“My 600 Lb. Life” looked at year two in the life of Lupe and husband Gilbert, focusing on her weight-loss progress. There were medical setbacks as well as plenty of emotional outbursts and fear on the part of Lupe. Then there was the state of her marriage.
Those that saw the original episode of the patient’s story are familiar with how much her success was tied to the state of her marriage to Gilbert and his behavior. When he disappeared, cheated or was in contact with other women, Lupe, who began at 642 lbs. lost momentum and in some cases, reversed her progress. She would fear falling and refused to try to walk no matter how many times Dr. Nowzaradan informed her that there was nothing physically keeping her from moving around.
However, putting all that aside, she lost hundreds of pounds in year one and in year two, the promise of skin removal surgery kept her on the right path. Unfortunately, she didn’t lose her delicate mental state and was checked into a hospital after excruciating hip pain. Her hip has troubled her throughout her time with Dr. Now, but he checked to see if she had somehow injured it.
After consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, the doctor once again told Lupe that it was all in her head. She had to get up and walk, a few steps at time if necessary. That plus getting under a certain weight would put her in line to get her hanging skin removed. When that finally occurred, Dr. Now removed 32 lbs. of stomach skin. By that time Lupe was in the 200’s and continued walking a little bit each day.
Gilbert, her husband and caretaker had shown in year one, that he had “his needs” and since he got no satisfaction from Lupe, he would consider it his right to seek it elsewhere. Supposedly that changed after she lost a few hundred pounds. We did see him in the “Where Are They Now” special, call her “my love” on many occasions, surprising her with flowers at one point. He proudly announced that they were having sex again, and his delight was almost creepy.
It got more than that, however, after skin removal surgery. A huge incision was still draining after her return from the hospital, but gosh darn it, he had to have sex. He apologized for opening up the wound, but sounded unapologetic about it, as if it were a trophy he won. That’s when things went down hill in the marriage. When he refused to call her an ambulance to get the wound treated, drinking beer by her bedside instead, she called one on her own.
As if that weren’t enough, Gilbert slipped back into his old flirty behavior with other women. Lupe had reached the breaking point, and what helped her decide to toss him overboard, was her ability to move around. She weighed less than 250 lbs. at that point and she could see the finish line, imagining a life of independence without Gilbert.
As he always has, Gilbert wanted credit for the 9+ years he cared for her, promising to change, but still justifying his behavior by saying he’s just a guy acting like a guy. Lupe finally left, moving in with a cousin who agreed to help out in the final stages of Lupe’s treatment with Dr. Now. She was able to realize that despite his caretaking, she deserved respect as his wife and the woman he claimed to love.
Gilbert moaned and begged but it didn’t work. A tough scene near the end of the show saw Lupe and her cousin stand up to Gilbert when she went to the house to pick up her things. Are you proud of Lupe for staying the course on her weight-loss and for standing up for herself, literally and figuratively?
“My 600 Lb. Life” airs Wednesday nights on TLC, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT