Ashley Reyes is an atypical patient on "My 600-lb Life" in many ways. It's not the morbid obesity: at 668 pounds, Ashley is on par with other Reality TV show patients. It's her bizarre pain after gastric bypass surgery that provides haunting but also helpful clues to origins of extreme weight gain. After a 255-lb weight loss, "Ashley R's story" uncovered an oddly crucial link to weight loss following bariatric surgery.

True celebrity weight loss on 'My 600-lb Life'

Think of celebrities who've lost weight and Hollywood comes to mind, not a reality TV show about obesity.

But the TLC reality show features some of the most celebrated makeovers ever. More than Jenny Craig or Jillian Michaels, these people overcome incredible life threatening odds in pursuit of health. Thanks to a bariatric surgeon named Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, people shed half to 3/4 of their body weight to find a normal life. They literally pull themselves back from the brink of death. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, cholesterol, and heart disease will kill 95% of the morbidly obese in a very short time.

Ashley Reyes expresses horrific body image issues

Celebrity media is full of caution against fat shaming and body image issues. Celebrities like Oprah are promoting big body love and accepting your body whatever size it is.

More plus-sized models are appearing. To question this is tantamount to body-shaming. But the people on "My 600-lb Life" can't afford to accept their obesity or they will die. Some weigh a quarter to one-half a ton, Season 5's Ashley Reyes calls herself a "monster" with a body that "doesn't resemble a human form." Ashley is surprisingly tall with smaller legs that have trouble supporting her large stomach.

She is in constant pain, lives with her husband at her parents' home, and must be cared for like a child.

Obesity's shocking link to sexual abuse

After gastric bypass surgery, Ashley R. lost 255 pounds, but began to feel extreme pain. TLC reality television therapists told her that bottled-up trauma was causing psychosomatic pain and derailing weight loss.

Finally, the truth came out and Ashley shared terrifying child sexual abuse by an uncle when she was 12. Losing the repressed shame was cathartic and she began to lose weight again. The therapist explained an enigmatic aspect of weight gain. Patients eat to compensate for a lack of love. They see dieting as a form of deprivation (which they avoid). They fill the unmet needs with food. Once Ashley understood that, she was able to change her relationship with food.