Last night's 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. Paula Jones is one of them; at 39, she weighs 533 pounds.
As the episode begins, she barely fits in the shower, and as she stands, her outline is very large, with much of her weight located around her abdomen and legs. Every step she takes is painful, but at least she has limited mobility. She has four children, who take care of the house, as she is unable to do so. Her daughter, Madison puts lotion on her feet, because Paula cannot reach her feet and puts her socks and shoes on. She can drive, and does not want her children to suffer because of her weight.
At six, Paula was molested by a family member and sought refuge in food. By the time she graduated from high school, she weighed about 220. She gained about 50 pounds with each child she had. She loves food, and has a relationship with food. It has always been there for her. When she got married, she expected to grow old with him together, never expecting him to die at 33. Alan died weighing about 600 pounds, when his kidneys stopped functioning and his heart gave out.
With her husband gone just about a year, she feels she will be right behind him, unless things change. Paula found Dr. Nowzaradan in Houston, who specializing in patients who are in her weight category. She weighed in at 533.8 pounds at her initial visit. He wants her to lose 20 pounds by her next visit in one month. He noticed that she had all the right answers, but did not apply any of them.
She decided to move to Houston, to ensure her success. She wanted to say good-bye to Alan’s family before she left, as they were her source of support since he passed away. They had a barbeque with lots of food, as a going-away celebration, and the abundance of food was enjoyed by all, including Paula.
When she returned to Dr. Now; she had gained 17 pounds, currently weighing 550. He was not able to approve her for surgery and declared that she had a definite eating disorder. He put her on a liquid diet, and insists she lose 20 pounds on her next visit.
One week later, Paula found an apartment, and is having a hard time with the liquid diet. When her children eat, she longs for the food. On the next visit, she weighed 517, and was proud to have lost the 20 plus another ten pounds. Paula was proud of herself and three days later; she dyed her hair green, so she had a complete transformation. A week later, she was rolled into surgery to do the bypass and repair a huge abdominal hernia.
Three days after surgery, she went home, and on the way; Madison stopped at a drive-through to get food for herself, not Paula. However, at home, she still needed to have a few of her favorite foods.
On the next visit, she weighed 505, a loss of ten pounds. She confessed that she ate mashed potatoes, but tater tots, are not really mashed potatoes.
At month five, she weighed 494, with a total loss of 56 pounds, far from her expectations, and certainly much less than Dr. Nowzaradan wanted to see. On a trip to Atlanta, they ate fast-food during the trip, and so did Paula. She is staying with her sister-in-law while in Atlanta and the food there was abundant. Her sister-in-law asked why she ate so quickly, and Paula stated that she was hungry. She believes that Paula should go to counseling for her eating disorder and only wants her to succeed. The next day, more food was served and Paula was defiantly eating.
On the sixth month visit, she weighed 495 and was up one pound. She felt that she was doing all the things she was supposed to do, and it was not working, but she was eating the wrong foods.
At month seven, she weighed 492, down three pounds since last visit and only a total of 58 pounds. So Paula decided to start working out. She met with a personal trainer at a local gym. After only a few minutes, she felt like she was going to pass out. When she left the gym, she stopped for a burrito and a cup of ice.
At month eight, she weighed 486, down six more pounds, for a total of 64. Finally, she sought the assistance of a therapist. He told her that her weight was a symptom of something else. When she spoke with him, she saw that her emotions were being buried under her weight, and she decided to stop making excuses.
At month nine, she weighed 467, with a loss of 83 pounds and a loss of 19 pounds since seeing the therapist. At her visit to Dr. Now, she was contrite and did not make excuses, but was disappointed. He encouraged her not to give up on herself, and was happy with her recent weight loss.
At month eleven, she weighed 441, with a loss of 109, so she dyed her hair bright red after her 100-pound accomplishment. As she spoke with her counselor, she seemed more cheerful and made steps that proved she was determined to let go of the past and work towards the future.
At month twelve, she weighed 390 with a 160-pound loss. She had a new attitude and better demeanor. Dr. Now was happier, and she is sure her husband is smiling down upon her.
Two weeks later, at 371 pounds, and a loss of 179 pounds, she and her girls went to meet with her trainer. She wanted her kids to see her and how hard she was trying to reach her goal on this episode of “My 600-Lb. Life.” Congratulations, Paula, may your journey be fun and may the newly found love for yourself continue through the rest of your life.
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