Lisa Fleming, 49, is morbidly obese and weighs in at 704 pounds. She was featured on the TLC series My 600lb Life, on which she made a her first steps toward recovery.


Fleming explained on the show that she grew up as a “regular child,” but began obsessive eating when she was young. Her mother would not show physical affection, but would cook food as an expression of love. Her mother would also use eating as a punishment and, as a result, Fleming believes she developed a problematic relationship with food.

“I remember this one time, I asked for some cake and she wouldn’t give it to me. I didn’t understand so I just stuck my finger in and rubbed all the icing off the cake,” she explained. “My mama caught me and said ‘I know ain’t nobody done this but you’, and she sat me down and said I had to eat the whole cake. But after an hour my dad came and threw it in the trash can. He always saved me.”

Fleming’s parents divorced when she was 9-years-old, which only added to her childhood trauma. She shared that eating was the only thing that brought her comfort. By the age of 11, Fleming already weighed 120 pounds.

“Ice cream was my friend at night,” she said. “I had my own bowl, I had my own spoon and I kept it hid in my room until my mom found it one day, but that didn’t even stop me.”

Now, Fleming is bed-ridden because of her weight. She says things are so bad that she has discovered maggots living in the folds of her skin. That, however, proved to be a turning point for Fleming, who took it as a sign to get better. She sought weight loss surgery options and, for the first time in years, was able to leave her bed. She traveled six hours to meet with a doctor in Houston about a procedure.

“I’m tired, I’m hungry and I’m not looking forward to having the paramedics move me out of this bed,” she said on the program. While it took seven paramedics to successfully transfer Fleming, she is still glad to be making progress in her recovery.

“I can’t believe it’s come to this, but at least I’m doing something about it before it gets to be too late,” she said.