I realized why I dig this show, just as it came to an end last night. It figures. You have to understand, I don't "do" weight loss shows. Typical weight loss makeover programs make me want to throw things while I count the product placements and analyze the commercials. I can't deal, here have some Extra gum with me?
On My 600 LB Life, the weight loss surgery patients followed a similar time line as I did. I had the same surgery, in the same year. It's likely we had similar education and similar support options, aside from the whole "you're on a documentary" part.
The patients featured on the program start with much more difficult situations than I could ever imagine, but I am left wondering about them. I apparently GET IT at some level and I'm wondering way too much about their current situations...
- Where are they now?
- How are they? Are they okay? Are things good?
- Did anyone ever tell them about their vitamins? Diet? How are you eating now?
- Did they get better aftercare than we did in the same time frame?
- Have things gotten better for post ops since 2004?
- How's the family? Did you move out? Please say you did?
- And, are they still getting support?
The show glazes over and skips integral parts of the post-op process. Any of us know that we're missing about 99% of the story here. However, the bits and pieces we do see give us a glimpse of "whys..." It would be much more responsible to show more of each patient's realistic post op experience. There's so much we don't know, don't see, and there's seven years of a few minutes of footage here.
The show feels a lot like a post op check up. Quick and not thorough enough. That said, it's already over.
I'm sure that people like me, peers, are looking way too closely at it because we have lived it. We are waiting to see details about the "whys" -- and the general viewership probably doesn't care -- according to the comments on Twitter this morning -- they just want to be jerks.
I just want to find Ashley, you know?
Her mother, who is overweight herself, was inexplicably cruel and teasing to Ashley, even as she appeared to be on hand to support her daughter. It was a dynamic and a relationship that was very difficult to understand, but it was very clear that her mother's cruelty hurt Ashley. It may well have helped lead her to the dark place that saw her put on so much weight in the first place.
The episode chronicled her seven-year journey toward a healthier life and body, including multiple skin removal surgeries along the way. But even at 500+ pounds, Ashley started dreaming of getting back to one of her childhood passions. As a girl, she'd played softball, until it became too physically exhausting for her to do so.
Once she'd managed to shed most of those excess pounds, she signed up to coach softball to be close to the sport that had brought her so much joy. She shared her story with the kids on her team, serving as inspiration that anything is possible and it's never too late to take the reigns of one's life. Her ultimate dream is to own a childcare facility where she can maybe reach out to those struggling kids like she was and provide a helping hand before they find themselves living their own 600 pound lives.