Nothing is as exciting as seeing a cast member of My 600-lb Life take Houston, Texas weight loss surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan’s instructions to heart.
Aaron Washer did just that and followed them in order to earn the right to have the life-saving weight loss surgery that gave him a chance to regain control of his life.
The Aaron Washer episode of the TLC series was a wonderful change from the disappointing letdown that was Jeanne Covey’s story from last week. If you remember, she gave up and quit on Dr. Now — but not Aaron.
His path to success was a really inspirational journey that involved his entire family, even his late mother who adored him and was his best friend. His father Eugene, a “strict military man” was the hammer of the household and, as we learned, the fuel of Aaron’s food addiction issues.
When his mother Durenda died of a pulmonary embolism, she weighed 400 pounds. His dad also weighed over 300 pounds in his 60’s, so this extreme weight problem runs in their family.
The shock of seeing his mother dying right in front of him scared Aaron and he resolved to change his path in life. He really wanted to do this for his mother as much as for himself.
Taking up the best friend role after his mom passed was his sister Margaret. She accompanied her brother from New Braunfels, Texas to Houston — about a two-hour drive.
Aaron knew he had to change and was relying too much on his elderly father, whose health was precarious as well. He even suffered a diabetes-related heart attack during the filming of Aaron’s episode.
Thankfully he recovered, and together he and Aaron resolved to eat healthier with Aaron caring for him and cooking more nutritious and less carb-laden meals.
After meeting with Dr. Now twice, Aaron resolved to shed the required 120 pounds of weight for his surgery with his father and sister’s help and support.
It was a rocky start, with Aaron losing 22 pounds (instead of the whole 120) in three months. But he soon got the food religion that Dr. Now preaches and he made his goal just in time.
Each visit after that to the clinic was a happy weigh-in and the attained benchmark loss Dr. Now expected of him.
Let’s revisit his timeline to see how far he came.
Aaron’s weight growing up
Aaron was described by his father Eugene as a “timid” boy but Aaron recalled being woken in his sleep and getting the belt for offenses he did not understand.
At age eight, he was topping near 200 pounds.
At age 13 he hit over 300 pounds.
He was bullied in middle school and high school and picked on mercilessly. He was so tormented that he quit school and went to work at a fast food restaurant which only exacerbated his weight gains.
Aaron said: “Most days, all I do is sit around and eat.”
At his highest weight, Aaron hit 718 pounds. This is where the show opened, his condition of near immobility, having to use a cane with a toilet wipe at the end to clean himself in areas he could not reach on his own.
His 76-year-old dad Eugene was his carer and food shopper, buying all the wrong foods that Dr. Now forbade Aaron to eat once he was enrolled in his weight loss clinic. He got the lecture from Dr. Now.
Justifying his actions on camera, Eugene said of his enabling: “I just keep my mouth shut ’cause I don’t want him to get mad at me.”
That was a very interesting statement because, in therapy, Lola Clay drew out the reasons for Aaron’s emotional eating.
Aaron told her he was afraid of disappointing or making his father mad at him. His homework was to talk about it with Eugene and he did. It was a bit rough until Aaron manned up and told him he was not being accusatory but wanted to clear the air.
His dad ran away initially but then told him he loved Aaron very much and was proud of the man he was. Together, they ventured out and did a fun field trip to a war memorial and Air Force museum in nearby San Marcos, Texas.
The bridge building and healing were underway.
It seemed like Aaron had to lose the weight of his shame, anger, and confusion before he could lose the pounds. And he did just that.
Aaron is triumphant
Aaron qualified for the weight loss surgery and it went well. Dr. Now took 90% of his stomach out, and he showed how the stomach enlarged on the table and was capable of growing to five times its size.
He also noted that Aaron could stretch out that tiny new stomach of his with overeating, so the therapy aspect of this was crucial to rip out the food addiction root.
He healed fast and was on a liquid diet for a short while. Then he began therapy with Lola Clay to address what memories and feelings were spurring this desire to overeat.
During that time, his consistent exercising and trying his hardest to be good on his diet combined with his reduced desire to eat catapulted his weight loss to over 400 pounds by the end of the episode.
Still living in Texas, we are sure Aaron is still on the right path and the recent photo he posted on his Facebook page is a really slimmed-down photo of him smiling.
He is a licensed carer who looks after his dad.
Hopefully, he will be one of this season’s participants we can revisit on the Where Are They Now episodes for this series, especially if he qualifies for the skin surgery which Dr. Now says will take another 50+ pounds off him.
Way to go Aaron!
My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays on TLC.