Despite losing an incredible 37st 5lbs and now weighing just over 13st, Christina Phillips admits she still feels like an obese person.
The 25-year-old from South Haven, Mississippi, lost 523lbs of her 708lb (50st 5lbs) frame after having life-saving gastric bypass surgery. Her journey was documented on TLC show My 600lb Life back in 2014.
But, two years on, she says she’s still struggling to come to terms with her weight loss, admitting she ‘freaks out’ and will stop eating for days if she puts on even the smallest amount of weight.
‘I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past couple of years, and lately any time I see the scale go up, I tend to freak out and I will stop eating for a couple days,’ she says in a preview clip for follow up programme My 600lb Life: Where Are They Now? which airs this week.
She says she still feels like she’s obese and she’s scared of ‘disappointing people’ by gaining the weight back.
‘I know I’m not 700lbs anymore, but I still feel that way. And I don’t know how to change how I feel,’ she adds.
Christina’s battle with her weight started as a child. She would comfort eat because her parents fought a lot when she was younger. By the time she turned 12, she weighed 21st.
Before her gastric bypass surgery, shown on the show in 2014, Christina was almost entirely immobile and lived with her parents, relying on husband Zach to wash and feed her.
Houston weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan estimated she was eating around 7,000 calories a day.
Now, despite losing a huge amount of weight, she still struggles with the emotional scars of her transformation.
She divorced Zach a year ago, after he struggled to cope with her newfound independence, and she is terrified of letting people down.
At the beginning I had a lot of people doubt me,’ she says. ‘I was in a really abusive relationship. And that definitely, I think, has had a negative impact on me. It hurts. In my heart, in my head.’
She still struggles to leave the house, explaining: ‘It’s weird when I was 700lbs I couldn’t even get out of the house, but now that I can I still don’t feel normal.’
Dr Nowzaradan has now asked her to see a therapist to help deal with her body issues. ‘I know I need to work through some things,’ she says.