It’s been a long and ultimately successful weight loss journey for Ashley Reyes. The Season 5 cast member has lost over half of her peak body weight since filming for the My 600 Lb Life Ashley R episodes began — and, if recent events are any indication, it looks like Ashley may have begun taking back control of her life in other ways, as well.
The first My 600 Lb Life Ashley R episode captured her lowest point
Ashley’s first appearance on My 600 Lb Life came back in 2017, when her peak weight was 668 pounds. During her introductory segment, Ashley said she felt like a “monster” and was completely guilt-ridden due to the burden she felt she’d become for her family. Specifically, Ashley meant her husband, Daniel, and her mother, Blanca, with whom Ashley and Daniel had had to move in so Daniel wouldn’t have to help Ashley with daily tasks all by himself.
Ashley also revealed the source of her weight problem: she’d been sexually abused by an uncle starting at the age of twelve. The trauma of those encounters was so overwhelming, Ashley found herself using food as a coping mechanism.
Ashley felt that her weight was placing a terrible emotional strain on her marriage. “It strains my marriage that I can’t be romantic with him, that we can’t express our love the way we want to, but I just don’t want him to see me….It’s been such a long time that [Daniel] has taken care of me, that I can’t give back,” Ashley, a native of West Hills CA, explained. “I feel disgusted by myself — and how could he not feel that for me too?”
Despite profound anxiety and emotional issues, Ashley’s time with Dr. Nowzaradan showed immediate results. She lost lost 54 pounds quickly, qualified for surgery, and dropped a further 106 pounds in the months following her successful operation.
It was then that Ashley began dealing with the psychological side of her weight loss. She told Dr. Now that she felt sick constantly, but Dr. Now couldn’t find anything physically wrong with her — and suggested she visit a therapist, instead. There, Ashley came to understand she’d spent the better part of two decades equating food deprivation with love deprivation. And the first My 600 Lb Life Ashley R episode concluded with Daniel and Ashley — who now weighed 414 pounds — going on their first date in over a year, then posing for photos together.
Ashley R’s Where Are They Now follow-up was a complete change of pace
This past summer, Ashley’s first follow-up episode aired. From the outset, things were going well: between the end of her first episode and the start of her next, Ashley’s weight loss had increased, to over 300 total pounds.
But, as has been the case with many other successful cast members, Ashley now faced a new problem: she needed skin removal surgery to help her deal with her loose skin and the pain and chafing it caused.
“I had gotten up to 700 pounds,” Ashley said, “and now my body is strethced and disfigured and it’s depressing to see. So my next big goal is to get all this off as soon as possible because I know I can’t stand to let this all hang on my body….I’m working so hard to lose weight and get to a better place.”
By now, Ashley and Daniel’s relationship had healed to the point where he was openly, even happily helping Ashley — and she was willing to accept his help without feeling guilt. “I don’t know what I would have done without you,” Ashley told him, at one point. “I’m starting to feel like I have a marriage.”
How is Ashley Reyes now?
Since that update aired last summer, it seems Ashley has disappeared from social media. Though she’s hardly the first My 600 Lb Life cast member to do so, generally speaking, such disappearances are the result of either controversy or personal tragedy.
In Ashley’s case, though, it seems more like she may have made the decision in order to focus more attention on herself and her weight loss journey. Several of her fellow cast members have made positive public reference to Ashley in the months since her last update; given how tight-knit the cast community is, it feels unlikely that either controversy or tragedy struck Ashley.
We certainly wish Ashley all the best as her weight loss journey continues. Hopefully, she’ll return to social media at some point and let everyone know what’s been happening in her world 🙂 In the meantime, you can stream the first My 600 Lb Life Ashley R episode here, and her Where Are They Now? episode here, via TLC.
(Photo credits: My 600 Lb Life Ashley R via TLC)
John Sharp is a Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @john_starcasm.