Ashley Dunn Bratcher underwent 350 pounds of weight loss — more than 48% of her body weight — while filming My 600-lb Life for two years. It was all possible after receiving gastric bypass surgery.
My 600-lb Life is an American reality television series that has been broadcast on the TLC network since 2012. Each episode chronicles a year in the life of morbidly obese people, who typically begin the show weighing at least 600 pounds and describe their attempts to lose weight to a healthy level.
Patients are assigned to Houston surgeon Younan Nowzaradan, who has their first try to lose weight on their own by following a strict diet, and then, depending on the patient’s progress, may offer gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy to further assist in weight loss.
Throughout the show’s seasons, numerous people with diverse histories and circumstances that led to their weight gain have appeared. They also face several challenges on their path to weight loss. Ashley Dunn Bratcher, who appeared in season 4 of the program, also had a difficult trip but maintained her spirits throughout her determination. Well, here’s everything you need to know about her weight loss journey.
Ashley Dunn Bratcher From My 600-Lb Life Underwent Weight Loss of 123 Pounds After Receiving Gastric Bypass Surgery!
Ashley Dunn Bratcher‘s (@ashleydunnbratcher) weight loss journey on TLC’s My 600-lb Life begins similarly to many others on the show: she turned to food as a coping mechanism and a source of happiness when she was very young. As she described on the show, her tumultuous home life with her drug-addicted mother and sexual assault at the hands of her babysitter’s husband forced her to gain a lot of weight.
Ashley Dunn Bratcher before and after weight loss.
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She was already 250 pounds in sixth grade and 400 pounds when she graduated high school. She continued to gain weight while happily married to her husband Jacob, and despite shedding 95 pounds after the birth of her son, Patrick, she reverted to old habits and gained weight. When her Season 4 episode aired in February 2016, she was only 26 years old and weighed 725 pounds at the time.
Fortunately, Ashley Dunn persuaded Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (@ounannowzaradan) to do gastric bypass surgery to aid her weight loss journey. She surprisingly lost 123 pounds but she understands the importance of putting in the necessary effort. Later, she said in a 2017 interview with People,
Whoever says weight-loss surgery is the easy way out is crazy because this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. This surgery is just a tool. It does not change your mindset.
Furthermore, Ashley Dunn Bratcher is one of several success stories from My 600-lb Life who appears to be having a healthier life. Though she still struggles with weight loss— as it is a lifestyle change — she has learned new strategies to deal with cravings, for example. As she previously said, one solution is to be honest with herself about how she feels, explaining
If it’s true hunger, then, you know, I’ll eat something. “But if I’m feeling angry, happy, sad, I try to revert my mind to something else. I go for a walk. I play with my dogs. I might journal. It’s a learning experience.
According to Starcasm, Ashley shed 350 pounds — more than 48% of her body weight — while filming the show for two years. She’s relieved that she no longer needs to rely on her son for assistance, as she stated in her My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now? follow-up episode. She appears to have kept the weight off.
What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that divides the stomach into a small upper pouch and a much larger bottom remnant pouch, after which the small intestine is modified to link to both. Surgeons have devised many methods for reconnecting the intestine, resulting in a variety of gastric bypass surgeries (GBP). Any GBP causes a significant decrease in the functional volume of the stomach, as well as a change in the physiological and physical response to meals.
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that can help in weight loss.
Image Source: UCLA Health
The procedure is used to treat morbid obesity (defined as a BMI of 40 or more), type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and other concomitant disorders. Bariatric surgery refers to all surgical therapies for morbid obesity, not just gastric bypasses, which are only one type of such procedure.
The subsequent weight loss, which is usually considerable, significantly lowers comorbidities. Gastric bypass patients’ long-term death rate has been demonstrated to be lowered by up to 40%. Like with any procedure, there could be after-effects. According to research conducted between 2005 and 2006, 15% of patients encountered difficulties as a result of gastric bypass, and 0.5% died within six months following operation due to complications.
A meta-analysis of 174,772 participants published in The Lancet in 2021 discovered that bariatric surgery was related to a 59% and 30% reduction in all-cause mortality among obese adults with or without type 2 diabetes. This meta-analysis also discovered that obese persons with diabetes who got bariatric surgery lived 9.3 years longer than those who received standard (non-surgical) treatment, whereas obese adults without diabetes lived 5.1 years longer.