"My 600-lb Life" Olivia's story taught lots of lessons on weight loss and why bariatric surgery succeeds where lap band fails.  Viewers also learned how bullying, molestation, and depression trigger over-eating and obesity. Olivia's successful transformation proves that cravings, hunger and a 1,000-calorie diet won't kill you, but self-pity and obesity will. Here's how Olivia Cruz used Chicago-style chutzpah to lose over half her body weight. 

Molestation, bullying, depression and comfort eating

47-year-old Olivia weighed 578 pounds and lived holed up in her mom's basement. She was dependent on family for everything. Olivia experienced harassment, bullying and molestation as a kid.

Instead of addressing this pain, Olivia bottled it up and ate her way through. The more she ate, the more depressed she felt, the more obese she got and the less independent she was. That's the obesity-depression merry-go-round. 

Third bariatric surgery is the charm

Olivia had undergone two unsuccessful weight loss surgeries including a lap band. Dr. Younan Nowzaradan was skeptical about whether a third procedure would succeed. Dr. Now warned her that no bariatric surgery will stop a person from overeating if they are determined to. But he also felt confident that the sleeve type gastric bypass would work better--if Olivia would work with it. 

Self-pity, low pain tolerance

Olivia's twin sister deals with obesity, but is also active. The twin was actually the caregiver despite being overweight herself.

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Why? As she says, Olivia was weak where she is strong. Olivia protested being dependent on others yet let them care for her and allowed herself to become virtually bedridden. Olivia's family says she doesn't handle pain well either. When it starts to hurt, she gives in. But so much obesity pain is related to lugging around hundreds of pounds and lymphedema. When that's gone, most of the pain disappears too. And the self-pity turns to self-confidence. 

Hunger doesn't kill, obesity does

Dr. Nowzaradan put Olivia on a 1,000-calorie a day diet and she complained that she was starving to death. But she also found willpower and discovered that those hunger pangs would not kill her but weighing 578 pounds would. So the brave woman decided that with a little Chicago attitude, she could beat all odds--bullying, sexual abuse, shame, depression, self-pity and cravings--and lose weight. Her massive weight loss brought her down under 200 pounds for the first time in years.