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Backlash After Penny’s Story On ‘My 600-lb Life’

TLC's My 600 Lb. Life

Penny on her way to Houston for surgery on My 600 Lb. Life

Penny’s story on last night’s show, “My 600-lb Life” provoked strong reactions.

The new TLC reality series chronicles the tale of one person an episode and takes viewers through a year in the life of someone struggling on a daily basis, at a size that keeps some of them off their feet. Penny, 46  is one of those who has been unable to walk for four years.

After season finale: Pick your Best-Worst story

What brought out the anger in viewers who posted on social media sites was Penny’s claim that she wanted to rejoin life coupled with her refusal to follow medical advice to get there. Her husband Edgar came under fire as well for seeming clueless about what part he played in his wife’s life threatening condition.

She began the show at 530 lbs (not her highest weight) and was not significantly less at the end of the one-hour program.

Penny could not even stand up without enormous help and only for a brief period, despite gastric bypass surgery, a more balanced diet and months of physical therapy.

Her feet and legs had yet to become accustomed to bearing her weight to enable her to stand without two people holding her steady as she held on to something in front of her. Walking was out of the question.

As Penny’s doctor, Younan Nowzaradan learned, she was not ready to work at getting stronger or to deny herself the amount of food and the type of food she demanded.

The enormity of the task got the best of her. We watched as she traveled from her home to Houston for treatment and surgery.What it took to get Penny out of her home and into a van for the trip was shocking. A link to a video clip about that struggle is posted below.

Because her husband couldn’t leave her alone in the vehicle it would mean that the trip could not include any way for him to catch sleep at a hotel/motel on the way.

She lost 40 lbs. in one month of hospitalization being fed a 1,200 calorie per day diet. She underwent the surgery and had high hopes that all would be different because of the severe reduction in the size of her stomach.

Penny’s inability to stick to it, even in the hospital was maddening to viewers as well as her own doctor. She inexplicably refused to try to walk or some days even sit up, then there was the bad food that creeped back into her diet. She was depressed and let it get the best of her.

She and Edgar had years of practice of him wanting to make her happy and supplying her with food that helped keep her a prisoner in her own body. Dr. Nowzaradan called Edgar an enabler. When Penny hadn’t lost another pound during a long hospitalization, the doctor released her, thinking that her own environment could be a help.

Edgar rented an apartment in Houston so she could remain close to the facility, but the eating began again. She gained weight, missed appointments and ended up back in the hospital where she refused to believe the scales were correct. She fell into despair.

The cycle continued until she was discharged for good, when a very patient and kind Dr. Nowzaradan called a spade a spade. Penny was not ready to do the work necessary to recover and reduce her body size, and Edgar was not up to the task of being an enforcer, rather than an enabler.

There was hope at the show’s conclusion after Edgar and Penny decided that they could manage to eat better and less, just not at the level recommended for her. Penny even set a goal to leave the house and sit in an auditorium to watch Liam graduate from kindergarten.

That never happened, but the couple believed it could at some point in the future.

What was a bit surprising was that Penny was never seen speaking with a psychiatrist/psychologist during the entire year chronicled on the show. Perhaps she was treated for her depression and mental health issues and TLC did not include that in the edited video footage. After all, it was a year’s overview condensed to a one-hour TV show.

What did you think of Penny’s story? There will be others as TLC airs “My 600 lb. Life” each Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m. ET

Video of Penny’s trip to Houston and how that had to be accomplished is posted on TVRuckus

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Categories: My 600-lb. Life, Shows

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296 replies

  1. Penny is lazy and should have to repay the state of Maryland or whatever state funded her surgery. She is lazy. Weight loss is not easy and WILL not be handed on a silver platter. She is an attention whore and wants people to feel sorry for her. She has a beautiful son that needs his mother. No matter how much she says she participates in his life, it does not replace what she could do for him! She is a waste and is making excuses for herself. If she were trying to loose weight, she would not be eating veggies dripping in butter, several slices of ham, bread with butter, etc. The list goes on and on.

    • People like her are the ones who make me go to gym and careful what I put in my mouth.She hss every excusec in the world 2 do nothing.She thought surgery would sollve all her problems without trying more.Bored to hell.

      • She actually thought surgery will do the magic without any effort from her. She is selfish. Her husband isn’t helping her too. Just waste of time.

    • I remember her the most! She even said that her neighbors had donated $ for her surgery. I think that’s why they moved to that apartment, so she didn’t have to face them. Also, her husband set up the furniture, and the first thing out of her mouth was that she couldn’t see the TV! Then missing all of her appointments! She would rather make crab rangoon off her ass! Gross! Enablers…..this is just like that attitude of an alcoholic!

      • Just saw the show today. I’m am so appalled by Penny, it is a disgrace to all the people who try desperately to lose weight and our not give the ability to have “a funded free surgery” and all that free ambulance transportation. That is supposed to be used for emergency services not bc you can’t get your lazy butt out the door. She should be ashamed ..eating like that, not getting of her butt up to make changes and to exercise on top of lying constantly to her Dr.
        Losing weight is a life change not a magic surgery. Her husband should also be ashamed by enabling her. Eating is a addiction like drugs. If he was smart he should remove that little boy from that scenario, the small child will be affected if not now down the road. Beyond that her story leaves me very bitter toward her for using people and funds, when serious weight losers could of benefited from the surgery and time from the Dr.

      • Its sooooo ludicrous. If she can’t walk, she obviously doesn’t need the surgery. If edgar doesn’t feed her, she’s guaranteed to lose weight. Her diet is similar to my dog’s. Its only what I give him.

    • Many here have a lot of vile things to say about Penny. I think she deserves a measure of pity. She is in a miserable state and will eventually die from her weakness. I doubt that is what she wants, but she seems incapable of mustering the strength needed to succeed. Some just don’t have the strength…that is how life is. Not everyone is strong and courageous. I feel sorry for her because she is miserable and will have an even more horrible end. Show a little empathy folks, for her and her husband. They are suffering. C’mon now.

      • It’s difficult to have empathy for someone who was GIVEN everything she needed to make life changes yet chose not to use those resources. All I heard from her was excuse after excuse. She blamed others, lied and made smart ass comments to everyone who was trying to help her. I’m sorry, I too watched my mom get beat. I too endured the abuse of a drug addict father. We all have childhood memories that aren’t so good, but it is our choice to decide how we are going to let those memories effect our lives. As a child, I went through as much as she did, probably more. I’m 130 lbs. We can’t use what happened to use in the past as an excuse to be lazy. She has a bad attitude and maybe if she worked on that and stopped being a smart ass to everyone trying to help her, her life would change

    • Watched Penny’s story just now for the third time and I am feeling so angry now. I found myself yelling at the television and my stomach was turning in knots. I felt bad for her… Well not really. I do believe she should pay back all of those people who tried to help her and the state of Maryland. Her and her husband don’t work, they live off of her disability. I work two jobs and I can barely afford food. Unless she is making progress to lose weight to eventually get off the disability they should cut that family off. Maybe Penny’s husband enables her because he doesn’t want to work either. Penny is the most selfish woman!!! Disgusting!!!

    • I cant believe how lazy penny is.. And she says she loves her son but insist on letting him eat ad much and as unhealthy as his mother. I dont find that to be a loving mother.. And as for her husband he should have takin his son and left to go get his own apartment and left penny in her own misery .. because in my eyes she is verbally abusive to her husband.. and her husband needs to grow a back bone and tell her to get her big butt up and go to the bathroom and walk her self to the refrigerator.. I feel really bad for her little boy!!! Her son desever a mother who wants to share all those special moment in his life out in the world not from some King Size Bed!!!!!!!! Penny you are lazy and pathetic selfish and full of excuses!!! especially with the oxygen!!!! Get off your butt be a women wife mother sister!!!!! Rant over!!!!!

    • This chick is so unbelievably lazy disgusting why she would spend other peoples money for a bull crap try of a weight loss attempt she didnt even try, her husband was a horrible enabler I see people like them all the time preying on family emotions with promises of change, but really there will never be none I feel disgusted this episode was even aired

    • I don’t what has happened to her but I had bypass 12 years ago and thank god everyday have gained 30 pounds back but still look “normal”. Her husband is a good man with bad choices. If she wanted food make her get out of bed and get it. Wonder what has happened to her. She was a wasted life.

    • Let her rot in her own lard. Full of excuses, careless, and stupid family. Animals can control themselves far better. She and the family should repay every single dollar spent back to the hospital and doctors keeping her alive. We don’t need 300+ lb humans in our society.

  2. Penny obviously has become so acclimated to being bedridden and waited on that I think she’s too scared to change. She doesn’t want to be self sufficient. She wants to stay “safe” in her cozy bed where no one expects anything from her. The juxtaposition of her claiming that she gives her son everything he needs with the video of her husband outside having fun with their son–showing that Penny actually misses a hell of a lot of her son’s life.

  3. Ughhh, what a nasty, disgusting, worthless piece of garbage and it has nothing to do with her obesity. There is nothing worse than a pathetic woman. Her son would be better off without her.

  4. For people who won’t follow experts advice you can’t help shame on you penny you don’t appreciate all the help you have received now you are on your own

  5. It makes me sick or should I say penny you make me sick.my son had been waiting years for his surgery.I don’t know how you got it and what you said or did to get the surgery but it’s not fair you took it away from someone who would do everything asked of them to be lucky enough to get the surgery but instead it was wasted on you.KARMA IS A BITCH, you will get yours.

  6. It seems this family has had problems for a long time: http://courtconnect.courts.delaware.gov/public/ck_public_qry_doct.cp_dktrpt_docket_report?backto=J&case_id=J0604006812

    Penny has ruined not only her life, but the life of her husband and potentially her child as well. If Penny wasn’t so selfish and would take care of herself so that she could be a decent wife and mother, she would not weigh so much that she could barely move and would not be on disability. Disability should be for people that really need it – and there are definitely people out there that need it. It’s people like Penny that cause so many others to think disability is a scam and that their hard-earned money is being wasted on selfish, lazy people. There are plenty of people that have worked for years and through no fault of their own find themselves with a medical issue that makes it impossible for them to hold a job. I’m guessing that her husband doesn’t work because he is the only person who is willing to wait on Penny like a servant. I hope he somehow gets the strength to do what he needs to do to take care of himself and his child. I agree with another poster – Penny should be put in a nursing home., where hopefully she would not have such easy access to food. Edgar should attempt to get a job during school hours, or if he has a family member willing to help him get on his feet, take Liam and stay with them.

  7. I wonder what “tons of fun” Penny would do if there were an emergency (like a fire) in her apartment. Hell, she couldn’t do anything for herself, her husband or her son, so her delusion of being a better parent than working mothers is a load of whale crap. I also wonder what her husband could (or better, WOULD) do to help her if there were an emergency like a fire – cos he’s not helping her in any way by wiping her ass and providing her junk food.

  8. Stop feeding your wife, Edgar! Does Penny not see the fat she eats and the degradation of her spouse having to attend to her bodily discharges? Enablers should be prosecuted and Edgar is guilty. The fact that he shopped according to her list of groceries tells us he has serious issues as to how he manages Penny’s severe obesity. Her motivation should be her adorable son and having an active sex life with her man. She is not just obese, she is mentally ill. And she doesn’t have long to live. Everybody in her life needs to intervene and stop feeding her rubbish. They are all guilty. Leave her a bowl of salad and see – she can hardly chase them to inflict punishment.

    • I agree with Lyn Mynott about feeding her food like salads or better yet Penny should be given protein shakes. She would scream and yell I’m sure, but that’s why someone made earplugs so you don’t have to listen to loud noises. Edgar should buy a pair and just give her protein shakes for all 3 meals and lots of water in between just watch the weight fall off Penny :) It’s not that hard you just have to ignore the fact that it’s your spouse, hand her the shake and water, put in your earplugs and walk away till the next meal… rinse and repeat after awhile she will get the idea and stop fighting it. As for these surgery’s I think it’s all bs all these people need is a serious attitude adjustment, all their family members also. Lose the weight then get surgery to get rid of the excess flesh that would make more sense to me.

  9. Penny enjoys the attention her situation brings her. This didn’t just start happening. What happened in her childhood that caused to to see illness, weakness and “poor me” as a way to get attention? She has surrounded herself with people too afraid of rejection, to risk standing up to her. I found it enlightening to see how hard it was for her to sit up in hospital, yet she could spring forward to grab the bag put on her bed at home. She is not as invalid as she likes others to believe. Penny has psychological issues that go back to her childhood and I believe she has a lot of pain that has never been addressed. What Penny needs more than surgery is to be locked in a room for a week with someone who won’t take her pathetic excuses but will make her face her issues and refuse to give in. She needs to get in touch with that pain and explore it. And I absolutely would not hand her any food. Put it on a table and when she’s hungry enough, she will go and get it, have no fear of that.

  10. I had weight loss surgery 6 months ago and have lost 100 pounds. When I cheat on my diet I watch this episode and it reminds me what can happen. I think Edgar is a fool for allowing her to eat poorly. Penny has no real sense of reality. But I do hope one day to see an update in here where she has changed her life around.

  11. She may have a pituitary gland tumor and Cushing syndrome. Also a genetic disorder. So, she can take into account this fact. I didn’t see that they checked this. Alo, some saturated fats are good to lose weight. I wonder, can she be contacted?

    • Penny’s problem is psychological. They check for medical disorders before agreeing to do gastric bypass surgery. Due to time restraints and editing to air a year in a one hour show, we do not see everything that they do with their weight loss patients. Until Penny’s psychological problems are addressed, and she is willing to do the work with the resources she is given, she will continue to eat herself to death.

    • Be serious she sat there eating all the wrong foods stop the exuses she is a fat piece of wasted space and Nasty on top of it. She was abusive to everyone who came in contact with her. I saw no one who truley was sincere about her condition. Take responsibility for your actions. I’m sick of working and paying for these lazy pieces of shit to stay home Social security is in the toilet I don’t know if there will be any left for the time I retire. Get a grip. I wish she would contact me.

    • I had weight loss surgery a year ago. Before surgery they test for all thyroid and pituitary problems as well as a litany of other blood and enzyme test repeatedly for over six months prior to the surgery. If they find any of these, they treat for them first.

  12. I found her offensive, but I also find I understand. A girl needs wontons!

  13. Penny is a fat cow who is a useless waste of space, her husband and child wait on her hand foot and she isn’t even trying just blaming everything on everything and everyone else, maybe she’d be better off 6 feet under

  14. People don’t get to that size without something psychological going on. I always wondered why counseling wasn’t part of the whole thing. Individual and family counseling is needed.

    • Totally agree with Leela. Penny has other issues. I’m not in her shoes so I can’t judge her. But yes, her surgery was a waste of resources.

    • I had weight loss surgery a few months back, and have lost 82lbs so far. My surgeon and my insurance required 6 months of pre operative counseling, and 1 year post op. These issues should have been addressed before surgery.

  15. I had a gastric sleeve done in June and am so grateful that I have insurance to cover and that I have done well. But its HARD WORK plus you literally have to go through PAIN to eat that much – I weighed less than half what Penny weighs when I had the procedure and have lost as of today 42 lbs. The only way to stay the same at her weight is to be chugging soft food like chocolate ice cream or such. There are certain foods that if I even smell, I want to throw up. So literally she is probably getting sick forcing herself to eat.

    The worst is she is selfish and not thinking of her family’s future. PS with my plan I had to have 6 months of weekly classes pre surgery to go over all the emotional parts

  16. Penny is a disgrace. Once again the tax dollars used for someone who has no intention on contributing to society. The most disturbing part of the show was her abusive behavior to the healthcare providers waiting on her. She blamed everyone in her path for her condition. She was downright nasty and verbally abusive to everyone including the doctor. Especially blaming the doctor because she lost no wait. But here is the kicker she honestly made a comment that she is a better mother then working mothers. She would not know a hard days work because it does not exist from her bed. What a fat ugly bitch she is a disgrace

    • By the way she should thank us working mothers for the tax dollars that let’s her sit at home and eat all day in bed

      • I have watched all of these shows, and certainly Penny had the worst attitude. They should have chosen a more motivated person.

        But the most important thing about these shows, that everyone should take home from this, is never ever let yourself get in this condition. Even if you’re a just a few pounds or 200 pounds overweight, now is the time to do something about it.

        Join My Fitness Pal, a free app that helps you track your calories with over a 1 million, including fast food calorie database. Weight loss is simple math. Calories in versus calories out, simply meaning eat less, move more. No magic pills, no crazy diets, just portion control.

        Losing weight and getting in shape are never easy, but it’s happening through very determined individuals who look at Penny’s and all the other stories on this show, and come away thinking I am never going to live my life in bed or on a couch waiting for my body to kill me. I am going to get to a normal healthy BMI. I am not going to live in fear of getting type 2 diabetes, because I am in control of what and how much goes into my mouth.

  17. This lady mad me so mad. She is a marter and selfish! We all have problems, she did not make any effort at all what so ever. I was so pissed watching this episode because she had to the worst person to be able to get this surgery. She will die on this path. Clearly she loves the food more than life and her child. She made no effort! And she loves being the victim that was clear. If her husband did not bring her the food she would have to lose weight. I would of only given her what was required she wouldn’t have a choice. Ok I am done!

  18. i watched it today for the first and never been so disgusted with her. She came up with every excuse in the world to be lazy. What a waste of time. She need a Psychological evaluation before surgery. Her husband needs to leave her alone so she can get her act together. She is a disappointment .

  19. I am a recovering drug addict.

    3 1/2 years clean thanks for asking. This person is addicted to the feeling of food. Not soley food, but the chemical hook up she gets from ingesting food.

    She doesn’t need a Doctor, she needs an addiction psychiatrist. She needs to go into rehab with people like me, accept that she is powerless to her addiction and begin to get help so she can eventually feel better mentally.

    Good luck Penny.

    • Well said, Stuart!

    • She refuses any type of help that is given to her so addiction psychiatrists will not help. She’s clearly stated she doesn’t have any goals to look forward to when losing weight. She has no regards of the people around her, she’s a very selfish person. Just like how suicide is selfish, it’s the same thing but worse because it’s slowly.

  20. Penny is not a disgrace, a fat cow, a waste of a life or any of the other truly horrible, bigoted and inhumane things that have been written here. If these things had been said about a dog or cat, people would call for the writers to be prosecuted as animal a users.

    Unless you have been super morbidly obese (and I certainly have) shut the hell up.

    There is something organically wrong with Penny–the evidence was right there in the episode–when on the liquid protein diet and in the hospital where they were controlling her calorie intake, she only lost a few pounds. After this surgery–and yes I had the exact same surgery–you are restricted to a liquid protein diet and food is not appealing because everything hurts. Based on the EXTREMELY EDITED footage we saw, my guess is that Penny is drinking a lot of her calories. And what I heard was a tremendous amount of rationalization on Penny’s part–that seems to be the crux of her problem at this point–she needs a new physical work up and an ongoing relationship with a psychotherapist.

    It’s been a little over a year since my surgery and I’ve lost nearly over 35% of my presurgery weight! but after the first four months every single .2 of a pound is a struggle and a fight. Just like it is for everyone.

    • Are you saying Penny has the mental acuity of a cat or dog? Animals don’t generally eat themselves to death, by the way.

      Anyone who is that morbidly obese has to take responsibility for getting that overweight in the first place. It is not something that happens to you through no fault of your own. Stop playing the victim and expecting people to feel sorry for you. Losing weight is just solving a problem you created for yourself.

      Many people have psychological issues that lead them to behave in self-destructive ways, including gambling, alcoholism, and drug addiction. But throwing them a Pitt party and excusing their behavior because they have “problems” isn’t helping anyone and is not true compassion. It only enables them and hurts them more. If others don’t hold them accountable for their actions, they certainly won’t either and will likely never change.

      Also – did you miss the parts where her husband was bringing her extra food in the hospital? Of course she didn’t lose much – she wasn’t sticking to the diet. And you can ingest a LOT of calories in liquids!

    • Sorry but this is all Penny, she is the one who failed at this. She sabotaged her recovery and her weight loss by having everyone bring her stuff that she should not be eating after surgery, and “SHE” kept shoveling it in. The surgery is a hard surgery on your body, I know I had the same thing also, and you have to stick to and have the mind set to stick to it. In my opinion Penny thought surgery was going to be her cure and she would not have to stick to a diet or an exercise program. I had my surgery in 2004 and I am still sticking to my diet and exercise program. this surgery is a total life change. if you are not careful you can gain all the weight back.

      So open your eyes, and watch the show again, penny is doing this to herself. She has no one to blame but herself

    • Didn’t she receive a psych eval before the surgery to verify she was ready to do some work herself? She appeared to me that she thought the surgery would do it for her. She also appeared that she enjoyed being a victim. Even when the Dr. questioned the reason for oxygen, she was convinced she needed it and argued with the Dr. She was sarcastic and simply enjoyed laying in bed berating and ordering her husband around.

    • Really!!! It is all to apparent that her husband was sneaking her food. When hospital staff told her she was on a 1.200 soft calorie a day soft diet, she threw a fit and said she was going to order food.

    • No on a lot of these shows family members sneak in food to the hospital, which what was going on with Penny also. She didn’t follow the doctors order, and even argued with the nurses about her liquid diet. She had an excuse for everything. She has a victim mentality, and it was evident at the end of the show when she was blaming the doctor, and stating “where is my yellow brick road.”

      Everyone’s has problems in their lives. This is life’s hurdles. The majority are able to work thru it, and then there are the minority like Penny who blame everyone but themselves for the circumstances they’re in. Penny has become an expert at that.

  21. This story raised many concerns, and I see everybody blaming Penny. But what concerns me most is the TV channel and producers who filmed this failure for a year and allowed it to go on so that they would have a dismal story to show that would enrage people. Did no one sit Edgar down and tell him to stop giving her food? We don’t see anything like that. We don’t see the advice that was given to Penny’s caretakers. She can’t walk so she is getting her food from others, even while in the hospital she was most likely getting food from Edgar. He needed psychological help as much as she did. But the cameras rolled on to show us this train wreck without this. They waited months and months and months to send a nutritionist in. Why wasn’t this counseling done early, and why wasn’t Edgar given the supportive counseling he needed to stop enabling Penny? The scenes of her making won tons and Edgar deep-frying them for her, did anybody on the camera crew or production team step in and suggest this was a bad idea??????

    • That is utterly ridiculous.

      Penny was given a chance many people would do anything to have. She wasted it.

      You cannot force help on someone who won’t accept it. Also, why do you think Penny and Edward are entitled to have all of these things done for them. PENNY IS NOT A VICTIM. Edward is not a victim. Do you know who the victims are? Their child and all the people who spent so much time and money on Penny and got nothing back but spite. She should be deeply ashamed.

      You can’t tell me Penny and Edward needed a nutritionist to tell them deep-fried wontons are high in calories, or that Edward doesn’t know feeding his wife like that is keeping her fat.

      Documentaries are not meant to interfere in what is going on, but to show it all – whether good or bad. If they chose not to air this episode because Penny is a failure then you would probably complain the show only wanted to show success stories and that it didn’t show how hard the process is.

      It’s not Penny’s fault, it is everyone else’s, right? It’s victim mentalities like yours that keeps people from achieving anything in their lives.

      • Dear all,

        I have never commented on such a forum but Penny’s story did make an impression on me. I have beens trudging with emotional eating and some depression, but certainly not to the extent that is portrayed on this show. One thing you can notice if you have been healthy and due to some traumatic event or stress have had your health deteriorate, especially if it is related to an eating disorder is that there is tipping point, and that the process is very complex. It requires a lot of strength, self-awareness, and A LOT of work, both emotional, psychological, physical, and mental to turn things around. The significant thing is that Penny has certainly developed a lot of her rationalization and mental outlook as a defense mechanism while dealing with an abusive and violent environment growing up. This has certainly traumatized her for life. Being born in this situation is not her fault. Trying to deal with it the best way she can is not her fault. I think that Penny appears selfish, weak, and certainly lacks a clear sense of reality, but a lot of the blame from people on this forum is a bit short-sighted: it is hard, very hard to evaluate the choices a human being goes through in their life and judge them. Just look t your parents’ lives! It is so easy to see the mistakes, the wrong turns, the lost battles, and blame people!

        Firstly: Penny grew up into her patterns. This is huge! These patterns are ingrained in her so deeply. The transformation will take enormous amount of energy, constant vigilance, and effort, on everyone’s part.

        Secondly: Penny found a person, Edgar, who loves her, but who enables her. The relationship is perfectly designed to serve her emotional disability, and not take her out of it. She seeks the comfort of the attention and care, but this is an elusive comfort that is destructive to her.

        Thirdly: She is working with very limited tools here, her mental, psychological, and spiritual health are not addressed, only her physical health. The surgery she underwent is a small pebble against a huge current of downward momentum, and is insufficient to cause a turnaround in her life.

        I completely agree with people’s comments that Edgar is a huge factor in her condition here. When I discussed this with my girlfriend, I told her that if she was in Penny’s situation, I would be absolutely cruelly consistent and not let give her an inch of space to continue on her downward spiral, that she would hate my guts over it, she would lose the weight, and get healthy, but our relationship would be destroyed form this, she would forever associate me with the role of a painful merciless barrier, and while she may see the love and devotion behind it, she would move on and be happy with a new relationship and a new life. That is what will take to get Penny out of her patterns. A total systematic well-planned and well-executed destruction of her reality and of all lifelines to her addiction and emotional entrapment. She will hate it, she will fight against it, it is human nature.

        The cruel truth is that her happiness and her survival lie on the other side of this painful transition, and there is no shortcut, no comfortable way of getting there. If there were, she would have done it long ago.

        Penny and everyone else who is struggling to make a change: the change is total, inside and out. If we focus on our bodies alone, we are mostly treating the symptom, not the cause. The body is merely a form, an expression of energy that we have gone through, gathered, processed, expended. The body is an afterthought. The body is a container. Penny’s suffering is deep inside. She is reaching out and crying out for help. Just read between the lines! Her rigid behavior and power over Edgar are perfectly designed to feed her addiction, and provide temporary relief. But this way she never has to face herself, her pain, her whole life of pain head-on. Who is prepared for that? It will take so much strength, so much support, and an incredibly powerful influence on her to get her out of it, to shake her down to her core!

        A person in Penny’s situation has lived in this extreme disharmony and imbalance for SO long that the transition will take a long time and will need to happen inside-out. Instead, the show tried to introduce an external event as a catalyst of the change, but it was obvious that this would not be significant enough to cause a turnaround.

        And all the therapists, the upsetting conversations with the doctor Z., while making Penny upset, remained external to her, she never embraced them, she never saw them as helpful, she saw them as disruptive of her environment.

        The problem, Penny, if you ever get to read this, is – and I say this with my full compassion and love from one human being to another who is suffering in the same way as we all are – the environment that you are protective of, the comfort and love that you feel in it is a mirage, is a numbing coverage of the pain that lies underneath, and the pain is what is suppressing your wonderful beautiful and loving true self from emerging and being alive. You see it and feel it int he moments when you connect with your boy, and in the moments when you truly mean to get healthy, be there at his graduation, and make a change. But those moments are scarce. And the reality is, Penny, that to get through to yourself, to connect to the person that you are inside, and that has been lost probably most of your life, you HAVE to go dismiss the false covers, and go through the pain, face it all, day after day, go beyond your limits, open up to it all, live through the pain over and over until it washes over you and loses its grip and power over you, and you are left free, light, and healthy…. It will take a long time. It is not too late, and you are very strong, very very strong, despite losing the battle with yourself over and over and over.

        People say the size of weight is the size of the wound.

        One thing that you should ask yourself is: in your final moment, wouldn’t you wish at least that you tried, really tried, and took a risk, at least once, to see what it is like on the other side of the pain and suffering? The risk to drop everything, EVERYTHING that you know and feel comfortable, and surrender to a change that is scary, foreign, disturbing, uncomfortable, but also maybe, just maybe, can bring you freedom and a new life?

        I am struggling with patterns and behaviors and habits that are destructive myself, and I know that in my last hours, I would like to know that at least I tried, I took a leap, I jumped into the fire and burned myself, but at least I gave myself a chance, and I gave God and the universe a chance, to bring something new to my life.

        Just ask yourself: when did you surprise yourself when you didn’t try something new?

        We should all ask ourselves that.

        With compassion and love,

        G

      • I think Penny should marry Gareth, the azzh..ole married to Penny. She would get on a diet then just to get away from him.

    • Having had similar surgery several months ago, and losing over 80 lbs so far,I am familiar with the pre surgical prep and spotted several errors in your comment.

      The idea of anyone but Penny being responsible for her situation is utter ridiculous.

      Firstly for all insurance carriers, even medicare and medicaid, require counseling over a period between 3-6 months prior to surgery before they will even agree to pay for the procedure. In addition patients(and their spouses or support people,) are required to visit with a nutritionist at least monthly and keep food journals, although this will only work if you tell the truth. You are also given detailed food plans that you design with the nutritionist with your taste preferences in mind. Penny obviously has a problem with this. I also attend a free weekly support group that my husband also attends with me. My surgery also came with a free membership to the state of the art gym at the surgery, which included personal training.

      Edgar was sneaking unhealthy food into her room. While I think that this was irresponsible on his part, it is clear to me that she is extremely domineering and something of a bully. She snaps at him for the slightest thing and treats him like a servant. I think that he is so kowtowed by her at this point that her gives her whats she wants just to keep her from bullying him. Abuse is not always physical, and the victim can be a man. They obviously need couples counseling as well.

      I work in publishing now but got my start in this field working for independent documentary film companies. Although we do not think of this this show as one, that is exactly what the nature of this show is designed to be. The first rule of documentary film making is DON’T INTERFERE!!! You are there to simply document. You cannot render aid, advice etc. And even if they could it would not have been effective. You saw just how deeply her denial ran. Anytime that someone from Edgar to the doctor criticized he in any way, she would snap and either yell, blame, or attempt to emotionally manipulate them with crocodile tears.

      You mentioned several times that someone should have said something each time that there was a problem. Do you really think that they don’t did not know that? Penny knows that she is fat, she simply cannot take responsibility. Edgar knows that the food her buys for her is bad. He is simply to afraid of the backlash if he bucks the trend. She knows that she will not see her son grow up, she just won’t deal with the real root of the problem that is feeding this compulsion.

      Fat people know that we are fat. Telling us that will not make us change. We will not change until we decide to address the problems that cause the over eating.

      Many people are saying that there may have been abuse issues but this is not an excuse. I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused by both my mother and my step father. I has 32 broken bones before the age of 14. I suffer from PTSD, as well as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis , and 4 herniated disks. I still manage to find a way to do what I need to do to lose the weight. She has been given all of the tools that she needs, but the only one that she really needs is self motivation.

      • Sharon GOOD for you! I too as mentioned above am “sleeved”. Now its 2 months. Dont you agree that at 500 lbs and NEVER moving she would STILL have to eat probably 5000 to 6000 calories per day? At this point in general I am eating 600 to 800 calories per day, mostly protein.

        I have seen folks larger than her through my weight loss process and the docs and they all walk. No running, but they are able to walk. To be a mom and not able to go with your child, its really horrible.

    • umm the producers have no control over what she eats. She refused to even try to walk and was extremely rude to everyone who tried to help her.

    • Umm it’s not the productions crew responsibility to tell her that eating fried won tons is a bad idea! She was utterly rude to the dietician as well as the physical therapist, how do you think she would have reacted to the production crew had they tried to stop her from eating her precious won tons? It’s common since that fried food is full of calories. She is not a stupid woman. She’s a lazy selfish woman.

    • The very first part of these shows states that only 5 percent are successful, meaning that 95 percent will eventually go back to their former food consumption habits, and gain the weight back.

      Penny’s story makes it more than clear that even after surgery, you can still eat yourself to death.

      I think that’s good for people to know. Maybe it will encourage others to make a lifestyle change now by eating less, and losing weight now, so they never have to go through a surgery that only works under the same pretense of normal weight loss, of eating less, while moving more.

    • On all of these episodes, there are enablers. I was struck by the doctor’s comment when he stated in the (I believe Christine’s story, the 21 year old) that her mother and husband will sabotage her weight loss, because they would lose control over her. And the doctor put her in the hospital to get away from them. It didn’t work, they kept sneaking in food.

      I presume they just didn’t realize the seriousness of what they were doing. They and other enablers are feeding their supposedly loved ones to death. No tough love in these episodes coming from family members, that’s for certain, otherwise they would have never gotten that big.

      Also very noteworthy, the majority of family members are obese themselves. They never learned good eating habits. Kids today are being raised by parents with bad eating habits and the cycle continues.

      It’s not what we’re eating so much, but how much. Hamburgers and french fries existed in the 50’s, during a time when it was difficult to find someone that was overweight. Portion sizes in most restaurants and fast food have tripled in size since the 50’s. They are designed to make certain that no one, regardless if your male or female or size ever leaves hungry. If you clean your plate in many of these popular places, you’ve probably consumed enough calories to last you two days.

      It’s really unfortunate, this country is the fattest in the world. Obesity is now our number one health concern, and type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing.

  22. EXCUSES EXCUSES!!!!! Thats ALL shes full of besides shit, their is someone out there that IS 600lbs who would give EVERYTHING to have that surgery, and all she’s done is make excuses and lie to the doctor and make him look like a total fool!!!!! made up dumb lies and took advantage of the LIFE SAVING gift that was given to her, I could understand if she has put forth just a tiny little bit of effort, but hell no she wanted to make the doctor look like A COMPLETE IDIOT,, she is a pathetic DISGRACE PERIOD…. no goals????? LMAO!!!! SHE MAKES ME SICK!!!

  23. Please do not detect one ounce of sarcasm in what I am about to write. Penny should be charged under child protection laws for repeatedly exposing herself to her son. To have a folds and folds of fat in your genital area and have your nighty rise up constantly is absolutely disgusting. This story makes me sad for the human race.

  24. Hell she can’t get out the bed so she has to eat what he cooks. Grow some balls and put her on a low card diet. Either she will eat it or she won’t. Either way she will lose weight. I wanted to reach in the Tv and shake them both. Ok I lie… wanted to slap the dog crap out of both of them. Nothing taste as good as picking your kids up from school and hearing how they day went as you all head home feels.

  25. Penny plays the blame game. It’s excuse after excuse after excuse. “They didn’t weigh me right” “the doctor didn’t give me the right tool” until she can stop pointing the finger at everyone else and take responsibility for her decisions and action she’ll never have succeed. It’s sad she will excuse herself to death.

  26. I watched this program last night for the first time. First I like to say food is addiction like drugs, alcohol and not everyone becomes an alcoholic, druggie or obese. I have friends who can overeat and not gain a pound. We all have issues and have to deal with them in our own ways. Remember many people chose to get help and fail many times. When it comes to someone being obese we are quick to judge them as being lazy. I wasn’t happy with many of the comments Penny made but remember she knowns she could count on her husband.

    Also being a working mom I wasn’t happy about the comment she’s a better mom then working moms. It would been nice to hear Penny say I apprepicate all the help and support from her family and friends who raised the money for the surgery. What surprised me was when she made the comment I believe i losted 340 pounds. Wow.

    I hope the best for you Penny don’t give up!
    Tell Edgar when he goes to the grocery store he has to rip up your grocery list !

  27. This lady should be court ordered to repay the government for her medical bills. She should also repay her friends, family and neighbors who donated the money for her trip to Huston. She is a rude, lazy, selfish person who was given a gift and threw it away. It could have went to someone who really wanted to make life change and lose weight. What a shame.

  28. TLC Scandinavia aired the Penny-episode last night and I am as disgusted and shocked as the rest of you. Not by (surprise!!!) Penny. Penny is living in an alternate reality she created over the years to cope with her miserable life, and I – unlike many others in this forum – genuinely feel sorry for her.

    The culprit in this little story is Edgar – a calculating and manipulative man – who knows exactly what he is doing to Penny and those around her. I’m not surprised that Edgar – by playing the subdued, simple minded husband – managed to sneak under the radar.

    This is Factitious Disorder By Proxy – a condition in which a person deliberately produces, feigns or exaggerates symptoms in a person in their care. Penny is delusional, yes – but the one with the mental illness is Edgar. I suspect the fear of losing her is the motivation for killing her slowly in front of their son. He wants her to himself, and what better way than keeping her in that bed? Watch the episode again – but focus the attention on Edgar this time. You’ll see what I mean.

    If Penny is going to live – if the child is going to have something that resembles a normal childhood – Edgar The Feeder must be removed from the equation.

  29. I’m glad everyone loathes this woman. I was expecting to see all sorts of sympathy for this lazy pig.

Trackbacks

  1. Sneak Peek: Penny’s Fight To Live On ‘My 600-lb Life’ (VIDEO) « TVRuckus
  2. Sneak Peek: Chuck’s Story on MY 600-lb. LIFE (VIDEO) « TVRuckus

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