The Secrets Behind Why This Cast Member From ‘My 600-lb Life’ Regrets Their Weight Loss

TLC’s My 600-lb Life chronicles the lives of those who are morbidly obese. In most instances, the cast members’ weights are so extreme that they are no longer able to carry on with their lives without extra assistance. For this reason, they hope to undergo weight-loss surgery to lose hundreds of pounds and potentially save their lives.

While some cast members are happy with the results, not everyone’s process went as smoothly as planned. Here are the complications they’ve faced, including one woman on page 5 who says the procedures negatively changed her life for good.

1. One woman faced potentially permanent paralysis following her weight loss surgery

Susan Farmer walking down a hallway.

Her post weight-loss life wasn’t as she expected. | Gossip Reporter via YouTube

At just 37 years old, Susan Farmer was up to 607 pounds and desperate for a change. Daily Mail Online explains Farmer underwent gastric bypass surgery in the hopes it would help her quickly (and drastically) drop the weight. But soon after the surgery, she lost feeling in her legs due to a nerve condition known as neuropathy.

“The surgery was my second chance at life. And I’m not going to let a setback like this take that from me,” Farmer said. She ended up working through the nerve damage and losing 276 pounds.

Next: You never knew gastric bypass could have this scary effect.

2. This cast member experienced psychosomatic symptoms after gastric bypass

Ashley Reyes at a doctor's office.

Ashley Reyes lost 255 pounds, but her life wasn’t perfect. | USA News & more via YouTube

Ashley Reyes was just 30 years old when she was introduced onto the show. And weighing in at 668 pounds, Reyes said she felt like “a monster,” Us Weekly reports.

With the help of her doctor and therapist, Reyes was able to lose 255 pounds thanks to a combination of working out her emotional issues, sticking with a strict diet, and gastric bypass. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Due to Reyes’ emotional stress, she experienced extreme physical pain even though the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. “It was harder than I could have imagined,” she said.

Next: This tragic incident occurred before he could even get in for surgery.

3. This man passed away before he could even have weight loss surgery

Robert looking at his fiancé.

The stress and surgery was too much for his body to handle. | The Last News via YouTube

Robert Buchel was 842 pounds when he was featured on My 600-lb Life. Unfortunately, even after undergoing life-saving weight loss surgery and losing almost 200 pounds, he died of a heart attack, People reports.

It seems Buchel also had an addiction to painkillers, which certainly didn’t help his prognosis. That, with the added strain of the excess weight and the stress of the surgery, proved to be a deadly combination. His fiancé, Kathryn, added that he was hopeful for the future, especially following his weight loss.

Next: He lost 300 pounds — but then this horrifying thing happened.

4. And this cast member slipped into a coma after losing 300 pounds

Donald Shelton collage.

Donald Shelton slipped into a coma after losing 300 pounds. | USA News & more

Donald Shelton weighed 675 pounds when he first appeared on My 600-lb Life. And when he received gastric bypass surgery, he was able to lose an incredible 300 pounds. But that wasn’t the end of Shelton’s story. The Huffington Post reports after having problems walking after a fall, he checked himself into the hospital, where he slipped into a coma.

Doctors discovered Shelton had Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder affecting the central nervous system that can lead to paralysis or death. Thankfully, Shelton was able to recuperate.

Next: This is the one woman whose life is forever altered from her extreme weight loss — and not in a good way.

5. Biggest regret: This woman successfully lost weight — but now she starves herself

Christina Phillips in a hospital.

Christina developed an unhealthy relationship with food after her surgery. | TLC

Christina Phillips’ transformation was one of the most dramatic viewers had ever seen. Daily Mail Online reports she weighed 708 pounds at just 25, and she dropped to a startling 183 after gastric bypass. Unfortunately, the journey doesn’t end here for Phillips, as she still struggles with her emotions.

Phillips says any time the scale goes back up, she tends to “freak out” and stops eating for days on end. “I know I’m not 700 pounds anymore, but I still feel that way. And I don’t know how to change how I feel,” she says. Phillips also reports she’ll weigh herself several times a day to make sure she’s not gaining.

Next: One doctor told Phillips this shocking news after her extreme weight loss. 

6. And Phillips needs to gain weight to get skin removal

Christina sitting at a doctor's office.

Her journey won’t be easy. | TLC

Phillips spent so much time and effort losing the weight — but then her doctors told her to do just the opposite. People reports she wanted skin removal surgery, but she needed to gain a bit of weight to get the procedure done. With her obsession over the scale, however, she had trouble reconciling with the idea of gaining back pounds.

Doctors also told Phillips that she should see a therapist due to her struggles with body image. “He thinks I’m pushing myself too hard to lose weight,” she said, even noting that she no longer wants to leave the house because she fears people staring at her.

Next: Here’s the sad truth about Phillips’ mental state. 

7. Can obese people have eating disorders? The answer is yes

A woman stepping on a scale.

There are many variations of eating disorders. | Ensuria/iStock/Getty Images

Unfortunately, like Phillips, many people have body image issues following extreme transformations. And you may not realize that obese folks can also develop eating disorders that have nothing to do with binge eating.

If an obese person is constantly reminded that their body weight and mass index is in an unhealthy range, or if they’re told some foods should be seen as strictly “good” or “bad,” they can start to develop unhealthy habits. Encouraging food fears and unhealthy dieting is still bad for those who want to lose a few pounds, the National Eating Disorders Collaboration notes. And down the road, it can lead to anorexia or bulimia.

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