Tonight’s episode of “My 600-Lb. Life” gave viewers another glimpse of the life of a morbidly obese woman. This series explores a year during the life of 600-pound individuals trying to regain control over their lives. Brittani Fulfer 32 is one of them, and she speaks of the thing that she has spent so much of her life clinging to; something that is killing her. She understands that changing it is almost impossible. She knows that it could kill her if she does not stop it. She lives in Tualatin, Oregon.
Taking a shower is nearly impossible for her, and she will not let her husband see her naked and all she thinks about each day is food. Her life changed at five years of age when she was molested by a family member for six years. Her only happiness was food. She was alone and scared, and the pain has never gone away. By the time she graduated from high school. she weighed 400 pounds. She met her husband Bill, who loved big women and thought she was beautiful. They married and she finally had someone to tell her she was okay, for the first time in her life.
She is getting so big that she cannot help herself. The only time they go out is to do grocery shopping. But then, all eyes are on her. People look at her with disgust, and she aches inside. There is no happiness for the couple because they can no longer go out on a date and have fun together. Sex is something that never happens and their wish to have a child may never happen. However, she found a doctor in Houston, who just may be able to help her.
At month one, she found the compassionate and wonderful Dr. Nowzaradan who specializes in weight-loss surgery for patients her size. She weighed 605 pounds and when they visited him, he knew immediately that she was a compulsive eater with her husband as the enabler and also overweight. She must follow Dr. Nowzaradan’s diet and only eat three times a day. She asked if she could have snacks like carrots, and he said no. He told her there are no healthy snacks.
Back home, she and Bill were following the diet and packing up to move to Houston. She will do everything to save her life. It took six days to reach Houston, but on the road, they ate healthy food. Once they reached their apartment, she realized how far away her family and friends were, but kept the thought that it would be worth it. At month two weigh-in she weighed 570, which was 35 pounds less. She was very afraid that she would be rejected for the surgery.
At month three, she was preparing for surgery, and her mother came to be with her. As the surgery proceeded, Dr. Now planned to do a gastric bypass to reduce her stomach to the size of a tennis ball. It went as planned and currently she will be able to lose more weight and not feel hungry. He explained that the surgery was just a tool, and she must deal with the reason she used food in the first place. She soon realized that she was grieving for the friend she lost.
At month four, she weighed 542 pounds, weight loss since surgery 13 pounds and total loss 63 pounds, and she is home in Houston. Each day seemed harder and harder. She was lost and confused and food no longer gave her pleasure.
At month five, she weighed 524 pounds; loss since surgery is 31 and total loss is 81 pounds. Her mother was very worried about her and convinced her to see a therapist. She visited with therapist Rachel Eddins, and she explained how food was her comfort. She also explained about the sexual abuse, and Rachel explained that her nervous system was stressed, and she has lived with that trauma all these years. Food calmed her nervous system, now she must find something else to take the place of food. She gave her lots of reassurance.
At month seven, she weighed 493; loss since surgery was 62 and total of 112 pounds. She and Bill went food shopping, and she is leaving the feeling of not being safe behind her. She walked behind the shopping cart and did not ride as she did before. She made it through without a motorized cart and felt proud, so did Bill. People still looked, but it did not matter; she now had a different focus.
At month eight, her current weight was 470, loss since surgery 85 and total loss 135 pounds. She is going clothes shopping because she and Bill are going on a date, and she needs a new outfit. A week later, it was time for their date, and she looked beautiful. They tried to take a carriage ride, but she was embarrassed that she could not climb up into the carriage, as people watched. This event took away some of her confidence, because she thought she was doing so well.
At month ten, she weighed 432; loss since surgery was 123 and total loss 173. She took the fact that she could not get into the carriage as a reason to find a trainer and work harder. Donovan Greer was her trainer, and he gave her the inspiration to go on. He was kind and compassionate.
At month eleven, she weighed 406; loss since surgery was 149 and total loss of 199. She makes Bill breakfast in the morning and is back to the Brittani he knew when they first met.
At month twelve, she weighed 375 for a total loss of 230 pounds. Dr. Nowzaradan was happy and told her in another year she should be under 200 pounds. Two weeks later, they went on another date to celebrate their new-found intimacy. Hopefully, they will be starting a family soon as seen on this episode of “My 600-Lb. Life.” Brittani, may your journey continue and may God bless you and Bill with children.