Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty once held the spurious honor of being the "World's Heaviest Woman." Even TLC Reality TV folks on "My 600-lb Life" look small in comparison. Weighing in at 1,100 pounds, the Alexandria, Egypt resident outdid the former heaviest woman, Mayra Rosales. Rosales, the "half-ton killer" confessed to murdering her 2-year-old nephew by sitting on him. Mayra was vindicated and able to turn her life around with 800-lb weight-loss. Now, so has Eman Ahmed, thanks to life-saving gastric bypass surgery.

Strange disease afflicts 'World's Biggest Woman'

"My 600-lb Life" viewers know that the morbidly obese often suffer from lifestyle diseases related to obesity. Pre-diabetes, Type 2 diabetes (formerly called sugar diabetes) hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, certain forms of cancer, heart failure and other health risks increase as weight does. But less is known about diseases that cause obesity. Prader-Willi syndrome affects hunger and causes people not to feel satiated. Depression and some antidepressant and SSRI drugs can cause dangerous weight gain. Thyroid problems (hypothyroidism) can too. Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty (also spelled Eman Ahmed Abdulati) suffered from a rare disease that blocks the lymphatic system, called "elephantiasis."

Eman Ahmed too big for gastric sleeve

You may have thought, as so many do, that bariatric surgery fixes everything.

But for the morbidly obese, gastric sleeve surgery is too dangerous. They must lose weight in order to have weight-loss surgery. And with her disease, the "world's heaviest woman" was going to need something drastic. In cases of elephantiasis, the platitudinous "diet and exercise" don't work. But they help, at least diet does.

Dr. Now of TLC's "My 600-lb Life" puts patients on a liquid diet before and after bariatric surgery. Eman Ahmed did this liquid diet and lost 100 pounds. She'd had one stroke already, but finally, physicians were able to implant the gastric sleeve. With tons of hard work, the 36-year-old lost a massive 713 pounds, bringing her down to a livable 398 pounds, making her diabetes manageable.

Whatever happened to 'Half-Ton Killer' Mayra Rosales?

Rosales was the former "World's Heaviest Woman" but she was no murderer. The Texas woman horrified the world when she confessed to squashing and smothering her nephew accidentally. It turns out Mayra covered up something, but not the child. In her vulnerable, immobile state, the "Half-Ton Killer" lied to protect her abusive sister. The story turned attention toward obesity and its crippling effects. It prompted shows like "My 600-lb Life" to explore life-saving options. TLC follows patients like Sean Milliken who failed weight-loss and is virtually a prisoner of his Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy mom. But Rosales and Eman Ahmed prove that there is hope, and that anyone can lose weight and reverse weight-related problems.