On TLC’s ‘My 600-lb Life,’ morbidly obese individuals who generally weigh over 600 pounds share their remarkable journeys to healthy living. A renowned bariatric surgeon named Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, often known as Dr. Now, provides them with a customized treatment that includes rigorous diets and workouts. He creates individualized diet and activity regimens for patients so they can shed enough pounds to be eligible for weight reduction surgery.
Since its launch in 2012, the reality TV show has featured a number of patients and their hardships and victories. While some people go through the procedure more quickly, others have a much tougher road to their goal weight. Irene Walker, who appeared in season 9 episode 11, also had a similar journey riddled with many ups and downs. This made her quite well-known among the show’s fans, who must be wondering about her current whereabouts. If you’re curious to know about the same, here’s everything we found out!
Irene Walker’s My 600-lb Life Journey
Weighing 603 pounds, Irene Walker appeared in season 9 as a 39-year-old woman from Houston, Texas. At the time, she was forced to move back with her son, niece, and daughter-in-law because her excessive weight didn’t allow her to do anything on her own. While introducing herself, Irene said, “My daily life is such a struggle now because of how my size has gotten… I’m able to still get around and do some basic things for myself, like cleaning myself on my own still. So I push myself to do that. But it’s hard. Eating is what I do most of the day. It’s the only thing that brings me the pleasure that I want.”
With the help of everyone around, Irene fulfilled her junk food addiction throughout her day. Her compulsive eating habit was a result of years of childhood and adult-life trauma. It first began with witnessing her parents’ separation at the young age of 5. Irene said her father was abusive towards her mother. Although the separation was for the better, it still took a toll on Irene, and her depression prompted her to seek comfort in fast food. This continued for the longest time, and she already weighed over 250 pounds when she started high school.
At school, Irene faced bullying and insecurity over her body which further jolted her confidence. When she was 17, things only got worse for Irene as she got involved in an abusive relationship, where the boy left her once she got pregnant. She dealt with it all with food, but within the next two years, Irene had to suffer through the loss of her father, mother, older sister, and aunt, basically her entire support system.
At once, Irene became homeless and had to live in a shelter for women and children, but got evicted from there, too, after getting pregnant with her another child. She carried on overeating and gave birth to three more children after that. However, she slowly found herself embroiled in alcohol and drug abuse. But when Child Protection Services took away the custody of her three youngest children, Irene worked on overcoming substance abuse and sobered up. After that, she decided to get her life back by getting rid of all her addictions, including food, to regain custody of her kids.
Thus, Irene approached Dr. Now for professional help, and she was assigned the task of losing 60 pounds in 2 months to get approval for bariatric surgery. Upon her next visit, it was revealed that she had only lost 5 pounds, because of which Dr. Now granted her another two months. However, Irene failed to follow up with the doctor, blaming it on the COVID-19 pandemic. The doctor, nevertheless, gave her another two months after she promised to get back on track. This time, Irene religiously followed her weight-loss plan. She reached 535 pounds and ultimately got approved for bariatric surgery.
Where is Irene Walker Today?
Once Irene successfully lost around 68 pounds after a total period of about one year and three months from her first meeting, she finally qualified for gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Now did say that he was proud of her for sticking to her diet and losing the weight at once, despite realizing the worth a bit late. However, Irene’s surgery had to be postponed because of the nationwide lockdown that was going on at the time. She was asked to continue losing enough weight every month until the situation was relaxed.
Regarding the delay, Irene said, “It’s not a setback, just a delay… So no matter what comes my way, I’m not going to get distracted… I’m staying dedicated.” Irene did continue eating healthy and losing about 10 pounds every month, thus maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to the latest updates, her bariatric surgery was scheduled in August of the same year. Though Irene has not given an official update on it, Irene does look healthier and can do most of her work without the help of others.
Irene can even drive a car by herself, which means she has been successfully losing weight to lead a fuller life. She sometimes shares pictures with her nieces and nephews as they go out having fun together. However, Irene has not provided any updates on her weight loss as of writing. Thus, as Irene Walker continues her journey toward a healthier life, we only wish her more success and happiness in the future ahead.