As we’ve seen time and time again on My 600-lb Life, losing weight — even with weight loss surgery — is never easy, and in many cases, keeping it off can be even harder. Just ask Milla Clark — one of the many people who’s appeared on the beloved TLC reality show.
On her episode, she tipped the scales at about 700 pounds and explained how she struggled with her weight since childhood — as her mom nearly fed her to death. “If we didn’t take that food, [my mother] would take that as a rejection,” she explained. “But my sister was small, and she could not finish her plate. And I would sneak and help her with her plate so they wouldn’t get punished… At the same time, food was my mother’s warmth to me. So I just ate everything I was given. And I just wanted more and more.”
(Photo Credit: TLC)
Her mom admitted that she feels guilty for contributing to her daughter’s weight gain. “I do sometimes blame myself a little bit for the way she is,” her mother, Mary Everson, revealed. “But at the time, I thought it was fine that she ate that much, because when I was coming up, it wasn’t like we had a ton of food all the time. And so what I always felt like was that I want to see a child eating until they got enough.”
During the episode, fans watched as she prepared for gastric weight loss surgery, and she eventually was able to go under the knife for a gastric sleeve — and it’s clear that she’s happier than ever since turning her life around. She shared an update on Facebook and wrote, “It feels so good to be able to sit up all day and take classes to work from home.”
We’re so impressed, Milla!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, In Touch Weekly.
Check out more stars from My 600-lb. Life in the gallery below!
Christina Phillips 600 Lb Life
Christina was 708 pounds when she first appeared on the show in 2014. After getting gastric bypass surgery, she dropped to 183 pounds. However, in her 2016 "Where Are They Now?" special, the 25-year-old admitted to still feeling like she was 700 pounds and often went days without eating if she gained any weight.
"My fear of gaining weight has crippled me," she said in 2016. "But I have to move past that fear if I want to live my life."
She doesn't have any social media accounts of her own, but she sometimes appears in other My 600-lb Life cast members' accounts looking strikingly different from her old self.
Nicole Lewis My 600 Lb Life
Being raised by drug-addicted parents, Nicole's only comfort growing up was food, which led her, at just 23 years old, to tip the scales at over 700 pounds. "Even as a toddler, I remember food was what made me happy," she said on her episode of the show.
"When I was little, me and my mom never really got along because she had a really bad temper and would explode on me for things that I just didn't understand. And when that happened, I would always run to the garage, because my dad would be out there working on something. So I would just sit with him, and he would give me a snack. And that was safety."
By the time she reached her early teens, Nicole weighed over 200 pounds, and when her parents’ drug addiction worsened, her weight increased rapidly. These days, things are looking up for Nicole. She's taking care of her two children with her fiancé Charlie and actively updates fans on her Facebook page. "Im sooo in love with you!" she wrote on March. 8. "Your [sic] my forever, 5 years strong my love. No one has ever made me feel the way you do."
Diana Bunch My 600 Lb Life
Weighing in at over 600 pounds, Diana faced extreme lymphedema (swelling) in her legs, as well as open sores and blisters. As viewers watched her journey unfold, they came to learn that she was molested as a child by two older boys. At the time of her abuse, she was unable to turn to food as comfort, as her mother insisted on strict dieting. As a teen, she only weighed 115 pounds.
However, when she went off on her own, the addiction spiraled. It was so out of control, that she was discharged from the Air Force. As Diana continued to reflect on her struggle, she came to realize that her childhood was definitely a root cause.
Fortunately, Diana was able to turn her circumstance around and nowadays, she's living a positive, healthy life! After appearing on the TLC reality show, Diana lost 265 pounds from a gastric sleeve surgery that removed 70 percent of her stomach. The 56-year-old also keeps very active on social media.
Janine Mueller My 600 Lb Life
At the time of her episode, Janine found herself at her heaviest at about 629 pounds. She decided it was time to finally take her life into her own hands and booked a flight to Houston to meet with Dr. Now. Once under his care, he suggested that Janine follow a strict 1200-calorie diet in order to lose 100 pounds before she can qualify for the surgery, but she struggled to control her eating habits.
When she returned to Dr. Now's office to track her progress, she found out that she had actually gained weight, so he admitted her into the hospital so that she could be put on a controlled diet. During her hospital stay, Janine lost 118 pounds but she still struggled with her new diet.
Dr. Now approved her for a gastric balloon surgery and when her episode ended, Janine weighed 566 pounds. But since Janine has continued to lose weight and is getting her gastric sleeve surgery soon, she'll be able to shed the weight faster.
Tara Taylor My 600 Lb Life
According to Starcasm, the Louisiana native not only shed over half of her body weight, but she also got engaged. Fans remember meeting Tara as a 606-pound woman who struggled to walk, breath, and who experienced severe joint pain. Viewers saw a miserable Tara admit that she had no social life because of her excess weight... she'd never even been on a date.
But, that's all changed now! The bride-to-be is currently planning her wedding to Eugene Perkins, who she met on the "Where Are They Now?" episode. How cute is that?! Eugene popped the question in October 2015 and since, they haven't been shy about showcasing their love for each other on social media. The happy couple frequently posts photos together on Facebook and discusses their upcoming wedding plans.
And when it came to keeping the weight off, Tara revealed that she's still careful about her eating and exercise habits. "Now that I have lost the weight, this is a whole new world for me," she revealed. "The reason I am willing to give Eugene a chance is that he is a good man." She was even open with him about her new healthy lifestyle. "I have to be careful about what I eat," she said. "If it's not healthy or its too much food, I'm not going to do it."
Laura 600 Lb Life
She was 541 pounds when she first appeared on the show in 2015. After dropping 300 pounds, the show revisited her for a "Where Are They Now?" special in 2016 where she revealed she was trying to lose 80 more pounds. Weirdly enough, since her transformation, Laura confessed that her marriage felt strained and that her husband was "jealous" of her weight loss.
Today, Laura documents her journey on her Facebook and appears to have lost even more weight.
Amber Rachdi 600 Lb Life
Amber weighed 660 pounds when she first appeared on the show in 2015, and today she has lost more than 400 pounds.
"On #my600lblife I couldn't climb into my parents' minivan without a step stool," she wrote on Twitter under a picture of herself climbing a tree. "Feels like lifetimes ago."
She also has an active Facebook where she answers viewers' questions about her weight loss progress.
Charity 600 Lb Life
She was 778 pounds before undergoing gastric bypass surgery, as well as subsequent surgeries to remove large masses from her legs and 38 pounds of skin.
Today, she's dropped 500 pounds and is active on Facebook where she continues to document her weight loss journey.
Paula Jones 600 Lb Life
In 2014, Paula was 533 pounds and fearful of dying and leaving her children without a mother. After undergoing surgery, she dropped to 269 pounds over a span of a year.
Today, she continues to live her new healthy lifestyle and shares photos on Instagram of herself at the gym. Earlier this year, she also co-hosted a weight loss and empowerment summit in Atlanta.
My 600 Lb Life June
Before June got gastric bypass surgery, she weighed almost 600 pounds and ate fast food every day. After the surgery, she dropped to 389 pounds. In 2016, she shared the photo above on her Facebook with the caption, "Feeling myself, being in love with me is a beautiful feeling."
Today, June still lives in Texas and is continuing her weight loss regimen.
Melissa Morris Weight Loss
Melissa D. Morris
When Melissa first appeared on the show, she was 653 pounds. After gastric bypass surgery, she lost 500 pounds and used her new weight loss to do what she always wanted to do — have children. However, after having two kids, she realized how hard it was to stay fit while raising kids.
“I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be when you have kids and have food for them around you all day long,” she said during her "Where Are They Now?" special that aired in 2016. “It’s hard to stick to a diet.”
Penny Saeger 600 Lb Life
Perhaps one of the most controversial people featured on the show, Penny became infamous for being the only person on the show to not successfully lose weight after surgery. Her doctor, Dr. Nowzaradan, accused her of being "delusional" for refusing to follow her strict diet or curb her portion control. When the show visited her again for the "Where Are They Now" special, Penny admitted that "not much has changed," but that she lost 35 pounds.
Although there's a rumor spreading on the Internet that she died, judging by her Facebook, which was updated in January 2017, Penny is still living in Maryland and raising her son. Her current weight is still a mystery.
Donald My 600 Lb Life
During his 2012 episode, which documented his weight loss journey for four years, Donald was 675 pounds and slimmed down to 295 pounds after surgery. However, halfway into his weight loss journey, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre disease, which made him too weak to walk. He eventually gained back 200 pounds, but after breaking his wheelchair, decided to make a new effort to lose weight and keep it off.
Today, Donald is still bound to his chair, but has made progress on his weight loss. You can follow his evolution on Facebook.
600 Lb Life Zsalynn
In 2014, Zsalynn weighed well over 600 pounds and was so desperate to earn money for gastric bypass surgery, that she started modeling for "fat fetish" websites. After successfully getting the surgery and dropping 300 pounds, she confessed during her 2015 "Where Are They Now?" special that she and her husband got a divorce.
"Gareth hasn't found much good in my changes," she said on the show. "It's time for us to admit it's over."
Today, she has dropped even more weight after having 52 pounds of excess skin removed from her body, and she also documents her weight loss progress on Facebook.
Brittani Fulfer 600 Lb Life
Brittani was 605 pounds when she appeared on the show in 2016 and was desperate to lose weight so that she could have a sex life again with her husband.
“I don’t walk around naked because I am afraid that he will be absolutely disgusted if he sees me and that he will never look at me the same way again,” she said on the show.
After dropping more than 200 pounds via gastric bypass surgery, Brittani is now happily enjoying life with her husband. She has an active Facebook where she answers questions from fans and posts inspirational quotes.
Chuck Turner 600 Lb Life
In his 2014 episode, he was 693 pounds and lost 433 pounds after gastric bypass surgery. His new weight loss made him more physically able to do the work needed to run his tow truck business. And in 2015, he revealed that he was looking for love.
Currently, Chuck doesn't have any active social media accounts, but his truck towing business appears to be doing well at least.
600 Lb Life Poster