The truth about My 600-lb Life’s Sarah Neeley

Even if you’ve binged every weight loss reality show ever made — from Extreme Makeover to The Swan – you may have never come across a transformation as extraordinary as Sarah Neeley of My 600-lb Life. Barely able to walk on her own, Neeley first weighed in at Dr. Nowzaradan’s office at 642 pounds, then dropped 320 pounds during the show’s filming. Neeley continued losing weight, hitting her goal of 197 pounds in 2019 (per Starcasm).

While a 69.3% loss of her body weight is inspiring, what may be most astonishing to fans is how much Neeley has grown emotionally — from dependent, dysfunctional daughter to a confident mom-to-be. She announced in May on her Instagram Stories that she’s pregnant. In another exciting turn of events, Neeley shared on Facebook last month that she and expectant dad Jonah Carpenter tied the knot.

But Neeley has struggled with substance abuse, was hospitalized for anxiety and depression, and also suffered a miscarriage (via TV Shows Ace). So what’s the true story behind her physical and emotional transformation?

Sarah Neeley overcame addiction to find happiness

On her episode of My 600-lb. Life, Neeley traced her overeating to her early childhood. “My mom tells me I would overeat from my earliest age, and I think it started when I was around 3. I had three siblings: an older brother, an older sister and one younger sister. I’m the only big one,” she told the cameras. In an interview with Newsweek, she added, “I think eating was a way for me to cope with my world, because my dad had a drinking problem that led to a lot of fights between him and my mom.”

After Neeley lost most of the weight, though, she began abusing drugs, just as her parents had, according to a Facebook post last July that Neeley deleted, but that Starcasm saved via screenshot: “I overcame my food addiction,” she posted. “I fought hard. Only now to be dealing with something that will destroy or kill me if I don’t do something now to help myself.” This setback came on the heels of a devastating miscarriage. 

But in December 2019, Neeley proudly posted on Instagram, “I got to enjoy christmas this year sober.” Since then, she’s shared posts about her recovery, romance, and most recently, news about her pregnancy and wedding. “If you’re struggling and don’t know where to turn or what step to take, all you have to do is reach out,” Neeley shared in March. “There is hope.”

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