On My 600-lb Life, a young obese woman named Liz Evans is interviewed as she lays in bed. Unable to walk, she is bed-bound with severe lymphedema. She says when was a little girl she was “a normal size” but she had an abnormality in her leg. The bone was curved so one leg was shorter than the other. Although she walked with a little limp she recalls being happy as a child until she was 6. Liz says she was molested by someone her family knew. She was afraid of telling her parents, especially her father, who she adored. And then “things got worse” at around the age of 10, when her father developed a drug addiction and her parents got divorced. By the time she was 11, Liz had seven corrective surgeries on her leg which kept her in bed. And she turned to food as an escape. By the time Liz was 13, Liz weighed more than 250 lbs.
What’s different about Liz’s story from other My 600-lb Life stories is that Liz is utterly isolated. She lives with her mother but her mother’s so ill that she can’t take care of Liz. Usually there’s a physically able person (a spouse or parent) to help the immobile person get help. But that doesn’t stop Liz from finding a way to get to a rehab facility where she tries doing physical therapy with the goal of standing. Liz has to be able to stand in order to get the lymphedema surgery. Watching her at the facility, it’s difficult to imagine that Liz will ever be able to stand. Watching her, you think she can’t win — that in this game Liz is the ultimate underdog. But underdogs sometimes win. That’s why they play the games. And people root for underdogs like Liz. My 600-lb Life airs Wednesdays at 8pm on TLC.