You’d think after the participants on My 600-Lb Life miraculously shed hundreds of pounds that their married lives would improve.
But judging by their updates, a decent amount of them end up calling it quits. In fact, it’s so common, some weight loss patients call it “Bariatric Divorce,” and one study even said most couples separate within two years after the severe weight loss surgery takes place.
“In general, we know, after bariatric surgery, that people tend to feel much better about themselves,” David Sarwer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, told The Seattle Times. “Intuitively, we would think if one partner is feeling better that would only help the marriage. But, what we have found is that weight and weight loss can actually play a more complicated role in a marriage or romantic relationship.”
That was made clear by many past participants on the show. After slimming down, some started to see strains on their marriages, with a few eventually leading to divorce. Many of the women cite reasons from their husbands being “jealous” of their weight loss to codependent boyfriends feeling no longer needed. For Zsalynn Whitworth, her husband apparently enabled her bad eating habits because he liked “bigger women.”
When they eventually separated, Zsalynn said it was because her husband no longer wanted to be with the “new” her, which is a common theme amongst couples who separate after weight loss.
“Weight loss isn’t just physical,” therapist Shyamala Kiru said. “So much of it is mental, the boost in self-esteem and confidence. When you feel different about yourself, you make different choices.”
All patients on the show have an uphill battle to adapt their lifestyle quickly in order to qualify for high-risk gastric bypass surgery, courtesy of acclaimed bariatric specialist Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, which involves some people having to get to Houston, Texas, in order to get the help they need.
The series has been on TLC since 2012 and is now in season 10, introducing viewers to more individuals that are hopeful of making their futures brighter as they work hard to make a turnaround through diet, exercise and going under the knife.
While some couples grow stronger together in the process, some of the show’s participants have moved on and found new partners.
Scroll down to get an update on past participants and their relationship statuses.
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