Amber Rachdi tipped the scales at 657 pounds when she signed up for My 600-lb Life. But what happened in the years since camera crews first documented her? Did Rachdi undergo a successful transformation, or did she fall among former cast members who suffered worse fates? Find out what became of Rachdi after she shared her struggles on TLC.
‘My 600 lb Life’ Airs On The TLC Network
Since 2012, viewers have been fascinated by TLC’s My 600-lb Life. The reality series follows the lives of morbidly obese Americans as they attempt to lose weight and heal emotional wounds. Along the way, their progress is overseen by a medical professional, Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (often referred to as Dr. Now).
Now in its ninth season, the show has produced a roster of alumni who’ve achieved varying results. Some former participants are success stories; others died of causes related to their weight. (In fact, one patient who appeared on Season 6 had a heart attack and passed away during filming.)
The unpredictable nature of the outcomes has some people wondering what happened to Amber Rachdi of Season 5.
Amber Rachdi Lost An Unbelievable Amount Of Weight After ”My 600-lb Life”
Oregon native Amber Rachdi was 23 years old and 657 pounds when she appeared on Season 5 of My 600-lb Life. Obesity had always been a struggle for her—at 5, she weighed 160 pounds, and by 16, she had to be weighed on a scale designed for the wheelchair-bound. A bulk of her excess weight was carried in her legs, which made it difficult to walk or even stand for more than 30 minutes. She relied on a mobility scooter to get around and suffered from an intense amount of shame over her condition.
Amber, who used binge eating to cope with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, eventually became a recluse. She depended on her enabling family and boyfriend to feed and care for her. But when she was finally ready to address her problems with medical and psychological treatment, she allowed the show to follow her for an entire year.
Dr. Now’s prognosis was grim: if she didn’t lose significant weight, Amber wouldn’t live to see her 30th birthday. Eager to prove her commitment, she lost 17 pounds in three months. Amber became one of the few patients approved by the doctor to receive gastric bypass surgery.
The procedure came with risks, and at one point after the surgery, Amber was hurried to an emergency room for severe chest pain. Amber was actually having an anxiety attack, which highlighted her need to supplement her lifestyle changes with therapy. By the end of her journey, she lost a total of 267 pounds.
So did Amber maintain her weight loss, or did she gain it back? Neither—she went on to lose at least an extra hundred pounds. Contractual obligations prevent her from giving a solid number, but the pictures say it all. Check her out in this Instagram bathroom selfie:
Amber’s motivation and optimism has made her a popular figure on social media. Her Instagram following clocks in at 213,000 followers, and she is said to engage with fans of the show on Facebook. Just don’t turn to her for dieting advice—she knows that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss:
"Oh Amber how did you overcome your issues with food?"— Amber Rachdi 🍎🍐🍒🍑🍊🥥 (@AmberRachdi) January 31, 2021
I didn't. I just supplanted them with new, slightly quirkier ones.
What Is Amber Rachdi Doing Now?
Amber’s appearance isn’t the only part of her life that’s undergone a drastic change. Since we last saw her on the show, she also broke up with her boyfriend Rowdy. He was often accused by critics of being an enabler who stood in the way of his girlfriend’s weight loss. However, Amber seems to suggest that their split wasn’t bitter. On social media, she’s requested that viewers go easy on him.
In defense of Rowdy, my ex who was on the show: who do y'all think is taking pictures of me at the gym? He IS a good, supportive friend.— Amber Rachdi 🍎🍐🍒🍑🍊🥥 (@AmberRachdi) February 19, 2016
In 2016, she announced on Twitter that she was engaged. There’s no word on who the partner is, and she has never shared a photo of him on social media. However, she did make one mention of him in 2018. Dressed in a leather jacket and looking super slimmed down, she wrote in an Instagram caption, “My husband took this one, but I still feel pretty cool in my leather jacket.”
Amber still lives outside of Portland, Oregon, and is pretty active on Twitter. She doesn’t seem to fixate on her reality star status. Instead, she prefers to talk about current affairs and brag about the bounty of her home garden:
I love my garden so much. pic.twitter.com/PXZHOCRloP— Amber Rachdi 🍎🍐🍒🍑🍊🥥 (@AmberRachdi) January 28, 2021
A sad truth is that many people we’ve seen on My 600-lb Life could not overcome their challenges. Amber is an inspiration who has survived a hard life with a sense of humor. (“I was REAL fat. Now I’m just normal-fat. Life ain’t bad,” she quips in her Instagram bio.) She serves as a reminder that a positive attitude can help achieve even the most difficult goals.