Celebrities who lose weight are admired, but the folks on TLC "My 600-lb Life" rise to celebrity status in unenviable ways. Most stories are heart-breaking, but not the story of Zsalynn Whitmore. Hers is a modern-day fairytale with a happy ending. As in Virgil's Aeneid, the formerly obese Zsalynn of TLC's "My 600-lb Life" had to make an epic decision about her destiny. In order to get down to normal-for-her BMI, she had to shed three-quarters of her body weight. Whitmore had to do it without her handsome prince.

Zsalynn's Homeric choice: life or love

"My 600-lb Life" profiles people who by some series of unfortunate events have gotten morbidly obese. Many are not ambulatory anymore even though they may still be very young. In fact, many people with severe obesitydon't live to be very old. Extreme weight kills them with blood clots or other circulation problems, diabetes, stored fat around the organs, heart disease and other crippling lifestyle diseases. Most require custodial care. They must be fed, bathed, and turned (so they don't get bed sores). They cannot care for their children and must be cared for by them. They don't have adoring fans cheering on their weight loss. They are trapped, like Rapunzel, in their body towers.

As you might expect, the patient's family is usually very supportive of weight loss efforts and surgery offered on the show. But not Zsalynn's -- her husband Gareth told her that he liked her grossly overweight. In fact, if she lost weight, she would also lose him and he wouldn't love her anymore.

Zsalynn Whitmore lived happily ever after

Zsalynn believed at first that she needed Gareth's support.She had the gastric bypass surgery done, and then did the follow-up dieting, exercise, and healthier lifestyle activities (which are harder than any surgery, especially to maintain and keep motivated throughout). Whitmore has gotten well over 300 pounds off from her initial starting weight, and is now able to be the mom she wants to be. A picture of her transformation can be seen below: