Participants on TLC’s hit reality show My 600-lb Life are looking to change their lives with the help of weight loss surgery. And while that in and of itself is a tough journey, every once in a while a weight loss story is even more complex than viewers expect.
This is the case with Irene. Irene’s story is one that is layered with familial trauma stemming back to her childhood.
“Food is how I survived,” she explained. “It’s killing me in a lot of ways now, but for most of my life, it was what got me by. And if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what I would have done.”
According to Irene, food was her only source of happiness for so long. Her parents separated when she was just five-years-old after her father began abusing her mother. Then, later in life, Irene lost her mother, father, older sister, and Aunt all in a short amount of time.
These great losses drove Irene to find comfort in drugs and alcohol. This, unfortunately, also lead her to losing her three youngest children to the care of Child Protective Services.
However, despite these losses, Irene claimed she was committed to getting weight loss surgery to gain control of her life.
Irene’s journey was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic
During her first visit with Dr. Nowzaradan, Irene weighed in at 603 lbs. This confirmation helped Dr. Nowzaradan determine that his goal for Irene would be for her to lose 60 lbs in the next two months.
Although Irene seemed to be highly motivated leading up to her consultation with Dr. Nowzaradan, it didn’t last.
By her next weigh-in, Irene weighed in at 598-lbs, meaning she had dropped just five pounds since her last visit. Naturally, this wasn’t an acceptable display of her dedication to weight loss. And so, Dr. Nowzaradan gave her the same goal once again– lose 60 lbs in two months.
After yet another disappointing visit where she lost seven pounds, Dr. Nowzaradan gave Irene one more shot at meeting her 60 lb weight loss goal.
Irene’s subsequent follow-ups were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but Dr. Nowzaradan refused to let Irene give up on her goals. He informed her that she needed to weigh in the range of 540 lbs by their next visit in order to qualify for surgery.
Thankfully, Irene managed to stay on track, and brought her weight down to 535 lbs at her next visit to the clinic. This was enough to have her qualify for surgery.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Irene’s surgery was postponed indefinitely due to restrictions around elective medical procedures.
Where is Irene now?
Irene’s episode of My 600-lb Life ended with Dr. Nowzaradan encouraging her to stay on track and continue on with the goal of losing 10 lbs per month.
According to Irene’s social media, which has few public updates available to view, there seems to be no clear indication of where she’s at with her weight loss.
She posted an un-captioned photo of a seafood dish in January and uploaded a new profile picture showing off her bright red hair.
Although updates aren’t readily available on Irene’s social media, hopefully, she has managed to maintain her weight loss in order to keep her in good standing with Dr. Nowzaradan so when the time comes, she can follow through with her goal of weight loss surgery.
My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on TLC.