Amber Rachdi is just one of the millions of Americans whose lives have been affected by obesity. Amber couldn't even stand up, weighing over 650 pounds! She couldn't have the normal life that she wanted.
She knew that she had to make some drastic changes in her life. She dropped over 400 pounds and became a living example that you can overcome these obstacles. Keep reading to hear more about Amber's incredible change.
She Needed To Face Her Weight Head On
Amber Rachdi's biggest struggle throughout her whole life has been her weight. She had lived nearly her entire life overweight and knew that she finally had to face facts and make a change in her life.
She was brave to go on "My 600-lb Life" where she was confronted with many emotions. But at least she was admitting her problem. She had a grueling journey ahead of her but she kept close to the path and never strayed from her goal.
Amber was only a young adult at 23-years-old. She was 657 pounds and couldn't function normally, just moving around was difficult for her. She couldn't make her way through daily tasks like a normal person easily could.
If she just wanted to leave her house to do anything, from grocery shopping to picking something up, she had to use a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. Because she didn't have the mobility that normal people had, she struggled on a daily basis and her self-esteem was greatly impacted too.
Wanted To Be Normal
Because of all her struggles, almost all of Amber's time was spent at home. She was born in Oregon and she's a very sweet and kind person, but many found it difficult to empathize with her position.
Thankfully, Amber was never alone, she had all the support she could have ever wanted with her doting boyfriend and her loving parents. They stuck with her through it all.
At just five-years-old, Amber was struggling with her weight as she was more than 3 times heavier than all of her classmates at 160 pounds. She said she was never full when she ate, so she would keep eating.
Because of her weight, Amber found it hard to make friends and play with children during recess. She couldn't keep up with the more energetic kids. With time she learned to accept it and knew she was different from the other kids her age.
Stuck In A Cycle
With her weight increasing, Amber's self-esteem would plummet and she would eat more since that's the only thing that calmed her down. But the more she ate, the heavier she became.
Amber didn't know how to practice portion control and her eating habits were extremely excessive. She was eating more than double what a normal person should eat daily. And she'd eat plenty of unhealthy snacks between meals too.
First Step In The Right Direction
Amber decided it was time to try and help herself and so she got in touch with a doctor and went to get treated by Dr. Nowzaradan, a specialist in obesity. She flew all the way to Houston to see the doctor.
Just getting out of the house was a milestone for Amber, let alone flying across the country to see a doctor. They had to book her into three seats to fly safely. Amber could feel her anxiety rise as she realized the gravity of her situation.
Confirming Her Fears
Amber and her family knew they could trust her doctor, he was, after all, a specialist. He was straightforward and honest with Amber but he also encouraged her in the right direction.
It was a wake-up call for Amber when he told her how bad her condition was. He said that she probably wouldn't live to 30 if she kept this up. This changed the way Amber thought and she was motivated to make a change for the better.
The First 17 Pounds
To get gastric bypass surgery, Amber would have to lose at least 17 pounds. This meant that she would not only have to exercise but also talk to a therapist who could solve her food addiction.
After seeing a therapist for sometimes, she was taught about what other foods she could eat that would benefit her body instead of harm it. She also started doing the only exercise her body could handle, taking walks.
Her Boyfriend Was Committed
With support from her boyfriend, Rowdy, Amber managed to burn off her first 17 pounds. He said that he may have been partly responsible for Amber being so overweight. She had gained a lot of her weight after she met him.
Rowdy always encouraged Amber, but he needed to do it in the right direction. He looked at how he encouraged her and started to push her in the right direction, staying right by her side.
The First Year
Amber's doctor felt that it was necessary for her to get gastric bypass surgery. After the surgery, her stomach was only the size of a baseball which helped greatly in what was to come next.
By the end of the show, Amber had lost a staggering 267 pounds. When she lost her initial 92 pounds she started going to the gym regularly. Now that she had lost so much weight, she could do much more advanced exercise that would help her shed more weight.
As difficult as it was to take the first step and get help, it was the start of a string of decisions that grew Amber’s confidence. With the help of health experts, she was able to identify that her anxiety disorder was the root of her need to overeat.
While Amber learned ways to take better care of herself physically, she also was discovering how to keep herself mentally healthy. Exercise helped her body and mind, so she started attended the gym daily.
Rowdy and Amber Broke Up, But Remain Close Friends
While on My 600-lb Life, it became clear to audiences that Rowdy and Amber may not be the best fit for one another. They ultimately broke up but remained close friends. A year after being on the show, Amber even defended Rowdy against upset fans.
Some fans wondered whether or not Rowdy was a good influence on Amber. She responded in a Twitter post: “Who do y’all think is taking pictures of me at the gym? He is a good, supportive friend.”
Reaching New Goals
While the initial 267 pounds Amber had lost on the show were an amazing start, she still had a ways to go. Though her weight was now less than 400 pounds, she still was considered obese.
With a newfound sense of confidence and boundaries in place between her and her ex, Amber held strong to her convictions. She kept progressing and lost a total of 420 pounds, bringing her weight down to about 237 pounds.
She Received Skin Removal Surgery
Since the human body isn’t made to carry so many hundreds of pounds, loose skin can result from losing a massive amount of weight. In Amber’s case, she lost almost two-thirds of her peak body weight, meaning that she hand a lot of excess skin.
To improve her skin’s elasticity, she had to undergo skin removal surgery. The procedure was a success, and today Amber looks much more like your run-of-the-mill woman in her 20s.
The Gym Is A Part Of Her Life
Once the weight is off, a major challenge is keeping it off. The momentum Amber had at the beginning of her journey has understandably slowed now that her health has improved. She admitted on Instagram that she sometimes has to drag herself to the gym.
She noted that no matter how much she whines about it, she has never once regretted going to the gym. The priceless feeling afterward reminds Amber that she is strong and capable.
Social Media Presence
When Amber was severely obese, it was difficult for her to face the outside world. Now that she has a newfound confidence, she loves posting selfies and sharing her thoughts on social media.
Before, Amber could barely stand up straight for 30 seconds. Today, she has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram who love to see all the great things she’s accomplishing. Thousands of people have left words of encouragement on Amber’s social media pages.
Trying New Looks
One way that Amber has come into her own is by expressing herself in her fashion. Her Instagram is full of selfies that boast an array of styles. From short, blonde hair to partially shaved, long black hair, Amber loves to try different looks.
When Amber was severely obese, she didn’t have much of a choice in what she wore. After losing so much weight, she had the opportunity to revamp her closet and control how she presents herself.
Becoming A Beauty Guru
In addition to hair and fashion, Amber also expresses herself through makeup. Her talent hasn’t gone unrecognized, and some of her followers have even asked her to record makeup tutorials. She loves to follow recent trends like face jewels and defined eyebrows.
Her increased presence both online and in real life is a reflection of the confidence and motivation that’s resulted from her weight loss. Commenters compared the way she looks in this photograph to that of Scarlett Johansson, a compliment that likely went a long way to Amber.
She Goes All Out With Her Nails
The beauty guru recently began experimenting with complex nail designs, as well. Where her nails are often short and plain in older photos, her images show off her flair for intricate nail designs.
When she was spending most of her time at home, she didn’t have as much of an excuse to get all done up. Now that she’s able to flourish out in society, she takes pride in her appearance and the ability to express herself with her style.
She Got A Higher Education
Being able to go outside and function in society again meant that Amber could, at last, do something she had put off: go back to school. After achieving mental and physical stability, she decided to pursue a higher education.
Though she prefers to keep her life private these days, rumor has it that she graduated college with an English degree. Given her determination in the face of obesity, we have no doubt that she excelled academically.
She Said “Yes”
In June 2016, just a year after appearing on My 600-lb Life, Amber announced on social media that she was getting married! She didn’t specify who the lucky man was since she prefers to keep her private life out of the limelight.
One reason for her hesitancy to reveal personal information to the masses is due to her negative experience on the show. She has such a distaste for the producers that she refused to be featured on the spinoff series, My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?
Using Her Experience To Help Others
Now that Amber has come out on top, she’s using her experience to help others get through their issues with weight and overeating. She holds Q&As on her social media platforms to candidly talk about the struggles of her recovery and how she overcame them.
Though she offers her followers advice from someone who can relate, she also reminds them that everyone is different. Amber encourages others to get professional help just as she did while extending comfort and support throughout their unique journey.