I pit Gareth, Zsalynn's husband, on My 600 lb life

Zsalynn’s story is featured on TLC’s My 600 lb life. Zsalynn is a 500+ lb woman with a young daughter. She seeks bariatric surgery at the Houston TX hospital where Dr. Nowzaradan operates and counsels patients post-surgery.

Since her surgery, Zsalynn has lost 200+ lbs.

Zsalynn’s efforts to lose weight post-surgery have been sabotaged, belittled and dissed at every turn by her neanderthal husband, Gareth.

Zsalynn and Gareth initially got together because he loved big women, and she was proud of being the size she was. At least, until their daughter was born, and Zsalynn got so big, her mobility was severely diminished and she couldn’t properly interact with her child. Her best friend Bonnie took on a role of caregiver to their daughter. This fact motivated Zsalynn to seek the bariatric surgery option with Dr. Nowzaradan.

I pit Gareth for the following reasons:

  1. Post surgery, he contacted Zsalynn by phone (ok, maybe he should have BEEN at the hospital with her, but I get that some family members cannot tolerate hospitals) and asked her how much weight she lost, and then told her he went to the taco stand. Really sensitive, that Gareth.
  2. Gareth did drive to Houston when Zsalynn was discharged. Turned up late. Went to the drive through fast food place to pick up burger and fries, etc. Admonished Zsalynn not to steal his fries, and asked her to hold his burger.
  3. Zsalynn started working with a personal trainer, and Gareth hit the roof. Told Zsalynn to use the vacuum cleaner more. During the argument, draws daughter into the conflict, leading the 9 year old to wail, why did you marry him, Mom? To which our neanderthal replies, ‘I’m with her’.
  4. Zsalynn comes home from an exercise walk with her personal trainer and Gareth meets her at the door. Zsalynn says, Guess how far I walked today? Gareth replies, 3 feet? 10 feet?

I know she is responsible for staying in an unhealthy relationship. I get that she married him for the wrong reasons. I still feel Gareth, this waste of skin, needs to be pitted big time.

Here endeth my maiden Pit in this august forum.

I can’t think of anything less meaningful than pitting reality show participants. Anything.

Didn’t see that episode, but did you see the woman who never lost any weight throughout the program? I couldn’t believe the doctor operated on her in the first place! Yes, I am talking about the woman who told him, “I can reach my vagina now.”


I used to work at a hospital that did bariatric surgery; I don’t recall seeing anyone there over 300 or so pounds, and even if they passed the preliminary screenings, the surgeon often rejected them anyway, mostly because of psychiatric issues.

Yes, I did view that one. She was so in denial, really it was a waste of everyone’s time, and sadly, she also had a young son. this woman had not been able to walk or even get out of bed in years. Most of the 600lb+ patients have some mobility issues, but are able to at least get around. This one had her husband feeding her deepfried food in bed (he said 'deepfrying at home is healthier than a restaurant, right?) No one could get through to her.

What a waste.

To Amateur Barbarian - this reality show has some usefulness. It is not so over the top as some of them out there (not mentioning Biggest Loser, but hey, how ‘real is that’ :slight_smile: meaning, My 600 lb life does not propagate the fake drama and hyperbole that a lot of reality shows invest in. You can argue this segment, Zsalynn’s, had ‘drama’ but it was really one-sided (from him) and there were no epiphanic moments, as you might expect, where Zsalynn suddenly found her inner strength and went after Gareth with a tire iron. As much as I wanted her to :slight_smile: But this show doesn’t go that route. A fine distinction, maybe, but one worth making.

The bottom line is that while it is not true in every case, most people who get to 600 lbs. or more need enablers, or at least people surrounding them who contribute to the issues causing their weight gain rather than helping to alleviate them. It is not at all surprising to find a spouse who ridicules and belittles their partner in these circumstances.

Tied with modern-day pittings of Sara Palin; three points above pitting her reality show.

I was channel surfing and saw this episode.

Gareth was a complete asshole and I doubt she will leave him because then she won’t have a man. She doesn’t have any self-esteem.

When he was trying to get her to eat the fries, I wanted to book a flight to wherever they live and kick his ass while his daughter watches. What a complete bastard. He doesn’t love her (or even like her) for that matter. She is a means to an end for his fetish and that’s all she ever will be to him. He does not give a rats ass about her.

I felt so bad for that woman. I don’t know what went so wrong in her life to lead her to abuse her body so badly. Thank God for her friend who was so supportive. At least her daughter’s head appears to on straight.

That’s true, but it isn’t a given, and although it isn’t surprising, it should not be tolerated.

Substitute addictions for obesity (and I’m not saying obesity is a result of addictive behaviour) and you get the same dynamic, in families, across relationships. Enabling, supporting, denying, lashing out, etc. It’s all part of the pattern.

Essentially what brought Zsalynn and Gareth together will drive them apart. Which is true of any relationship if the dynamic is unhealthy enough.

A friend who I’ve known since we were kids has been working together with her husband for both of them to lose weight. They’ve made exercising a real habit for them, and are eating with more care and awareness. She complained recently on Facebook about people she knows criticizing her better eating habits (and she’s not preachy!), so I sent her an article about how people close to someone working on their body may try to sabotage their efforts.

In this case, I suspect either the guy really “likes” obese women, or he likes her being near-helpless, unhappy, and generally under his thumb. Now she’s got people giving her hope and he’s doing his best to stomp on that.

This isn’t fake or scripted “reality”. It’s more of a documentary.

More to the point of what I attempted to say, thanks. It is definitely more documentary than reality, imo.

There’s rarely a difference on television, no matter how they present the setting. Commercial television no longer has the budget or motivation to do open-ended documentaries, and you can be sure that the series was blocked out in all but the minute-to-minute details before the first frame was shot.

I can’t think of anything less meaningful than complaining about reality tv over and over again in a thread where you have no interest.

Or are you fighting the good fight?

Have no interest? Explain?

The good fight? It’s righteous to pit assholes who discourage others from bettering their lives and their childrens’.

Hint: Library Spy is on your side. I think…

Oops, got that. Apologies, Libraryspy, for the presumption.

Well, let’s see: this is the Pit, and the post is whining about how mean and bad a semi-fictional character on tv is, and how the other semi-fictional character (a morbidly obese woman who’s submitted to the questionable practice of bariatric surgery) should really dump the first character who isn’t being good enough to her shrinking landmass…

So, yeah, I’m injecting a few cries of What Bullshit! Sue me.

I opened the thread because I read the title as:

I pit Gareth [a poster who is the husband of] Zsalynn [a different poster] on my [the OP] 600 lb life.

In other words, I thought the OP weighed 600 lbs and was pitting someone who made fun of her lifestyle.

Then I realized that it was about a reality show and that after all these years there’s still people out there is still credulous enough to believe in reality shows.

In Cafe, MPSIMS, etc. I would have left, slowly shaking my head at the slow progress in the FaI, but saw AB’s post and thought to add my .02—because people who believe in reality shows to the point where they pit characters on it deserve to be at least mocked, if not pitted. (IMHO, that is.)

It might not be Pit-worthy but it’s an interesting discussion and brings up some good points about relationship dynamics. Maybe a mod could move it to MPSIMS.

I saw part of the episode with the 600-pound woman who gained weight after the surgery. Her husband sabotaged her too, but without the denigrating remarks. She’d give him a grocery list – all junk food – and he put three pints of Ben & Jerry’s in the cart even though it wasn’t on the list. “She likes ice cream.”

So why does he do that? Does he need to feel needed? Does he think she’ll leave him if she loses weight?

How much counseling do these people get before the surgery, and after?

She was unable to get out of bed, so all she could eat is what was brought to her. She couldn’t do what Johnny Sack’s wife did in The Sopranos, hide candy bars in the basement. And what about Johnny Sack? He obviously loved his wife and she knew he loved her, so why didn’t he encourage her to lose weight? Did he not want to hurt her feelings. (The actress died young, by the way.)

This husband was as worthless a jackass as I can imagine in this context. It is faint compensation that all the viewers of this program will immediately grow an abiding dislike of him. I liked the wife – she’s got some real spark inside – and her completely excellent friend and her delightful daughter.

I hope some very visible and embarrassing chronic condition befalls him for the rest of his regrettable life.