Reality | Celebrity

6 Women From 'My 600-lb Life' That Lost The The Weight But Didn't Keep their Spouses

TLC

After I gave birth to my son, I had difficulty shedding the extra 25 pounds I gained during my pregnancy. But, after eight months of eating right and a following a regular workout routine, I was able to go back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

However, I wouldn't have been able to achieve my objective if it wasn't for my support system of my husband and extended family.

When I was too tired to meal prep or wanted to quit my aerobics class, they encouraged me to stick to my weight loss goal, which I eventually achieved. Should the roles have been reversed I would've also been a pillar of strength, but unfortunately not everyone has such a great support system.

Participants on TLC's My 600-lb Life know this to be true, since they separated from their significant others after they appeared on the hit show. While you'd think a relationship would survive after one of the partners decided to make a life-changing decision for the better by undergoing surgery and losing weight, it's not always the case.

"In general, we know, after bariatric surgery, that people tend to feel much better about themselves," David Sarwer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, explained. "Intuitively, we would think if one partner is feeling better that would only help the marriage. But what we have found is that weight and weight loss can actually play a more complicated role in a marriage or romantic relationship."

As sad as it may be, here are six women who ended their relationships during the aftermath of their episode.

Christina Phillips

The last time fans saw Christina Phillips on the hit program, they were amazed over her staggering weight loss. She originally appeared on the show weighing 708 pounds, but after undergoing gastric bypass surgery and mustering up a fierce determination to beat her obesity, she slimmed down to a healthy 183 pounds.

While many fans were thrilled over her success story, one important person in her life was not: her husband, Zach.

"It became clear that me becoming independent [from Zach] was not going to work for him," she said on the show.

But, during Phillips’s Where Are They Now special, the 28-year-old admitted getting a divorce was one of the best decisions she has made, and has even found love again with a new beau.

"In the beginning I had a lot of people doubt me," Phillips said. "I was in a really abusive relationship. And that definitely, I think, has had a negative impact on me."

Luckily she got rid of the extra baggage, and is now happy and healthy while living an independent life.

Amber Rachdi

When viewers took a glimpse into Amber Rachdi’s weight loss journey, they saw a woman who lived with her parents and her boyfriend, Rowdy.

At her heaviest, Rachdi weighed 657 pounds, and couldn’t walk a few feet without getting tired. Due to her obesity, she couldn’t drive a car, and relied on her boyfriend to take her to the grocery store to constantly buy more food.

"I do feel guilty," Rowdy said about enabling Rachdi’s eating addiction. "But what else do you do when you love someone?"

On the show, Rachdi acknowledged her boyfriend preferred bigger women, and didn’t mind the fact she was gaining weight. But, when she lost more than 400 pounds, she and Rowdy split up.

However, when fans took to Twitter to bash his unsupportive nature, Rachdi came to his defense and wrote: "In defense of Rowdy, my ex who was on the show: who do y'all think is taking pictures of me at the gym? He IS a good, supportive friend."

While Rachdi’s no longer with her former flame, her story does have a happy ending. In 2016, she posted a picture on social media wearing an engagement ring from a man who has since become her husband.

Zsalynn Whitworth

Similar to Rachdi’s relationship with her boyfriend, Zsalynn Whitworth’s husband Gareth also liked bigger women, but unlike Zach, showed no support to his partner on her quest to lose weight.

During Whitworth’s episode, Gareth admitted he was afraid his wife would change if she lost weight, and even tried to sabotage her goals, by refusing to buy her a salad.

"I'm not buying you a salad," he told Whitworth on the show. "If you want to eat grass, you can go in the garden and graze."

However, Gareth’s unsupportive nature didn’t stop Whitworth from losing more than 300 pounds, and to make things even better, she eventually found the courage to kick him to the curb.

Luckily, Withworth’s despair over her failed marriage didn’t last long. Since the end of her episode, she has stuck to her healthy lifestyle changes and has even started seeing a new man.

June McCamey

During June McCamey’s episode on the hit show, fans saw a woman struggling with her weight after the death of her 17-year-old son.

While McCamey started gaining weight after all four of her pregnancies, following her son Kenneth’s passing, she began overeating as a way to cope with her tragic loss. At her heaviest, McCamey weighed 590 pounds, and relied on her partner Sadi Gregory to do everything for her, including keeping her clean.

"When we first got together, I was much more mobile. Now I feel like she is taking care of me like I'm a kid," McCamey said during her episode.

But, with strong determination, McCamey successfully underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost 348 pounds in two years. However, when she lost the weight, she decided to end her relationship with Gregory, as her weight loss helped her enjoy a newfound independence. McCamey has yet to enter a new relationship.

Lupe Samano

Lupe Samano was a woman confined to her bed for more than 12 years due to her obesity.  She was taken care of by her then-husband Gilbert Donovan, who didn’t treat her with the respect she deserved.

Along with rumors that Donovan cheated on Samano, fans were furious when he forced her to have sex with him right after her skin removal surgery, which caused her surgical stitches to become undone and infected.  

While she originally defended her husband’s actions, Samano eventually got rid of 423 pounds, and Donovan for good.

"I'm done with his cheating, his drinking, and his abuse," Samano said. "I've seen that as I lose weight more, it's getting worse. His insecurities, his jealousy. That's not a life for me."

However, Samano’s story also has a happy ending, as she’s since started a new romance with with disc jockey, Andrew Renteria. Talk about an upgrade!

Laura Perez

During her episode on My 600-lb Life, Laura Perez was first shown weighing in at 594 pounds, confined to a wheelchair, and in need of an oxygen mask.

Unable to do anything for herself, she was dependent on her husband, Joey, who had fed, washed, and dressed her for years.

“She means the world to me. I love my wife a lot. It's hard to tell her no because I love her,” he said at the time.

However, as Perez slowly began to shed the pounds, her relationship with her husband began to crumble.  Little by little, Perez began to gain back her independence, which Joey struggled to deal with.

“The better I get, the worse my relationship is getting,” Laura said. "[Joey] acts a little different, like 'Oh, you don’t need me.' I had told him, 'I need you to support me not take care of me.'"

“I feel like I’m on the sidelines,” Joey said. “She don’t need me as often and I feel a little scared I’m going to lose her with all the changes we’re going through.”

Sadly, despite their optimistic attitude towards maintaining their relationship, it couldn’t withstand Perez’s amazing 412 pound weight loss and the couple have since divorced.

Would you stay with your partner while they pursue a weight loss journey?

[H/T: Daily Mail, In Touch Weekly, The Seattle Times]

Maya has been working at Shared for 10 Months. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com