My 600 lb Life: Melissa’s Life After Weight Loss

posted: 01/04/17
by: Rebecca Goldberg

After her story began on My 600 lb Life, Melissa Morris became known as 'the woman who lost 500 lbs.' While that is a very quick way to sum up what has been an incredibly journey, there truly is so much more to who she is.

Her determination to find happiness and a healthy lifestyle kickstarted a transformation that would end up truly redefining her, both inside and out.

Now, years later, after starting a family and reshaping her life-- Melissa is opening up and reflecting on her difficult past, life as a mom, and in her hopes for the future.

Melissa before weight loss
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Melissa before weight loss
Melissa after weight loss
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Melissa after weight loss

How did you have to change your life to make your transformation possible?

After my weight-loss surgery, I knew I needed to be closer to Doctor Nowzaradan and so I moved. I also knew I needed tracking and accountability, and so I made a pound tracker and hung it on my refrigerator. As the weight started coming off, I started volunteering at the doctor's office. This was a huge help as it meant that I always had someone there helping me push further along on my journey.


How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?

When I found out I was pregnant with Allona, I was shocked, scared and happy. After my first pregnancy ended with the baby not having a heartbeat, I was so worried about how this one would be. At one point, a doctor had said I only had a 2% chance of getting pregnant! So it was incredible to end up having a happy and healthy baby. Allona was born on May 1, 2010--4 years after my weight loss surgery.


How was it handling the weight changes that come with having a baby and how did you lose weight after giving birth?

I was so happy with finally being pregnant! I didn't worry about gaining weight, and I actually gained 100 lbs. It wasn't until after I had Alonna and was still overweight that I started to worry. It might be crazy to have thought this, but I really expected to give birth and quickly be back to my pre-baby weight. This didn't happen and I just wanted to get back to a weight that I was comfortable with. The first thing I did to achieve this was cut out snacking. I followed that by severely cutting back on carbs. Then after getting my eating habits back on track, I joined a gym and began to work out 5 or 6 nights a week for two hours.


How will health play a role in how you raise Allona?

Wow, this question hits home hard! I don't want her to be like me and struggle with her weight or self-worth. I will do my very best to teach her healthy eating patterns and convey that working out is a normal part of life. I plan to do everything I can to show her that being healthy really matters.


How do you maintain your health now and what are your current goals?

I weigh myself every single day. I am so fearful of gaining all my weight back, especially because it was so easy for me to gain 100lbs while pregnant. I work out late at night because it makes me feel good. As for my diet, I always ask myself before eating whether I am truly hungry. I question this to ensure I'm not just eating because I'm feeling sad, happy, mad, bored or stressed. This one tactic has been so helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Plus, I always have new goals. They help keep me on track and remind me that there is always something more out there waiting for me.


Do you ever look back at old photos from your heavier years, and how does it feel?

I always carry a picture of me on my scooter two days before surgery. I do this for 3 reasons:
1) To remind myself I can how far I have traveled on this road.
2) To show others that I have done this and so can they.
3) To remind myself that I can always end up back where I was if I don't stay focused on the right road.

Truthfully, being fat was way easier than my current life. But, still, I NEVER want to go back there. I was ready to die. These days, I cannot get enough of life.


How do you shop for your body now vs how you did previously?

I now shop in the traditional clothing stores, which still feels odd to me. It is both challenging and uplifting at the same time. My body shape is different from most, so shopping can be a real struggle. It's difficult to find something that fits my hips and my waist. However, it feels amazing to fit into the smaller sizes that I do!


How do you use your experience to help others?

I belong to a secret club. I know, that sounds crazy, but unless you have been extremely overweight you don't know the true struggle. I take time every single day to talk to others, listen to their stories, and express that I not only understand what they're going through-- but that I also have faith in their abilities and journey.


Advice you have for those struggling with body issues:

I try not to give advice to anyone who doesn't ask for it, because their struggle is unique and different from mine. However, I would advise anyone to get healthier for no one other than themselves. Everyone is perfect just how they are. But if they are unhappy with themselves, then they should do make a change to pursue happiness.

I advise others that the first step towards a healthier life is identifying what you're doing wrong. You must first figure that out because you cannot fix what you don't acknowledge. It's also important to note that lying to yourself about what the true issue is will only hurt you in the long run.

I think the most important thing to remember is that your body isn't what you see, nor is it the most beautiful part of you. Most people don't realize that beauty comes from their personality, heart, and how kind they are to themselves and to others. Most of the time we are harder on ourselves than others are, and we see things "wrong" with ourselves that others don't. Everyone should know that they are beautiful because of who they are on the inside!


The biggest lessons you've learned:

Everyone will not understand or appreciate your struggles, and you cannot expect them to.

Even if you are the same weight as someone else, no two journeys are ever the same.


Melissa Morris
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Melissa Morris
Melissa Morris
Melissa Morris
Melissa Morris