The My 600 Lb Life Tiffany Barker episode captures a bright young woman plagued for years by depression and humiliation brought about by obesity. For Tiffany, who once dreamed of life as a chef in her own restaurant, daily reality can be almost too much to bear — something we’re forced to witness via one of the more rude moments in My 600 Lb Life history.
Per TLC’s official synopsis for Tiffany’s episode, things did look good for the 28-year-old at the outset of her weight loss journey. Tiffany moved to Houston “with the solid support network of her boyfriend Aaron and her cousin Jasmine.” But as is so often the case on My 600 Lb Life, it’s mental and emotional difficulties that threaten to derail Tiffany’s efforts: she finds it difficult to break the cycle of depressed eating when her two roommates don’t join her diet and leave the house every day for work.”
That depression is evident in the first available clip from the My 600 Lb Life Tiffany Barker episode. The video — embedded below — finds Tiffany and Aaron at the grocery store, which by Tiffany’s own admission is one of her favorite places. But even there, her voice is muted and her enthusiasm is hard to find.
“Shopping for food is something that I absolutely love,” says Tiffany, who trained as a chef and worked in restaurants until her size made moving around in commercial kitchens too difficult. “Aside from eating, it’s my favorite thing to do. And it fills me with such excitement when I find what I want.
“But all this activity takes a toll on me,” says Tiffany, echoing last week’s new cast member Maja Radanovic as she starts to head back to the car. “And it gets to be so hard to move. My hip and my legs are in so much pain. And it takes just about everything in me to make it back to the car. It’s so exhausting.”
More exhausting is what happens to Tiffany in the parking lot. A car follows her for several moments, honking at Tiffany while waiting to turn down the aisle she’s crossing. After the car is parked, its driver gets out and tells Tiffany she shouldn’t be in the way. When Tiffany apologizes and points out that she’s handicapped, the woman asks Tiffany why she thinks she should care.
“Stuff like that happens all the time when I go out,” a dejected Tiffany, sitting in her car, explains. “People either stare and point at me, or they make comments about how I’m in the way. People are really brutal and judgmental when you’re my size. And they don’t understand how hard it is for someone like me to do this and get around. I try to ignore it…but you never really get used to it.”
Hopefully, Tiffany’s support network will come through, and she’ll continue My 600 Lb Life Season 7’s streak of success stories.
New episodes of My 600 Lb Life air Wednesday nights at 8 on TLC.
(Photo credits: My 600 Lb Life Tiffany Barker via TLC)
John Sharp is Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @john_starcasm.