My 600 lb Life’s Melissa Morris before and after 500 pound weight loss

Melissa Morris, the subject of a special 2 hour premiere episode of TLC’s new show My 600-lb Life, was filmed by the network over the last seven years as she struggled to lose over 500 pounds. Formerly tipping the scales at 673 pounds, she now triumphantly weighs in at 170.

TLC followed Melissa and four other people weighing over 600 pounds as they went through gastric bypass surgery, and the years of weight loss that followed. They were some of the heaviest people to ever receive that procedure. Even though the heaviest patients need to lose weight the most, the surgery can be more risky the heavier you are.

Melissa appeared on Good Morning America holding up her old skirt, which absolutely swallows her now:

Mellissa Morris 600 lb life skirt

Melissa has been through an amazing journey, and can now do so many things that she was completely unable to do before. That sounds like a dream come true, but Melissa’s new size and abilities are actually causing strife in her marriage to husband Chris. They got married when she was already large, and a major part of the dynamics of their relationship was based on Chris doing things for her. He would also go get the massive amounts of food (2 Big Macs, 20 McNuggets, chocolate bars, soda) that she craved (most morbidly obese people have those around them enabling them, because once they reach a certain point, their mobility constraints prevent them form buying and preparing their own food.) Chris and Melissa having to redefine who they are to each other, and now that’s she a normal size, Chris worries that he’s going to leave her.

The major catalyst that sparked Melissa to begin her weight loss journey revolved around a poignant moment with her mother, who had stage IV cancer. Melissa was too large to make it into the hospital room when her mother had cancer, but that wasn’t the moment that humbled and changed her forever. When her mother was back at home, and Melissa was able to go see her, her mother, still recovering from surgery, offered to get up and make Melissa something to eat because Melissa would be unable to do it herself. Melissa knew then that she had to make a huge change in her life and get her priorities in order.

Even now that she weighs about a fourth of what she once weighed, Melissa still sees herself as “the 673 pound lady.” Hopefully she’ll be able to get over her roadblocks and insecurities and understand what an amazing thing she’s done, and just appreciate every moment of her new lease on life.

After she got down to 180, she got a job with her bypass surgeon helping other people adjust to life after gastric bypass surgery, fulfilling her first goal of getting a job. Melissa and Chris also rekindled their love. In fact, they found new love between each other that was never there before:


elissa: “He married me because it was something he felt he had to do, and I married him because I didn’t want to be alone. We were never husband and wife. Once the big amounts of weight came off, I wanted to do things for myself. It was hard, we fought a lot.”

Chris “It was just, we were done.”

Melissa: “The thing that changed, he called me from work and asked me on a date, and we started”

Chris: “Talking more.”

Melissa: “I’m a person that needs to be talked to. The love now has just been recent.”

Chris “Now our role is husband and wife, real husband and wife.”

Then, she got pregnant, her second desire, but unfortunately she lost the baby, and sank into a depression. She felt like she was going through it alone because Chris wasn’t grieving with her. Later, she found out that when she was in the hospital having her gastric bypass surgery (with a good chance that she was going to die) Chris was talking to, and making plans to meet with another woman to have sex. His betrayal went much further than that one occurrence, he had been talking to other women for years.

Despite the betrayals, Melissa stayed with Chris, and did get pregnant again. She had gained about 26 pounds when she got pregnant, and she continued to gain some weight throughout the pregnancy. Both Melissa and Chris had gone back to bad eating habits. The baby, Allona Gabrielle Morris, was born via C-Section weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces.

Chris said that Melissa giving him a daughter was the thing he was most proud of her for, but their relationship was still rocky. When Allona was two months old Melissa found out that Chris had been cheating again. Melissa said that she had forgiven him before because she used be about 700 pounds, but now that he was doing it after she lost weight, she felt like she could no longer blame herself. Melissa wanted to separate, but Chris said he didn’t. Eventually the decided to stay together if Chris sought counseling.

Melissa says at the beginning (and end) of the program: “I could tell you this whole journey was easy, but that would be a lie. But it wouldn’t be a lie to tell you it was worth it.”

Melissa told The Insider that she would not be watching My 600-lb Life because she lived through the events on the show once, and doesn’t want to live through them again.

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  • Mary

    “Chris and Melissa having to redefine who they are to each other, and now that’s she a normal size, Chris worries that he’s going to leave her.”

    Is this last line backwards?

    • Starcasm Staff

      Thanks! Yes it was. It’s been fixed.

      • Mary


      • you asked

        + Starcasm staff – Maybe you corrected the wrong sentence.

        You promised Mary the error in the sentence was corrected. Yet, 5 years later & it still says “Chris and Melissa having to redefine who they are to each other, and now that’s she a normal size, Chris worries that he’s going to leave her.”

        Why would Chris worry that HE’S going to leave her. He would know if he were or not. Shouldn’t Chris be worried that SHE might leave him?

    • Lori

      Mary I was so moved by your story. I have been thin my whole life and have to admit that I am one of those annoying people that look at obese people with disdain. After watching your remarkable story I will never look down on obese people again. After all we all suffer from our own demons in life and handle them in our own way. Food is everywhere and it must have been so hard for you to say “no!”

      I wish you the best of everything! What you have done is something to be very proud of.

      • Lori

        I said Mary but meant Melissa! Opps!

        • melissa i feel so bad i also admit i am a freakishly skinny person! when i was 12 i weighed 59 pounds i wasnt that short your story touched me i cant imagine to be like that i feel horrible now at 32 i weigh 110

      • Star

        I think it’s great that you learned something from this show Lori. You are right each one of us has our own struggles. Everyone deserves compassion and to be treated with respect and dignity.

  • Nathan

    Congratulations. Just 50 more pounds to go until you’re an acceptable weight.

    • Amanda

      Acceptable?! She looks pretty darn good how she is! Have you ever stopped to think that not everyone fits the BMI chart with “acceptable weights” that has been passed around for years? You know, the one with no regard for bone size/density and body composition? People who think like you are the reason we have so many anorexic girls running around

    • Paige

      Are you even serious?! How can you be that cold hearted? This woman has done an amazing thing for herself, and given inspiration to anyone who sees her. How dare you.

    • amelia

      please tell me you are joking

    • Swim

      Like 500 pounds isn’t enough?! She looks fabulous for 500 pound weight loss! Do you have any idea how hard it is to loose 20 pounds let alone a hundred or more!?? How inconsiderate of you!

    • Lisa


    • chelsea

      @starcasm this Nathan is always posting on your articles and he’s always RUDE, is there no way to van him ??

    • Tracey

      Nathan, you are an idiot. This woman has worked hard to get where she is. She has suffered through a lot of emotional issues and continues to do so. Have some respect dude.

      Good on you Melissa!

    • Karine

      Since when is 120lbs an **acceptable** weight?! What is your ”perfect” weight?!? Not everyone can fit into the ”Hollywood glam star” weight measurements (less than 4% of the world’s population in fact). Melissa looks stunning, and no one should be the judge of her weight. Losing weight is hard. Good job Melissa! You’re an inspiration for us all :).

    • Courtney C


    • trish

      Nathan, if you watched the show, she got down to 157lbs at one point, and the doctors told her it was too low and needed to gain. Who are you to decide what is good for her? She needs to listen to what her doctors say, they have the medical degrees, not you.

  • Alysia

    Thats amazing that she has lost that amount of weight. It just sucks she had to do it with a help of surgery to get her thinner.

  • mel

    I’m so happy for her!

  • Sarah

    I read this, and all I have to say is, “Wow!” She was a beautiful woman before she began her weight loss journey, and she’s absolutely stunning now. Now that her husband no longer has to do so many things for her, maybe doing things with her will help move their marriage forward in a positive way. They could both do basic household tasks like cooking and cleaning, they could exercise together and heck, now that she’s mobile and able to leave the house without assistance, they can even go on dates! I wish nothing but the best for both of them as they rediscover each other in this context.

  • Chelse

    Good for her! Some people really do need something as drastic as surgery to give them a leg up with their wight lose.

    I think she looks fabulous and I hope she and her husband work out for the best; wither that be together or not.

  • Light101

    I was so touched after watching Melissa’a story. I have suffered with severe depression and obesity for years. After watching this story, I now feel like I can take control of my life and make it better. I am motivated to do something other than feel sorry for myself. Congratulations to Melissa and Chris for changing their lives for the better!

  • Courtney

    She’s beautiful!

  • Posh

    omg, what a strong woman. i have an opposite problem, im desperately trying to gain weight, but my metabolism doesn’t let me. but im truly excited for Melissa and her husband. She’s done a great thing for herself!

  • Meechyf14

    I’m so happy for Mellisa. What she did was nothing short of a miracle. And yes some people have to go to this extreme to achieve the results that will allow them to lead a normal life and to have a quality of life. She seemed to have her own issues about her and her husband’s relationship. Almost as if she were looking for a reason to have marital problems. I think it’s very important to remember that if you have someone in your life be it a boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, or wife. If that person is supportive in what your trying to accomplish. You need to understand that their going through this enormous change right along with you. Nothing is easy, especially losing weight. It takes the kind of strength and will power most of us do not possess. But it’s an important development that’s needed if we are to succeed in achieving our ultimate goal. Melissa, I’m the first one to say, “leave the cheating bastard” But under these circumstances. I would highly recommend you and Chris get some counseling, especially because of your childhood problems. The two of you have been through what most would equivalent to a marathon. But you did it together. This whole battle is an up hill one. And the only thing I haven’t touched on is our heavenly father. Please talk to him. Make him a major part of your lives and he’ll never give you more then you can handle. You have inspired so many with your story. Congratulations to the both of you on you new edition and your new look. And Chris, if indeed you are a bit confused as to you identity now that you no longer are your wife’s caregiver.I would also recommend a men’s support group. Their very similar to what AA family members deal with, but they focus on the family after the weight is gone. Good luck and God bless.

  • Mslux

    She needs to see a counselor herself to work on her self esteem. 500 lb weight loss is amazing…she can obviously do whatever she sets her mind on, drop that loser husband!

  • Sam

    I like McDonald’s chicken bites ad on the side! lol

    I watch this today. There is NO reason for anyone to get THIS big, but it is so drastic!

    • Sam

      like the*

      omg, lol

      • Lauren1987

        You will never understand. She was molested when she was younger.. My aunts were molested at a young age and hid it from everyone until they reached 40.. Its tough to let go, so she held onto it and that’s why she ended up the way she did. I am so happy she changed her life around, I see heavy people all the time and tend to think that but I have to stop myself and ask what have they gone through?

    • D D

      She was addicted to food, just like someone could be addicted to alcohol, other drugs, gambling or sex. It goes beyond will power. It’s a spiritual crisis. I don’t agree with what you said.
      Thank you for comment, Lauren1987.

  • im so obese im 10 and i weigh 210 im ugly stupid everyone hates me!

    • Star


      Do you really believe you are stupid? Amanda I don’t believe that and I don’t believe that at 10 years of age you are solely responsible for being so heavy. But it is really important that you get some professional help. You need to get some serious medical help as well as councelling. This is not your fault. I hope that you have some adults in your life that can help you get the help you need. I fear that if you don’t get help today. You will end up like Melissa did as an adult. Don’t give up! 🙂 You are worth it!

    • Melanie

      God loves you Amanda. It’s what in your heart that matters. You are beautiful because God made you. Why do you think your ugly and stupid? You are not. Why do you feel everyone hates you? I think you do not like yourself because of your weight you just need help getting healthy but don’t put yourself down.

  • JuJu

    Your tv show touched me deeply. You are The Iron Lady just as much as Madam Streep earning her third Oscar tonight. Sharing all of your scars…physical, mental, and emotional made all of the difference to me. Your daughter was worth your struggle….you fought tooth and nail to carve out a life for yourself. You did it and continue to put one foot in front of the other. After 40 years of marriage I too took a blow via the Net and my husband. I have been down on my knees praying for the strength to get up. I am still standing….not the same person I once was but a different one that is still learning the struggle.
    I have lost my spleen, gallbladder, uterus, ovaries, right knee, lenses in both eyes with replacements and now they want to give me a left titanium knee. But I still have my mind and heart …heart enough to feel your love coming through the TV screen. You are an Inspiration with a capital I….yet you continue to give to others. God Bless.

  • Kate Foote

    Hi Melissa. I was so inspired by your story. I watched it in awe. I see so many similarities to my life. If you can lose weight, then so can I. I have tried every diet, no diet, etc. for years and years. Now when I want to eat something I should not, I take a deep breath and say your name as many times as I need to to get through the feeling. You are amazing. I hope you can continue to live your life successfully and love yourself. I am still dealing with issues about body image. I lost a lot of weight and kept it off for a couple of years, then I chose to let it come back on. It comes on so quickly! I have used every excuse in the book, but no more. I keep thinking, If Melissa can find the strength, so can I. I will continue to think of you often. I hope you know how beautiful you are. You are a wonderful person who deserves to be happy. Yes, the problems don’t all go away when the weight goes. I remember when I was down to 138.5 pounds, I did not believe in myself. I have since had 2 more children and lived many years. I am still less than my top weight, and I am proud of that. I once got up to over 265 pounds. I struggled and worked and walked to get it off. I got down to under 195. I am short. A number of things happened to send me to the comfort foods again. I know now how to deal with that next time. I hope you know how much I admire and respect all of the people who have lost so much weight. To not give up on yourself is a miracle. I hope to keep in touch with you, if you would like that. I know I can do it again. I have to. I have heart problems and losing the weight is the best thing I can do toward saving my life. I did not mean to ramble on so much, but wanted you to know how you have made a big change in my life. Thank you so much! Keep up the good work. Keep helping others, you are very compassionate. Your doctor is an amazing man too! Thanks for reading this. Katie in Iowa.

  • Rachel

    Mellisa your weight overshadowed the wonderful person that you are inside. With all the struggles that you went through both physically and personally you still managed to be kind and helpful to others. The remarkable goals that you set for yourself, in which you accomplished every single one, was remarkable. Everyone has blue days and you still mangaged to face everyone with a strong chin up type of attitude. It takes a great strength to tell people your story and have it viewed by so many. You should be so proud of yourself. You are a role model to so many people, probably more than you ever imagined. With your strength and determination you have taught people that with a strong will you can accomplish anything. You are a strong beautiful person and wanting to help so many. Congratulations on all your accomplishments, you should be very proud of yourself. Keep up the great work and being the wonderful person that you are.

  • CWalters


    I too am in awe of your strength and perseverance. I don’t agree with Chris’s behavior nor do I think he is good for you. However, that is my opinion and it doesn’t really matter. You obviously love him, I just hope he can be/maybe now is the man you need. You were/are always beautiful and now you are healthy too! I hope that I can follow in your footsteps. Thank you for sharing your story and letting the cameras in for every moment good and not so good. Your daughter is one of the greatest achievement to me, my weight does not allow me to have the children I desperately want. You give me and so many others strength by sharing your story.

    Thank you for helping me find the strength to take the first step. Do me a favor and write on your mirror, the one you look in the most often, “I am absolutely gorgeous and nobody is fabulous like I am fabulous.” Read it believe it, live it and love you. You deserve to believe and accept what everyone else sees and says. Give that gift of complete and utter self love to yourself.

    Again, THANK YOU for sharing your story and giving me strength to take step one. 🙂

  • aisha_jor

    the fact that her husband married her when she was still fat, shows that he loved her.

  • Skye

    I’d love to have my extra flab removed too. How did they afford all the surgeries? Do you get extra insurance surgeries and benefits when your are obese? I can imagine the total cost of the surgeries were in the millions weren’t they?

    • lisa1022

      the tv show probably paid for it. (TLC)

    • Tani

      After the weight loss, the surgery to remove the skin is free because the skin will be used on burn patients who need it

  • Meg

    While watching this, I was struck with how wondeful she is. She just has such an endearing personality that I really want things to be good for her.

  • Jesus Mora

    Wow! Melissa eres admirable mujer, tienes una gran fuerza de voluntad, eres grande! felicitaciones desde venezuela