Tanisha Cleveland's life has been hard from the start. Due to her mother's alcohol and drug addiction, and her mother's violent boyfriend, Tanisha moved in with her grandparents at age 9. Then, problems only got worse.
After her move, Tanisha explained how her life took a new turn.
"I was happy for a bit, but it wasn't much better living with them, because when I was 9, I was molested by my grandfather, and there was nothing I could do to stop it," Cleveland says. "And that's when I started to run to food to find peace. 'Cause when I ate, no one was hurting me," reported to People magazine.After she was sent back to her mom's house to live, she was molested again by one of her mother's boyfriends. Tanisha felt like she couldn't control who touched her, and she turned to food for comfort.
By the age of 24, Tanisha weighed almost 500 pounds. After reaching 600 pounds, Tanisha wanted to begin losing weight to help her health.
Her mother, in addition to being an alcoholic and drug addict, was also obese. Tanisha knew that obesity was what finally killed her mother, who weighed almost 700 pounds at the age of 50, when she passed. When this happened, Tanisha was unable to focus on her weight loss goals. Tanisha, now a 32-year-old mother of two small children, knew she needed to turn her life around.Weighing over 600 pounds, Tanisha contacted Dr. Nowzaradan in Houston, Texas. Her story was picked up by My 600-Lb Life, a reality TV show that airs on TLC.
She wondered how she could worry about her weight when the weight of the household is on her shoulders. She knows she needs to be there for her children, but weighing 600 pounds makes this monumental task a daily struggle.
When Tanisha first contacted Dr. Nowzaradan, she started gaining weight and gave up quickly. A few years later, Tanisha contacted Dr. Nowzaradan again, this time with a renewed conviction to be committed to her health.
Tanisha is one of the few 600-pound TV participants whose episodes span over the course of two years. At the beginning of the show, Tanisha had a husband. Later in the show, her husband was not in her life. Troy, her boyfriend in recent episodes, showed up after her husband.
Despite Tanisha's best efforts to try to get her health back on track, her boyfriend, Troy, seemed to not be supportive. After multiple fights with Tanisha about her new attempts at significant weight loss, Troy left her.
Tanisha was crushed. Now she is left having to manage her two daughters on her own. Previously, Tanisha had never prioritized her health, making excuses that she never had the time.Now that Troy has left, Tanisha feels like she does not have the support to keep going on her weight loss journey. Troy was her soulmate, who she wanted to be with for the rest of her life.
"It was definitely painful. I am thinking this is my soulmate; this is the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with. I didn't know if I was going to make it for a while because I am like this is the man that helps me with everything basically," Tanisha said after Troy left, according to Daily Mail."When I didn't have that, I was like, 'God what am I going to do?' So, I haven't been able to make time for any sort of diet or weight loss right now," she said.
Tanisha knows her health needs to be a priority in her life. Without Troy's support of Tanisha's weight loss, however, she will have a much harder time finding emotional support from others.
[Featured Image by TLC/DCL]