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'My 600-Lb. Life' takes viewers on ‘James’ Story’ on TLC

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

TLC presents My 600-Lb. Life
Wikimedia Commons

As the episode begins James Jones is 37 and weighs 728 pounds and lives in Frankston, Texas. As his mother wakes him up in the morning, she asks him if he wants an egg for breakfast. He feels that people treat him like he is helpless, but in actuality, he is.

He had an accident a while back, and wound up wedged between the wall and the door. His mother heard his calls for help, but could not lift him up, so the fire department had to come in and break the wall. He told his mother to shoot him because he is no good anyway, as she tearfully recalled the incident. James was not always overweight; he was a thin child, but around puberty, he shot up in weight and was about 200 pounds in middle school and at 16 about 280. After college, he became an accountant and continued to gain. After work, he just wanted something to eat to relieve the stress of the day, so he stops at the drive-through and then eats again when he gets home. His mother carries a lot of the guilt over his weight and hopes that he does not blame her. His father was over 400 pounds and passed away, then six months later his obese sister died, which devastated him. They have a hospital bed in the house. It was used by his father, sister and now James.

James went to visit Dr. Nowzaradan in Houston with his mother, Maggie. She explained how she lost her husband and daughter. Her husband was 65 when he died, and Dr. Now does not expect James to reach that age, unless he loses weight. He must lose 50 pounds before he considers him for surgery.

After a month, James was doing his best to adhere to his diet and stay as active as possible. He tried to start a business, baling and selling hay, but cannot stay on the tractor very long. James has a few friends who really care about him. Lorica is one of them, and she wants nothing but happiness for him.

At month two, he returned to seeing the doctor; he weighed 675, with a loss of 53 pounds, and he was scheduled for surgery. One week later, he was wheeled into the OR, as one of their largest patients ever. After surgery, he was in a lot of pain, but the next day, he was up and around. He wants to regain his life, as he has met a woman online, who came to visit him in the hospital. Summer has had gastric bypass when she weighed 350 pounds. That was ten years ago, so she knows how he feels.

At month three, he weighed 650 pounds and lost 78 and is looking forward to eating real food. He took three large bites of a frankfurter, but started hurting immediately. He still has cravings, but knows he has to be extra careful. He went to visit Lorica, but was hurt that she never visited him in the hospital. They had a tearful meeting; she was not apologetic that she did not come to see him, but stated that she had to work. He feels that he does not want to be hurt by her again.

At month five, James weighed 580 with a loss of 148. He was delighted at his progress and so was the doctor; who now planned to remove the massive amount of abdomen skin he was carrying around, as soon as he loses another forty pounds.

At month six, James weighed 573, and only lost seven pounds since the last visit, and he and Summer are going out on their first date. They went to dinner; she ordered grilled chicken, and he ordered grilled salmon. They hugged good-bye, and promised to see each other again.

James admitted that he was doing well, but the cravings are coming back. He stopped for some fried fast food, believing that it will not stop his progress.

At month eight, James weighed 565, a total loss of 163. As he and his mother headed over to the cemetery to put flowers on his father and sister’s graves, he had a reality check, knowing he would be next unless he changed his ways. The following week, he started working out in a local pool.

At month nine, at 542 with a loss of 186, he was going to try to mow the lawn with his tractor. His friend Burnice, the next-door neighbor, was thrilled when he could get in and ride the tractor. Two weeks later, after eating a large meal, he experienced extreme stomach pain. Dr. Nowzaradan requested that he be rushed to the hospital for an emergency endoscopy. Dr. Now met him at the hospital, and wants to make sure nothing is wrong. The endoscopy showed nothing wrong surgically, but his heavy stomach apron is pulling on his internal organs, causing severe pain. He was scheduled for skin surgery in a few weeks.

At month ten, at 536, with a loss of 192, he and Summer are getting serious. He arrived to take her out for dinner, and then out to a fair. They walked a lot, and she was proud of him that he kept up with her. They even got to dance together and shared more than one kiss goodnight.

A week later, James was in the hospital preparing for surgery. In the operating room, Dr. Nowzaradan removed a very large amount of skin that weighed over 72 pounds. It took two nurses to lift it. When he was brought into his room, both his mother and Summer were there for him.

At month eleven, he weighed 452 after losing 276 pounds. He is up and about and doing things he has not done in years. His mother is thrilled that he is happy and helps around the house.

At month twelve, at the doctor’s office, he weighed in at 376 for a loss of 352 pounds, nearly half of his weight. Dr. Now was very happy with his progress and expected him to stay on the road to his goal. Two weeks later, he was looking for a house and plans to marry Summer and raise a family of their own. Best of luck to James and Summer, may you live happily ever after this episode of “My 600-Lb. Life.”

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