For three years, Tammy Slaton and her sister Amy have graced our television screens as the main cast members in TLC’s reality television series “1000-lb Sisters.” While Amy’s struggle with weight loss has been smooth and linear, Tammy has not been as determined. Hers has been a bumpy road full of dangerous detours that almost ended her life, but the stars appear to have finally aligned for her after she successfully completed a rehabilitation program, and returned home to prepare for life-changing surgery. Here are some highlights of Tammy’s weight loss journey.

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“1000-Lb Sisters”

On 1 January 2020, TLC launched an original reality TV series focusing on the lives of two sisters from Dixon, Kentucky. In the show, the sisters, Amy Slaton-Halterman and Tammy Slaton, highlighted their struggles with weight issues, including struggling to lose weight, the negative comments and long stares they endure from strangers for their size and weight, and how being severely obese impacts their lives. Three years since its pilot episode aired, the show had attracted and cultivated a loyal following, with fans extending support beyond TLC to the sisters’ social media pages.

When the show first aired, Tammy was living with Amy and her husband Michael. At the time, the sisters led a highly unhealthy lifestyle, as evident in their diet and limited physical activity. They revealed that they had been in and out of hospital several times in their life due to their weight, with Tammy having been put on life support twice, but hadn’t resolved to do anything about it until they sat together in the pilot episode, and took a long hard look at their lives. They vowed to make losing weight a priority, and shared their decision to pursue weight loss surgery with their mother, Darlene.

Initially, Darlene was against Amy and Tammy’s decision to get the surgery. Her opposition to their weight loss ambitions attracted the wrath of the show’s fan base, with most viewers accusing the woman of derailing their progress towards their goals by being judgmental, withholding support, and stomping on their efforts by telling them that they lacked the willpower to make a significant change in their lives. Fortunately, the sisters had the support of the rest of their family, who encouraged them and sometimes even joined their weight loss challenges. In three years and four seasons, Amy has managed to lose and keep her weight in check, while Tammy went through bouts of weight loss only to regain it until earlier this year, when she finally lost enough weight to qualify for bariatric surgery.

Food Addiction

Tammy revealed that she’s struggled with food addiction for most of her life. At first, fans doubted the information, given how little she is seen eating in all four seasons of the show, but some explained that she likes to eat alone.  However, they saw the extent of Tammy’s food addiction as the show progressed. For instance, when the two sisters pledged to lower their food intake and increase their physical activity to lose weight and qualify for weight loss surgery, Amy met her goals easily, underwent surgery, and has managed to keep her lifestyle and weight in check since then. Amy, on the other hand, gained weight, and checked herself into a food addiction rehab to get help, weighing 689lbs.

Her doctor had set a weight loss goal of 100lbs, which she was expected to lose in eight weeks. The disappointment of failing to qualify for weight loss surgery like her sister, and her mother’s lack of confidence in her ability to transform her life, robbed Tammy of faith in the program. She reported not believing that her hard work would pay off, but being positively shocked when she lost 60lbs. At one time, she almost gave up on the program and checked herself out, but changed her mind after a conversation with an administrator, who was worried that it would be impossible for Tammy to prepare all her meals, meaning she would go back to ordering takeout and gain back the weight she’d lost. Tammy’s subsequent decision to stay exposed her to an incident that would almost take her life.

Health Scare

Tammy’s weight has exposed her to several health scares. At the beginning of the show, she shared that she’d been placed on life support twice following weight-related complications. Fans lived through Tammy’s third health scare, which began when she agreed to remain at the food rehab after losing the initial 60 pounds. One day while at the facility, Tammy stopped breathing, and was rushed to hospital where doctors declared a collapsed lung as the cause of the incident. Tammy was immediately placed on life support after the doctors put her into a medically-induced coma to save her life. Her health continued to deteriorate, and doctors were worried – at one time, they advised the family to start making funeral arrangements, but Tammy fought hard to come back to her family.

Back to Rehab

The near-death experience turned out to be the wake-up call Tammy needed to reinforce her commitment to weight loss, in hopes of losing enough weight to qualify for weight loss surgery. After three weeks in a medically-induced coma, Tammy chose to return to the rehab center. This time, all her doubts were gone together with her longing to go back home, which had informed her previous decision to terminate her participation in the program prematurely. This time, she dedicated a year of her life to weight loss, and remained at the rehab facility for the entire period. In her first month after resuming the program, Tammy lost 115 pounds, and by the end of the year, an impressive 300lbs. She walked out of the facility proud of herself for surpassing the goal her doctor had set for her, and looking forward to the surgery.

Surgery

Many people would be cautious about returning to a hospital after surviving a near-death experience and being in a coma for weeks, but Tammy was determined to brave through the last leg of her weight loss journey. In February this year, TLC aired the episode in which she went to the hospital amidst cheers from her family. An elated Amy worried that she could lose her sister to the surgery, but understood the positive effect the procedure would have on Tammy’s life. Throughout the hectic process of accompanying Tammy to the hospital, sitting through her surgery, and visiting her as she recovered, one member of the family was conspicuously missing.

Fans wondered where Tammy’s mother was while her daughter was undergoing gastric bypass surgery. They got their answer when Amy called Darlene, and asked her to go to the hospital to show her support for Tammy. Darlene’s response was insulting to Tammy, and confirmed the observation fans had made at the beginning of the show, that Darlene was a bad mother who refused to support her daughters. Darlene claimed to be proud of Tammy for finally overcoming her stubbornness and working on her weight, and asked to be kept updated on her daughter’s condition. However, when asked to visit Tammy at the hospital, Darlene claimed that she couldn’t make the drive there, as she couldn’t leave her dogs unsupervised, much to the chagrin of fans, who called her personality ugly and chastised her for choosing her dogs over her daughter.

After Tammy’s surgery, she returned to the food rehab for the last time to recuperate, before she was allowed to go home. As she recovered, she met and fell in love with fellow recovering addict Caleb. Months later, Tammy had recovered fully, returned to her home in Kentucky, and married Caleb. Tammy is now living in her house with her nieces and Amy, who has since left her husband, Michael. Fans are worried that Tammy’s relationship would crumble under the pressure of long distance, since Caleb is still living in the food rehab facility in Ohio while Tammy lives two states over in Kentucky.

After a long journey of food addiction, health scares, and losing weight only to regain it, the finish line is close for Tammy. She is doing well physically and mentally, and recently posted some post-weight loss surgery pictures of herself on Instagram, that show a significant transformation; Tammy looks slimmer than the ardent fans of the show have ever seen her, but still needs oxygen support. The post attracted praise and congratulatory messages from her followers and supporters, who promised their continued support as she embarks on another daunting journey of maintaining a healthy weight.

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