Since 2012, TLC’s My 600-Lb Life has documented several shocking and inspirational weight loss stories that have resulted in some amazing before and after photos. The unscripted series follows participants as they undergo gastric bypass surgery to lose weight. But once their journey is over, fans are left wondering where they are now.
Unlike shows like The Biggest Loser in which the majority of participants gain the weight back, all the people featured on My 600-Lb. Life are assisted by a doctor to help with giving them a realistic diet and exercise tips. The series also reveals that gastric bypass isn’t a magical operation that’ll make you instantly skinny with no work.
Past participants who’ve had the surgery but didn’t maintain their doctor’s strict diet and exercise regimen quickly gained the weight back.
“You have to be mentally prepared for it, because it is a life-changing situation,” Season 4 patient Chad Dean told People in 2017. “If you don’t change it, it’s not going to work for you,” he said. “The biggest change for me is to realize that I’m not that person any more — I’m 295 pounds now. I can fit in a chair at the doctor’s office, I can fit in a small vehicle, but in my mind I still feel like I can’t.”
By following the game plan of famed bariatric surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan, there are several patients, however, who are able to kick-start their wellness journey and stay on track.
“It’s a daily challenge to work with some patients that can be self-destructive,” The Scale Does Not Lie, People Do author told People magazine in 2017. “My job is not to get aggravated, but to find a way to motivate them to work hard to get to their goals. There are times where I think it’s necessary for some tough love and I have to be stern with them, so I show some of my concern and frustration.”
The show also reveals other factors that come into play when a clinically obese person tries to lose weight, such as the psychological toll. Then there’s the more interesting factor of how extreme weight loss affects relationships. Many of My 600-Lb. Life‘s success stories have ended with divorce. Past participants have revealed that the change to their bodies was so stark, it caused a strain on their marriages, particularly if their spouse became “jealous.”
Overall, the series is excellent at showing the multi-faceted layers of obesity and how it affects friends, family and ultimately, the person who weighs more than 600 pounds.
From rememberable stars like Christina Phillips, who impressively shrank from 700 pounds to just 183, to infamous ones like Penny Saeger who was criticized online for being “lazy” for not losing any weight, see what all the stars from the hit reality show look like today, and find out if they’ve kept the weight off.
Scroll through the gallery below to see all of the inspiring before and after photos!