Every weight loss journey is hard, and when people finally achieve to lose weight, the journey is far from over. When 26-year-old Christina Phillips first appeared on the TLC show My 600 Lb. Life in 2014, she weighed 708 pounds. After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, she lost 536 pounds, and her life changed completely. Nowadays, she fears that she will gain a lot of weight every single day.
Christina, from South Haven, Mississippi, admits that she is still struggling with the emotional aspects of her weight loss. She admitted that in April 2016, in an episode of My 600lb Life: Where Are They Now? two years after documenting her journey.
“I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past couple of years, and lately any time I see the scale go up, I tend to freak out and I will stop eating for a couple days,” she says in a preview clip from the episode.
Houston-based weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan advised her to speak with someone. She then decided to meet with a therapist. This was because she was too hard on herself with the losing weight trouble. The doctor warns that she needs to gain weight if she wants to have surgery to get the excess skin on her body removed.
“I know I’m not 700lbs anymore, but I still feel that way. And I don’t know how to change how I feel,” she admits.
Her struggle started since she was a little kid. By the time she was 12, she weighed nearly 300lbs.
During her first appearance on the show, Christina said she turned to food because her parents ‘used to fight a lot’ and ‘it was scary’. So her cravings became emotional. Before having the surgery, she was basically immobile, living with her parents and her husband Zach. They had the task of cleaning up after her when she was unable to make it to the bathroom.
Later on, her husband couldn’t cope with the pressure after he no longer had to take care of her after the surgery. They finalized their divorce two years ago after she realized their relationship was ‘centered around him enabling [her].’
Christina also told her therapist that she is afraid of ‘disappointing people’.
“At the beginning I had a lot of people doubt me,” she explains. “I was in a really abusive relationship. And that definitely, I think, has had a negative impact on me. It hurts. In my heart, in my head.”
Last year, Christina also moved in with her boyfriend Shane, whom she had known for eight years. He’s been a great support for her.
“We’ve gotten to know each other on a really deep level,” Shane tells the cameras. “We just open up to each other, and we will finish each other’s sentences sometimes.”
Christina says Shane helps her emotionally. He would make her go out even though she doesn’t want to.
“It’s weird when I was 700lbs I couldn’t even get out of the house, but now that I can I still don’t feel normal,” she explains.
She knows that she has to stop being obsessed with scale numbers and move on.
The episode also revisits Paula Jones, from Atlanta, Georgia, who lost 325lbs after having gastric bypass. Paula Jones appeared on the second season of My 600lb Life.
Nowadays, Paula fears that she passed her unhealthy eating habits on to her then 11-year-old daughter Savannah. Last year, Savannah weighed more than her mother.
”When I was 700 lbs., I felt worthless, and like I didn’t deserve anything better than the life I had,” she says. “And now my fear of gaining weight has crippled me. But I have to move past that fear if I want to live my life.”
“Savannah, at 11 years old, she weighs more than I do right now, so I feel like I can help her the most by helping her find healthy foods and what to look for when deciding what to eat.”
Paula turned to food after she was molested by a family member when she was just six years old.
She would eat unhealthy food in front of her kids all the time.
“All of my children have seen me eat and buy unhealthy foods. I eat for enjoyment,” she explains. “Now I feel I have to roll back those bad habits and show them the joy of eating healthy now.”
Paula has already had surgery to have the excess skin on legs removed. Nowadays, she wants another one done on her arms as well.
“My biggest fear going into surgery is that they won’t be able to do both arms, and that will delay my recovery even further,” she admits. “I really need to get this final surgery behind me.”