TLC’s ‘My 600-lb Life’ has been on air since 2012 providing us with inspirational and heartbreaking stories in one. Each episode of the series follows a different obese individual as they try to lose their weight in Dr. Now’s year-long weight loss program in Houston, Texas. By first guiding them to lose weight with a strict diet plan and then offering them a weight-loss surgery according to their progress, Dr. Now has the same goal as his patients, to provide them with the opportunity to live a long and fit life.
Carlton and Shantel Oglesby My 600-lb Life Journey
Season 8, Episode 8, brings us the story of two siblings Carlton Oglesby (24) and Shantel Oglesby (31), from Columbus, Ohio. Carlton weighed over 780 lbs when the siblings first came in contact with Dr. Now, and his elder sister, Shantel, weighed 638 lbs. The siblings let their food addiction and lifestyle take over them, but they were aware that they couldn’t go on living the same way.
Although they lived in the same home before appearing on the show, Carlton and Shantel admitted that due to their immobility and the stairs between their rooms, they rarely saw each other. While Carlton had trouble doing menial tasks or even cleaning himself up at home downstairs, his sister shared a similar fate, just upstairs. The only difference was that she has the support and care of her husband, Michael, and their kids.
At a young age, both siblings turned to food as a coping mechanism because of their troubled home life thanks to their abusive father. “Food has always been a big part of me and Carlton’s life,” Shantel said. “It’s how we felt love, and it’s how we felt safe.” She added that the two become co-dependent on each other because they felt like “all we have is each other.”
Things got worse when their mother divorced their father. The Oglesby siblings started eating more because their father was no longer around to stop them. Carlton was 300 pounds by the time he was 11 years old, and because of the bullying and harassment he faced, followed by his sister leaving for college, he ate more and gained more weight, which ultimately led him to drop out of school at the age of 15. Even Shantel dropped out of college due to her huge frame. At the age of 23, she met Michael, who fortunately didn’t care about her size. But when she gained 100 lbs during her first pregnancy and another 100 during the seconds, her self-esteem was crushed.
“I never go out anymore. It’s been years since I’ve been out of the house, and now I feel like I’m living to eat,” Shantel said. “Food is like a drug to me, and I have to have it all the time. Food is the only thing that makes my day better.”
Where Are Carlton and Shantel Oglesby Now?
Since neither sibling was first approved for the weight-loss surgery, Dr. Now recommended that they see a therapist to deal with their past demons and provided them with a strict diet so that they could start losing weight on their own. He also warned them that they had to stop being each other’s enablers as it was officially “a matter of life or death.”
Thanks to the therapy and the diet, The Oglesby siblings turned their lives around and had lost a total of 268 lbs combined when they had their first weigh-in. Carlton lost 132 pounds, and Shantel lost 136. By the end of their episode, Carlton was down to 544, having lost more than 242 lbs, and Shantel was at 424 with a total weight loss of 215 lbs. And the most amazing thing? It was all in just six months!
As the episode was ending, both Carlton and Shantel had a newfound confidence. Carlton decided that he would find himself a job and start treating his girlfriend, Monica, better, whereas, Shantel was determined to make up for lost time with her family.
From their social media platforms, it does look like they have continued with their journey and are avoiding going back to their old habits. According to Carlton’s Facebook, he still seems to be in a relationship with Monica, but as his last public post was in 2014, so we can’t be too sure. Shantel, on the other hand, has a public profile and even started a YouTube channel recently to update the fans about her weight-loss journey. So, you can keep up with everything that’s going on in her life there.