TLC’s “My 600-lb Life” has been a fixture for reality TV fans since its premiere in 2012. Not only does it include aspects such as drama and heartbreak, but it also shows physical transformations with hope for a better future.
Each episode of this inspiring series follows a person with morbid obesity who wants to live a healthier lifestyle. To do so, they turn to Houston-based Dr. Now for guidance, who in turn helps them lose enough weight to qualify for the risky bariatric surgery. And while some people can’t handle the change, others, like Kenae Dolphus, thrive on it.
My 600-lb Life: Kenae Dolphus’s Story
The sixth episode of season 9, titled “Kenae Dolphus’s Story,” is outlined by TLC as “Kenae was already large before her weight gain took flight after the death of her beloved mother. Refusing to deal with the pain, Kenae turned to food to fill the void. But she will soon be reunited with her mother if the denial continues.” At the very beginning of the episode, 41-year-old Kenae described her daily experiences by saying, “My life is unbearable because of my size. Everything about this life is heavy – to where I can’t even function independently like I need to…. These days, even standing is a pain for me.”
Weight has always been a problem for the woman born in Nacogdoches, Texas. Growing up in a large family, she linked food to happiness, and that never stopped. By the time Kenae Dolphus was 10, she weighed over 150 pounds, and by the time she was 14, she weighed over 200 pounds. But even then, no one pointed out to her that this could be a serious problem. When she was 17, Kenae weighed over 150 kilograms. But as she started working more and more and eating out, her figure became heavier and heavier. But because it didn’t interfere with her life in any way, Kenae didn’t break her emotional bond with food. She found love and a family anyway.
However, the life-threatening weight gain began when Kenae Dolphus struggled with getting pregnant and discovered that she had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). When she lost her mother at age 35, the weight shot up even more.
When she weighed 614 pounds, Kenae Dolphus decided she had had enough. She wanted to be part of the lives of her nieces, nephews and grandchildren, even if they were not biologically hers. And more importantly, she wanted to give her husband Rodney, a pastor, the wife he deserved. So she began her turbulent journey to lose weight with Dr. Now’s program and lost a total of 133 pounds in 12 months.
My 600-lb Life Where Is Kenae Dolphus, The Star Of ‘My 600-lb Life,’ Now
Even though Kenae ended her episode with the scale showing the number 482, the most amazing accomplishment was that she began to work on overcoming all her problems, especially her attitude and her denial. Being able to visit her mother’s grave for the first time six years after her death and actually talk about how she felt was the starting point that led to all of this. Psychotherapy sessions, aqua aerobics, a 1,200-calorie diet, and drastic lifestyle changes for her entire family all played a crucial role as well.
Despite all this, Kenae Dolphus could not be approved for the weight loss support surgery because of heart problems. Dr. Now made it clear that it would be too risky to go through with it, but there was still hope. So Kenae continued to lose weight. “I know I still have a lot to do to reach my goal,” she said at the end of her episode. “So, I work hard to keep going in a positive direction. You know, I work on my diet and my exercises every day, and I’ve been able to see a therapist locally to work on healthier ways that I can be in life.”
Because of the secrecy that the channel and the producers of “My 600-lb Life” require of all its cast members to ensure that nothing leaks out, no one can reveal any information about their progress until well after their episode has aired. And it seems Kenae Dolphus has taken that to another level. Her Instagram profile, though public, is sparse of any recent images of her. But from what we can see from the platform and her episode, the Texan is definitely enjoying her life right now, further motivated to do better, to be better, and to receive the surgery.