Her depression has become so bad that she even attempted to take her own life two years ago and her family fear she will die if she doesn’t get help soon.
Christina is not living the life of a typical young adult. Married and weighing over 670-lbs at the age of 23-years, Christina is limited in almost everything in life. Confined to her wheelchair and her couch, Christina confesses that she is “trapped inside her body.” Her mother and her husband, Zach, are her daily caregivers, which humiliates Christina. Growing up was the oldest of all her siblings and was usually referred to as the “bigger” one. Her weight continued to climb as she got older. In the seventh grade, Christina was 300-lbs. At 17-years old, Christina was over 400-lbs and at 22-years, Christina weighed in at 678-lbs.
Zsalynn was never too ashamed of her weight. “She was the fat girl rock star!” A wife and mother of a 9-year-old daughter, Zsalynn no longer thinks of herself as this proclaimed rockstar, although her husband loves her larger figure. Her life has become a daily routine of immobility. She watches 7-8 hours of TV a day and deals with her feelings of inadequacy by eating sugar. As a young child, Zsaylnn was of normal weight until she reached 8-years-old. From freshman year to senior year in high school, Zsalynn went from 170 to 375-lbs. After graduating, Zsalynn found NAAFA (The National Association to Advanced Fat Acceptance); she was flown around the world to visit men who enjoyed the company of large women.
This became her life – a life of parties, overweight women, and men who paid Zsaylnn’s way to travel the world. Now, a wife and mother, Zsalynn has deteriorated to living her life secluded in her home. Weighing close to 600-lbs, she no longer accepts herself because she relies on other people to take care of her daughter and do what normal sized mothers can do. Zsalynn is at her breaking point. She “hates being this size” and finally wants to do something about it.
Tara is a thirty-five year-old single mother of two who lives with her mother and stepfather in Lafayette, Louisiana. She describes herself as the life of the party, always laughing, even when it’s to cover up the pain she’s really feeling both inside and out. She started gaining weight when she was 11 years old. She was ridiculed as a kid and continues to be stared and laughed at in public. She has two kids that are her life and her reason for wanting to lose weight and get healthy.
Penny is no ordinary wife or mother. At 46-years old, she has spent her last 4 years living in her hospital bed. Growing up with an abusive father, Penny continued to gain weight and found that her body was a defense tool that she could use to protect herself and her two sisters. Her weight continued to climb and as a young-adult, Penny found herself to be over 400-lbs and admitted to having a food addiction. After marrying her husband, Edgar, Penny had four miscarriages before giving birth to her first son, Liam. She has not walked for the majority of Liam’s life. Shortly after Liam was born, Penny’s weight forced her to become bed ridden, making Edgar the primary caregiver for her son.
Paula is a 39-year-old mother of four children who lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. Weighing just less than 550 pounds, Paula still manages to work the only two jobs she can keep while juggling the schedule of her kids. “No one wants to buy something from me after they see my size,” Paula explains. That’s why she’s forced to work sales from home. She’s more comfortable making sales over the phone than working with customers in person.
Paula’s weight was not always an issue until she reached her adolescent years. She really gained the pounds after her husband died from obesity-related complications in 2012. Bitterness drove her to eat and at the same time was the only thing that gave her comfort. Fed up with being forced to work from home and not able to take part in her kids’ life, Paula is determined to lose the weight. She is afraid that she will end up like her husband, which would leave three teenagers and an 8-year-old daughter to take care of them.
James is 38-years old, single, and comes from a family suffering the horrible aftermath of debilitating obesity. Both James’s father and older sister have passed away due to obesity related issues. Now, at a staggering 650-lbs, James is facing the exact same fate. He hides himself away during the day at his accounting office, dealing with the stress of his clients and demanding deadlines. James confesses, “Most people when they get off of work want to go grab a beer … I just want to eat.”
James lives with his mother and eats whatever she cooks him, even though he’s already stopped through the drive-thru on his way home. James continues to hide away from people as he actively works in the field riding tractors and stacking hay. He has said multiple times, “It’s the only place I feel free.” James knows that he must lose the weight or he too will leave his mother prematurely. He wants to lose the weight in hopes of having a family someday and a life of his own.
Olivia is a 46 year-old single woman who lives in the basement of her parents’ homebullying growing up. She dropped out of high school her senior year because she couldn’t face the constant ridicule. This is what started her on her path toward morbid obesity. Two years ago she attempted suicide after she lost everything she had in a flood. She has not left the house since. Olivia has decided to move to Houston, leaving her twin sister behind, to live with family members in hopes of receiving bariatric surgery. Olivia’s weight controls her life and prevents her from being able to do most anything. She has extreme lymphedema on her legs, which makes it very painful to move around at all. Olivia wants a life free from her body – what she claims to be her prison. She is ready to be a member of society again and hopes that she can one day soon live on her own, free from her dependence on her family for her every need.
Chuck is a 45 year-old tow truck driver from Beaumont, Texas. He has always beenheavy, but his weight got out of control in 2006 after his wife was murdered. Shortly after that his mother and stepfather passed away and his weight continued to climb. He hid away from the world and wanted to die. He has since remarried and adopted a son. Chuck’s weight limits everything he does and is threatening to tear his family apart if he doesn’t make a change. He cannot do any basic functions for himself; though amazingly he continues to work. Chuck has an estimated 40-pound lymphedema on his leg and the doctors say he will lose his leg soon if Chuck does not lose weight. He cannot participate with his family and is confined to the couch most of the time. He has gained most of his weight by eating large amounts of fast food. Chuck wants to see his son grow up, be the husband he needs to be and provide for his family. Ultimately, he wants to renew his vows and give his wife Nissa the proper wedding she deserves.
Donald Shelton from Pasadena, Texas to have gastric bypass surgery and the trials and tribulations that follow.
Here’s a dramatic preview clip of David’s upcoming episode. An emotional Shelton reveals that he has difficulty walking because of his weight and that he would have been lost without the support of his parents:
Donald’s surgery was successful and he lost over 300 pounds. He was doing very until he had a huge set-back. He fell, and checked into the hospital because he was having trouble walking. Everyone thought he had the flue. While in the hospital, Donald started talking incoherently, and eventually slipped into a coma. While he was in a coma, his friend told his family that Donald was using meth, and that his girlfriend was a heavy user.
While recovering at home, Donald continued to lose weight, and was able to slowly become more mobile with the help of a special chair. His mother, however, started feeding him junk food again, which she thought wouldn’t hurt him because he was “so skinny.” Despite these struggles, Donald was able to meet a new girlfriend, Barbie Stephens, off of a dating website. They really hit it off, and Barbie moved in with Donald and his family.
By year six, Donald gained 105 pounds in one year. He had gotten down to about 200 pounds, and he was back up to over 300. He received good news that he should be able to walk again, but the doctor was concerned about his weight gain, which may be influenced by other people in his house who overeat. By year seven, Donald had gained another 100 pounds. He was engaged, but Barbie left him. He just came home one day, and she was gone.
Later, doctors found that Donald had developed a rare auto-immune disorder Guillain-Barre, which attacks the nervous system and can lead to paralysis or death. The disease had nothing to do with his meth use. His disease can take years to recover from, and though he did come out of the coma, and made strides, his recovery was slow. Eventually his insurance company wanted to move him to a nursing home, which the doctor predicted might kill him. In order to save Donald’s life, his family took down walls in his mother’s house, and remodeled so they could care for Donald at home.
Barbie: “Towards the end, it was just too much for me to bear. All of a sudden his frame of mind changed, and he started going back to his old ways.”
Donald had started drinking again, and according to Barbie, was in denial that he was gaining weight again. Donald says he gave up after Barbie left, but Barbie says he gave up before, and that’s why he left. He started pigging out on all sorts of sugary and fatty foods.
When the doctor confronted him about his 200 pound weight gain over two years, and whyhe was still in a wheelchair he stormed out of the hospital, and interestingly enough,Melissa Morris from the first episode was working there as a patient liaison and chased after him.
A few days later, his wheelchair broke, and Donald decided to really make a change. He committed to working out again. After he starts losing some of the weight he recently gained, he arranged to meet Barbie again, and they talked about why Barbie was so frustrated with him that she left. She told him that he was still her soul mate.
Tragedy Of The 600 Lb Single Mom With An Insatiable Appetite Who Ate Herself To Death
At one point her doctor is seen pleading with the 41-year-old, telling her: “We got to get you out of this bed. This bed is your coffin.”
Lanoise first made headlines in 2010 after she was stranded in Haiti in the months following the devastating earthquake. She initially flew from her home in Miami to Port-au-Prince to visit her relatives but couldn’t return because no commercial airline would carry her as she weighed nearly 500 pounds. She was finally reunited with her children when The Dominican Air Force agreed to fly her back in the cargo holding to the U.S.
Within a year her weight soared to more than 600 pounds.
Lanoise says she wasn’t always that big. “I used to be skinny but after I had my first baby I got so big,” she told Asiannet.com in 2011.
Lanoise wanted to undergo bariatric surgery to shrink her stomach but doctors wouldn’t operate until she lost some weight. But, despite losing 120 pounds following a strict diet, the mom signed her own death warrant by gorging on all her favorite Haitian foods and by October 2011 had piled on a staggering extra 222 pounds.
At one point, upon hearing that her mom had put on 120 pounds in three-and-a-half months once again delaying any chance of life-saving weight loss surgery, one of Lanoise’s daughters says: “I was shocked. To see that all my hard work went to waste. It was…like what’s the point to keep working hard? I was just…really angry with her.”
In the end the deadly predictions of her doctors came true and Lanoise passed away six months later on March 10, 2012.