Texas native Cindy Vela’s weight loss journey was chronicled on Wednesday (January 20) night’s episode of ‘My 600-lb Life’. The 45-year-old weighed over 600 pounds and she lived alone in her home and her caretaker Denise looked after her day-to-day needs. This included helping her go to the bathroom, clean her up, give her a shower and then prepare whatever breakfast Cindy wanted because Denise feared that she would lose her cool if denied the food of her choice.
Food wasn’t really an issue with Cindy while growing up and it wasn’t a huge part of her life until she reached the age of eight. A family friend molested her, after which she found comfort in food. Cindy believed that if she kept getting bigger, the molestation would stop and it did. However, it did take a toll on her body and she was 140 pounds at 10 years of age. At 14, she was 200 pounds because food now had become an important part of her life and no one from her family said anything when she kept gaining weight.
Her father started drinking more when she was 16 and got more abusive, mostly towards her mother and that resulted in a divorce and Cindy ate even more to get over her parents’ separation. At 18 years of age, Cindy hit 300 pounds. By her mid-twenties, she became partially bed-ridden because of a fall at work and by 30, she was 500 pounds heavy. Her father died when she was 32 years old and this loss added to her depression and eventually, her body got worse. At 36, she spent a whole year in hospital where her weight came down to 450 pounds, but as soon as she came back home, she gained all of that weight back very swiftly.
Cindy had become used to life in the confines of her chicken coup-sized bedroom. She was not ready to step out of it and go to Dr. Now’s clinic for an appointment. However, her friend Sandy convinced her to do so and they did meet Dr Younan Nowzaradan aka Dr Now. He put her on a controlled diet and asked her to lose 70 pounds and come back for a follow up after which he would decide if she qualifies for the weight loss surgery.
She missed it because she didn’t feel she was ready or comfortable enough to make the commute from Sandy’s home to the clinic, partly because she had made no efforts to lose the weight she was asked to. Dr Now blasted her for this and gave her one month to get a grip on her weight and come meet him again. If she failed to do so, Dr Now threatened that he could legally put her in a controlled environment and this in turn triggered Cindy. She then decided that she no longer wanted to work with him and fired him from the position of her doctor and went back home.
‘My 600-lb Life’ airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on TLC.