The most recent episode of TLC’s hit TV series, My 600-lb Life, featured Tracey, a 44-year-old grandmother who weighed 605 pounds due to massive lymphedema in her legs. Over the course of the episode, Tracey managed to get the sympathy of many viewers, many of whom admired her for her drive to lose most of her weight and get better, which is a significant departure from the audience reaction to James K’s episode, which aired last week.
The Ohio resident suffers from cellulitis, which puts most of her 605-pound weight on her legs. Estimates during the episode stated that her legs weigh as much as 530 pounds on their own, which significantly affected Tracey’s mobility. Over the course of the My 600-lb Life episode, Tracey displayed some remarkable determination which, apart from her cheating on her diet with some hot sauce, involved her losing as much as 88 pounds. Losing 20 more pounds every month, Tracey was eventually able to qualify for the first of many surgeries.
Unlike the viewers’ furious reaction to last week’s episode involving the stubborn and self-pitying James K, My 600-lb Life fans wished Tracey well on her road to recovery. Numerous fans in online forums such as Reddit even stated that the 44-year-old grandmother has been particularly admirable in the end, when Dr. Now visited her post-surgery, and she assured him that she was doing okay, despite being clearly in pain.
Tracey’s battle with obesity did not come during her adult years, and neither did her biggest problems. As stated in a report from People, Tracey was held down by a very turbulent life at home. By the time she was around six or seven years of age, she already weighed as much as 70 pounds. Due to problems at home between her parents, Tracey and her siblings ended up spending more of their time with their grandparents, which further exacerbated her weight problems.
“We were still living with our parents, but they were just never there. But my eating didn’t slow down because my grandma loved to feed us and give us any kind of sweets. So I was around 170 pounds at age 11. At grandma’s house, I didn’t have to deal with my dad’s drinking, or my dad and my mom fighting.”
“Things in our house were more violent. There were times when windows got broke at our house, and shotguns were brought out, and my mom and me and my brothers would run out of the house for our lives.”
Eventually, her eating habits just got worse and worse, and by the time she was in high school, she was already grossly overweight. According to Tracey, food was her only source of comfort during her childhood and teenage years.
“Food was what made me feel safe. When I ate, I wasn’t worrying. So middle school, junior high, my weight got all the way up to the 200’s. And I put on another 50 pounds. by the time I was in high school. So I got to like, 270 pounds. by the time I graduated.”
While Tracey’s years growing up resulted in her massive weight gain, many viewers have also taken notice of how Anthony, her husband, treated her during the course of the My 600-lb Life episode. According to a US Weekly report, the episode featured a moment when Anthony refused to take her to a much-needed medical check-up. Over the years, Tracey’s husband has been her caregiver, and interestingly, his resentment appears to have increased as she lost weight. The 44-year-old grandmother related her plight with her husband in an interview during the episode.
“Things have been a little tense between Anthony and me lately. I’m not sure if he’s just tired of the diet, or if he’s upset that I’m trying to lose this weight. I know he said he liked being needed, but now he’s telling me to do everything myself.”
Apart from being unsupportive during the end of the episode, many viewers also took notice of how Anthony seemed to be insensitive towards his wife. Despite knowing that Tracey was prohibited from eating pasta, viewers noted that Anthony still ate the food in front of his wife, causing her distress.
While it seems easy to blame Anthony, however, other viewers have stated that he still supports his wife, considering that he got a job now that Tracey is on the road to recovery. Anthony, for his part, believes that his wife must learn to be more self-reliant if she wants to get better.
“We need each other, we support each other, even in the bad times. But if Tracey wants to do this, then she needs to learn to do this herself.”
[Featured Image by TLC]