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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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296 replies

  1. I found myself angry at this woman who was manipulating everyone around her and always playing the victim.
    Her attitude SUCKED from the beginning. She has no idea of what eating a healthy diet means, and wouldn’t listen to anyone’s advice.
    Everyone caters to her…her husband, the dozens of paramedics having to move her in and out of multiple places, and the doctor who was doing everything in his power to help her, but she wouldn’t help herself.
    I guess what really ticked me off the most, was the fact that she was on disability and her husband quit his job to care for her fat ass 24/7. Hello…who’s paying for all of this???????????????????
    So multiple surgeries and MONTHS of hospitalization (PRIVATE ROOMS???..UGH) not to mention the multiple ambulance rides AND apartment rentals…HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!!!!………WHO is paying..? Seriously?
    I pay a hell of lot of taxes and even more for health insurance, and to see this woman scamming the system really pisses me off!
    God, I hope the TV show foots some of this bill!

    • While I have no idea how much TLC network pays Penny and her family, the doctor or the hospital in Houston, you have to presume that the TV show is picking up costs for this. How much of it is impossible to know, but the family is living on disability. They can’t afford what they did for a year, living in Texas, operations, a good doctor, on that amount per month.

    • Ha Ha, Amen to that! PLease consider that these people are the same fools that want all of us to pay for their damn health care too!! Get ready for obamacare. Dont forget that penny is also type II diabetic and “Injects insulin into large blobs of fat”

      Edgar is definitely an enabler and was sneaking food into the hospital which was why she would not lose weight after the surgery!! I am so pissed off!! I hope that they hear our voices and realize that they dont live in a vacuum! They are damaging their own sons life as well as many others. What about the poor people who tried to help them and donated money? This is so sick!!

      • I honestly believe after all that was done and we paid for by us….for this selfish biotch that only cares about herself… the disability we are paying her should be stopped and her husband needs to get a real job like us to pay for all her food and medical….. then maybe her would realize and they both would change….. that poor child…. makes me physically ill to see… she is a true waste of our taxes…. the end.

      • edgar needs to grow a pair…. what kind she do to him if he refuses to bring her junk food and clean her c rap? It not like she can get up and hit him with a frying pan.

    • Exactly!!! Ticked me off too that she and her husband lived off her being on disability. I don’t think you should qualify for disability because you CHOOSE to eat an unhealthy diet and get zero exercise, self serving consequence! I don’t understand how someone can get that big, and it’s upsetting that some of these people get to the point that they are 100% reliable on someone else to take care of them and the care givers bring them McDonald’s, large pizzas and sodas. Bring them a salad, baked fish and a glass of water!

      • I thought this was made up. Ive watched almost everyone of these extreme weight loss shows and this is literally the first time I have seen someone not only not lose but GAIN weight after a gastric bypass. Its crazy. Even crazy 600lb mom Dominique Langois from Miami on TLC lost almost 100 lbs after a bypass before she finally snapped and rescued herself from a rehab facility and then in true Darwin fashion bought the farm/

    • Maddening…utterly maddening. One of those people who thinks she knows best, who has an excuse for everything, who has the part of the ‘victim’ down perfectly, who blames everyone but herself and who will die young, (having pulled money and resources from the medical system that could be used to help genuinely sick people who are truly ill through no fault of their own) leaving a son motherless. Some people are beyond help, as the Dr said again and again “The Scales don’t lie!” (she even tried to suggest that had incorrectly weighed her!) – how annoying to be a medical professional using all of your knowledge and expertise to try to help someone and to have them behave in such a way….it just goes to prove the point…you can drag (with six firemen and a huge ambulance) an enormous, bed ridden, eating machine of a horse to water…but you cant make it drink…unless it’s chocolate milk and an ice cream. Shame on you Penny, at then end of the day there is only one person to blame for the way you are now and only one person who will get you out of this. If you want eat something maybe try a big old slice of humble pie?, listen to your Doctor, follow his advice and for the sake of your Son and your family lose the weight and get back to the precious gift of life you are squandering.

      • How can you even admit on the air that you borrowed money from friends and neighbors!!! these people must be so angry, I know would be, they just borrowed her money so they could eat more junk!!!! to see her not even try made me so mad, then at the end of the show she says “Liam sees how much I’m willing to go through for him to lose weight” who does she think she is kidding? were not all as stupid as you Penney, I just could never face my friends that helped me out with money ever again, but she has no pride so I guess she would even ask them again for money. what a waste of oxygen.

    • Penny is horrible! Her husband is in almost as much denial about reality as she is. The only victim in the household is the little boy. I hope he has some normal, functional role models in his life.

    • Not mental healthy issues. CHARACTER ISSUES.

    • I too was outraged that all of these options were provided to this woman and she took advantage of none of them. I am having WLS next week, but my insurance doesn’t cover it so I have to pay for it out of pocket. There are some of us who would do just about anything to have the tools she was provided. I pray she will change her behavior.

  2. I’m annoyed she came to my state and wasted money for her surgery. Then she waste government money by being on disability. She is a liar she never tried she has no ambition.

  3. Penny’s attitude disgusts me. I agree with S post above. She is manipulative and blames everyone for her lack of success. Her behavior is selfish. She said she was there for her child more than a mom who had a job and working everyday. Who is she kidding? She has no idea what she is talking about. She is a poor role model for her child and the mental issues this child will deal with as an adult is probably just as bad as the abusive father she grew up with.

    I have never written a post about a TV show. Bottom line…the husband and child are better off without her. I know this sounds awful but unless the show was going to end with Penny coming to grips with her self sabotaging ways… i would have been fine with the doc signing her death certificate at the end of the show. Now I’ve wasted a hour of my life watching this horrible episode?

    • Get up off your fat ass and start helping yourself. Excuses after excuses. Your husband and your son are in jail!! What are you possibly giving them that would make them want to stay with you?? Only YOU can help yourself!!! Start now!!your son needs a mother!!!

  4. What a fat waste of skin. She didn’t even try to lose weight. What did she think, the surgery was going to lose the weight for her?! Idiot. I hope Edgar wises up and leaves her so her son doesn’t have to watch his mother kill herself with food. Who chooses food over their own child? It’s maddening!

    • You are absotutolutely right about penny the penny waster. She is definitely “penny foolish”. The Russians have a word for her; stupidiotsky, and the hispanics have a word, stupidiodo, and the Americans have a word, damn stupid idiot.

  5. Penny’s attitude disgusts me. I agree with S post above. She is manipulative and blames everyone for her lack of success. Her behavior is selfish. She said she was there for her child more than a mom who had a job and working everyday. Who is she kidding? She has no idea what she is talking about. She is a poor role model for her child and the mental issues this child will deal with as an adult is probably just as bad as the abusive father she grew up with.

    I have never written a post about a TV show. Bottom line…the husband and child are better off without her. I know this sounds awful but unless the show was going to end with Penny coming to grips with her self sabotaging ways… i would have been fine with the doc signing her death certificate at the end of the show. Now I’ve wasted a hour of my life watching this horrible episode. Ugh!

  6. She is disgusting and seems to be psychotic. If she didn’t make America sick enough, she had to announce that she can now wash her own vagina. Thanks for sharing that with us all, Penny. There are thousands of worthy people who would love to have that s surgery with Dr Nowzaadan. What a waste of a gifted surgeon, disability money, and organs that could be harvested and used for worthy human beings. I feel sorry for that kid. Is it me, or did he look huge for kindergarten! On Penny’s Facebook, there are pics of the kid and his mouth is filled with permanent teeth (in kindergarten) and many metal dental fillings. I’m sure he eats garbage- how could he not? Penny and Edgar are two of the grossest people I’ve ever seen.

  7. I had gastric bypass surgery on Nov 11th 2013. I weighed 315..ugh, right? 10 weeks later I have lost 62.5lb. Its not easy to change eating habits but you MUST before and after having gastric bypass. Along with my friend the treadmill I am becoming the active, healthier person that I used to be…which was my first GOAL. Something Penny said she would never do is set goals, whaaaa???!! She made me angry too. I have a long journey ahead to reach my final goal but there’s no way you will see me eating fried foods anytime soon! I hope when Penny sees the show and all of the blogs she will finally realize that she is ruining her greatest chance for change and that she will be Ready to lose the weight. Her son is worthy of having a mother, not a beanbag that occasionally tickles him.

    • “Not a beanbag that occasionally tickles him.” – that’s funny.
      Come here and let me tickle you… yum yum yum. It’s like that Little Caesars commercial where the kids just slip into the beanbag. Good thing her vagina is clean.

    • Good for you Heather!! Losing weight is never easy; I firmly believe that it’s comparable to quitting smoking, you have to want to do it for yourself in order to accomplish your goals. The fact that Penny said she had no goals was dumbfounding to me. How ignorant can a person be? Clearly very! Shame on her husband for being such an enabler, I understand that he loves her, but he should love her enough to cut her off from the crap food he’s been serving her! I also agree with Jill, their poor son is going to be so messed up from watching his mom slowly die at his father’s hand and from her unwillingness to get up off of her lazy butt to save herself! That episode was a total waste of money unless Penny actually watches it and realizes how foolishly manipulative and selfish-destructive she is and changes her ways. Seriously doubt it though

      • Losing weight is unlike most addictions, because you still have to eat. Quit smoking and you start breathing better. Quit eating and you die. It is totally changing all of your thoughts and habits. I agree quitting smoking is tough because both are often used as emotional crutches, but they are definitely different.
        Mental health is never easy and I would love to see some more psychoanalysis go into the patients beforehand. I am not a medical doctor, but it seems like just losing 30lbs does not prove you are in it for the long haul. Many people yo-yo and it would be great to see some thoughts about why, how to prevent, and how to manage. If they could come up with coping skills to teach people and how to deal with the obvious mental illness that plaques these people, then less money would be wasted. Mental illness is drastically under treated in our society. Some “tlc” properly utilized would benefit these people much more than surgery ever will.

    • Way to go Heather! You seem to have a great attitude, something Penny lacks. Best wishes to you on your journey!!

  8. Heather, thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you’re on the right track to health.

  9. Penny came off EXTREMELY ungreatful & very bratty at times. Why waste people’s time, energy, resources, and better yet faith/hope?! Almost seems like a joke to her & nothing was wrong by the end when she BEARLY lost any weight.. i hope things change for her if/when shw watches herself & can reflect on things. SO sad. A family and family friend have had this surgery, it by NO means was a walk in the park & they definitely had their rough days but NEVER once made excuses for themselves as to why they couldnt get their weighloss accomplished, just like anything else in life. i would say i feel sorry for her but it kind of seems as if thats what shes looking for, i truely feel sorry for her husband & son.. although her husband IS an enabler, would you want to mess up her grocery list? i would not!

  10. You don’t get her size just because she loves food. There is so much more going on with her and such cold, cruel posts will likely cause her to reach for food even more so. It is the only way she can comfort herself. If extreme obesity was simply a body problem it would be easy to treat. But it isn’t and I don’t know how anybody can attack the mentally ill. She has her issues and her behavior mirrors that of any other addict.

    • Penny suffers from Munchausen Syndrome. She wants to stay this way for attention and to be waited on. She needs help.

      • Interesting. I was very accident prone growing up only to discover later in life that it was a symptom of the dysfunctional relationship with my father. Once I began to acknowledge, address and heal those issues, I never had an accident again.

    • Agree. I am a compulsive emotional eater who was bulimic for 14 years. I have recovered after many years of a lot of inner healing using a variety of methods. Pretty disgusting to me that the show didn’t even address her mental/emotional issues.

    • I agree that people are angry and disgusted that she’s in a state of denial…but she needs a dose of tough love. Her husband Edgar is foolishly aiding and abetting her killer habit. He needs to insist that their cabinets are purged of junk and he’ll benefit with his own health improvement as there’s no excuse for him to hand her deadly meals and to deny their child healthy food; she needs to be told that she will get therapy; she will improve her attitude, act like an adult and give a damn, or he hits the road and sticks with that choice if need be; in short, he needs to grow a pair and just say “no!”

    • Yeah sure .. now let me go throw up after reading your post … She’s a selfish and lazy woman … I guess the truth hurts .

  11. I am so angry with this woman….I really hope her husband gets custody of the son and leaves to lead a healthy life without her dragging him and everyone else around her down…WHAT A WASTE OF (EVERYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED WITH THIS) TIME!!

  12. I watched the show about Penny and the more I watched, the angrier I became. What a pity-party. The biggest I have ever witnessed. I agree with every negative comment. Penny needs to be surround with people with some backbone, that are going to tell exactly what she needs to know…not po-poing everything she says. She is committing suicide right before all of our eyes. She is sick in the head…where are the mental health people? What about child protective services…does anyone care about this little boy? Her enabling husband needs his a_ _ whipped!

    • I was disgusted by this episode. Penny is a sick manipulator and her poor husband is just plain dumb. I feel sorry for Liam. I try to be positive in life and after watching this, i feel like my brain shrank a bit after 60 minutes of watching this woman kill herself. What a waste of time and money. I say let her eat herself sikky.

    • I have to agree, where is child protection? this is abuse, she couldn’t help him if he really hurt himself at home and she was the only one there, and the mental abuse he must feel and hear her talk so degrading to Edgar when she needs something, she makes me sick, the only nickname she has for Liam is a food name like Nugget, of course it’s about food, but Liam is also lacking in vitamins, I never once saw them have a salad or fruit, and I also feel sorry for the dog, I’m sure he never gets out for a walk or to be played with, they need love and attention too!!! what a waste.

  13. As soon as I saw her refusing to walk after the surgery, I knew she was going to fail.

    The doctor should have insisted that she must walk on her own before giving her the surgery.

    After all, he insisted that she lose 40 pounds first and she did it..

    But yeah, I know, she stuck to a diet before surgery then didn’t after, so even if she had been made to walk before surgery she probably would have still claimed she was too sore to walk after.

    Some people truly want to change, but aren’t willing to work hard to get there.

    • She actually didn’t “stick to diet” before the surgery…she was in the hospital being FED a 1200 cal a day diet…it wasn’t her own effort. So, when the doc said, “Penny has proven she can lose weight,” I was all whaaaaaaat? That wasn’t HER doing it. Sighhh…sad story. Very frustrating.

  14. It angers me that she gets to stay home and collect disibility that I contribute to by working while she lays in that bed 24/7 and eats herself to death. Her comment about being able to spend more time with her kid than working mothers was an insult to me. It’s cause she can’t get out of bed and frankly I don’t think she really wants to. Who would when you can collect free money from us working mothers who get to spend less time with our kids. I think she is a poor excuse for a mother and her attitude stinks.

  15. I have not had surgery but a month ago I started eating healthier and going to the gym and so far 10 lbs down. I am working towards a goal. I watched the episode with Penny and I was very disturbed by her behavior! She blames everyone but herself! The episode with Olivia I actually cried happy tears for her and I wish her the best.

    • Congrats and good luck! BTW, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is very helpful for overcoming food cravings. And also for dealing with emotional issues that might be at the core of emotional eating. It’s simple and effective. There are videos on YouTube.

  16. Dear Penny….I truly felt sorry for you, your family, BUT most of all,,,for your son,
    who is not going to be able to have you there to
    TO DANCE AT HIS WEDDING ,,,,,,,,,,
    AND all because YOU LOVE FOOD & ATTENTION,,,,,
    MORE THAN YOU DO HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can hear you shouting your denial….BUT,,,,,,,,,
    Your lack of appreciation of your surgeon & all that was & is being done for you,,,cost you my sympathy.
    Time to GROW UP & get your life together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Start including daily prayer for this to happen,,,

    • Your post has some good points, but it’s a bit high handed for you to suggest prayer for someone you don’t know. The woman does need a kick in the butt, but perhaps she’s not even religious.

  17. Penny, unlike most of these posts, I want to thank you. Often times we don’t see ourselves as others see us and I am no exception. While weight is not a big problem for me, I have begun to get lazy and make excuses for not accomplishing things I SHOULD accomplish. Each year I make resolutions that are never kept. But I can always justify myself. I’m very sorry that this surgery didn’t provide you with the results you had hoped. That being said, I think you should watch your episode over and over so that you can see yourself as the rest of us saw you. Whenever I feel lazy, or find myself making excuses for my behavior, I watch your episode to get me back on track. The only thing I hope you will give some thought to is this; If something were to happen to your husband, who would care for you? You can’t seriously expect your son to roll you over and place a bed pan under you? And if you have no caretaker, you will find yourself in a nursing home ringing for a nurse that may not come. What an awful life that would be. I’m sad that you have made so many excuses that you are not finding hope. Please remember “can’t” means “won’t”. But for me, your journey has helped me a lot.

    • I read through dozens of judgmental and cruel comments before I read one comment the showed any empathy.

      Just because a doctor cannot figure it out does not mean there is not something valid preventing progress. For example the position her legs were in when she tried to stand. How could she be expected to walk with the masses of flesh hangining between her legs.
      Her father’s abuse taught her a life long lesson in learned helplessness.
      All these wicked posts are examples of more cruelty. Shame on all of you!

      • And how is having masses of flesh hanging between her legs the Drs. problem? It’s HER problem. She is an adult. She needs to grow up. She may not be able to change the past but she can try and not let that predict her future. How many of us have had shitty childhoods and such but we don’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves by eating ourselves to death. There comes a time when you have to take control of your life and that is EXACTLY what she needs to do now. She is so used to the poor Penny pity party that it may be hopeless at this point. She is absolutely clueless and doesn’t seem like she wants it any other way.

      • Shame on Penny … case closed .

      • I was beaten, raped , and abused for years…..and with help made a choice to live a productive life
        by working hard

  18. I had the sleeve surgery on October 23, 2013. It is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to eat the amount of food Penny ate after surgery. This woman HAD TO HAVE FORCED herself to eat. You become physically ill and uncomfortable when you eat that much.

    I have lost 60 lbs since the surgery, and I had to lose 20 before, have a psychological test, and meet other requirements. Penny is the type of person who talks a good game, but MEANS NOTHING she says. Saying she was mis-weighed proves she will NEVER take responsibility for her issues. She is that weight because she WANTS to stay fat and have people feel sorry for her. She has munchhausen syndrome and wants to be babied. Idiot.

  19. I normally feel terrible for the individuals that struggle with obesity…especailly to that degree. Most of the people the show chronicle work hard, put in their fair share, and really want to loose the weight and regain their lives. I dont feel that Penny really wants to be normal. Her attitude was ghastly, she is completley delusional, and she really was quite rude. I can’t imagine why you would want to live life that way…going to the toilet in your bed, painful sores everywhere, no intimacy between you and your husband, needing 10 people to carry you out of your apartment on a tarp like a whale….it baffles me.

    Penny is very unlikeable. I very rarely use strong language like this…but it has to be said.

  20. Thank you Kathleen for your insight into what plagues most of us: excuses in areas of our lives that could be better but aren’t.

  21. I too believe Penny has munchhausens and wonder IF she has ever had psychiatric counseling especially since her sisters related her having to deal with abuse in childhood. Can they convince her of the need? NO ONE is happy “living?” life the way she does. She has to be extremely afraid of letting go of what/where she is “comfortable”.
    What is SO sad is all she is missing out on !!!

    • Katrina, it was my biggest question. Knowing people who had LapBand surgery made me wonder if the network just didn’t show the psychological counseling in the final edit. My friends had to see a counselor before the surgery to determine if it would be a waste of everyone’s time and money. Perhaps that is why Penny only found one doctor to do the operation.

      • I work for a bariatric surgeon – I think a lot of people are able to smooth talk their way through the psych exam. Surgery is a TOOL- not a miracle cure to help you loose weight.

    • I tend to agree with the Munch diagnosis/ Especially the part where Dr N is like why in the world are you on oxygen? Your pulse/ox is fine, he said it was better than his. Shes on O2 because she wants to be??????? unless you have some kinda sick medical fetish it has to be Munch.

  22. What a joke!! That loser wanted a quick fix and wants to do NO work to fix the problem that SHE created. What a waste of doctors time and I’m sure our tax payers dollars! I feel sorry for the kid what an embarrassment of a mother!! She disgust me

  23. I am going to pray for Penny and hope she will change her attitude for her son if not for herself.

  24. Penny is not a patient that would have received surgery under normal circumstances. She had a completely obstinate attitude toward the doctor and the process.

    However….personally, I place a bit of blame on the doctor, 530 lbs is too heavy for a sleeve. RNY or Duodenal switch would have done so much better for her. She needed much more restriction and malabsorption. I hope after some time, Penny will consider a revisional surgery. For a person who cannot walk and expend energy, giving her a surgery that requires physical movement to keep losing is a mistake.

    • Thanks for the insight.

    • Not necessarily true about the physical movement, she could have moved. I watched a show some years ago about morbidly obese people. One of the stories was of a bed ridden grandmother. She didn’t have surgery, all she did was eat better and she would watch Richard Simmons workout videos and clap to the music. Considering she was completely immobile for so long, just sitting there clapping her hands raised her heart rate enough to give her an aerobic workout. By the end of the episode the woman was completely mobile and showed her outside playing with her grandkids. Penny could have done a form of exercise even though she was stuck in bed, and if she would have cooperated with her physical therapist and stuck to her diet to lose weight she would have been able to attend her sons kindergarten graduation and her story could have been a success.

    • My thoughts exactly! I was wondering why he just didn’t do a DS? BUT at this point – I don’t think SHE wants to change. Going in and doing stage 2 (the DS) would be simple- BUT not if she doesn’t want to change!

  25. Penny is in the situation she is in because of her choices. Period. Her husband is definitely enabling her, probably because he is afraid of her, and quite frankly, he appeared ignorant. Anyone who fries up a batch of won-tons and says ‘it must be better than food we could buy’, and then serve up 15 of them to her, along with whatever else, is dumb, plain and simple.

    What did it for me was when she came home to the apartment and complained because her bed was not front and center to the TV, and said she felt like she was excluded. Poor Penny! Perhaps you could get out of that bed and actually walk to the living room? If her husband had any sense at all, she would have to get up and get what she wanted above and beyond the recommended diet, and the choices would be limited.

    I noticed that the one person who was most concerned for her appeared to be held at a distance – her sister. Penny obviously does not like to hear the truth, and can’t accept it when she does hear it. If you get a chance to change your life like she did and you don’t do a doggone thing with it, then you don’t WANT to change.

    I am glad that I saw that episode though – it makes me appreciate how much effort the other people I have seen them profile have put into their journey and it helps to motivate me to continue on my own journey, albeit on a much smaller scale.

    You are the sum total of your choices and your actions in life (if this is the only thing I can instill in my kids, I will be happy). If you blame others for your problems, or expect them to fix your problems, you give away control. Make a choice to stay the way you are, or make a choice to change and use all the tools you are blessed to be given. If it takes you the rest of your life, you are still trying. Some people don’t get any help with their struggles. I will give you all the kudos I can spare if you are working toward your goals, but I don’t have an ounce of pity for someone who won’t help themselves.

    I really was hoping for some sort of follow-up at the end of the episode – you know these are taped months in advance – I am curious where she is today. (Is it me, or did this show follow people for multiple years last season?)

    • Last season they were followed for 7 years. This season didn’t start filming till 2012, that’s why it’s a shorter time frame. I was a little disappointed about that, I liked watching till the end of their journey to see the end result. Maybe they’ll have a follow up episode later.

  26. I am so pissed off about this woman, that I taped the episode so that I could quote some of the highlights of her episode. I am directly speaking to you, Penny and Edgar. So, listen up.

    The first thing that got to me was her explanation of a day in the life. “This is my bed, this is my bathroom, this is my dinner table” she explains. Well firstly, if you don’t want to do this for yourself, at least do it for poor Edgar, who loves you unconditionally. That is apparent since he cleans up your shit and piss, which I imagine is a bunch given how much you are eating. How dare you do this to another human being. Drag them into your gluttonous abyss. .Have some pride. Not even a dog will shit where it eats. I partially blame Edgar because he brings the stuff into the house. I guarantee, if you get hungry enough, a salad and a chicken breast would taste mighty delicious. Edgar, you have to quit bringing the junk into your home. Liam is going to follow in his mother’s footsteps if some lifestyle changes are not made. As far as Penny being “mad” or “upset” with you for not buyiing the junk she wants, too bad! What is she going to do? Chase you around the house with a frying pan??

    I hear excuses being made for you, Penny. And it’s apparent that you are manipulating and controlliing everyone around you. I’m not buying what you are trying to sell. You are spoiled and you use food as an excuse for sympathy and attention. Alot of people, including myself, had a crappy childhood. Get over it. You are not special. There’s a kazillion people in the world who have endured much more than you. Get over yourself.

    (More later, since I’m only 15 minutes into the replay and I’m getting more pissed by the minute)..

    • Thanks for the good reporting. Waiting for more after you’ve reviewed the rest of the show!

    • wow, Julie…you said everything my husband and I was saying during the entire show. We couldn’t believe she wanted to stop at a fast food restaurant on the way to the hospital and when Edgar ordered a grilled sandwich, she yelled “crispy”. She comes off as a lazy woman who’d rather lie in bed all day, eat and enjoy life being catered to, while living on gov’t assistance…at the expense of not being able to attend her son’s school events, etc. SAD!!

  27. After watching this episode and reading thru most of the comments here, I have very mixed emotions. I feel the most for her son. That little boy should never have to endure this kind of foul behavior from his parents. He most likely will lose his mother at a very early age, how heart breaking.

    One of the things that stick in my head the most is that Penny and her family supposidly took money from family, friends, and even neighbors, all in hopes that she could get the help she needs. To refuse to even sit up after surgury is beyond disrespectful to those people who gave up their own hard earned money. Not to mention the fact she is recieving disability and free medical insurance from the government. No doubt tax payers paid and continues to pay ALL of her medical bills as I would assume are approved and paid for as medically necessary.

    Overall, I’m glad that TLC aired this episode. Many people are in Penny’s same position mentally and physically. These people and people in their lives could use a reality check. Weight loss surgery, as most surgeries, are not easy and are painful, requiring recovery. Not everyone will succeed because not everyone has a strong enough backbone. Props to all the other show participants who found and had one. Penny is a prime example as to why there truly is not quick fix to weight loss, not even surgery. Overall good episode even though Penny herself agreeably has a world of issues.

    • Thanks Jordana. I agree that the show can help others, whether it’s with obesity or other problems that never seem to get solved, at the expense of loved ones.

    • It would be more heartbreaking if he grows up with no other possibilities in life other than to be a caregiver for his mother.

      • Lucky for him she won’t live that long .. I know that’s hard to say , but he will grow up miserable and an enabler if she does live long … I want a better life than that for him .. A better life than what his mother wants for him .

  28. I am always bothered by reality shows such as this that don’t address the person’s mental/emotional issues. She should have had her head examined before anything else. To first determine if she really had the motivation and will to follow through, and second as a crucial part of the healing journey. Deep seated psychological issues are at the core of emotional eaters (I know because I am a recovered compulsive emotional eater), especially those who get to be this overweight. I cannot fathom how anyone could expect someone to lose the weight and keep it off w/o addressing this first and foremost. Without it, these shows are simply exploitive and irresponsible.

    • Well said Cathy. It has been a question for me since watching the show. As I’ve written elsewhere in replies to comments here, I thought that was a requirement, but perhaps it was edited it out by the network.

  29. This episode just blew my mind. However in the opening credits the show says the people undergoing this procedure have less than a 5%? chance of sucess. Perhaps she’s part of that 5%. What really struck me is how nice and constructive the people commenting are! We’ve all struggled with food and its great to see such a supportive community. Its a shame Penny doesn’t know how to reach out and embrace HEALTHY support. She said my husband loves me unconditionally. Penny that is fear NOT love. Im deeply sorry you were abused as a child but realize you are in turn hurting your own son. He doesnt understand how normal relationships work. He’ll lose you soon and resent you because you did it to yourself. When you have a child you can’t be a child yourself. Its grossly unfair to subject him to the dailey show of your slow suicide.

  30. I wonder if this episode was aired by TLC in hopes that the backlash would be the motivation that Penny needs to lose the weight. We all march to a different drummer. God bless Penny and her family.

  31. I was so angry watching this episode and seeing how Penny manipulated everyone and got all this wonderful help and she was rude, ignorant, and did not care!!!! Then she’s using all this government assistance to lay in bed all day on the phone and computer! She’s obviously on pain meds too because she kept closing her eyes and slurring her words, and in her hospital room the dry erase board said pain management consultation both times she was there! All she did was complain about pain so she’s an addict! I really hope her son doesn’t have to suffer anymore and can go and live with one of her sisters who can actually care for him properly.

  32. I am sickened by Penny! I was so sickened that I watched it twice and then was mad at myself! Oh the eating and food prep in that bed where she takes a crap, a bath and a pee! The licking of fingers just one more time! The refusal to exercise in bed because it “will cut off my oxygen” – the Oxygen that the Dr said she doesn’t need! Did anyone else notice that Penny’s voice was thin and shaky when someone such as the Dr required something of her but loud and happy and forceful when she was getting her way? Oh yes I have seen many people like Penny and some of them only weigh 100 lbs! Sick! I have known lickspittles like Edgar also and I wish he would get some help! Sweet guy but doesn’t have a clue – Do you want some ice cream Penny? Yuck, I feel sick every time I think of her taking a crap in that bed!

    • I thought it was funny when the dr. had the oxygen turned off and she said she was getting light headed BUT according to the machine behind her, her oxygen was still at 98%. Clearly some of her problems are mental.

    • Good lord , how did you get through by watching in twice … once was one to many for me .

  33. my husband and I couldn’t believe the attitude/behavior of this woman. Penny obviously doesn’t have a problem being morbidly obese, catered to and lying in a bed all day. I believe she’s gotten accustomed to that lifestyle and believes more would be expected of her (like cooking, cleaning and possibly even working a job, etc.) and she’d rather have her husband be her caretaker and collect disability for the rest of her life. It’s sad, but realistically that’s how it came off to the me as a viewer. What’s so unfortunate about this entire story is that she can’t attend any of her son’s school events and he’s only 5. This was one of the saddest and most upsetting episodes to date!

  34. I have watched my 600 pound life because seeing the people make positive changes is always uplifting. The episode with Penny made me so angry this woman was given an opportunity not only to help herself but to help her family as well and she chose to throw it away. I think the most disgusting part was watching her prepare food in the bed that she uses as a toilet that gave me dry heaves.

    In all fairness change is difficult and Penny is not ready to that. Hopefully she can make changes before it is too late. I am working on losing 15 pounds and it’s hard! My doctor explained to me the challenge of losing weight is because all the sugars manufactures put in foods . Addictions are hard to break I am not excusing Penny because she has the best reason in the world to make changes her son Liam.

  35. Wow. Well- I typically am not one to comment on a television show, however this one blew my mind. My husband and I watched this episode on Penny and could not believe what we saw. Now I am not an over weight person nor my husband, so -no I do not know what it’s like to be in those shoes. I can only imagine for anyone struggling with weight issues what it’s like- HOWEVER in Penny’s extreme case- this is not just a little overweight. She’s highly obese and I can’t believe how her attitude was. The first thing someone should have done was get her mental health evaluated because I think that was the root of her problems. Her husband was an enabler and the worst part of everything is that a CHILD has to grow up in that environment. No child should have to see his mother like that. I firmly believe someone should have knocked some sense into her husband and told him to leave with the child. At least go away for a while and show her what she will lose if she does not better herself. Because ultimately she will lose them when she loses her life because she didn’t try hard enough. This lady sits on a high horse and expects people to do and please her every demand. Life does not work that way. To get anything worth while in this life it’s hard work. Her answer was not gastric bypass. Her answer is her attitude and if she had the ” can do and I’m ready for a change attitude” in conjunction with the gastric I believe she would have had results. I understand tv shows can be edited to look a certain way sometimes, but let’s get real. Penny really did not follow instructions… Had an enabler for a husband and clearly did not want it bad enough. God bless the Dr. Who really did try and help. It really makes me the most sad for the child at hand. While this episode really upset me, all you can really do for people like her is pray. Lord knows she needs it. Wishing her a change and some determination in her life to better herself and be a better example and mother to her child.

  36. what upset me the most is she had no goals or ambition. my belief is she is so afraid to fail that setting goals would only remind her of failing when she doesn’t reach them. from personal experience of losing 40 pounds in the past, it is hard work but it is worth it, and you have to set goals. it does take physical exercise and choosing healthier food choices. even in her bed she could do upper body exercises to help herself, but we don’t see that in the show. there is no magic fix. if you want to lose weight it’s going to be hard and takes determination! now if she was depressed that could explain for lack of motivation but there are remedies for that. all I seemed to hear throughout was a bunch of excuses and distorted negative thinking patterns and blaming other people or circumstances for why she couldn’t lose weight. if someone wants to lose weight bad enough they will. come on, the claim that the scale was wrong when initially weighed? that’s just another excuse/lie in order to shift the blame somewhere else. it couldn’t possibly be her fault she’s not losing weight! I feel sad for her and cant imagine the amount of physical and emotional pain she’s in but I believe she is in denial and doesn’t have a healthy positive mind set to succeed. it will be a long almost impossible road for her with her current defeated mindset.

  37. She was like “I was so happy when you said you’d help me” to the doctor… I I guess she thought was going to happen was that the doctor was going to touch her forehead and BOOM her ass would be gone!

  38. Penny AND her husband are a JOKE. Disability my rear end. Is, WAS, and always will be LAZY. It makes me CRAZY that she was given this opportunity and has abused it when soooooo many would flourish if given the opportunity. Gastric bypass is not the “quick fix”. They operate on your stomach, not your head. Penny’s issues go beyond her weight. If she won’t accept psychiatric help, then let her do herself in. Her husband and child are victoms of this rediculous situation. MANY, MANY people have success with gastric bypass. One of them is writing this blog. I KNOW SHE WAS GIVEN A DIET. She’s not fooling anyone. She’s NEVER TAKEN THE BLAME for anything her entire life and it seems that she never will. I only hope that more resources and energy are not afforded her way. She WANTS TO BE FAT PEOPLE. PERIOD. SHE LIKES IT. IT’S HER HIGH.

    • Your right!! & for her to try the pull they sympathy card when do many people struggle with weight and actually try to change makes me so mad…her husband needs to quit enabling her…she’s gonna die and doesn’t care..she has a sport system but instead of doing the right thing she tries to play the victim. ..In my eyes only victim in that home is the son….and she doesn’t exceed half the mothers I know in a year of what they do for their kids in a week!!

  39. All I have to say is f you penny…I’m a single mom and take care of kid never missed a school event and I work full time…I have no sympathy for you…your poor son…you are a total waste and you really passed me off with your exceeding most mothers comment…you might as well start eating your arms and legs until you’ve consumed your self. Quit begging for sympathy because your a piece of crap!!!

  40. What a waste of doctor’s time, effort, tax payers money and here friends and families donations. She expected a quick fix without any efforts from her side. What I don’t understand is, why is her husband still catering to her needs of all that bad food. Just don’t give her anything else but healthy food. She can not get up and open the fridge to get all the bad food by her self… I know she will be bitching and will be an even more unpleasant person as she already is. But, what is she going to do? Leave her husband? Pffffffff…. Her ass is way to fat to live on her own. Should she bitch at him, he should just close the door and let her sit in her own crap. If I would be her caregiver, she would not behave like that. Maybe she would but I would not care and just give her the diet she is supposed to eat. Again, what is she going to do other than bitch…. Same way with the physical therapist and the nutritionist. Penny was so rude to them. I know they have to be professional but they were too carful to tell Penny and her husband what to do. Penny will never loose the weight until she may realizes that SHE is the only person who can help her self. Surgery is not a quick fix, it is like the jumper cable for the car battery to get the engine started. The battery will charge only when you keep the car running. I was reading here that people say that they can’t believe that Penny does not have any goals. That is normal for quitters. The pretend they would not ever have a personal goal. That way they do never have to admit their failure. I feel sorry for her son who lives life like he is in a prison and his fat mom is the warden. I would recommend a divorce but I think Penny will eat her self to death…. This problem will be solved by Penny but other than she thought….

    • I agree, this woman is a disgusting joke. I can’t even believe anyone on this site is making excuses for her because “they didn’t address the mental part”. How do they even know that? This woman is sick, what she’s doing to her son and her husband is sick and it’s abuse. She’s a disgusting human being, an animal. She’s the kind of person that make other obese people look bad, she’s the person that I think of when I see fat people. I thought we were going to see her change and it was going to be a good show. Unfortunately, I had to watch her sit there and blame everyone else and there mother, except herself. She sat there and said she was going to be there for her son, but she couldnt. So she made the excuse that oh well most mothers work so i get to spend time with my son that most mothers dont we all make sacrifices. Does she even realize the serious emotional damage she’s doing to her poor son? NO she doesnt, because shes a selfish weirdo. I work at a detox center and she’s 100 times worse than any drug addict i’ve ever met. This woman should win an award. I think at this point there’s no hope. So many people were trying to help her, and she had the nerve to blame them. I think she should be shot, it’d do her son and husband a favor and get them out of that cycle of abuse, plus us tax payers wont have to pay for her medical bills considering she doesn’t plan on ever helping herself. She had her 1 chance and ruined it for no good reason. She’s disgusting. Just look at last nights episode with Chuck, he had his 1st wife and his so called “best friend” murdered and he overcame that, and his episode was really inspiring. That woman is a disgrace to any person thats ever had a bad childhood, to use that as an excuse as to why you’re obese ew ew ew. I’ve met so many people at the detox centre who’ve been abused, and although that’s the reason why they cover up their pain with drugs, they never used it as an excuse, they knew they were wrong regardless of their childhood. this woman is sick and abusive, she should go to jail.

  41. Penny’s thinking is analogous to the person who drives the wrong way on a busy street and wonders why everybody else is driving the wrong way and is honking their horns at her.

  42. Good job Chuck. You did it!!! Determination and hard work is all it takes.

  43. I think Penny wasn’t ready from t h e get go. She wanted sympathy and everything done for her. I viewed her as lazy and used her weight as an excuse. If you are given the chance like she had she should h ave given it her all. Her husband v and was no help either. I kinda was mad at the end. She had so many resources at her disposal and she laughed them off. Boo to her.

  44. I jus saw this episode and I am speechless. Where do I start… My mom is over weight. Has struggled most of her adult life with weight and at 75 reached her highest point ever and has fraught through weightwatches to loose it. Here’s the thing though; my mother has worked her entire life fought to teach her children to eat bttr and be healthier. She’s been a mother a teacher and a fighter. This woman, Penny possesses none of these traits. Her parenting is abussive because she is not able to be a real mother. She is selfish and rather than creating a bttr life for her child chooses to manipulate him and those around her. Her entire family is idly sitting by allowing this little boy to live under these conditions. Dad spends most of the day catering to her who is catering and nurturing this little person? I am disgusted with her attitude and extreme selfishness and upset that my tax dollars go to pay for her to stuff her face.

  45. Penny u are a joke , poor child.

  46. I would have thought that the nutritionist/dietitian should have been involved from the get go. With her attitude which appalled me, if her attitude and comments about the diet she would need be on were said at the beginning then it should have been NO GO!. We only “help” those who want and will help themselves.

    Lady, what a horrible example for your son and your husband IS AN ENABLER!!!

    He needed to be advised about her diet away from her especially when her attitude & comments were noted. If the nutritionist/dietitian would have met with him to advise what and how to provide healthy food for ALL of the family and he knew what healthy foods to prepare & if she was unhappy then she could get her FAT ASS out of the bed & walk to kitchen and cook for herself!

    Rant over!

  47. I was mad too. Like an alcoholic spiraling out of control and unable to see the destruction all around them. It’ll take a crisis for Penny to get with the program. Let’s hope it’s not a fatal final one for her. I was angry all the way through and kept hoping for her to see the light. By the end I felt pity for her. To be satisfied living your life from a bed is just too sad.

  48. The way I understand it, there is a vigorous process, including physical and mental evaluations prior to bariatric surgery. It was obvious to me that Penny has mental health issues. Her innappropriate reactions and statements as well as her crippling denial should have been addressed before the surgery. The person who will ultimately suffer the most from this dysfunctional dependent/co-dependent relationship is the son.

    • Someone made a comment regarding Penny should think about who would care for her if anything happened to her husband. They said “you wouldn’t want your son rolling you over and changing your bed pan would you.” I bet she would. She is that selfish. She would also think that her son wouldn’t mind because he loved her. She is selfish. Period. That poor child is doomed. He is doomed to become overweight because of his parents obvious poor judgement. He is doomed to years teasing and ridicule. He is doomed to a childhood without a mother doing the things a mother should. He is doomed to a lonely childhood because he will be too embarrassed to have friends over. He will be too embarrassed to bring a girlfriend over. And Penny, it won’t belong before he refuses to get in bed with your large sweaty rolls. Yes, he will still love you but it will be in private. And no, he won’t always be proud of you. He’s very young now. Things will change. Guaranteed.

      • They should take that child out of that home .. because I agree … as long as he is living with those two .. he is doomed .

  49. As offensive as Penny was, it became VERY apparent to me that this woman is mentally ill. She is not based in reality, she will not change and her husband is caught in a sinking ship. I just wonder what she would do if he actually walked out on her and took their son. Would she call an ambulance to come and get her? Hunt down attorneys to sue for custody? Or lay in bed and piss and crap on herself. I bet a million dollars she would get enough energy to search and entangle a whole new group of enablers to surround herself with. She is mental illness at it’s finest. As long as she gets a check and medical insurance there will be someone to “take” care of her.

  50. Her attitude was unreal. have you noticed how many spouses are pretty huge themselves? She is lazy and thinks she is a diva at 500 pounds spare me I am not one who thinks doctors are infallible but I think he knows more on what type of surgery to perform than we do


  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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