Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Stunning Transformation Of Amber Rachdi From My 600-Lb Life

Viewers of My 600-lb Life know that success stories and dramatic transformations for the folks who appear on the show are rare, even when it comes to some of the more popular stars such as the Assanti brothers and JT. Small victories go a long way for participants as they embark on a journey to lose weight and save their own lives. Everyone on the series faces a myriad of obstacles: Finances, toxic enablers, mental health issues, travel, and self-esteem are just a few of the many deterrents to reprogramming their mindset and bodies to achieve a healthier lifestyle. As a result, levels of success vary over the eight seasons of the show. When 23-year-old Amber Rachdi was featured in season 3, they expressed a fear of failure and had unrelenting anxiety about the changes they would have to make to lose weight. However, years after their episode aired, Amber is now unrecognizable.

Amber's struggle on My 600-lb Life

Back in 2015, when their episode of My 600-lb Life aired, Amber Rachdi was 23 years old and weighed 657 lbs. On the show, they begin by recounting their tale of being overweight since childhood (160 pounds at the age of 5), struggling with severe anxiety, and using food as a coping mechanism. They describe the feeling of anticipation prior to a meal as a "combination of depression and sadness."

They live with their parents, whom they depend on to survive. Although their boyfriend Rowdy tries to be supportive, he can't help but enable them through their grocery shopping habits. As a result, Amber feels extreme guilt because they perceive themself as failing both their parents and their relationship. In conjunction with their anxiety, Amber's body is growing incapable of supporting its weight. They are unable to stand for more than 30 minutes at a time, and they are often bound to a wheelchair or motorized scooter in order to get around.

Following a harrowing flight, Amber meets with Dr. Nowzaradan to determine their eligibility for gastric bypass surgery — the first real step in Amber's transformation. They take Dr. Now's advice seriously and begin changing their eating habits to qualify for the surgery. After Amber loses 17 pounds, Dr. Now approves them for surgery. Following the surgery, Amber moves out of their parent's home and works to regain their health and independence. They are eventually able to walk farther distances and drive themselves around — activities they hadn't been able to perform independently for years. They also begin attending therapy, working with their therapist to identify triggers and explore different coping methods for their anxiety.

By the end of the year, Amber has lost 257 lbs and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.

They have continued to discuss physical and mental health

During their time on "My 600-lb life," Amber Rachdi was vocal about their concerns regarding their reduced mobility and the sheer physical toll their weight was taking on them. They and their family also spoke of Amber's mental health issues and feelings of inadequacy. In the wake of the "Amber's Story" episode, they didn't disappear into the ether, either. On the contrary, they were among the speakers at the 2016 ObesityHelp National Conference, where they talked about their journey at a fireside chat event and took questions from the audience. Fellow "My 600-lb Life" cast member Melissa Morris also appeared, with Dr. Nowzaradan serving as the keynote speaker.

After the show, Amber hasn't shied away from discussing their health, either. In 2021, they returned to Instagram after a lengthy absence, describing their time off as a mental health break. "Honestly, pandemic depression kicked my ass," they wrote. "I've been gardening, stressing about things beyond my control, fishing, working, and generally trying to keep a low profile."

Their personal life has gone through several changes

Before they started working with Dr. Now to lose weight, Amber Rachdi had a very particular dream. "I wish I could be self-sufficient and successful," they told the cameras. It certainly appears that hard work and determination have helped Amber toward this goal. Professionally, they seem to be doing quite well these days — even though the career they ended up having is different from what they expected. "I studied English lit and now I work in information technology because nothing in my life makes a whole lot of sense," they responded to a fan's question on an Instagram photo.

Amber's personal life has also gone through some upheaval. On "My 600-lb Life," they were concerned that their weight might disrupt their relationship with their boyfriend, Rowdy. The relationship ultimately didn't last — but fortunately, the separation seems to have been amicable. "In defense of Rowdy, my ex who was on the show: who do y'all think is taking pictures of me at the gym? He IS a good, supportive friend," they wrote in 2018 on X, formerly known as Twitter.

After breaking up with Rowdy, Amber seems to have found new love. In 2020, a post on X indicated that they appear to be married to a person called Steve.

They had some bad experiences filming the show

Though Amber Rachdi is one of the major success stories of "My 600-lb Life," they have mixed feelings about the show. Apart from the difficulties depicted onscreen, Amber told Starcasm in 2018 that things weren't always easy when the cameras weren't rolling, either. They have plenty of praise for Dr. Nowzaradan – but unfortunately, the same can't be said for the arduous filming process and the questionable behavior of the production crew. "I filmed with a lot of different field producers and a couple different showrunners," Amber revealed. "The experience was very disorganized and jarring and there's not a whole lot I can say using my grown-up tact. They ran late, reshot difficult-to-replicate scenes, and really sort of acted like bullies."

Amber also noted that during their time on the show, some of the production company crew resorted to shady methods to ensure that the participants would do what they wanted. "When I would say I had a boundary I didn't want crossed, their first reaction was always to threaten to postpone or cancel my surgery," they said. "I know the field producers don't have that power, but they appeared to be used to using this tactic a lot on noncompliant cast members, which is next level unethical."

Amber says they dealt with the situation by simply refusing to comply with the threats. Nevertheless, these negative experiences may have contributed to their decision to steer clear of the "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?" spin-off.

Amber is still popular but doesn't see themselves as a role model

It's easy to consider Amber Rachdi's path inspirational, and "My 600-lb Life" certainly frames it that way. Personally, however, Amber sees things a little differently. While they're happy with the results of their weight loss surgery and have continued to work on the subject, they also feel that other things have contributed to their journey.

"The show began filming when I was 22, I'm turning 28 this year," Amber told Starcasm in 2018. "I think many of the ways my life has changed can be chalked up to age and time and not necessarily my weight loss alone. Life is complicated. In that, maybe I'm not the inspirational lifestyle role model people are looking for; I'm just someone coming out of youth trying to be a functional adult after a pretty wild ride."

Amber's unwillingness to return to the show and reluctance to be seen as a role model haven't prevented them from gaining an audience, though. Their Instagram has over 300,000 followers, so it's pretty clear that people are still invested in Amber's story.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.