Karina Garcia has come a long way since TLC’s cameras began filming for her My 600 Lb Life episode. The 38-year-old Texan’s introductory weight was 633 pounds, and her eating was out of control even with a gastric balloon. Since then, Karina has lost over a third of her weight, continues to drop pounds, and even has plans for skin removal surgery.
Karina explained that the severe asthma she suffered as a young girl got her plenty of attention from her family — and that she used the comfort of food to replace the attention when her health improved and her parents had to work long hours to pay Karina’s medical bills.
“When I was younger and in the hospital, everyone paid attention to me, and now it was like I didn’t exist at all,” said Karina, who weighed 100 pounds at age 10, 250 pounds at age 15, and over 400 pounds at age 23. “But I really just wanted a little attention. I wanted a hug, but they were too busy to give it, so food was my hug….Before school and with my allowance, I would buy junk food: chips, soda, cookies, cupcakes. Food was always there to comfort me no matter what.”
Fortunately, it sounds like Karina’s been doing a great job staying positive and maintaining her weight loss since the My 600 Lb Life Karina episode finished filming: her total weight loss has now surpassed 235 pounds. (Karina’s before and after photos can be found here.)
And in a new interview with Newsweek, Karina described her plan for the rest of 2018, saying, “My goal right now is to lose as much weight as possible this year so I can get skin removal surgery by the end of this year.”
While Karina does still live with her parents, she’s trying to bring that chapter of her life to a close as quickly as possible: “I am hoping to be out of my parents’ house pretty soon and back to work.”
In addition, Karina’s short-term goals include getting around without a walker and being “able to do stuff that I stopped doing, like traveling.”
Karina added that she’s gotten used to going without her favorite foods, especially since she’s replaced them with one new one — “I never used to like to eat fish,” Karina shared, “but now I like to eat fish.” And she had nothing but praise for Dr. Now, who she credited with getting her on the right track. “He has helped me do what I need to do in order to lose weight, and he has helped me get my life back,” she said.
You can stream the My 600 Lb Life Karina episode here. New episodes of My 600 Lb Life continue to air Wednesday nights at 8 on TLC.
(Photo credits: My 600 Lb Life Karina via TLC)