The untold truth of My Big Fat Fabulous Life

Since first premiering on TLC in January 2015, My Big Fat Fabulous Life has become one of the network's biggest success stories. After going viral on YouTube with A Fat Girl Dancing, the show's star, Whitney Way Thore, was able to translate her popularity to the small screen and, along with her family and closest friends, has been raking in the ratings ever since. The debut episode drew in 1.3 million viewers and the series is showing no signs of slowing down.

In August 2017, a TVision Insights survey that set out to find which television program has the most engaged viewers discovered that MBFFL fans actually have the highest attention index, making them incredibly engaged. Not surprisingly, the show premiered its fifth season in January 2018.

No matter how authentic it seems, however, there are some dark secrets hiding behind the scenes of the uplifting show. Here is the untold truth of My Big Fat Fabulous Life and its cast of beloved characters.  

Fans have evidence the show might be scripted

A major part of Whitney's appeal has been her ability to be incredibly real about all aspects of her life, both good and bad. However, some fans believe that not everything on My Big Fat Fabulous Life is as legit as it seems. And they have proof.

Speculation about the show's authenticity first began in March 2018 when a fan took to Reddit to point out a fishy scene from the ninth episode of Season 4 that seemed a little too perfect. Asking, "Was Whitney's Guardian Angel aka 'John from the Army' a hired actor?", the Redditor speculated, "Around the time that Whitney hit the wall in her 8K fun run, she encounters a 'woke' stranger with some heavy words of motivation. 'John from the Army' just happens to be mic'd up for the race and he's wearing a shirt from Whitney's alma mater Appalachian State University. Is that a coincidence?" He went on to add, "If you watch carefully, you'll see a microphone on the back of this guy under his T-shirt!"

Fellow viewers immediately began to concur with one pointing out another questionable incident from Season 3, recalling "the guy who was mic'd up and ready to insult her on camera at the Pride parade last season. He wasn't even convincing," the fan declared. "It was the most uncomfortable, fake insult I've ever seen."

Whitney's life wasn't always so fabulous

The happy, self-assured Whitney fans see on the small screen these days is a far cry from the young Whitney who suffered great pain in middle school at the hands of unrelenting bullies.

Opening up about her childhood in her 2016 memoir, I Do it With the Lights On, the reality star revealed that, when she was in the fifth grade, her life couldn't have felt any less fabulous. Despite growing up in a loving home and excelling in academics, boys used to taunt her because of her 190-pound frame, calling her "Baby Beluga" and chanting "She's a whale of a tale."

The following year, she went through a growth spurt and slimmed down, but the teasing didn't stop. The "Baby Beluga song from fifth grade was replaced with a new one," she wrote. "This one went: Whitney Thore is a whore. On the floor. Of the store. She lies down and asks for more."

Despite the extremely insulting nature of the rhyme, she admitted, "In some ways, I was happy to trade the identity of 'fat girl' for 'whore'. I'm not sure which one I thought was worse [but] I was happy to swap being fat for being practically anything else."

Glenn Thore has kept his career under wraps

While Whitney may be the undisputed star of the show, her parents, Barbara and Glenn Thore, have become fan favorites. In fact, they've managed to build quite the following of their own with viewers taking to social media to sing their praises. Viewers like Constance Marceau who wrote, "Loves me some Babs and Glenn. Their unconditional love for @WhitneyWay and Hunter is, in a word, FANTASTIC. Not everyone is so lucky!"

Even with all the attention, however, the duo has managed to keep much of their day-to-day life under wraps. While Babs' past is still a pretty big question mark, Life & Style was able to uncover some details about Glenn's life off-camera

As the outlet discovered in 2017, Glenn was working as a Corporate Manufacturing Manager for Millennium Print Group, a "very unique and distinctive printer [offering] offset lithography with a full array of bindery services" located in Morrisville, North Carolina. Before that, he was a General Manager, then a VP, at PBM Graphics, a "national leader in commercial printing and fulfillment services" in Durham, North Carolina.

Lennie Alehat has a violent past... and a fake name

Not all is as it seems when it comes to Whitney's ex, Lennie Alehat. Just days after fans learned that the reality TV star had gotten pregnant with Lennie, they were heartbroken to find out that doctors had dubbed it a non-viable pregnancy. Soon after, they were in for another shock, as it was revealed that Lennie has a criminal past and has been using a fake name all along.

According to RadarOnline, Lennie was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) on November 15, 2008 after authorities in North Carolina found he was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit. But that's not all. According to court documents, he actually got into a fight with the arresting officers and "refused to stop spitting on police equipment." Yikes!

Making matters worse, he violated his probation and, as of February 2017, had two active warrants out for his arrest. Both were linked to threats he made in July 2016, allegedly telling two individuals, "I will kick your a** and drag you out the damn store."

To top off all the drama, Lennie isn't even his real name — it's an alias for his real monicker, Nathaniel David Lee.  

Buddy Bell has been arrested and convicted

Whitney's ex, Lennie Alehat, isn't the only cast member from My Big Fat Fabulous Life with a dark past. As it turns out, the dancer's best friend and former roommate, Buddy Bell, also has skeletons in his closet.

As a RadarOnline investigation revealed, Bell was arrested in 2014 and charged with a number of serious crimes after allegedly assaulting a police officer at a Queens of the Stone Age concert taking place at Memorial Auditorium on January 30, 2014.

As the Wave County Criminal Court confirmed, Bell was not only charged with "assaulting a government official," but also with "second-degree trespassing, resisting a public officer, public intoxication and disorderly conduct." When all was said and done, he was fined $380 and given 45 days of probation for disorderly conduct.

There's also a second similarity between his and Lennie's past: Bell has not been using his legal name on the show. The moniker that appears on his birth certificate is in fact Luby Bell.

Whitney's greatest enemy is a doctor

Living in the public eye comes with its share of downsides, like receiving plenty of unsolicited scrutiny. Trolls are unavoidable in the age of social media, but it's hard to believe that one of Whitney's biggest critics is actually an individual whose profession dictates showing compassion for others: a doctor.

Taking to Facebook in February 2017, Whitney shared an unbelievable piece of hate mail she received from someone claiming to be a California MD. "There is nothing about your life that is 'fabulous,'" the hater wrote. "When you are a big fat sow as you are, it is a disgusting existence. You need to get out of denial and do something about your extreme obesity."

After admitting that she almost cried while reading the harsh words, the television personality revealed, "Perhaps the thing that disturbs me the most is his assessment that nothing about my life is 'Fabulous' and that, because of my weight, I lead a 'disgusting existence.'"

She clapped back, "I have definitely led an 'existence.' I know that my life has been messy and complicated and overwhelmingly wonderful and I am not defined by how fat I am." She concluded, "All human beings deserve respect."

Whitney isn't always as sweet as she seems

As she demonstrated when she slammed the insensitive doctor who sent her hate mail, the usually sweet Whitney is not afraid to be unforgiving when faced with haters.

Taking to Instagram in April 2018, she got real about her stance on cyber bullying, telling fans, "I make it a point to avoid these comments as much as possible; I never read YouTube comments or comments on an article about me. I never look at the #MyBigFatFabLife hashtag on Twitter — but still, seeing these 'opinions' is something that will always happen if I want to engage on my own social media, where people who really get me and support me are."

Although she admitted that she doesn't like to spend time blocking trolls or deleting negative comments, she unapologetically declared that, sometimes, it's the only way. "My digital spaces are also my home — they're mine," she wrote. "No one is stopping you from shouting your hate (or opinions) into the ether [but] when you come into my space, I can make you leave. This doesn't mean I can't handle a contrary opinion. It means I take no stock in your opinion and it's unnecessary noise."

Whitney's been hiding an eating disorder since she was 14

Whitney has made a career out of being honest about her struggles with weight stemming from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but as she admitted in 2015, she still feels "embarrassed" talking about her eating disorder. "I have no problem being completely open about most things, but this is difficult for me," she told fans in a Facebook post (via Starcasm) as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

"Because I was never underweight, many people in my life were unaware that I was both starving and purging day in and day out, completely consumed with being thin enough so that I would never be called fat," she wrote, revealing that her parents didn't know about her struggles until 2014.

Sharing a photo of herself in high school, she continued, "I was 15 years old, weighed about 120 lbs, and was deep in the mental and physical anguish of an eating disorder." At 18, she began fighting it, but in 2012, "I lost 100 lbs in 8 months and I was still restricting calories to sometimes 500/day and purging at least once a week. I weighed 250 pounds. I was classified as morbidly obese. Did I have an eating disorder? Yes," she proclaimed, finally sharing her full truth with the world.

Birth control pills helped Whitney curb her eating disorder

After struggling with an eating disorder for years, Whitney found the strength and motivation to turn things around, but it had nothing to do with her supportive friends and family. Rather, one of the biggest driving factors behind her recovery was (get this!) birth control.

Although she doesn't talk about it on My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Whitney admitted in 2015 that "eating disordered thoughts never leave me," but that going on the pill in high school helped push her on the right track.

At first, when Whitney became sexually active, she was using Depo-Provera, "the birth control shot that's super effective but notoriously causes weight gain," she revealed in her memoir, I Do it With the Lights On. But she soon decided that she "didn't need anything else that would impede weight loss, so I swapped the shot for pills." Then, one night, she had her aha moment. "After I'd purged a late-night meal that I'd shared with a guy I was dating, I became paranoid that I'd thrown up my birth control pill as well," she confessed. "Although neither outcome was appealing, I knew I'd rather be fat than pregnant, so I stopped throwing up my food."