This episode of TLC’s ‘My 600-lb Life’ follows the life of a morbidly obese Tommy Johnson. He is 38 years old and weighs over 600 pounds. His girlfriend Amanda takes care of him.
Although Tommy’s life is mainly driven by his eating habits, because of his huge structure, his home has become a cage. He says that the life he is leading is deeply entangled in pain and misery and so he turns to food unable to cope with the pain caused by his being overweight. However, to add to this, Tommy Johnson is also very disappointed in himself because he is not working to solve the problem.
His reason is that he “can’t and won’t stop eating” and calls himself “dependent on food”. Expressing his love for Baloney sandwiches, Tommy Johnson said he eats about eight times a day and when he eats, his pain goes away and brings him immense joy. “Food is one thing that doesn’t give up on me,” Tommy said.
But he also said that for him, food was more than the pleasure of eating. Recounting some disturbing incidents from his childhood, Tommy Johnson revealed that his father was an alcoholic who often argued with his mother. When the relationship with his father became toxic, Tommy Johnson found comfort in food.
After his father died of a heart attack and when he could not talk about the abuse suffered by an acquaintance, Tommy’s addiction to food increased. So far, he has never talked about the abuse with anyone, not even Amanda, and continues to be bogged down with unpleasant memories of a traumatizing past.
He has developed trust issues, which have made his relationship with everyone but food difficult. He said he gained about 500 pounds at the age of 18.
Tommy Johnson started developing lymphodema at the age of 22. When his mother couldn’t take care of him, she moved in with his friends, who took care of him in exchange for a babysitter for their children. Eventually he moved out and started living with his mother.
Although Tommy Johnson now has Amanda taking care of him, he is afraid that she will soon lose patience with him and abandon the relationship. Tommy hopes that a “miracle” will fix his life.