An Illinois woman featured on TLC’s “My 600-Pound Life” lost nearly 200 pounds after a suicide attempt opened her eyes.
The woman, identified only as “Olivia,” weighed 440 pounds and had been bullied about her weight for most of her life. She was also sexually abused by her cousin at the age of 7.
“I grew up in an abusive house,” Olivia (pictured) told ABC News. “My stepfather was not sexually abusive, but he did hit us.”
By the age of 12, Olivia weighed 180 pounds. After constantly being ridiculed by classmates, Olivia dropped out of high school her senior year.
It was then that Olivia began her path toward morbid obesity.
She confined herself to her parents’ basement, where her family enabled her obesity by bringing her any and all snacks she asked for.
Only her twin sister brought her healthy snacks, Olivia notes.
When a basement flood nearly ended her life, Olivia knew she had to make a change.
“I was half-way up to my waist in water,” she told ABCNews.com. “I had been depressed and my parents were separated, and I was alone and trapped. I knew I would have to pull myself high up. … I fell asleep and the next thing you know, I had collapsed in black, dirty water. I didn’t think twice about putting my feet in the water with the electricity running through the house.”
Her sister eventually rescued her from the basement, but all of her belongings were destroyed during the flood.
Shortly thereafter, Olivia attempted suicide.
She reportedly swallowed 50 vicodin in a desperate effort to kill herself. She told ABC that seeing her twin sister’s face after waking up in the hospital forced her to confront reality.
Now, Olivia has vowed to transform her entire lifestyle. She has reportedly moved to Houston and lost more than 200 pounds. She suffers from extreme lymphedema in her legs, which makes it incredibly painful for her to walk around.
Olivia underwent gastro sleeve surgery in June, notes ABC. She has lost 233 pounds so far.
“I just set my mind to it,” she told ABC. “It was determination, wanting to lose weight. I am Mexican and we eat tortillas and rice and beans, the food that makes you gain weight. I just stopped eating all that.”
Olivia lives with family now, but hopes to eventually be completely self-sufficient.
“I feel wonderful,” she said. "I feel as if I have been reborn. I can go out and face the world. There is nothing to scare me or bother me. Nothing stops me now.”