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What Jennifer And Marissa From My 600-Lb Life Are Doing Now

The following contains mentions of sexual assault.

It's been a decade since television audiences first met Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, a bariatric surgeon based in Houston, Texas, who specializes in treating patients dealing with morbid obesity. TLC's medical reality series, "My 600-lb Life," chronicles a year in the life of Dr. Now's patients as they work through his strict diet and exercise program in the hopes of receiving gastric bypass surgery.

As avid fans of the series know, the patients featured on the series typically have traumatic pasts that triggered their compulsive eating. For most, the weight gains started early in their lives and continued into adulthood, typically enabled by a family member or other loved ones. Over the course of its 10-season run, "My 600-lb Life" has featured individuals from across the country who are hoping for one last chance at a new life. The series' 6th season featured a rare episode of a mother-daughter duo, both in need of Dr. Now's help.

A mother and daughter work together to save their lives

At the start of the episode, viewers meet Jennifer and Marissa Jess from Bend, Oregon. The then-42-year-old Jennifer was almost entirely dependent on her then-26-year-old daughter, Marissa, needing her help for even basic tasks like bathing and meal prep. As Marissa states early in the episode, she doesn't know if she's the child, the parent, or simply a caretaker for her mother. Their dynamic created a cycle of guilt and anger, with Jennifer feeling guilty for the life Marissa has, and Marissa frustrated with her mother for allowing the situation in the first place. Not surprisingly, both women turned to food to soothe their respective emotions.

For Jennifer, turning to food to mask pain dates back to her childhood when her stepfather began physically and sexually abusing her. Jennifer revealed that when she was 9 years old, she already weighed 100 pounds. When she was 16, Jennifer became pregnant with Marissa, and her weight gain began to skyrocket, as she weighed nearly 300 pounds by the end of the pregnancy. At 19, after the birth of her second child, Jennifer weighed over 400 pounds. Then, at 22 years old, Jennifer became pregnant again after having an affair. Fearing her husband's rage, she hid the pregnancy and gave the child up for adoption. The depression that followed resulted in even more weight gain. By the time she was 24, Jennifer weighed over 600 pounds.

Jennifer and Marissa knew they needed help

Much like her mother, Marissa's weight gain began as a child, largely a result of watching her father abuse her mother. After her parents divorced, Marissa's mom started dating a man with an active addiction to drugs. Jennifer soon joined his habit, eventually losing her home and her children (who were sent to live with grandparents) in the process. When she was 14, Marissa was nearing 200 pounds. Not long after, she was the victim of rape, which pushed her into a deep depression, with food as her only comfort. By the time she was 18, Marissa's weight hit 300 pounds. At that point, she moved back in with her mother and her mother's boyfriend (both in recovery) to assist Jennifer, who was essentially bed-bound by then.

At their first visit to Dr. Now, Jennifer weighed 636 pounds, with Marissa not far behind at 573. After warning both about the fatal consequences of their respective weights, Dr. Now challenged each to lose 60 pounds over the course of two months. While Jennifer managed to drop an impressive 64 pounds, Marissa only shed 13.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jennifer and Marissa experienced many ups and downs on their journey

Though he was impressed by Jennifer's focus, Dr. Now sent them home with the goal of again losing 60 pounds in two months. Unfortunately, Jennifer failed to meet the goal, losing only 9 pounds, while Marissa again missed the target with only a 12-pound loss. Things turned around for both women by their next visit, with Jennifer losing the 30 pounds Dr. Now set for her, and Marissa dropping 42 pounds over the month between visits. Their success found them both approved for weight loss surgery. By the end of the episode, after successful surgeries, Jennifer's weight was down to 426 (reflecting a loss of 210 pounds), and Marissa's had dropped 232 pounds to 341.

Jennifer and Marissa's journey continued on "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?," a spinoff series from the original that follows patients during their second year in Dr. Now's program. After two years in the program, Jennifer weighed 382 pounds and Marissa was down to 242.

Mother and daughter seem to have maintained their progress

It's been four years since their last appearance on TLC in 2018, but it seems that Jennifer and Marissa have continued the progress they made through Dr. Now's program. Both women are active on social media, and their recent pictures on Facebook reveal smaller bodies and larger smiles. Marissa, now in her thirties, is now married and living in California with her wife. In 2021, Marissa also celebrated her graduation from Indiana University. Jennifer looks to be still dating her longtime boyfriend, despite a short breakup during her time on "My 600-lb Life." From Jennifer's Facebook pictures, it's clear she's enjoying the ability to be out and about with her family, a far cry from the woman who lacked the stamina to shower.

While neither mother nor daughter had a smooth journey, both are clear success stories, despite the many ups and downs each experienced along the way, and are likely a source of inspiration for others struggling to overcome traumatic pasts and food addictions.