My 600-Lb Life: Inside Samantha's Struggle With Overeating

Ever since TLC's My 600 lb Life debuted in 2012, viewers have followed the amazing, and sometimes heartbreaking, unscripted stories of morbidly obese Americans losing their weight under the guidance of Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (affectionately called Dr. Now by his patients). As it goes with weight loss endeavors of these magnitudes, many patients have been massive success stories. 

Brittani Fulfer, for one, was a five-foot, one-inch tall Oregonian who, through surgery and lifestyle changes, went from weighing 605 pounds to just 222, according to Women's Health. Other stars, like season 2's Penny Saeger, did not fare so well. Saeger, according to Life & Style, was notoriously resistant to changes suggested by Dr. Now, losing only 35 pounds after apparently refusing to alter her diet or lifestyle. As Dr. Nowzaradan told People, "It's a daily challenge to work with some patients that can be self-destructive."

Enter Samantha Mason, a single mother from Colorado who appeared on the show's season nine premiere in December 2020. Weighing in at 900 pounds, she revealed that basic hygiene like bathing proved troublesome for her. "It gets harder every single day. I wish my life was a nightmare that I could wake up from," she confessed on-camera in the episode.

How did Mason's struggle with overeating begin? Read on and find out!

Samantha Mason uses overeating to cope with tragic past

"I eat for people," Samantha Mason told Hollywood Life in December 2020. "I just eat what I want and they pay for it, as long as I film it," she said, explaining her career as a fetish model. Nevertheless, Mason knew she had to stop enabling her own eating disorder. "There's no question that this job has been unhealthy for me because I found the perfect community to reinforce my worst habits. I last weighed in 6 months ago legitimately, and I was at 811 pounds," she admitted.

Mason revealed on her episode of My 600-lb Life that she began overeating at an early age to cope with a toxic childhood home. After her parents divorced due to her father's alcoholism driving him toward abuse of her mother, Mason used food for comfort and weighed 150 pounds by age seven. According to Mason, things worsened when her mother attended nursing school and sent Mason to live with her father and stepmother. There, her guardians attempted to restrict her food intake, which only caused Mason to rebel by overeating. "I didn't want to be told what to eat," she explained in the episode.

Shortly after contacting Dr. Nowzaradan, Mason had gained weight due to complications with her kidney that the hospital could neither diagnose nor operate on. Hopefully, Dr. Now was able to steer Mason down a path of weight loss and maintenance that lasts.