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‘My 600-lb Life’: Why Did Cindy Vela Fire Dr. Now & Abandon Her Program?

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On last night’s episode of My 600-lb Life, TLC fans got to know Cindy Vela of Texas. Cindy is 45-years-old. She weighs over 600 pounds. And, she lives by herself. She has a caretaker named Denise who tends to her day-to-day needs. For Cindy, her day-to-day needs include very basic tasks that some individuals take for granted being able to do on their own. Tasks such as cleaning herself up, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, and cooking meals.

During the January 20th episode of My 600-lb Life, we saw Cindy Vela leave her comfort zone. And, she tried to seek the help of Dr. Now. The help to lose weight. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well. And, she has since fired Dr. Now. What happened? Why did she abandon her weight loss program? Why did she fire Dr. Now? Here’s what happened and what we know.

Food was not always a problem for Cindy Vela

Growing up, food wasn’t a huge issue for Cindy Vela. In fact, it wasn’t until the age of eight that she found comfort in food. Around that time in her life, Cindy was molested by a friend of the family. Afterward, she turned to food. She found comfort in it.

In her mind, Cindy Vela believed she could eat to avoid being molested. If she ate enough food and got big enough… She would not have to worry about being molested. Her thinking wasn’t misguided. It worked. Unfortunately, this caused other problems. By the age of 10, she was 140 pounds. At 14, she hit 200. Today? She takes great comfort in food. And, no one in her family did anything to get a handle on it before it was too late.

At age 16, her father became a heavy drinker. This caused him to be abusive as well. Mostly toward her mother. So, they divorced. The separation continued to drive Cindy to food. By the time she was 18, she weighed 300 pounds. She was partially bed-ridden by her mid-twenties. And, by the time she hit age 30, she weighed 500 times. The number only continued to climb.

A year at the hospital: things looked hopeful

At the age of 36, things looked a little better for Cindy. She spent an entire year in the hospital. She was able to bring her weight down to 450 pounds. Unfortunately, she quickly gained the weight back when she returned home.

Cindy Vela has become comfortable living a life mostly from her bedroom. A friend named Sandy, however, convinced her to seek out help. To change. So, she met with Dr. Now. He put her on a controlled diet. And, he wanted her to lose 70 pounds on this diet. Then, she could come back and he could decide if she was a good fit for the surgery.


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She, however, was not ready. She did not feel comfortable going to the appointment. This was largely because she did not make much of an effort to lose the 70 pounds Dr. Now requested. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Now was not happy. He gave her a month. One month. To get her weight under control. And, to come in for the appointment.

Dr. Now even threatened to take legal action. To put her in a controlled environment. She, however, was not having it. She insisted she did not want to work with him. And, she fired him as her doctor. Then, she returned home.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Cindy Vela is ready for Dr. Now. Dr. Now does great work. But, he can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

New episodes of My 600-lb Life airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.

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