Star of TLC’s hit reality show 1000 Lb. Sisters, Tammy Slaton, has been through a lot of weight loss ups and downs since the first season of the hit reality show that aired in January of 2020. For those not familiar with the show, it chronicles Tammy and her sister Amy Slayton as they navigate the challenges of extreme obesity and their individual journeys to try and lose weight. Tammy in particular has had a series of rough health challenges.
But today, fans are thrilled to see her incredible weight loss progress and her commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Recently, the 37-year-old took to Instagram to share photos of her dramatic 180-pound weight loss since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in the summer of 2022. (That’s on top of the 183 pounds she lost prior to that for a total loss of 363 pounds.) Here, we take a look at Tammy’s journey and see her incredible transformation.
A long and difficult weight loss journey
Tammy’s weight loss success hasn’t come without its set of challenges and heartache over the course of the last few years. In the finale of the first season of 1000-Lb. Sisters, it was revealed that Amy, Tammy’s sister, qualified for weight-loss surgery, weighing in at 406 pounds at the season’s beginning. Tammy, however, did not qualify.
“Now that I’m approved and she’s not, I feel like she’s kind of upset with me about it. Most of the time I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around Tammy,” Amy said in the tense episode. “You never know what’s going to set her off and after this appointment with Dr. Procter, she’s a ticking time bomb.”
In 2021, Tammy Slaton entered a food-addiction rehab facility, but left earlier than anticipated. She soon returned, but a day later, her health took a turn for the worse and she was hospitalized, put on a ventilator, and put into a medically-induced coma. Tammy’s stay lasted 3 weeks and after a subsequent 30-day rehab stay, she shed 115 pounds.
But health scares continued despite Tammy’s progress. She was once again hospitalized in 2022 and given a tracheotomy. At that time, it was revealed that she weighed in at her heaviest: 717 pounds.
However, after re-entering food addiction rehab center for the third time, a February 2023 episode of the reality show joyfully revealed that Tammy was finally under the 550 pounds mark, which qualified her for gastric bypass surgery. In fact, she was shocked to learn that she was actually down from 717 pounds to 534.7 pounds…and that was only the beginning.
Tammy Slayton staying strong
During the summer of 2022, Tammy finally underwent her long-awaited bariatric surgery, putting her on the path toward recovery. Today, after losing more than 360 pounds since her heaviest weight — 180 those pounds since her gastric bypass — Tammy is able to walk freely again and no longer has to rely on oxygen during the day.
“I was able to make my lungs strong enough to get my trach [tracheostomy tube for breathing] out, and then recently the doctor cleared me to be off my oxygen machine during the daytime,” Tammy told PEOPLE in a June 2023 interview. She continues to wear oxygen at night, along with her BiPap machine, but her overall progress has left her feeling thankful to be alive. “I’m feeling thrilled, proud, excited — just all the emotions,” she continues, “I proved everybody wrong. Everybody that doubted me, I finally got mine! My told-you-so moment!”
Tammy Slayton’s most dramatic before and after photos
Another perk of her new healthy lifestyle is that she’s been able to show off her skills in the kitchen. In a series of cooking photos posted to Tammy’s Instagram account in August 2023, she says, “Even though I can’t eat much doesn’t mean my family shouldn’t eat good and I’m finally able to show off my cooking skills just cool me chef TT or chef TamTam lol 😂.”
Facing grief and loss
Despite her joyful success with weight loss and regaining her physical health, Tammy Slaton recently endured a personal tragedy when her husband, Caleb Willingham, passed away in July of 2023. The couple had met while at rehab in 2022 and soon after tied the knot.
Prior to his passing, Tammy got candid with UsWeekly about their relationship with one another, saying “We support each other wholeheartedly. On our weight loss journeys, when he’s having issues with wanting to eat because he’s bored or because he’s an emotional eater, he comes to me and we talk about the situation.” Tammy continued, “It’s the same for me and I talk to him. We talk about our issues and why we feel this way. We are true partners.”
In the wake of Caleb’s passing, Tammy took to Instagram with a tribute saying, “Rip sweet angel you will forever be missed and loved so much thank you Caleb for showing me real love and happiness ❤️❤️”
Moving forward with hope
Despite all Tammy has gone through, it looks as though she is remaining resilient and continuing to make great strides on her weight loss journey. She told PEOPLE, “I’m feeling great! I’m thankful to be alive, and it’s fun to be progressing as much as I am.” We are with you Tammy and wish you all the best.
Catch up on all the episodes of 1000-LB Sisters on TLC, TLC Go and Discovery+
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