Health Issues

Meet the Men and Women of Season 3 of ‘My 600-lb Life’

posted: 12/16/14

It's a new year, and there's an all-new season of "My 600-lb Life" beginning January 7 at 9/8c. We'll follow the lives of morbidly obese individuals, each weighing over 600 pounds and attempting to regain control of their lives. They will collectively need to lose thousands of pounds in order to survive.

The season kicks off by following up with some of the people who shared their stories in season 2, including Olivia, James, Zsalynn, Christina, Chuck, Paula, Penny and Tara. We'll see where they are now in their weight loss journeys and how they continue to overcome personal struggles in the hopes of living the lives they've always wanted.

Then, you'll meet eight new individuals ready to embark on the most physically challenging and emotionally taxing year of their lives. Each hour-long episode tracks one morbidly obese individual who plans to undergo high-risk gastric bypass surgery in an effort to completely change his or her life. Here are men and women who will share their weight loss journeys with you.

Amber, 24 (Troutdale, Oregon)

Amber, 24, grew up in a Portland, Oregon, suburb with her parents and younger brother. She still lives at home with her mom and dad as well as her boyfriend of two years. Amber started to gain weight when she was 4 years old, and as she grew older and moved less, it has taken over her life. She used to go out and see friends, travel, and go to school at Portland State University, but has since dropped out. Unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time, Amber was forced to quit her job one year ago.

Susan, 37 (Eddy, TX)

Though Susan is a very independent and strong-willed women, her weight has kept her from living a normal adult life. She is 37 years old and has never lived on her own. Susan lives with her mother who is her caretaker and enabler. Susan's weight issues started when her parents divorced following a tumultuous marriage. Susan sought comfort in food and has eaten her way to near death. At almost 600 pounds, Susan's life consists of work, the fast food drive thru, and sitting in her trailer. She no longer feels comfortable going out in public.

Pauline, 50 (Sacramento, CA)

Pauline started getting heavy at the age of eight. Her parents got divorced, and she did not get enough to eat, so she would steal grapefruits from an orchard on the way to school. When her parents got back together, food was suddenly plentiful. Pauline did not know when to stop though, fearful that she would go hungry again. By the time she was 12 years old, she weighed well over 200 lbs. By the time she got married, Pauline weighed 500 lbs. She used to run an at-home daycare, but was unable to continue due to her weight. Now divorced, Pauline is nearly 700 lbs, and hoping to rejoin society and turn her life around.

Bettie Jo, 24 (Potosi, Missouri)

Bettie Jo was abandoned by her mom as a child, and was raised by her grandmother, who ruled with an iron fist and always put her down. She put on her weight as a defense against the harsh environment in which she was raised. At nearly 700 lbs., Bettie Jo is terrified she is going to die young and is desperate to live a real life. She has been married to her husband Josh for nearly four years and wants a family, but cannot have a baby at her weight. Josh is Bettie Jo's primary caretaker though rather than romantic partner, and her weight is a source of conflict for them.

Laura, 40 (San Antonio, TX)

Laura is a kind, family-centric 40-year-old woman living in San Antonio, Texas. While she has always struggled with her weight, in the past four years it has "gotten ugly" and she is close to giving up. At 554 lbs., she does not know how she got to this point. Confined to her chair and her bed due to lymphedema and skin ulcers, she now watches her family live life around her. Her common law husband has multiple sclerosis, so he is not physically able to help Laura, which has forced them to live with her parents.

Angel, 42 (Kerville, Texas)

Angel grew up a thin, gangly young girl but when she was forced by her mother to give up her baby at age 14, her life started to spiral out of control. Never married, Angel had a second child at age 20 and was nearly 300 pounds. When Angel was 25, her beloved father died in a car crash after an argument with Angel, and the guilt caused her to put on even more weight. By the time she and her boyfriend Donnie got together, she was up to 500 lbs., yet still worked as a nursing assistant, taking care of others. After giving birth to her youngest son, Andrew, she fell into a deep depression, eating herself into oblivion, reaching an all-time high of 596 lbs., and making her nearly immobile. Angel is too big to be the kind of mother and companion she wants to be.

Charity, 38 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Charity only knows life as an obese person. Growing up in an abusive home, Charity quickly turned to food and was overweight by the age of 5. Physically and emotionally abused by the men in her family, she sought comfort in food. At 19, she got pregnant and had her daughter Charly. Since the age of eight, Charly has been her mother's caregiver. Charity now has a boyfriend who shares the caretaking duties but much is required to care for an immobile, demanding, unhealthy adult woman.

Joe, 31 (Johnson City, Tennessee)

Only 31 years old, Joe is staring at certain death if he doesn't reverse his lifelong weight gain that has exploded to an astonishing 802 pounds. A chunky baby and a picky eater as a child, Joe eschewed all vegetables. Teased and bullied through school, Joe developed a hard shell to survive his youth, but the damage to his self-esteem is immeasurable. Joe always felt neglected by his father growing up, so his mother tried to compensate by overindulging Joe and enabling his food obsession. Joe had managed to work an I.T. job from home, but recently his company demanded that he return to the office or lose his job. Now unemployed and unable to walk without falling, he now sleeps, lives and eats in the same living room chair 24 hours a day.

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