The path to obesity was scary enough for Kirstin Perez. But what drove her to bariatric surgery on "My 600-lb Life" is the real horror story. Season five asks: can gastric bypass surgery and weight loss steer a 600-lb 38-year-old away from a head-on collision with death? Dr. Younan Nowzaradan believes it can, but only Perez can say for sure.

My 600-lb living hell

TLC features Kirstin Perez, a recovering drug addict. While she should be celebrating sobriety, Kirstin's life is shrouded in sorrow. Recovery, or the addiction itself, left her 450 pounds overweight, in constant pain, and in need of bariatric surgery.

At 38-years-old, the young mom of two never goes anywhere. She stays in the house because obesity is crippling her. You can hear labored breathing in every step. And she's getting heavier as one poignant incident showed.

Kirstin Perez is disabled by obesity

Perez knew she had to start getting out more or she'd go "stir crazy." She decided to hit up a nearby yard sale. But the simple act of walking to the car took 10 minutes. Walking down a few steps was agonizing. And that was nothing compared to getting into the car. Viewers cry with Perez as her mother tries to close the door and can't because her daughter's obese body is blocking it. The realization hits that she cannot walk and now can't ride either. And as reality television viewers have learned from Dr Younan Nowzaradan of "My 600-lb Life," that means homebound, wheelchair-bound, and bedridden down the road.

Lose weight before weight loss surgery?

Before "My 600-lb Life" can help, Kirstin must prove that she can lose weight prior to bariatric surgery. Dr. Nowzaradan needs to know that she is healthy enough to operate on. This concern was echoed on "Botched" when Reality TV star Mama June Shannon wanted plastic surgery. Physicians denied her a tummy tuck because she hadn't lost enough weight for it to be safe.

Doctors also need some assurance that patients can change eating habits.

Kirstin Perez has what weight loss takes

With or without gastric bypass surgery, weight loss has to include diet and exercise as "The Doctors" say. Even before seeing this "My 600-lb Life" episode, viewers know Perez has got this. Like Amber Rachdi of season three, she's not playing the self-pity, denial, or blame games.

The young mom looks weight gain in the face. And if she could kick a drug addiction, weight loss will be walk in the park! Perez didn't specify whether she was addicted to street drugs, prescription painkillers, or something else, but, next to any of those, a food addiction is beatable too.

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