For Alicia Kirgan, eating was more than simple nourishment. For her, it was about survival and trauma. Her complicated relationship with food began when Kirgan was just a child, when her mother spent most hours of the day at work and her father drank at bars. This dynamic often led to ugly fights between the two parents. Her trajectory culminated with her weighing a dangerous 622 pounds, and her being featured on the TLC show My 600-lb Life.
With the help of Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, the 33-year-old Illinois woman embarked on her weight-loss journey. The website Starcasm recently shared an update on Kirgan’s life, giving insight on how she is doing since she was featured on the show. Over the weekend, Kirgan celebrated her 8-year anniversary with her boyfriend, Tim Carter, who has been a strong supporter of her as she works through her health journey.
In addition, the reality TV star has been waiting for a skin-removal surgery, one that she believes will change her life for the better. Her journey began when Dr. Now — how Dr. Nowzaradan is popularly known — put Kirgan on a low-carb, high-protein diet. This diet was intended to cut back some of the weight, and to prepare her for weight loss surgery. Said surgery reduces the size of a patient’s stomach, according to a January report by Newsweek.
“It was definitely hard following his diet, it’s pretty strict. Cutting out sugar was hard because I love it,” Kirgan admitted, as per Newsweek. “But once you get going you start to feel the difference in your body and that really pushes you to keep on track.”
Her diet saw her consume no more than 1,200 calories a day, which led to a quick 52-pound drop that earned her approval for bariatric surgery, the report continued. While she was excited about the procedure, she admitted that she was also scared at the prospect of going under the knife, per Newsweek. However, she understood that this was likely to be her best chance at reclaiming her health.
About a year after the process started, Kirgan had lost a total of 170 pounds, slimming down to 452 pounds. In addition to feeling healthier and lighter, another positive effect her weight-loss had was improving her relationship with Carter, Newsweek added. Before the surgery, she struggled with self-confidence. Additionally, her activities were limited due to her weight, something which put strain on the relationship.
“Every day our relationship gets a little bit better since I’m able to do more. It’s hard not to improve a relationship when you feel so much better personally,” she said.