TLC’s My 600-lb Life is closing in on its season ender, but the stories of the hit reality TV show’s subjects are still waiting to be told fully. Over the course of the last few years, My 600-lb Life has covered the treatment and recovery of numerous morbidly obese individuals, as well as their desire to take back their lives. Unfortunately, the format of the show requires viewers to wait a notable amount of time before finding out what happened to the subjects of the show, and even after the Where Are They Now episodes are aired, much of their tales remain untold.
It is only through interviews and social media posts that fans of My 600-lb Life could find out what happened to the subjects that were featured in the hit reality TV series. Fortunately, People Magazine was able to interview four of the show’s previous subjects, with Chad Dean, Ashley Reyes, Christina Phillips, and Nikki Webster describing their recovery, treatment, and struggles as they attempted to get their lives back from morbid obesity. Here are excerpts from the People Magazine interview.
According to Chad, much of the struggles that he faced as he lost weight were mental and psychological. One of these is adopting the mindset that he simply was not morbidly obese anymore.
“You have to be mentally prepared for it, because it is a life-changing situation. If you don’t change it, it’s not going to work for you. The biggest change for me is to realize that I’m not that person any more — I’m 295 pounds now. I can fit in a chair at the doctor’s office, I can fit in a small vehicle, but in my mind I still feel like I can’t.”
“The way I see it, I lived the first 40 years of my life the way I wanted to live and you see where that got me. So, I’m going to dedicate my life to living the way I’m supposed to live, which is the dieting and eating right, watching what you eat and so forth.”
Interestingly, Ashley admitted in the interview that she broke down numerous times during her recovery. One of the things that she particularly asserted was that Dr. Now’s surgery was just the first step towards weight loss. It was what she did after that the operation that ultimately determined if she could take back her life or not.
“This whole journey has been not only a physical roller-coaster, it’s been very a much an emotional roller-coaster. I’ve done fairly decent, but yes, I’ve had moments where I’ve broken down. Whoever says weight-loss surgery is the easy way out is crazy because this has really been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”
“This surgery is just a tool. It does not change your mindset. But what I’ve found that helps me is when I do get that craving, I try to think about that and think about what I’m feeling. If it’s true hunger, then, you know, I’ll eat something. But if I’m feeling angry, happy, sad, I try to revert my mind to something else. I go for a walk. I play with my dogs. I might journal. It’s a learning experience.”
Christina, who overdid her weight loss with Dr. Now, stated that it was a matter of mindset and a determination to adjust to a new lifestyle that helped her get over her weight body image issues. Considering how stunning Christina looks right now, it appears that she has definitely achieved that balance she desired.
“I have definitely had moments of weakness where I’m just like, ‘What’s the point?’ It’s been hard. Then I remind myself, look how far I’ve already come. I can’t give up now. It’s a new lifestyle. You have to put the work into it. It’s not just an easy fix. You have to be willing to do everything that it takes.”
“I wake up at 6:30 AM and start working out. I walk every day. I go to the gym four times a week. I don’t have a specific plan right now, but I’m trying to focus on strength training, because I lost a lot of muscle mass when I lost weight. I stay away from anything that has a lot of sugar in it. I eat a low carb, high protein diet.”
Nikki, on the other hand, asserted that dedication and consistency were the keys that enabled her to overcome her weight issues. Just like Christina, Nikki looks gorgeous right now, and she is extremely healthy. Thus, it seems like she reached her goals with regards to her weight and overall health.
“I think the hardest thing is not necessarily food, it’s just those habits. When I would get in my car I felt like I had to go get a soda. It’s just those routines. In the morning on my way to work, I would get breakfast. It’s breaking those habits that have been instilled in me for so many years and just giving those up and trying something else is just — that’s probably been the most difficult.”
“Consistency is the most important part of all this and if you don’t have it then it’s really difficult to be successful. While I’ve been able to be consistent, it’s still difficult. Consistency and balance. Balancing my work, which is demanding, and balancing the social lifestyle that I have now. Then balancing family and also putting myself and my health first — making sure that I plan what I eat, if I’m exercising, those types of things. That’s the most difficult part of it all: balancing and being consistent.”
[Featured Image by TLC]