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'My 600-Lb. Life' revisits ‘Supersized: Christina’s Story’ on TLC

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Tonight's revisit episode of “My 600-Lb. Life” gave viewers a glimpse into the life of a morbidly obese young woman. This series explores a year in the life of 600-pound individuals trying to regain control of their lives. Christina Phillips is one of them.

As the episode begins Christina is only 22 and weighs 639 pounds and lives in South Haven, Miss. She relates that just walking from one room to another causes her to be out of breath. She is trapped inside a body she does not want to be in, a prisoner, who does not go out, nor can she drive. She has always been bigger and in the seventh grade, weighed about 300 pounds. Her parents argued a lot when she was younger causing her to be scared, and she found food as her comfort. At 17, she weighed almost 400. At 18, she developed tumor-like masses called lymphedema on her legs that make it nearly impossible for her to walk more than a few feet. They hang between her legs and give her legs a grotesque appearance.

Her husband Zach and her mother take care of her. Zach fell in love with Christina, not caring about her weight; he loved her because she was smart and pretty and could not ask for anyone better. Tammie, Christina’s mother says it is a full-time job taking care of her daughter. Zach also shares in maintaining his wife and feels that it is a calling from God to take care of her. Christina eats mostly fast food, and her mother will get her whatever she wants and does not know how to tell her no. Her sister does not want to see her die. Christina finally decided on weight-loss surgery as her only option as her health problems include: hyperthyroidism, bipolar disorder, anxiety, lymphedema, polycystic ovarian syndrome, gout and morbid obesity.

Christina found Dr. Nowzaradan in Houston, who specializing in patients who are in her weight category. She weighed in at 639.7 pounds at her initial visit. Dr. Now pulls no punches; he guaranteed that her mother would sabotage Christina’s progress, and because neither she nor Zach work, they cater to her every whim. He knows that she is surrounded by enablers and is in a dire situation. She will be seeing him in a month, and if she loses 30 pounds, he will feel she is a good candidate for the surgery.

Her family has rented a home near Houston to be by her side. On month two, she returned to see the doctor. Her weight was 656.4, a gain of 17 pounds. When he asked Christina questions, her mother answered, which is the typical action of an enabler. Dr. Now is aware of all the signs. So he put Christina in the hospital to separate her from her environment. He knows that if she got sick, it could be the death of her.

On month three, after being in the hospital for one month on a 1,000 calorie diet, as her family visited her, lunch was delivered, and she would not eat. Zach ate the grilled chicken and other stuff on her tray. She weighed in at 651, a loss of four pounds. He decided to schedule her for lymphedema surgery, to enable her to get around easier and make her more active.

As the surgery proceeded, Dr. Now mentioned to his attendants and viewers, that with hundreds of blood vessels in the masses, if they are not careful, Christina could have too much blood loss and threaten her life. The mass weighed over 18 pounds. After she was partially healed, they went to Galveston, to spend a day at the beach. She was not able to go in the water because the incision was not fully healed, but they had fun being together.

After a month, she was able to get around much easier, she did not need the wheel chair to get up and down the ramp. At month five, she returned to the doctor weighing 595, with a total loss of 61 pounds. He was happy that she was able to get around and lose weight. So he scheduled her weight-loss surgery.

In month six, she was getting the bypass, and all went well during the surgery. Two days later, she was being released from the hospital. She is now down 84 pounds, and weighs 571. Her sister Jessie is pregnant and she is looking forward to having a new nephew.

In month seven, her current weight is 536, with a loss of 120 pounds, and she is going to try to drive for the first time in four years.

In month eight, she is driving nearly every day and returns to Dr. Now. Her weight is 533.7 with a loss of 122 pounds, only a two-pound loss since the last visit. He is afraid that she is going back to her old habits.

In month nine, she is experiencing pain after eating and has been in bed for two days. The next day, she was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. She is having a gallbladder attack, caused by the rapid weight loss. Dr. Now removes her very sick gallbladder. She had a rough time after surgery and was in the hospital for another three weeks under observation. She missed the birth of her nephew who is now two-weeks old.

At month ten, she weighs 505 with a loss of 151 pounds. She has been walking in the park with her father, who pushes her wheelchair behind her, when she needs to rest, she sits momentarily, but continues on her journey.

At month eleven, at 472, she lost 184 pounds. She could go shopping, sleep in the same bed with Zach, and do so many things for herself. Her independence was returning, and she loves taking care of Jessie’s baby.

By month twelve, she weighed 425 and lost 231 pounds. She and Zach went to the local college to check out her options. She wants to go into the medical field and hopes to become a nurse. She could go shopping for real clothes and found out she was a much smaller size than she thought. She now attends physical therapy to strengthen her legs. Her goal is to get rid of the wheelchair for good.

On her return visit to Dr. Nowzaradan, a one year from their first encounter, she weighed 390, a loss of 266 pounds on this episode of “My 600-Lb. Life.”

Congratulations, Christina, you are truly awesome and may your journey to a new life, be a long and wonderful one.

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