“My 600 Lb. Life” has a two-part story to tell, with the first airing Wednesday March 29 on TLC. It’s a tale of brothers, six years apart in age and 200 lbs. apart in weight. Steven Assanti, the older one at 33 years-old weighs in at 730 lbs. while Justin Assanti, 27 is 604 lbs. They can’t help each other, and in some ways, they hurt each other. RECAP of Part I posted below!
In the sneak peek video posted below, get ready to get angry right away. It’s difficult to know who is a sympathetic character in this installment of “My 600 Lb. Life”. The brothers’ dad has undertaken the long trip from Rhode Island to Houston, Texas after Dr. Nowzaradan agreed to see his sons. Is he being a loving father? Maybe, except that he was one of the factors in his boys reaching their respective sizes.
Yes, one of their enablers is their dad who had what is called a violent temper. Mixed with his wife’s alcoholism. there was abuse, tension and anger at play from the time the boys were young. The result, as we’ve seen often, was the kids turning to food and never turning back. Perhaps out of love, mixed with guilt, Justin and Steven live with their dad and have grown used to getting their way, by manipulating those around them.
Justin shuts down and refuses to cooperate with simple demands, while Steven channels his father’s anger. That was very evident on the trip in the medical RV. Steven demanded food every 100 miles or so, making the trip longer because of the stops. It took 35 hours to get to Houston and by the time they arrived, Steven got checked into a hospital . Justin, the one who shuts down, chose to return home to try weight loss on his own.
Left alone in Houston, Steven learned how to lie and keep things from Dr. Now. Once released, he went to other hospitals to shop around for medical advice and for pain pills. Believe it or not, he created havoc that traveledback to Rhode Island, as enabler daddy kept giving in to Steven. In turn, Justin was unable to make progress, complaining about his brother.
What in the world are we in for? A two-parter like no other in the history of “My 600 Lb. Life”
Part I RECAP
One word comes to mind for the recap: wow! Where do you begin to pick this apart? A food addiction treatment plan turned into a drug treatment program. How will Steven tolerate going cold turkey off his pain meds? Depending on what kind of detox/rehab it is, he might not be able to get care packages of pizza.
Let’s start with Mr. Assanti, father of these two boys. He sure talks tough, with the gruff manner of a blue collar guy from the east coast. Yet, he got beaten down early and decided to give in to demands from his sons.
When you see families who enable one member of the group it’s one thing, but Mr. Assanti watched as his younger son Justin got on the same unhealthy track as Steven. It seemed that he was so grateful that Justin didn’t drive him crazy that he just ignored it. You can’t dismiss the possibility that Justin siding with his father about Steven got the 27 year-old a hall pass.
The most egregious example of how their father ended up sabotaging their efforts to lose weight is the pizza deliveries paid for from Rhode Island for delivery to an apartment in Texas. After son Steven was tossed out of the hospital for bad behavior, he was more than 100 lbs. lighter.
You knew that sending him away with the ability to call for take-out was bound to fail and it did. Despite a home health aide named Princess, who by the way, was a voice of sanity and reason, who counted Steven’s calories and provided the right kind of food, Steven put back 83 of those 100 lbs. by the next time he saw Dr. Now.
It was all about Daddy giving in after nagging phone calls and verbal abuse. Hello pizza shop: send by a large cheese and pepperoni please? Thanks. That got rid of Steven’s voice for that moment and Mr. Assanti could return to whatever the heck he does all day. Justin was making no progress right under his father’s nose, but as noted above, he was allowed to do it because he didn’t make a scene.
The bullying dynamic between the brothers was hard to watch. Justin got checked into the hospital alongside Steven when they arrived after a days-long trip from Rhode Island. If his tests didn’t look good, Dr. Now would have kept him, but since things were normal, other than the entire relationship between these three men, he let Justin go.
Justin couldn’t get away from Steve fast enough and only when forced to say farewell to his brother did he do so. Back home it looks like he makes models and plays with them, saying how busy he is that sticking to the Dr. Now eating plan wasn’t possible. Besides, as he noted, he didn’t think he was gaining. It was his brother that had the weight problem.
Steven’s vulnerability when left alone couldn’t be tolerated and he just brought the hammer down on the hospital staff. Good for Dr. Now for kicking him out, knowing it wasn’t the best solution for Steven’s health. The young man got Princess to babysit, but she didn’t take his phone away and a pizza delivery was only a call away thanks to his father providing the credit card expense.
Next up, drug rebab…
“My 600 Lb. Life” airs Wednesdays on TLC, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT Image/video credit: TLC, used with permission