The My 600 Lb Life Brandon episode takes on an unusual urgency for a series already well-known for its life-and-death stakes. Though Brandon certainly agrees that his life depends on losing “drastic amounts” of weight, Brandon also feels tremendous pressure to get healthy before proposing to the love of his life…or risk losing her forever.
One week after presenting Lacey and her “ticking clock waiting to go off,” My 600 Lb Life introduces us to Brandon, who brings to the show a big heart and a beautiful singing voice. TLC’s episode synopsis makes it clear that Brandon isn’t just a karaoke god: he “wants a career” with his voice, and is just as determined to “take the next step with his girlfriend,” Taylor.
It’s just as clear that Taylor feels strongly about Brandon, as she makes the journey to Dr. Nowzaradan’s Houston offices with him. But the mere act of traveling to the airport for the southbound flight takes a tremendous emotional toll on Brandon, something highlighted by his episode’s first preview clip:
“As I was walking by a family, one of the children said, ‘Wow, he’s fat. Super fat,'” Brandon says in the clip. “And also, I’ve already had several adults stare at me. And that wears on you.”
When Brandon and Taylor make it to their gate, Taylor asks him what’s wrong, and what’s going on his mind. Only then does Brandon break down. “I one hundred percent regret this right now,” he says, wiping away tears. “I cannot believe it.”
The scene continues with Brandon’s tears, while the voice-over narration picks up his thoughts. “I’m just feeling really overwhelmed,” Brandon goes on. “About everything. Just, the whole process is very difficult. It’s so much easier to just stay at home. And not worry about, you know, ‘All eyes on me.’
“But even though that’s not how I want to live,” Brandon continues, “this is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’m starting to freak out, and I want to go home. ‘Cause I don’t think that I can do this. I have so much of this trip left to go. And I shouldn’t have convinced myself that I was ready to do anything like this…because I’m not.”
Monsters and Critics’ preview of the My 600 Lb Life Brandon episode offers a bit more detail on the physical difficulty Brandon faces while traveling. Like so many of his fellow My 600 Lb Life cast mates, Brandon suffers from lymphedema in his left leg. And, while surgery is now an option for people with the condition — something that My 600 Lb Life Season 6 star Janine Mueller knows very well — it remains to be seen whether Dr. Now performed the removal surgery on Brandon.
In addition, a second preview clip further highlights Brandon’s situation and the pressure he puts on himself. For one thing, Brandon notes “It’s not fair that my mom has to provide for me, when I should be helping her out.” And for another, Brandon acknowledges that he wants to propose to his girlfriend, Taylor, but refuses to even consider doing so while so overweight. “She’d be saying yes to being my caretaker,” Brandon says. “And that’s not fair to her.”
Finally, Brandon adds that he and Taylor “don’t do boyfriend-girlfriend stuff partly because of my size….Taylor and I do not partake in intimacy because we’re not married yet. We’re waiting until we’re married, but that won’t happen until I’m able to actually lose the weight — and I can give her what she deserves.
“I know that if I don’t lose weight in drastic amounts,” Brandon concludes, “I will die.”
The My 600 Lb Life Brandon episode premieres tonight at eight on TLC. Brandon’s “Supersized” episode, featuring additional and expanded scenes, airs tomorrow night at ten.
(Photo credits: My 600 Lb Life Brandon via TLC)
John Sharp is Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @john_starcasm.