Saturday, February 11, 2012

My 600-lb Life

Many people have asked me what I think about the show "My 600-lb Life" on TLC.

As someone who once weighed almost 600 pounds, I have a lot of opinions on the subject, so I'll share them.

First of all, my immediate gut reaction without having seen the show is that I hate it.  I am not a big fan of people's weight struggles being turned into entertainment.  We do not need to parade these people on television.  Human misery is not entertainment.

But, TLC put it on TV and people are watching it, so who am I to judge?  Let's look at the show.

One thing I like about the show is that they follow people who have had gastric bypass surgery over a 7-year period.  What I like about that is that it shows the effects of this method over a long period of time.  That is all I am interested in for myself, what type of weight loss and lifestyle change I am able to sustain over a long period of time.

As far as that goes, that's a positive.  A 7-year study of a person's journey is much more interesting for me than something like The Biggest Loser.

I have made my thoughts on weight loss surgery known, but I will say one thing.  At least in this case these people are extremely overweight.  I still don't really agree with it, but I would say the people on this show are more legitimate candidates for the surgery than someone who is only 100 pounds overweight. 

I've only seen 2 stories: Melissa and Donald.

Melissa weighed 650 pounds, had the surgery and has been successful over 7 years.  She even got a job at the hospital where she had her surgery so she could help others.  Good for her!  She should be very proud of her success.

But Donald's story exposes the dark side of weight loss surgery.  He had the surgery, lost all the weight, but then became addicted to illegal drugs and went into a coma.  That was always my fear if I had that surgery, that I would substitute one addiction for another.  Donald survived, but thanks to some unfortunate enabling going on around him, he gained 200 pounds back and is continuing to fight.  That was always my second fear with the surgery: that I would gain the weight back.

I don't blame the people on this show for having the surgery.  They were desperate.  We all are desperate.  But I still disagree with the freak show/carnival aspect to this show.  A lot of people will watch this for the voyeurism experience, not out of any concern for these people.

What do you think?  Comment below.


  1. I agree, people need to stop watching others live their lives and live their own. People are obsessed with watching the pain of others because I'm guessing it makes them feel better about their own lives or their lives are so boring they need to watch others live theirs and some how live via that person.

  2. Bryan, I developed a lift and support system which would allow 600 lb
    people to stand and walk, were they now bed-bound. Would this added
    mobility help the psyche such that the morbidly obese would be better
    motivated to exercise and lose weight?