Paula Jones, like most obese patients, managed to lose weight with the help of Dr. Now, the shorter name Dr. Younan Nowzaradan uses. This Iranian-born American doctor helps them turn their life around with a diet and exercise plan, then provides bariatric operations if they qualify, as depicted in “My 600-lb Life”. However, she went much further; she shed 235lbs, or 106kgs before the update episode aired a year later. She continued off-screen, and weighed under 200lbs or 90kgs until 2021, meaning she kept things in check for years. We explain why Paula put on so much weight, and what motivated her to lose it quickly and efficiently.
- 1 Paula is the show’s notable success story
- 2 She had childhood trauma and lost her husband
- 3 Her child’s remark was the breaking point
- 4 An update episode showed remarkable progress
- 5 Paula is now at a healthy weight
- 6 She now leads a busy, happy life
- 7 Paula is committed to forgiveness and active life
- 8 Paula is passionate about healthy food
- 9 Paula will almost undoubtedly keep her weight off
Paula is the show’s notable success story
Paula Jones was featured in “Paula’s Story,” the sixth episode of the second season, and weighed around 550lbs or 250kgs. She lived in Georgia, and had put a wall around herself, ignoring people who wanted to help. Despite thinking of herself as a monster due to her weight, she gave a conflicting statement that she ‘had been big her entire life. and didn’t mind it.’
However, a tragic weight-related loss and the desire to stay in shape for her family motivated her to switch things up. After visiting Dr. Now, she lost enough weight to qualify for the operation and shed 275lbs or about 125kgs in total before the “My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?” episode’s air date. Paula slimmed down further away from the spotlight, remarried, became a grandmother, and made better health choices for her new husband and children. Unfortunately, the latest information shows that she divorced, and also struggled with weight gain during the coronavirus pandemic.
She had childhood trauma and lost her husband
Paula cites multiple reasons for turning to food for comfort. Her first trauma came from being molested as a child, and receiving no support or protection from her mother, whom she blamed for it. Eventually, food addiction became the norm, and Paula continued to eat even after having four children, marrying, and enduring two life-threatening conditions. She revealed that she had meningitis, an infection of the brain’s protective tissue, and a stroke, a reduction or blockage of blood supply to the brain, likely due to her size.
Her child’s remark was the breaking point
Although Paula decided to alter her life choices when her husband died of weight-related causes, her children were the deciding factor, telling her that they feared she would die like their father. Fearing her children would become orphans, she relocated the entire family from Georgia to Texas, and signed up for Dr. Now’s diet and exercise plan.
— Paula Rubin Jones (@paulathenewme) April 21, 2014
Despite making typical excuses and having a somewhat rough start, she shed 33lbs or 15kgs after going on a liquid diet. When she first stepped on a scale, it showed a weight of over 540lbs or 245kgs, much less than some of the heaviest patients, such as James King, who initially weighed 790lbs or over 350kgs. Thus, that was enough for Dr. Now to perform a gastric bypass operation by the end of her episode in February 2014.
An update episode showed remarkable progress
Viewers and the doctor could see Paula had a burning desire to keep going. Therefore, it was unsurprising that she hired a personal trainer and a counselor while staying on the prescribed diet plan. When TLC filmed an episode of their spin-off show in mid-2015, Paula was around 270lbs or about 120kgs.
Paula is now at a healthy weight
In 2016, Paula announced new results to celebrate her 3rd anniversary of undergoing the weight loss operation, which she called a ‘surgeversary.’ Although she summarized her results as ‘from 600lb to 200lb,’ that was inaccurate. Although she lost 400lb or about 170kgs, in reality, Paula went from about 540 to 140lbs or 245 to 65kgs, shedding almost 75% of her old weight. When she revealed this, it was the fourth-highest weight loss percentage in “My 600-lb Life.”
She now leads a busy, happy life
Since 2016 was still the peak of her enthusiasm, Paula’s fans worried that she would return to her old habits once the excitement passed. Luckily, that didn’t happen; Paula has mostly maintained her weight loss as of 2023, and became a spokesperson at the Southeast Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Conference. She also created the Instagram hashtag #paulaspurpose and has used it on her birthday since 2017 to remember people who lost their lives due to obesity, including her ex-husband. Besides spending more time with her children, which was her initial goal, Paula now has at least one grandchild, Laylani Saior Lisaula, born on 12 June 2019, presumably from her daughter Savannah. Based on her Facebook posts, Paula also married a new man at some point before 2020, most likely the one she’d been dating since 2016, who gave her a diamond ring in 2018. She’s kept his identity a secret but revealed that he detests spicy food, and that crawfish is her favorite meal when they’re in Houston, Texas. Her social media posts indicate that Paula is working hard, likely as a director of operations in the position she held in 2015 during the show. However, she may have been hired by H&M in mid-2022. Paula has now revealed that she’s been single since 2022, because her husband lied, badmouthed and blindsided her.
Paula is committed to forgiveness and active life
She celebrated her 4th anniversary of surgery with the decision to forgive. Paula shared a picture of herself at age 5 or 6 when she was molested, with the message, ‘If you love something, set it free,’ and expressed relief that she was no longer trapped in her body and mind. That reminded viewers of the emotional segment of the 2015 episode, where she visited her mom as part of her healing journey.
Additionally, Paula shared that physical activity makes her think, ‘What’s next?’ instead of making her dizzy and nauseous. Thus, she finds it easy to go to the gym even after a long workday, and that boxing helps her relieve stress. While Paula went quiet following the COVID-19 pandemic, she answered some followers’ questions during the outbreak in 2020. She explained she is doing ‘a lot of family walks’ and still works out regularly, as seen in occasional photos of doing crunches, despite having contracted the coronavirus.
#TBT Paula answered some of your questions about her experience on #My600lbLife: Where Are They Now.Tune in Wednesdays at 8/7c and download the #TLCgo app to catch up on Paula's weight-loss journey or watch the full episode here: http://bit.ly/2t7ESMN
Posted by TLC on Thursday, June 14, 2018
Paula is passionate about healthy food
After losing roughly 400lbs between 2014 and 2016, Paula’s perception of food and drinks changed, and she no longer makes as many excuses – she hears Dr. Now’s voice when she thinks about making wrong choices. In addition to keeping herself accountable and motivating her social media followers, she frequently posts images of the meals she makes, and exercises she does under hashtags #my200poundlife and #paulaonthego.
She also focuses on a paleo diet, concentrated on healthy protein such as steak and eggs and shrimp with eggs and cheese. She occasionally consumes dishes typical of the Texas state, such as bone ribs with salad and Salisbury steak with corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and grilled chicken.
Paula will almost undoubtedly keep her weight off
Paula is committed to not letting all her hard work go to waste, enjoying as much time with her family as possible, and embracing change. For one, she was honest about divorcing her husband in 2022, and confirmed that the emotional turmoil didn’t significantly affect her weight.
Instead, she changed her hair color to blonde to signify a fresh start, meaning she was dedicated to positivity and finding healthy coping mechanisms. As proof, she admitted that she gained weight after COVID-19 in early 2022, reaching 250lbs or 112kgs at the highest. Yet, she knew what to do this time, and set a goal at 199lbs or 90kgs before quickly losing 20lbs or about 8.5kgs. Her feat was even more impressive because she told her followers that she occasionally eats a cheat meal.
Finally, Paula clarified that being a devout Christian helps her stay hopeful, and that she tries one alcoholic drink per year but never finishes it. All this suggests that even if her weight fluctuates, Paula is determined to keep it under 200lbs. More importantly, she has the knowledge, willpower, and family support.