Last night’s episode of “My 600-Lb. Life” gave viewers a glimpse into the life of a morbidly obese woman. This series explores a year in the life of 600-pound individuals trying to regain control of their lives. Bettiejo Elmore is one of them; at 24, she weighs 654 pounds and lives in Potosi, Missouri.
As the episode begins, Bettiejo is trapped in her body and feels by being trapped in the dark; she will do anything to run to the nearest light. She is tired of being in constant pain and knows her weight is killing her. Her husband Josh has to help her with everything, including wiping her behind when she uses the bathroom. He is her continuous caretaker, and she is tired of feeling guilty. He is very caring and considerate of her and tends to her every need. The only way she sees person is when they come to her. A knock on the door brings her cousin Billie Jo to see her and knows that Josh is an enabler for her. As they eat together, Billie Jo tries to encourage her not to overeat because she knows her body is over its limit. At 12, Bettiejo weighed 180, and at 13, she was sexually assaulted and her consolation was eating; and she tried to protect herself by eating and by being overweight, she would no longer appeal to anyone in a sexual way. At 17, she and Josh met, and she was about 400 pounds then and tried to kill herself and while in the hospital, she gave up. At the supermarket, Josh brought the electric cart to the car and sees how people look at her. Josh knows that she wants to lose weight, but he feels that if she loses the weight; she will not need him anymore.
Bettiejo and Josh are driving to Houston to meet with Dr. Nowzaradan; a distance of about 725 miles. She is hoping that he can help her lose weight. Josh fears that she will die on the operating table. After a car ride of 13 hours, they finally arrive. At his office, she gets on the scale, the number is 654 and their nerves take over. The doctor finds out that Josh is her enabler. He wants her to lose 30 pounds in two months, and she needs Josh to help her. The couple rented an apartment in Houston to be closer to the doctor.
At month two, she is trying to eat less and even exercises. At month three, she weighs 599, a loss of 35 pounds. Dr. Nowzaradan is pleased with her change, schedules her surgery for the next week, but sees that her husband is feeling useless because he is feeling less and less needed. The day of the surgery arrives, and she is nervous, but ready to start a new life. The gastric bypass goes well, and she goes to recovery. Bettiejo wakes up after surgery, and Josh, who promised to be there the entire time, was not there. Right now, she is scared because she needs him now more than ever. The staff takes her for a walk, and she does well. At month four, her current weight is 598, a loss of 56 pounds. She was home for a month, but it has not been as easy as she hoped. Josh is preparing meals that are not necessarily on the doctor’s diet. He is depressed, and it is evident. He is concerned with their relationship, and she feels that by needing him; it may be the only thing keeping them together. She knows that if he is not there for her, she will most certainly fail.
At month five, Josh rushes her to the hospital because she is having trouble breathing. She felt like she was having a heart attack and kept blacking out. Josh told Dr. Nowzaradan that he had never seen her like that before. She was kept overnight for observation, and after she was stabilized, she was weighed. She has made no progress since her surgery. The doctor tells her that if the calories in are equal to the ones going out; her weight will stay the same. She told him she had been depressed; he wants her to have her head up and on oxygen because if they put her flat, in four hours; she is not going to make it. Overeating has left her lung function to a point where she is close to dying. She confessed to him that all her husband wants to do is eat junk food, and she is at a point where she can no longer cope. He wants them to see a therapist before it is too late.
At month six, her current weight is 599 with a loss of 55 pounds. They went to the therapist together and saw Dr. Santhi Periasamy. Bettiejo told her that Josh promised to be with her after surgery, and he was not there. He told the therapist that he was afraid that Bettiejo will no longer need him. When Bettiejo spoke about the lack of having sex since the surgery; he walked out of the room to get some air. He returned after a short while, and they continued the session. Bettiejo loves him and has to let him know that she wants their relationship to be as good as or better than it was before she was so heavy.
At month eight, her current weight was 568 with a loss of 86 pounds. They have been going to the gym together and are starting like they really have a marriage. She is feeling like they are a couple again, and he is happy that she will go out in public more frequently. At month nine, her weight is 544 with a loss of 110, and they take a ride back home to see the family for the first time in nine months. She just hopes they notice the weight loss. She is happy to see the family, and they noticed the difference immediately. Her grandfather told her for every pound she lost, he would give her a quarter, but he upped it to a dollar.
At month ten, she currently weighs 527, down 127 pounds. One thing she always wanted to do is help other people. Now she is helping to put together food bags for children in need. She wants to give back for the time she spent taking. Now each day, she is becoming the person she wants to be. At month eleven, Bettiejo and Josh went on an actual date and is truly working on their relationship. Josh no longer fears that she does not need him. At month twelve, they are going for the weigh-in at Dr. Nowzaradan’s office; she weighs 498 with a loss of 157 pounds. He is pleased with both of them and knows that she will continue her weight loss and enjoy happiness they truly deserve on this episode of “My 600-Lb. Life.”