On tonight’s My 600-lb Life, we meet mom Jennifer and her daughter Marissa — who weigh 1,000-lb between them.
Both Jennifer, who weighs 570-lb, and Marissa, who tips the scales at 430-lb, feature on the show as they attempt jointly to get help from Texas weight-loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan.
In our clip, Jennifer recounts an extremely rough childhood which saw her suffer sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather, something she says her mother ignored.
This led her to her turning to food and, later, after having Marissa at the age of 16, drugs as well.
Her huge weight gain left Marissa as her primary carer, but taking after her mother saw Marissa’s own health plummet as she too became obese.
In the clip, Jennifer reveals her earliest memories were of her biological father flying into rages thanks to addiction issues.
After her parents divorced and Jennifer’s mother met a new man, she says her stepfather began molesting her when she was just seven.
She says her mother knew about the abuse, but turned a blind eye. Jennifer felt unsafe and had nowhere to turn. Food became her safety outlet and was her comfort.
Later, her abusive stepfather would berate her about her weight and he and her mother would try and hide food from her, but she became masterful at sneaking snacks.
She recalls how her stepfather put her on scales in front of a mirror at age 13, to make her feel bad about the weight she had gained. She says it left her feeling useless, inadequate and deeply depressed.
Compounding her weight gain was pregnancy. Jennifer had Marissa at age 16, before she repeated the addiction patterns of her biological father and turned to a lifestyle fueled by not only food but drugs.
Melissa is just 25 years old, but her own health is rapidly declining as she tries to keep up caring for her obese mother.
My 600-lb Life looks at whether Dr. Nowzaradan can help the pair as mother and daughter pack up and move across the country to Houston, Texas, where he must get to the root of their overeating behavior.
My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.