Lindsey Witte appeared on Season 8, Episode 2 of TLC’s My 600-lb. Life. During the episode, Lindsey, who weighed 647.6 pounds at the start of filming, explained that her problems with food began at an early age, and were fueled by her father Tom’s toxic behaviors. She first gained weight as a small child, reaching 125 pounds by age five, because her dad showed love to her by bringing treats. Soon, though, her father betrayed Lindsey and her family in multiple ways and she turned to food to cope with the hurt his actions caused her.
Lindsey’s mom says she thought she was cooking balanced, healthy meals, so she was surprised when Lindsey quickly gained an unhealthy amount of weight. She attributes Lindsey’s increase in weight to her dad always bringing home sweet treats and pizza.
Lindsey’s problematic relationship with food escalated at age 10 when she reached over 200 pounds. It was then that she experienced trauma when her dad tried to kill himself because he was overwhelmed by having multiple affairs.
Lindsey’s parents soon got divorced and Tom almost immediately married his mistress. After the divorce Lindsey’s perception of her dad shifted overnight from a “safe, fun person” to a “negative force” in her life. The fact that he could move on so quickly made Lindsey feel like she was unimportant.
As a teenager, Lindsey got a job at a fast food restaurant, which didn’t help her eating habits, but it did allow her to earn enough money to buy a truck by the time she was 19 years old. Her father hurt her even further by stealing her truck in order to run away from his second wife with his third wife. He later sold Lindsey’s truck and kept the money.
Lindsey was extremely hurt by this but instead of processing her father’s betrayal and theft of her truck, she stuffed down and numbed her feelings with food.
Lindsey was over 400 pounds at this age, but she was still mobile and had dreams of attending community college in her hometown of Burlington, Iowa. Her dad, however, further contributed negatively to her life by thwarting her plans. He convinced her to not go to college and to instead move to Missouri to live with him and his third wife.
Tom sold Lindsey on the idea that life with him and his third wife was going to be an amazing experience, but when she moved in with them it became a completely different story. They were constantly screaming and fighting, which led Lindsey to develop panic attacks. She used food to cope with her stress and panic for a few years.
Eventually, one of Lindsey’s friends helped her move back to Iowa where she immediately resumed her job at the fast food restaurant. Her weight continued to climb to over 500 pounds back in Iowa in her mid-twenties when she met a boyfriend who turned out to be a feeder who encouraged her to gain even more weight.
CLICK HERE to get an update on Lindsey’s weight loss progress, and the state of her marriage to Paul.
PHOTO: Lindsey Witt, TLC