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Where Is Michael Blair From My 600-Lb Life Now?

Since it's premiere on TLC in 2012, the long-running medical reality series "My 600-lb Life" has chronicled the journeys of over 120 people seeking to avert early death and reclaim their lives from morbid obesity. Though they hail from different parts of the country, they've all headed to Houston, Texas, to seek the help of renowned bariatric and vascular surgeon, Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, or simply Dr. Now.

As viewers of the popular series know, the patients hoping to enter Dr. Now's calorie-restricted weight loss program are at a tipping point. Nearly all are dependent on others for life's simpler tasks. Many are homebound, some are bedridden. Few can walk more than a few feet without complications. Essentially, their bodies are wearing out years and decades before they should ... typically due to an out-of-control addiction to food. When Texan Michael Blair reached out to Dr. Now, his world existed entirely within the walls of his home, and he knew he needed to change.

Childhood traumas triggered Michael's addiction to food

During the retrospective that starts each "My 600-lb Life" episode, Michael, a married father of two, admits that his day is spent eating, a habit that started at an early age. After his own father left, Michael and his mother moved in with his maternal grandparents. Though likely well-intentioned, Michael's grandmother made a habit of feeding him frequently throughout the day — so much so that by the time he was 7 years old, Michael weighed close to 110 pounds. Depressed and embarrassed by his size, he sought food for comfort, which began a vicious cycle of depression and weight gain. As the cycle progressed, Michael withdrew inward, fearing the teasing of his classmates.

Michael's mental health suffered another devastating blow when, at age 11, he was molested by a wilderness camp leader. As Michael explained in his retrospective, he and several other boys were abused by the camp leader, though Michael received less attention than the others. Assuming this was due to his weight, Michael intentionally tried to get larger, believing it would make him undesirable to his molester. By the time Michael was 14, he weighed 250 pounds.

Michael found safety and happiness in martial arts

Through high school, amidst the teasing and bullying, Michael gained roughly 50 pounds a year, making him close to 400 pounds by graduation. In college, Michael fell in love with martial arts. That passion continued after college. Even though by then he was around 500 pounds, Michael dedicated himself to martial arts training and dropped down to about 380 pounds by the time he was 25. Around that time, Michael met a woman named Kimberly, who would become his wife and the mother of his children.

During the early years of their marriage, both Michael and Kim struggled with poor eating habits and began to gain significant weight. Wanting a healthier life for themselves and their new family, the couple got approved for gastric bypass surgery. Unfortunately, Michael's surgery did not happen due to him being in a catastrophic car accident, which resulted in severe abdominal scarring that prohibited the gastric bypass.

Denied surgery, Michael slipped further into depression and gaining

Seeing his one chance at a better life ripped away, Michael sunk into a depression and began eating and gaining. He eventually stopped training in martial arts, further exacerbating the weight gain, and Michael then grew to over 600 pounds. His size, and the depression and shame it caused him, led Michael to withdraw from the outside world entirely. His agoraphobia was so severe that even stepping outside his front door was traumatic.

With his weight growing and his health diminishing, Michael made the decision to ask Dr. Now for help. After undergoing a series of tests, Dr. Now confirmed what Michael's previous doctors told him: the internal scarring in his abdomen made gastric bypass surgery nearly impossible. Dr. Now also discovered Michael had a severe hernia affecting the walls of his stomach. The only solution for Michael was to lose enough weight to allow a surgery to fix the hernia, during which Dr. Now would also try to move a significant amount of scar tissue. If both procedures were successful, then bypass would potentially be an option.

There's hope on the horizon for Michael Blair

Though Michael didn't hit Dr. Now's goal of losing 100 pounds in three months — Michael only lost 61 pounds — Dr. Now convinced him to redouble his efforts. By the end of seven months, Michael was down a total of 97 pounds. Unfortunately, the loss was not enough to allow the hernia surgery. Tasked with losing more weight, Michael focused on his diet and his psychotherapy, which was helping him overcome his agoraphobia. By the 10th month of his journey, Michael was successfully reentering the world, and had even signed up for martial arts training.

Michael's episode ends with hopeful news. After performing another endoscopy, Dr. Now believed that if Michael lost another 30 pounds, for a total weight loss of 165 pounds, he'd be able to repair Michael's hernia in three months' time.

Given that Michael's episode aired in February 2021, there is little information available on his current progress. However, he recently began posting regularly on Facebook. Though there aren't recent pictures to peruse, Michael's posts reflect an optimism and happiness that were absent at the start of his "My 600-lb Life" episode. As Michael is arguably one of the nicest patients featured on the series, it's not surprising that many comments on his Facebook posts offer praise and support for him and his journey. Hopefully, we'll get an update on Michael on next season's "Where Are They Now?"