Woman’s Journey to a Stunning 500 Pound Weight Loss

Jan 31, 2012 7:32am

To say Melissa Morris led a normal life would be far from the truth.

Weighing in at nearly 700 pounds, her life was anything but normal.

“I didn’t get up to make myself food.  Somebody always brought me something,” Morris said today on “Good Morning America.”  “I didn’t get up and cook.  Somebody brought it to me.”

Morris, 37, had been overweight her whole life, but her weight began to creep up the scale after she met and married her husband, Chris, and the couple moved to rural Livingston, Texas in 2002, away from family and friends.

It took a bout of cancer faced by her mother to make Morris realize she needed a drastic change.

“My mom was sick with cancer and we went to Ohio to be with her,” Morris told “GMA.”  “We went home [from the hospital] and my mom was sitting in her chair and she still had her bandages from her surgery and she looked up at me sitting in my chair and she said, ‘Can I get up and make you something to eat?’”

“I thought my mom is sick with cancer, my mom could die and she’s worried about whether or not she can get up to make me something to eat?,” Morris said.  “I was done.  I was done.”

In a desperate attempt to lose weight, Morris found a doctor who was willing to perform gastric bypass surgery.

On the day of the surgery, in January 2006, Morris wore a skirt that had been handmade using four yards, or 12 feet, of material in order to fit her body.

“It was tight,” she said of the skirt.  “It fit tight.”

The surgery was a success and, one year later, she had lost more than 250 pounds.

Not having driven for over a decade, she passed her driver’s license test and gained newfound independence.

Four years after her surgery, she had lost more than 400 pounds and was hired by the clinic that performed her own gastric bypass surgery to consult with new patients.

“Everyday I look in the mirror I still see the 673 pound lady,” Morris said, of transitioning to her new appearance.  “I don’t recognize the body that I have, but the face is still mine.”

While her health improved, Morris’s dramatic weight loss placed strains on her family life, particularly with her husband, Chris.

“It’s been hard,” she said.  “He’s a caretaker, he’s always been a caretaker.  He was so used to doing everything for me.  I let him but, as I got skinny, I was like, ‘I don’t what you do that, I can do that.’”

“We are defining our relationship,” Morris said.

Morris’s weight loss and improved health did allow the couple to realize another dream, having a child.  Their daughter, Allona, will turn two in May.

“She’s the great part,” Morris said.  “She’s worth everything. She’s what I live for.”

Morris’s weight loss story is documented in the show “My 600 Pound Life,” premiering at 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, on TLC.

ABC News’ Cathy Becker contributed to this report.

 

 

 

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