC producers, “I’d rather be a dead man than have to live like this for the rest of my life.”
Luckily, he was able to have weight-loss surgery with Dr. Now, and he ended up losing 433 pounds! Unfortunately, he and Nissa eventually split up, but, according to In Touch, he said in a reunion special that he was looking for love again.
Zsalynn Whitworth’s story is remarkable due to all that she had to overcome to lose weight. On her episode of My 600-Lb Life, she described joining a fat-acceptance organization and flying around the world to party with men who enjoyed the company of large women.
Unfortunately, by the time her weight had crept up to over 600 pounds, it wasn’t so fun anymore. Now a mother to a young daughter, she found it hard to move around and spent up to 8 hours per day watching TV. She said she now “hated being this size” so she embarked on a journey with Dr. Now, and just a year after her weight loss surgery, she had lost 247 pounds.
But unfortunately, according to the Daily Mail, her husband Gareth liked larger ladies and wasn’t a fan of her slimmer frame. He encouraged her to eat unhealthy foods so that she could gain weight. She had to decide whether to stay with someone who was actively trying to sabotage her weight loss success, or get a divorce, and she reportedly ended up opting for the latter.
Donald Shelton’s weight loss journey was a bit of a bumpy road with lots of twists and turns. When viewers were first introduced to him, he weighed 675 pounds and his weight made it hard to move around, causing him to ride in a wheelchair. His immobility led to severe bouts of depression.
After weight loss surgery with Dr. Now, he was able to lose almost 400 pounds, but, according to In Touch Weekly, he was unfortunately diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which affected his ability to walk and required him to be wheelchair-bound again. Unfortunately, after this devastating setback, he reportedly gained back 200 pounds.
But, like the other highly motivated stars ofMy 600-Lb Life, Shelton didn’t give up. According to In Touch, he was ultimately able to drop some of the weight he put on, and he looked trim and happy in later social media posts.