'My 600-lb Life': Ryan Barkdoll reveals how death of dad spurred his food addiction

For Ryan Barkdoll, his addiction to food began at a very young age and since then, it has been a downward spiral

                            'My 600-lb Life': Ryan Barkdoll reveals  how death of dad spurred his food addiction
Ryan Barkdoll on 'My 600-lb Life' (TLC)

For the patients on 'My 600-lb Life', even simple, everyday tasks seem like a mammoth of a job. With their weight holding them back, these people have to rely on those around them to survive. And while the show aims to chronicle their journey, there is no sure-shot way of knowing if there will be a happy ending to each story.

For 31-year-old Ryan Barkdoll, his weight issues began at a relatively young age due to a range of emotional problems. However, the older he got, his addiction to substances began to rival his addiction to food. And then on out, it was a downward spiral for him.


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At 740 pounds, Ryan explained that he hadn't slept in a bed in eight years due to his massive size. Most of his time is restricted to a lounge chair in the living room. He even cleans himself in the living room due to his inability to move. Ryan is helped by his mother, Tammy and her boyfriend, Leroy. For Ryan, his problematic relationship with food began early on. His stepfather, Jeff, never showed him any affection.

Unable to get the attention he wanted as a child, Ryan turned to food. At age 10, he hit the 100-pound mark. His weight only got worse until his mother sent him off to live with his grandparents. Here, Ryan received the positive reinforcement he had been looking for from his grandfather. His grandfather spent time with him, and for a brief period, Ryan was doing far better. However, when he realised that his biological father had passed away and then later, his grandfather fell terminally ill, the cycle of food abuse started again. In school, Ryan found solace in football. He was stuck as a lineman, unable to play the position he wanted to due to his size.

Ryan Barkdoll on 'My 600-lb Life' (TLC)



By the time he was 17, he had hit 300 pounds due to his constant partying and abuse of drugs. When he was caught with marijuana, he was kicked off the football team. Determined to get his life on track, he joined job school, where he excelled at welding.

But he could not get a job causing him to continue his problematic relationship with food. A friend noticed his growing issues and offered to help him find a job. Ryan began working at a call centre, and while he was supporting himself, his food habits continued. He hit another breaking point when his boss fired him due to his weight, stating that he needed to lose weight. By 28 years, he was 700 pounds, back living with his mom and on disability support. Ryan noted that he wants his life back.

'My 600-lb Life' airs every Wednesday at 8/7c on TLC.