On tonight’s My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now we take a look back in time at Melissa, who at her heaviest weighed nearly 700-lb.
“It’s not like I set out to say, ‘ooh I wanted to grow up to become the world’s biggest lady, I want to be 700-lb, it just happened,” says Melissa of her gradual weight gain.
She adds: “I don’t care what anybody says, once you get addicted to food, you can’t stop.”
At 653-lb, Melissa relied on husband Chris for everything. “That’s not how it should be,” she tearfully admits in the older footage. “It’s awful to realize what I have done to myself.”
Chris also reflects on his role in her weight gain, saying: “Me being her husband and wanting to give her what she wants, I became her enabler and caretaker.”
Ahead of having surgery, she says: “I can either die on the operating table or die because I weigh 645-lb..”
Enter weight-loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan who explains the risks of going under the knife for a morbidly obese person.
“They have a high risk during anesthesia,” he says, as he reveals the danger of cardiac arrest is a concern because of her size.
Luckily the bypass surgery went well for Melissa. That was 11 years ago. After the successful operation, Melissa reflects on the entire experience.
“It’s funny how your whole life changes,” she says, while being shown climbing stairs, mowing the yard and sitting on a chair that would have collapsed under her old weight.
“Look, I can go up and down the stairs with no hands! It’s like being free…like you’ve been trapped being in jail and, for once, you are free.”
But the complications of the weight-loss created new problems. Melissa was left with unsightly loose hanging skin and a fat pack between her legs that she found especially embarrassing.
Her husband had to make changes too. “It was an adjustment for me, I’ve been doing it for the better part of six years,” says Chris, who had to let go of the caretaker role and support Melissa’s healthier lifestyle — keeping up with her new outlook and optimism.
After losing more than 200-lb, it was time to get rid of the excess skin. In a six-hour operation, 60-lb of skin was removed and Melissa’s body was reshaped.
In the closing part of our clip, she is shown putting on a pair of blue jeans.
“Last time that I had a pair of blue jeans on was April 1, 1999, she says.”
My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now? airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.