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I usually hate watching reality shows, but I love watching My 600 Lb. Life. It isn’t like other reality shows (or any other shows for that matter), but I think that’s why its fans like it so much. Still, a lot of people don’t understand why I would watch it.

For those of you who don’t know, My 600 Lb. Life is about people that weigh about 600 lbs. (as the name suggests) or more. It doesn’t just show how they live, though. The TLC show chronicles their yearlong weight loss journeys. Most doctors won’t help people of this size, but one doctor in Houston will. Obese people from all over the country make the difficult journey to see Dr. Nowzardan, an expert bariatric surgeon.

People might think that surgery is an easy fix for obesity, but it’s not. Food is an addiction for some people, and it can be very challenging for them to cope without their habits, especially because some sort of emotional trauma triggered their addictions. The patients on the show have to work hard to stick to a strict diet, exercise, deal with new family dynamics and sometimes make a move to Texas. Watching real people with different backgrounds is fascinating.

When I tell people that I like to watch My 600 Lb. Life, they usually ask, “How can you watch that show?” with disgusted looks on their faces. Even though the subjects of the show are very large and often have physical health problems as a result, they don’t disgust me; they are just people. I think that it’s important to watch their stories because we rarely get to hear about the lives of people battling obesity. It’s refreshing to see people that society forgets about on TV. I would much rather watch the lives of people like Nikki, Michael, Zsalynn and Chay than listen to rich women bicker and fight.

None of these people would have second chances for life if it wasn’t for Dr. Nowzardan aka Dr. Now. He takes on cases that no one else would because he wants to save people. He also doesn’t coddle anyone, and he doesn’t take B.S. or abuse from anyone, which is refreshing. Dr. Now’s tough love approach shows that he really cares.

Watching the people on My 600 Lb. Life endure through so much is inspiring. Sometimes they give up, but many of them continue through and see some results. Pretty much everyone on the show has been obese for their entire lives and their situations may have seemed hopeless, but they still make the decision to try to save their own lives, and I think that is incredible.

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Gillian was the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Ithaca from September 2018 to May 2019. She was a journalism major and anthropology minor at Ithaca College and graduated in May 2019. Gillian enjoys reading, writing, Harry Potter, the Sims and grilled cheese. 
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