A morbidly obese woman who weighs 591lbs has revealed how witnessing her father’s sudden death and the mental decline of her depressed mother led her to spend her childhood eating junk food until she made herself sick.
Tamy Lyn Murrell, 45, was a ‘pretty normal size’ child, but she started turning to food for comfort after her dad’s death.
She was just eight years old when her father came home and died of a heart attack in her kitchen.
In a preview clip for Wednesday night’s episode of the TLC series My 600lb Life, the mother-of-one details how her obsessive eating caused her weight to spiral out of control to the point that her stomach is nearly grazing the floor.
Struggle: Tamy Lyn Murrell, 45, weighs 591lbs and has a sagging stomach that nearly grazes the floor after decades of emotional eating
Tragedy: Tamy was a ‘pretty normal size’ child, but she started obsessively eating junk food after she watched her father die of a heart attack when she was just eight years old
Tamy explains that she was the youngest child in her family by a decade, so she basically grew up with just her mom and dad.
Her sister is 19 years older than she is, while her brother is 11 years older.
Looking back on her early years, she admits she ‘wasn’t like everybody else’ because she struggled socially.
She goes on to recall how kids would make fun of her because she would get ‘very nervous’ and ‘stutter’.
When she was eight years old, she watched her father collapse to the kitchen floor due to a heart attack and die.
‘After my father passed away, my life was never the same,’ she says.
‘My mom just fell apart.
‘She had a hard time getting out of bed, and she went into a deep depression.
‘It was like I lost my mom too.’
Her mother went into a deep depression following her dad’s sudden death, and Tamy was left to eat whatever she wanted
Tamy was left to do the grocery shopping, which meant she able to buy all of the soda, pies, and ice cream that she wanted
Tamy explains that she was a little kid without anyone to take care of her, so she turned to food.
‘I could just eat whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and it was my friend. It was my parent, my friend, my loved one,’ she says of her alarming relationship with food.
While her mother was struggling with depression, Tamy was left to do the grocery shopping, which meant she able to buy all of the soda, pies, and ice cream that she wanted.
‘I bought it because she would just give me money, and she let me get whatever I wanted,’ she recalls.
‘So I ate junk food all of the time, and I would eat to the point of being sick.
Gaining: Tamy, who admitted she would eat junk food until she got sick, said she weighed 140lbs by the time she was 14 years old
Out of control: At 16 years old, Tamy said she weighed ‘well over’ 175lbs
On her own: Tamy dropped out of school as a teen and started working as a janitor to support herself
‘I don’t know why I did it,’ she adds. ‘It was just I wanted it, so I ate it.’
At 14, she weighed about 140lbs and was often bullied over her increasing size. Bye the time she dropped out of high school two years later, she weighed ‘well over’ 175lbs.
Tamy’s mother was in and out of the hospital for depression, so she started working as a janitor to support herself.
When she was 18 years old, she met a fellow janitor named James, and they fell in love.
All smiles: Tamy fell in love with a fellow janitor named James (pictured) whens she was 18 years old
‘Love at first sight: James was the first person who ever paid attention to me,’ she says, while James admit to always liking ‘bigger girls’
Moving quick: Tamy got pregnant just a month after they started dating
‘James was the first person who ever paid attention to me,’ she says of their relationship.
‘I tend to like bigger girls, so that’s what attracted me to Tamy,’ James explains in his testimonial. ‘she was a big girl. It was kind of love at first sight.’
Things progressed quickly between the couple, and Tamy got pregnant just a month after they started dating.
‘For the first time in my whole life things seemed good, but that didn’t last long,’ she says.
Stuck: More than two decades later, Tamy is trapped in a loveless marriage because James is the only one who will take care of her and their troubled teenage son
Battling her body: Tamy can barely get out of bed on her own because of her massive weight
Trapped: ‘Living in my body, it’s miserable,’ she admits. My belly has gotten to the point where it’s got a mind of its own’
Tamy and James have fallen out of love, but they are forced to stay together because he is the only one who will care for her and their troubled teenage son.
Although she longs to get out of her loveless marriage and be a better mom to her son, she continues to find comfort in food while remaining isolated from the outside world.
In addition to the emotional pain she faces, Tamy also struggles with intense physical pain because of her massive weight.
‘Living in my body, it’s miserable,’ she admits. My belly has gotten to the point where it’s got a mind of its own, and it’s so painful.
‘I feel like I’m not living. I’m just existing. It’s horrible.’