Former My 600-lb Life star, Tanisha Cleveland, recently watched her mother die of extreme obesity, so she was determined to change her unhealthy ways so as not to suffer the same fate. The Texas-native gained over 100 pounds after her death, but she attributed most of her weight gain to a difficult childhood.
"When I was really young, I didn't really struggle with my weight. But I didn't have a happy childhood. I didn't even get to have a childhood," the 32-year-old explained to TLC cameras. "My mom struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs. And her boyfriend was a violent addict, and he would take his anger out on me."
Tanisha meets with Dr. Nowzaradan for her consultation. (Photo Credit: TLC)
Yet when she moved in with her grandparents, her problems only got worse. "I was happy for a bit, but it wasn’t much better living with them, because when I was nine, I was molested by my grandfather, and there was nothing I could do to stop it," Tanisha said. "And that's when I started to run to food to find peace. Cause when I ate, no one was hurting me." The incident sent her back to live with her mom, but the same thing happened there. "She had different people living in the house with us, and I was molested by one of her boyfriends. So I felt like I couldn’t control who touched my body."
By the time she was 24 years old, she weighed more than 480 pounds and her weight continued to spiral out of control. Tanisha relied on her two daughters to take care of her, but after her mom passed away, she decided it was time to make a change. She made the decision to meet with Houston-based weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, who told her she needed to shed 50 pounds before she qualified for weight loss surgery. During her first month on the program, she lost only 11 pounds and quit for three months after she and her husband, Troy, got a divorce.
Tanisha poses for a photo on Oct. 2, 2017. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
"Troy and I started fighting because I felt like he wasn't being supportive of me trying to get my life turned around for the better. So, he decided to leave," she explained. "It was definitely painful. I am thinking this is my soulmate; this is the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with," she recalled. "I didn't know if I was going to make it for a while because I am like this is the man that helps me with everything basically."
Tanisha came back to the show once more, but after learning she gained 10 pounds, she turned to food for comfort and quit again. It wasn't until a producer showed up at her door four months later that she decided she needed to seek the help of a professional if she wanted to move forward. Dr. Nowzaradan only agreed to give her another shot if she saw a therapist, which she agreed to. Today, she's down 119 pounds and hopes to lose even more from her 483-pound frame. Go, girl!
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