Tuesday, 27 March 2012

My 600 Pound Life - Melissa's Story

Melissa Morris weighed 673 lbs. when she decided to seek out a doctor who would agree to perform gastric bypass surgery for her.  This was dangerous surgery as she could have died from cardiac and other complications in the operating room.  Luckily for Melissa and her family she survived to tell her story to TLC which aired My 600 Lb. Life last night - “My 600 Pound Life” premiered at 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, on TLC.

TLC took us through the seven years of Melissa Morris' transformation from morbidly obese to her present-day 170 lbs.  Melissa  is now employed as a councillor for patients at the same clinic she received treatment at.  Melissa accomplished her two main goals--losing weight and being able to work.

Melissa lived with her husband Chris in rural Texas.  She had been overweight most of her life as a result of eating for comfort and to avoid deep-seeded emotional problems.  Having been molested as a child, instead of getting help to heal the scars, she chose to eat the pain away.  Melissa wishes that she had had the courage to face her two molesters instead of internalising the agony and soothing it away with food.

Melissa could not do anything for herself.  Her husband Chris would get her food, bath her and help her in the bathroom.  Her dignity was taken away.  One day while on her scooter with her husband in a grocery store, an elderly man -- himself riding on a mobility scooter -- joked that, "If you get bigger, you just get a bigger damn wagon." As a man nearby laughed, Melissa started to cry. People are unbelievably cruel.  Not only did Melissa have to deal with her own demons, she had to also accept the glares of disgust and comments made out loud about her.  Those were the worst--the spoken comments, Melissa acknowledged.

After her gastric bypass surgery, Melissa began to gain independence.  This became an issue as her husband Chris was used to the caregiver role in their relationship.  They have had to redefine their relationship and change it to a more healthy one between husband and wife.
Melissa had to undergo surgeries to remove excess skin as she lost hundreds of pounds.  One of her surgeries for the removal of the stretched-out skin had complications which left her bed-ridden in hospital for three months.  Melissa cried as it reminded her of her former life of being bed-ridden and dependant.

Although Melissa had set backs along her extreme weight loss journey, it was all worth it.  Melissa is now the mother of Allona who will be two in May. 

“She’s the great part,” Morris said.  “She’s worth everything. She’s what I live for.”

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