My 600 Lb. Life‘s Brittani is unrecognizable today, months after the popular TLC show presented her as a morbidly obese woman who was imprisoned by her body and her eating habits.
As The Daily Mail reported when she was first featured on My 600 Lb. Life back in January 2016, Brittani Fulfer was a prisoner, literally and figuratively. Her morbid obesity made it next to impossible for her to move around, and she rarely left her bedroom. Worse, however, was the constant pain she was in.
“I don’t remember a time waking up that I didn’t hurt. Every single molecule in my body is painful. To be inside my body it is pain; it is sadness.”
— Mega (@Mega) April 2, 2017
Even worse, she was suicidal.
“Most of the time I’m like, ‘Maybe it would be better if I just don’t wake up.’ Because every single day, I look at myself in the mirror and I’m like, ‘what did you do to yourself?'”
Her husband, Bill, didn’t help matters. Already obese when she met him, according to 2 Paragraphs, the two fell into co-dependent eating habits. She gained nearly 200 pounds after getting together with him, and at one point, she estimated that some days she ate as many as 35,000 calories. By comparison, the USDA recommends between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day for adult women.
Like many morbidly obese people, Brittani’s food addiction began as a coping mechanism. Molested by a relative when she was a young girl, she began using food to cover the pain.
By the time she appeared on My 600 Lb Life, however, food had moved from being the thing that comforted her to the thing that tortured her the most.
“Each day has seemed harder and harder. Everything is so different now. Mentally I feel lost and confused and really unsure, but the joy I had for food and the comfort it brought me is gone.”
Enter Houston weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan. Brittani and her husband drove all the way from Oregon to Texas to meet with him – a journey that took six days. Two months later, she’d lost 35 pounds. A month after the that, she was preparing for weight loss surgery.
Almost two years later, and Brittani is unrecognizable.
That’s not to say that things have been easy for Brittani, post-weight loss. As anyone who has undergone weight loss surgery will tell you, losing the weight is one thing, keeping it off is another. Besides having to adhere to a strict diet, you have to exercise. And, if your weight problems originated with a personal issue – such as childhood sexual abuse – you’ll have to confront that and work through it with a therapist.
There’s also a much more severe, and much more obvious, side-effect of extreme weight loss that isn’t talked about as much, which is hanging skin. Your skin expands to contain your obese body, and when you lose those pounds, your skin doesn’t return to its normal shape. That leaves people like Brittani, who have lost dozens or even hundreds of pounds, with unsightly, loose-hanging excess skin.
And the surgery to remove it is painful and difficult, as Diane Haro explains to Women’s Health.
“I had a drainage tube and a gross-looking bag filled with blood and other fluids coming out of my pelvis… Between the all-over pain and extreme fatigue, I couldn’t get anything done.”
Needless to say, though she’s come a long way, Brittani still has a long and difficult road ahead of her.
[Featured Image by champja/Thinkstock]