TLC’s “My 600-lb Life” is an original series from the channel that showcases the inspiring stories of morbidly obese individuals who want to lead a healthier lifestyle. In each episode, the subject(s) turn to Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, also known as Dr. Now, for guidance and oversight. And although he tailors his acclaimed program to the needs of each of his patients, it is ultimately how they proceed that determines whether or not they are approved for weight loss surgery. One such person is Melissa Marescot, the subject of season 9 episode 5.
My 600-lb Life: Melissa Marescot ’s Story
According to the official synopsis of the episode, titled “Melissa M.’s Story,” “Melissa has isolated herself at home and lost many friends to avoid feeling the shame of what her food addiction has done to her body. Now the only way to get her life back is to leave it behind and start a new life with the help of Dr. Now in Houston.” In the show, we meet Melissa Marescot, a 36-year-old resident of Sunrise, Florida, who has made a good life for herself in the city.
Although she knew in her heart that she had to let go and move on to turn over a new leaf, she did not want to move to Houston. However, she was willing to follow whatever Dr. Now told her to do. Melissa Marescot has always had problems with her weight, from a very young age due to the verbal abuse she had to endure from her mother. To make up for the mean things she said, Melissa revealed that her mother always served her a large portion of food and forced her to clean up the last of it.
Things got worse when Melissa’s father – her best friend – left the family when she was eight. And as if all these traumas weren’t enough, Melissa became pregnant at age 15. She underwent an abortion and then dropped out of school because of guilt, regret and depression. Food became her only source of comfort. Melissa Marescot weighed nearly 400 pounds at 18, but she recovered and went back to school, got her degree and got a job.
When she was 22, she even tried to go to college, but her unemployment intervened and she shut down again. Melissa Marescot lost her father when she was 27, her mother when she was 35, and she also had a boyfriend who crossed some extreme boundaries. Her world went into a downward spiral, and eventually she weighed 592.8 pounds. The fact that Melissa couldn’t even attend her mother’s funeral was what shook her up. So she made an appointment with Dr. Now in Houston and began her roller coaster of a journey to lose weight.
My 600-lb Life: Where Is Melissa Marescot, The Star Of ‘My 600-lb Life,’ Now
In addition to losing weight, Melissa wanted to overcome her problems with her self-esteem, her degrading thoughts, her anxiety and depression. Therefore, Dr. Now suggested that she also try therapy. After months of a 1,200-calorie protein-based diet, exercises, and sessions with psychotherapist Matthew Paradise, Melissa Marescot eventually lost more than 150 pounds in total, to a weight of 440 pounds. Despite this enormous achievement, it still wasn’t enough for surgery. So Dr. Now asked Melissa to move to Houston, where he could monitor her progress.
But because Melissa Marescot did not want to give up her entire life in Florida, she refused. Besides, as she said in her episode, she didn’t see the point. After all, she had already started achieving the goals she had set for herself at the beginning of her trip; traveling, getting outside, and having fun with friends. Melissa even started dating again and found in Elijah, whom she had met through her best friend Shay, not only a partner but also a support and companion. Unfortunately, as the Florida native has her social media profiles set to private, we have no idea how her weight loss journey or romantic life is going today.