At the start of filming for his episode of “My 600-Lb Life”, Wess Schulze was 36 years old and weighed an astonishing 705lbs. Wess soon won over viewers of season 11 by recounting details of his heartbreakingly dysfunctional childhood, such as his parents’ divorce when he was three years old, and the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a family member.
Wess began deliberately gaining weight to make himself undesirable after being molested. As his mother was an alcoholic, his father Rick won custody and was Wess’s only parental figure; sadly, their relationship suffered when Wess revealed that he was gay, as Rick disapproved of his sexuality. This led to Wess’s food addiction spiraling out of control, as he desperately sought out a source of comfort.
Having reached his breaking point, Wess reached out to Dr. Now and eventually lost enough weight to qualify for surgery. Despite their past differences, Rick was especially supportive of his son throughout his journey, and the pair became much closer after Wess worked with a therapist to improve his communication skills.
At the end of the episode, Wess had lost an impressive 228lbs (103kgs). The aspiring actor had a long way to go, but seemed committed to losing the rest of the weight and implementing long-lasting changes to improve his health and quality of life. These days, he is documenting his progress on Instagram and has around 3,000 followers.
Wess appears to be taking his diet and exercise regime seriously, as he recently uploaded a photo of a typical breakfast – a hard-boiled egg and a piece of cheese – and shared with fans that just a year prior, he used to eat 12 tacos to start the day. Now, he also enjoys strenuous workouts, and has started taking care of his appearance by regularly shaving and having haircuts.
For those interested my episode of My 600lb Life is already streaming on the Discovery+ app and will be airing tonight on TLC at 7 p.m. cst. Like, comment, subscribe, and share please! #my600lblife #my600poundlife #my600lbslife #discoveryplus #tlcnetwork pic.twitter.com/PINtoPMBzI
— Wess Schulze (@wess_schulze) February 15, 2023
The good news is that Wess and Rick’s bond has strengthened since filming for “My 600-Lb Life”. By helping his son to eat healthily and exercise, and driving him to his appointments with Dr. Now, Rick proved himself to be a dependable and supportive father figure. In an interview with Distractify, Wess said that his relationship with Rick was “continually evolving. Today was better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today.”
Luckily for Wess, going on “My 600-Lb Life” has helped him boost his confidence as well. After showing his vulnerable side in front of the cameras, the TV star is a changed man, and has even joined the dating scene, joking that he’s “single and ready to mingle”.
We don’t have an exact figure for Wess’s total weight loss just yet, but as he’s keeping his followers up to date with regular social media posts, the internet will most probably be the first to know when he reaches his final goal weight.
Other season 11 participants include Geno Dacunto, who was joined by his cousin Nico Martone during filming. Both men were morbidly obese, and knew that they needed to lose weight for the sake of their health. Viewers were somewhat disappointed by how brief their episode was, as Geno and Nico were rigorously following Dr. Now’s weight loss plan, but they hope to find out more about the cousins’ progress in a special follow-up episode.
In December 2022, shortly before the episode aired, Nico posted Facebook photos showing that he had slimmed down considerably, whereas Geno is also looking healthier despite not having had bariatric surgery yet. These days, Geno is working as a chef at Silver Sands Restaurant and is reportedly in a serious relationship with an anonymous woman. As for Nico, he recently became engaged to the mother of his daughter.
Next up is Latonya Pottain, who was 37 years old and weighed 632lbs when her episode began. Latonya lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, and first met Dr. Now in 2017. Unfortunately, Latonya didn’t get off to a good start with the surgeon, as she continued to gain weight instead of losing enough to qualify for weight loss surgery.
It soon became clear to viewers that Latonya wasn’t taking Dr. Now’s program seriously. Despite her half-hearted attempts to exercise, the Louisiana native relied heavily on her motorized wheelchair, and continued eating unhealthy foods and lying about it. After being hospitalized due to a dangerous heart issue, and being put on a controlled diet by Dr. Now, Latonya lost weight for the first time during her episode, but was informed by the surgeon that he would be unable to keep working with her unless she shed a further 60lbs at home.
Sadly, Latonya failed to reach her goal weight, and could no longer keep working with the respected surgeon. The TV personality began overeating at the age of 12 when her mother died, and had previously tried to lose weight without professional help. Despite having a supportive fiancé, nephew, and caretaker, and meeting with Dr. Now twice, Latonya’s food addiction got the better of her, and appeared impossible to overcome.
In February 2023, Latonya uploaded a TikTok video confirming that she was still doing the weight loss program and had begun seeing a psychiatrist to work on her past. Her caretaker, Virgie, passed away in the same month, which came as a devastating loss to the TLC alum.
Virgie was a fundamental part of Latonya’s life, as she cooked her meals, helped her bathe and take care of her personal hygiene, and was her number-one cheerleader. The reality TV star shared a photo of Virgie on social media, captioning it: “As I look at ur picture and the tears fall I miss u my love but I can hear u saying life is hard but it’s fair hunny.”
It’s hard to tell what the future has in store for Latonya following the death of her caretaker, but viewers are rooting for her to win after two unsuccessful attempts. Similarly to Wess, Geno and Nico, Latonya will possibly appear in a follow-up episode sometime in 2023, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any updates.