Growing up, James “L.B.” Bonner, who appears on the sixth season of My 600-lb. Life, was spoiled by his parents and other relatives — a lifestyle that turned his love of eating junk food into a habit, which snowballed into his rapid weight gain. Scroll down to learn more about L.B. and his struggle with his body.
As a kid, L.B. spent a lot of time at his Uncle Sam and Aunt Dora’s house, where they would let him have free reign in the pantry. “Every time I’d get down there, the first thing she’d do is go open up the cabinets and say, ‘What do you want?” he explained. “It was always beef sticks or pigs in a blanket or snack cakes. I guess that’s when I started associating that comforted feeling with food.”
“Whatever he wanted at night, if it was a piece of cake or ice cream, Dora would get up and fix it,” his mother added. “He would not get rest or sleep until he had what he wanted to have.”
The tipping point
“Over the next few years of going to my aunt’s house, I gained a lot of weight, and by the time I was 8, I was already 150 pounds,” L.B. said. “But when I was almost 9, Aunt Dora was diagnosed with cancer and she ended up passing away.” His mom explained that the death crushed him, and eating was one of the ways he coped with the tragic loss.
A life-changing accident
“As I was gaining weight in my early 20’s, one of the days that I regret the most happened. I was supposed to be at a Mother’s Day lunch and one of my best friends, he wanted to go ride four-wheelers that weekend. I knew it wasn’t a good idea at my weight, but I wanted to have some fun.”
L.B. continued, “The last trail we were on is where I ended up getting into my accident. I shattered a bunch of stuff in my foot and after a failed surgery attempt, I ended up with a bone infection and it left me with only a few options, and the option we went with was amputation.”
Though he thought the surgery would help him feel better, “it was hard for him to get around,” his mom said. “It wasn’t what he thought it was going to be.”
“I was tried of feeling like I made the complete wrong decision,” he admitted. “My parents had to start doing everything for me and taking care of me like I was a kid again.” Since his episode initally aired, L.B’s mindset has drastically changed — and his relationship with his mother has improved. “I’ve gained a certain level of independence,” he said during his episode, and “it has given me some space away from her. It’s definitely made our relationship stronger.”
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