She just couldn’t take it anymore. After joining her aunt Diana Bunch on an arduous 1,900-mile road trip, during which the 600-pound woman couldn’t get out of a car without EMS support, Megan unloaded to her husband about Diana — while Diana appeared to hear the entire exchange. That tense scene was one of the highlights of My 600-lb Life‘s Wednesday, February 15, episode.
“I just want to get the kids out of here and get this s–t over with,” Megan told her husband, Doug, with her two young children in earshot, outside the doctor’s office where Diana, her 55-year-old aunt, was being treated. “Do I think she has the motivation to do it on her own? I have no f–king idea. She never proved to me she did it on her own.”
Megan, clearly fed up at the thankless task of keeping Diana on a strict diet, continued, “I’m feeding her 900 calories a day. … Of course she lost weight. What I am supposed to do?” This was moments after Dr. Nowazardan, Diana’s surgeon, advised Diana she would need her out-of-town family to stay in Houston during weight loss treatment — despite their living in Seattle.
“This is not your responsibility, it’s hers,” Megan’s husband said in response.
While Diana sat in the doctor’s office lobby, she craned her neck as though she was listening to her niece’s rant. Diana’s facial expression didn’t change throughout her relative’s tirade.
Her Niece’s Tune Changed Amid Diana’s Turbo-Charged Weight Loss
Megan and family got over their reservations when Diana, who started at 601 pounds, took the bull by the horns in her weight loss. She dropped to 336 pounds in less than a year — a stunning 225-pound loss — by sticking to a strict diet, consistent movement and emotional therapy. Also, to her credit, Diana was appreciative of Megan and the fam and didn’t push back much, despite the bad vibes.
“I know my family has sacrificed a lot to get me here,” Diana said in a private interview. “I know it’s a lot for them, but they’re saving my life.”
Her Caretaker Family Enabled Her, the Doctor Said
Ironically, the tense yet functional aunt-niece relationship had been kept afloat with an unhealthy “enabler” dynamic, Nowzaradan said — which he determined to be the problem at the root of Diana’s overeating. The family power structure had to change, the doctor opined.
“The whole dynamic with her family has not only changed, but she’s made the transition to making the right choices for herself,” Nowzaradan said.
“You’re making progress as a family, so I’m going to approve you for weight-loss surgery only if your family agrees to stay here in Houston a little while longer,” Nowzaradan told Diana before performing a “sleeve”-style gastric-bypass surgery. “Until you start dealing with the issues driving you to eat in therapy after surgery — if they don’t, I’m not going to feel comfortable going ahead with the surgery.”
The “enabler” dynamic came from Megan’s history of pleasing Diana’s worst eating impulses with a grocery trip of junk foods, including frozen box foods and chips.
Diana’s Emotional Turmoil of Being Molested at Age 11
Before coming to Houston from her native Seattle, Diana had numerous physical ailments, including open sores on her legs, as well as scaly, yellowing skin, called lymphedema. While the up-close sight of her legs made her condition appear quite serious, Diana didn’t have as many problems with it as her weight-loss gained momentum.
Diana’s emotional pain at the core of her extreme weight gain was an experience of being molested at 11 by two older high school boys. While seeing the show’s therapist, Casey Radle, Diana shed tears when sharing the realization that she had created a layer of “unattractive” protection from being hurt.
“That probably played a bigger role than I realized until just now,” Diana told Radle. “I protect myself by getting unattractive. It really did keep me very safe. … Now I want to be safe without being unhealthy.”
Tell Us: Was Megan out of line with her reaction?
My 600-lb Life airs on TLC Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.