Amber Rachdi was different from most other morbidly obese patients on "#My 600-lb Life" and folks saw that right away. She was young, beautifully made up, and brutally honest with no self-delusions. She has the face of a celebrity. But at 660 pounds, Amber couldn't stand upright, let alone care for herself. However with grit, gastric bypass surgery, and gasp-worthy weight loss, the 26-year-old has been able to reverse killer obesity.
The 160-lb 5-year-old
So obesity began young for Amber.
She says she weighed almost 160 pounds at five, the same as a slightly overweight adult woman. The Portland, Oregon native recounts having to be weighed on a scale for the wheelchair-bound at 16, and realizing that she weighed more than a person plus a piece of equipment. In her erudite, unflinching self-analysis, Amber worked out that she is driven by anxiety and always seeking approval. Treats meant rewards, which meant pleasure for her and others.
Shame: the ultimate eating disorder
Amber Rachdi freely admits that she has an eating disorder. But unlike anorexia, she can't stop eating. Amber deals with a lot of anxiety which she self-medicates with food. She's still hungry even when she's stuffed and sick.
But under it all, Amber remains courageously realistic. She says she's put her family through so much, and though they'd never admit it, she's a disappointment. Fear of failure is a common theme. And food, her usual coping mechanism, is now no longer available.
Chutzpah, charisma, candor inspire
All the folk on "My 600-lb Life" are remarkable: some for their amazing transformations after gastric bypass surgery and others in their shocking delusion and denial. Amber Rachdi did none of the excuse-making, blame, or self-pity that Penny Saeger showed. Rachdi admitted that her parents and boyfriend enabled her, but laid full responsibility for the food addiction at her own door. Amber said she felt pity from her mother, but understood that it stemmed from fear for her life. Dad's comments about weight gain hurt, but Rachdi didn't act bitter.
Boyfriend, bariatric surgery, bona-fide attitude
After Dr. Nowzaradan performed gastric bypass surgery, you could see the weight "melt off" as one commenter put it. Nothing, it seemed, could stop Amber Rachdi except perhaps that too-accommodating boyfriend Rowdy. He's another of those co-dependent enablers, so common on "My 600-lb Life" who seem to want to keep the obese person dependent and making unhealthy choices. Since her bariatric surgery and weight loss, Amber and Rowdy have broken up. She's seeing a therapist to heal anxiety, anger, guilt and shame. The now-platinum blonde has speaking gigs, lives independently, and drives again. She has relationships instead of caregivers as Melissa Morris from season one so aptly put it. She inspires fans on social media and her happy smile says it all.