- A woman who weighed over 600 lbs decided to lose weight in order undergo surgery
- Her legs were so swollen she could barely walk
- But she persevered, and it made her get her life back
A woman who developed obesity in such an out-of-control manner that she hit the 605 lb scale, presented her dramatic life story on the TLC reality show “My 600lb Life”.
44-year-old Tracey Matthews, from Lorain, Ohio, wanted to have weight loss surgery, but she was too overweight to qualify. So she decided to persevere on a strict diet in order to lose the required amount of pounds.
Tracy had to weigh 450 lb at the most in order to undergo the much-needed operation. Her legs were severely swollen due to years of overeating. Only her limbs carried 350 to 400 lb.
At the beginning of the program, she could barely move. She thankfully had her faithful husband Anthony, who became her caregiver after she gained so much weight that she developed cellulitis and lymphedema, a condition that causes extreme swelling in the limbs.
The surgery she underwent with Dr. Younan Nowzaradan removed excess skin and fluid on her legs. She can now walk again, and fit into the front of a car, where before, the only way she could travel was on the back of a station wagon.
Tracey recalled her traumatic childhood throughout the reality show. She said her home was filled with violence. Her father was an alcoholic and beat both her mother and her. She also admitted to have been s*xually molested by a male babysitter.
This terrible atmosphere made Tracey turn to food for comfort. At 7, she already weighed 70 lbs. Afterwards, her grandmother started taking care of her and her brothers, but she loved to pamper them with food, so Tracey was never able to control her weight after that. “My grandma loved to feed us, and give us every kind of sweets,” she said.
Food made Tracey “feel safe.” So by the time she was a teenager she was weighing around 200 lbs.
She then had three children, and by her third pregnancy weighed 400 lbs, and from then on the pounds climbed until she got into the 600s.
After her determined weight loss and surgery, Tracey has gotten better, and is now able to take care of herself once more. “I feel like we are starting to grow in a new direction. I am excited about the future now for me and for us as a couple,” she said, and she hopes to never again go back to her previous circumstances.
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