Season 7 of My 600-lb Life was the best one yet (don't @ me). Through their resilient tales of hardship and addiction, we watched as Octavia, Bri, and Robin started on paths toward a healthier life. It's honestly empowering to watch this TLC show that documents morbidly obese participants as they undergo weight-loss surgery and get their lives on track.
In 2019, we met Justin McSwain, who uprooted his life in South Carolina to visit Dr. Younan Nowzaradan in Houston. At close to 700 pounds, he struggled to fit into a rental car to make his way over to Dr. Now's office.
"This is not the car I requested," Justin said in a clip where he realizes that he can't fit into the driver's seat. "I really can't believe this, this is the last thing I need. I'm trying really hard not to spiral but I'm beyond my limit at this point."
But adopting a healthy lifestyle wasn't easy for Justin, who had a shockingly tragic first weigh-in. Initially hoping his weight would be "in the upper 500s or lower 600s at least," he was devastated when the time came for his weight to be taken at Dr. Now's office.
When the scale showed 687.5 pounds, it was far from the goal weight Justin had in mind. "That number is shocking to see because I knew I was likely in the 600s, but I thought it was the low 600s," he says in a voice-over. "Getting help is even more urgent than I thought, and it makes me worry that there's a greater chance [Dr. Now] may say he can't help me since I'm so big."
Where is Justin now?
Luckily, Dr. Now agreed to take on Justin's case, and two years after his episode first premiered, Justin is in better shape than ever. Fans will be glad to know Justin is pretty active on his Instagram and Facebook accounts, where he recently thanked Dr. Now in a sentimental post.
The caption read, "Through quarantine and feelings of being trapped again it’s been even harder to maintain than it was to lose, and though it’s far from easy and I do fluctuate, I am still further along than I ever thought possible. Thank you @younannowzaradan for taking a chance on me."
Shortly after undergoing his skin removal surgery, Justin and his adorable corgi, Finn, moved back to South Carolina where they seem to be leading a very active lifestyle. Last June, the reality star celebrity his 30th birthday, which was a day that Justin never thought he'd live to see.
He wrote on Instagram. "At one point I wasn’t sure I’d even hit 30, but now I have an entirely new and full life! So grateful to have the friends I do to celebrate with and who go out of their way to make days like today even more special. I love and appreciate you all!"
Justin, who is now one of Dr. Now's most successful patients, will appear on the March 31 episode of My 600-Lb. Life: Where Are They Now. He recently spoke at a conference for the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America where he offered a word of encouragement to others on the same journey.
He told the audience, "It feels really good to think that I could help others who struggle with their weight by sharing what I've been able to do. A year ago, I never would've believed that I would've been capable of doing any of this."
He said that although surgery has been an effective "tool" on his weight loss journey, keeping a positive mindset and sticking to Dr. Now's popular low-fat, low-carb diet has ultimately helped Justin lead his best life.
"Weight loss surgery has made an incredible difference on my life, but one of the most important lessons I've gotten out of it is that it is really just a tool, and it takes so much more than that to get to where you want to be," he shared.
And Justin is now doing the most beautiful thing of all: using his positive mentality to give back to the community. Keep it up, Justin!
Watch his story on TLC's My 600-lb Life, Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.