During the last two years that I have covered my My 600-lb Life participants weekly, I have come across people from all walks of life, with different motivations behind their decision to finally call Dr. Now to try to get their life and health under control.
But the episode that follows Bethany Stout was different from everyone I’ve seen recently. When we first meet her, Bethany Stout, an addiction counselor (the irony of her profession escapes no one on the show) and mother of four children (we only see two) is trying to end her unhealthy relationship with food.
While Bethany Stout realizes that her initial weight of 607.9 is unbearable, “what’s even more difficult,” she says, “is not getting the food and snacks I want.
‘My 600-lb Life’: Bethany Stout manages to shed over 100 pounds with Dr. Now’s help.
Bethany’s been overweight since she was a little girl. Since her parents “weren’t around much”, her grandmother intervened to raise her. “She made sure I was always fed,” notes Bethany Stout.
Things were “very bad when I was 12,” she explains. “That’s when [the food] became this thing in life as it is now, where I have to have it.” Her health, however, reached the limit when she was 13. At that time she weighed almost 130 kilos, and two years later, at 15, she had reached 400.
Over the course of several abusive relationships, his anxiety and depression have increased, which has increased the temptation to use food as a coping mechanism. After meeting her husband Sheldon, the two had their first daughter, Isabella, when Bethany Stout was 21. The fact that she was a new mother gave her relief from excess food.
Bethany Stout explains how she went back to school to finish her degree, then took a master’s degree and eventually started a treatment center for people with drug and alcohol addiction.
During these six years when her main focus was on her career, Bethany’s weight was under control and she stopped increasing.
But all that changed when the couple had their second daughter, Zowie, and Bethany Stout suffered from severe postpartum depression. “Once again, where I found comfort was food,” she complained.
“My addiction to food makes me feel like I’m on this island all alone,” she says before her first visit to Dr. Now’s office in Houston.
“It already took my ability to function, my job, my family, practically everything.” The only thing left is for me to physically take my own life,” he says.
Meanwhile, her eldest daughter Isabella just wants her mother to “become human again,” as she has been the head of the family for the past few years: taking care of her mother, doing the family shopping and cooking every meal.
‘My 600-lb Life’: Bethany Stout drops out of Dr. Now’s care. Follow her progress on Facebook.
But once Bethany Stout visits Dr. Now, she is able to catch something we hadn’t noticed about the addiction counselor’s approach. “He seems to think there’s a magic solution,” says the renowned bariatric surgeon, and while we hoped Bethany would prove him wrong, it turns out Dr. Now was right all along.
Bethany Stout manages to lose 69 kilos to get approval for the surgery, and then loses another 30 after the surgery.
But despite her progress, Dr. Now is not satisfied with her weight – the weight loss timeline, saying she should lose much more weight faster after her sleeve procedure. He also told her that she needs to go to psychotherapy to address the roots of her food addiction, but Bethany Stout is unwavering in her decision not to participate.
As Bethany says, she is “frustrated because the surgery was supposed to make everything easier and I don’t see why”. “I just thought the surgery would take away the cravings,” she complains, while Dr. Now reminds her that he warned her that it wouldn’t be like that.
Then, unable to cope with Dr. Now’s psychological and physical demands for her recovery, Bethany withdraws from her treatment a few months after the operation. Dr. Now insists that her therapy will be covered financially, but has no desire to deal with her emotional past and unresolved issues. “He’s playing a very risky game,” Dr. Now tells the cameras, “because it’s only a matter of time before his body starts breaking more than it already has.
“I’m not gonna get what I need from the program,” Bethany explains. “I’m still going to lose weight and get the life I want for me and my family, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes,” are her last words on the program.