Amber Rachdi lost over 260 pounds on “My 600-lb Life”
Amber Rachdi gained worldwide fame following her appearance on Season 3 of My 600–lb Life. At that time she weighed 660 pounds and her life was in danger because of her weight.
Now, five years later, Amber’s lost hundreds of pounds. And she’s unrecognizable!
A healthy diet can be a hard thing to maintain. If you have a family, a partner or many interests, it can be time-consuming to cook healthy food, and sometimes it can even be pretty expensive as well.
Fast food is definitely a trap, though; sure it can be good now and then, but in the long run it’s bad for your health if you eat too much of it. That’s why we’re always told we should work out, because it really is good for your mind, body and soul!
Amber Rachdi – weight loss
There are many inspirational people that teach us how to live a healthy life through exercising, eating healthy and working on our inner peace in order to feel great. But as much as I think these, often physically fit, people can be inspirational, so too are people like Amber Rachdi.
Five years ago, Amber weighed 660 pounds, and her health – and ultimately her life – was in danger. She fought her way back with hard work, both mentally and physically. Following the show, she continued her pursuit of a normal lie. And today, she looks absolutely amazing!
Amber Rachdi was born on June 22, 1990, in Portland, Oregon.
Amber Rachdi – childhood
Already at a young age, Amber struggled with her weight. At five years old, she weighed over 160 pounds.
Her weight problems continued. In her teenage years, she suffered with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, which was triggered by an eating disorder. She took to food to combat her anxiety, eating several huge meals and plenty of candy every day as a form of comfort. By 16, she needed a wheelchair to get around.
For many, the early 20s are all about partying, meeting friends and going to college. For Amber, at 23, it was nothing like that. Her weight had made it impossible to even do the smallest things, like taking a bath or walking down the stairs by herself.
Her parents cooked her meals, with her mother Patty saying that food “calms her down”.
“I have a lot of anxiety and I am at peace when I eat,” Amber admitted.
Amber was raised in Troutdale, Oregon, where she lived together with her parents and boyfriend, Rowdy. She sometimes accompanied her boyfriend when he would go grocery shopping, though she needed a mobility scooter to get around.
The couple couldn’t even be intimate with one another, which started to frustrate them both.
“I do feel guilty,” Rowdy said. “But what else do you do when you love someone?”
Prisoner in her own home
Amber Rachdi admitted that she had gained over 200 pounds since she started dating Rowdy.
“I could be stuffed sick but I would still want to eat something if it was put in front of me,” she said.
“I’ve tried so hard, so many times, to change the way I eat. But I can’t. I’m already such a failure. Why not just keep failing? I hate being in public. I feel like a sideshow.”
Amber suffered infections in between the folds of her skin, and needed a long brush to clean with. Because of her weight, she was a prisoner in her own home, unable to stand up for more than 30 minutes at a time. Amber described herself as a “nasty monster”, but at 23 years old everything would change.
Now weighing 660 pounds, she was told she wouldn’t live past her 30th birthday if she didn’t do something. Her life was at risk, and so Amber decided it was time for a change.
Amber starred on TLC’s My 600-lb Life, where the viewers got to follow each step of her trying to get back to a more normal weight, and therefore life.
Amber Rachdi – My 600-lb Life
The show was filmed in Houston, Texas, where she’d met her new doctor, which meant Amber had to travel by plane.
The Daily Mail reported that her weight crushed her own wheelchair at the airport. It lead to her father, Abe, having to wheel her through the airport in an oversized luggage cart.
Amber also had to purchase two seats on the plane to fit, however she still had a hard time sitting there, as she almost couldn’t squeeze into the row.
Amber, a college dropout who had been unemployed for several years, met with surgeon Dr Nowzaradan, also known as “Dr Now” in Houston, Texas. The plan was for Amber to undergo a gastric bypass to reduce her enlarged stomach, but she couldn’t just do it right away.
Nowzaradan said that she had to lose at least 20 pounds in order for him to “even consider” performing surgery.
“This is a bad situation,” he said.
Eating healthy and exercise
Amber didn’t have any option. She had to start losing weight in order to get the surgery, and she started right away. She realized the seriousness of the situation.
The family quickly moved with her to Houston, to show their support and to be closer to Dr Nowzaradan. She began her journey by eating healthy meals including chicken and vegetables, even though her boyfriend Rowdy continued to eat unhealthy food on the other side of the table.
It tempted Amber, but she was strong. She knew she had but one path forward, and it was the healthy one. She didn’t have an option to do anything else.
At the same time, Amber started working out again with slow and gentle exercises.
“Starting to walk again has been difficult,” she explained. “It hurts and it’s hard.”
Dr Nowzaradan wanted her to lose 20 pounds in order to perform the surgery. Amber lost 17 pounds over the course of three months, but it was enough for “Dr Now” to perform the gastric bypass.
Amber Rachdi – Dr Now
So who was Dr Nowzaradan? In an interview with Houstonia Magazine, he said that he didn’t make any mone performing the surgeries, but instead focused on giving people a second chance in life.
“Looking at the moral obligation that we’ve got, you see somebody who has no life who could have a life,” he said.
“We don’t need to be rich. We do make a living, but we don’t need to worry about making a living out of every patient we see.”
So, his motivation truly is to help people have healthy and productive lives, instead of eating their lives away.
“I never let the camera change my behavior toward any patient,” Dr Nowzaradan explained. “I do exactly the same thing if the camera is there or not.”
The bypass surgery for Amber’s stomach was a success, and reduced it from the size of a football to the size of a baseball. A few days later, though, she was rushed to the hospital.
The chest pains she was suffering, which she took to be a heart attack, turned out to be anxiety.
She started seeing a counselor about her anxiety to help her control it. Her comfort couldn’t be eating anymore; she had to find other ways of being happy.
Amber Rachdi – weight loss
Amber Rachdi simply wouldn’t give up. She was determined to create a better life for herself. She dreamt about being a mother, and having a family and children.
My 600-lb Life aired for eight seasons, with the first one airing in 2012. It’s important to point out that the people the show feature have strict medical supervision, and this isn’t something you should try for yourself without the help of an expert.
Of course, the show is great at helping obese people to lose weight. Even so, according to Amber, it wasn’t a walk in the park.
On her Facebook page, according to In Touch Weekly, Amber Rachdi described it as a “crummy experience”.
“They exert a certain kind of pressure and lack a human touch sometimes,” she wrote. “They assumed we would be difficult and were rather forceful with their demands? It didn’t feel good, respectful, or mutually beneficial working with the production. There are lovely individuals on their payroll, and I met some incredible people, but it definitely wasn’t an experience I want to repeat.”
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It’s now been five years since Amber Rachdi appeared on My-600-lb Life, and, well, she’s undergone an amazing transition.
Amber Rachdi – today
After nine months, she’d lost 145 pounds, and was able to go shopping for the first time in forever. She was a 2X size in comparison to 6X, which she had been to begin with.
She lost 267lbs from her starting 660-pound weight over the course of a year. Finally, she had the independence that she longed for, and was finally able to fit behind the wheel and drive a car.
Following the ending of the show, Amber’s family moved back to Oregon, with her and Rowdy staying in Houston. They could finally go on that second date they never were able to go through with.
“I surprised myself.” Amber concludes. “I’m shopping for myself, I’m eating healthy and I’m working out. I’ve taken control of my life.”