Transformation: From over 600 Pounds to a Remarkable New Look


Most of us have battled, at one time or another, with at least one facet of our appearance. Amber Rachdi’s battle may have differed from those we’ve faced, as they chronicled their journey for the world to see.

When they first stepped in front of the television cameras on Season 3 of “My 600-lb Life” in 2015, Amber Rachdi weighed over 600 lbs. Their emotional and physical health was in crisis, which is why they originally sought the help of famed surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan to help them begin a weight loss journey that would turn out to be nothing short of miraculous.

Today, Rachdi looks and feels nothing at all like their former self. Currently, they’ve lost somewhere in the vicinity of 400 pounds and have no plans of stopping. While they credit a television show with jump-starting their weight loss journey, Rachdi doesn’t expect to appear on follow-up episodes. Currently active on social media, they have chronicled their weight-loss journey through Instagram images, with over 260k followers cheering them on.

Amber Rachdi weighed 657 at the beginning of their TLC journey

Amber Rachdi, who identifies as “they,” began their weight loss journey as a participant in “My 600-lb Life.” Their episode was the first one of Season 3 and aired in 2015. At the time, they were 23 years old and weighed 657 pounds. Rachdi lived at home with their parents at the beginning of their saga, but unlike many others who have appeared on the show, they had unwavering support from their mom, dad, and brother.

“Amber’s Story” was especially poignant because they were so young. Lymphedema in both legs made it difficult for Rachdi to walk or stand for long periods of time, yet to be a participant in the show, they had to travel from Troutdale, Oregon, to Houston, Texas, for treatment. For Rachdi and their parents, the journey was more than just long and arduous,  it was also humiliating. Rachdi was forced to pay for two tickets on the airplane, faced indifference by airline staff when asking for help, and had to travel by luggage cart to the gate when their wheelchair malfunctioned at drop off.

During the episode, Rachdi referred to themselves in derogatory terms, saying they felt like a “nasty, yucky monster.” They described the journey from Oregon to Texas as a nightmare and admitted to feelings of hopelessness and humiliation. They avowed, at the time, that any further trips to Houston would happen by car.

The first month following their TV weigh-in was successful


After meeting with Dr. Nowzaradan, Amber Rachdi returned home and began working on the diet and exercise plan for which Dr. Now is famous. It was a high-protein, low-carb eating plan, that allowed for around 1,200 calories and no more than three meals a day, with zero snacking allowed. Because, like many participants of the show, food was a comfort tool for Rachdi, learning to limit their caloric intake was challenging. They relocated to Houston right away, to be closer to the treatment center and to avoid a second long and arduous trip by plane. At the time, they admitted feeling guilty that their family had to uproot to move with them, but were thankful they had such a supportive network.

Rachdi took their mother, father, brother Omar, and boyfriend Rowdy with them to Houston, traveling by car. Once there, they began by setting healthy goals for themselves that included being able to drive again, finishing college, and having a family of their own. With these objectives in place, and with the help and support of their parents, brother, and Rowdy, Rachdi was able to lose 17 pounds in the first month following their weigh-in at the clinic.

While it wasn’t the transformative amount of weight loss that Dr. Now often requests of his patients in the first month, it was enough to convince him that Rachdi was ready for bariatric surgery.

Amber Rachdi stunned fans with their success


At the conclusion of their episode, Rachdi had lost nearly 280 pounds in one year’s time. Their final weight was revealed during a celebratory zoo trip with boyfriend, Rowdy, near the end of the episode. It was more than just a day out for Rachdi. It was the couple’s first real date, though they’d been together for several years. In Amber’s own words, they were no longer: “Just Amber of one room, Amber of one floor of one house.”

Though they still had issues with lymphedema on their legs, they had realized their goal of once again fitting behind the wheel of a car. They had learned to enjoy clothes shopping again and expressed satisfaction that they were finally taking responsibility for their health. They had gained the confidence they needed to face life head-on and decided it was time to encourage their brother, Omar, to return home to Troutdale.

At their final weigh-in on the show, Rachdi had reached a low of 390 pounds, a number they hadn’t seen in over a decade. They continued to lose, however, and by the end of the episode, their total weight loss was revealed. At their last visit with Dr. Nowzaradan, he recommended skin removal surgery when Rachdi reached 250 pounds. Of their future, Rachdi was confident, declaring, “Now, I’m shopping for myself. I’m eating healthy, and I’m working out.”

Amber Rachdi continued to chronicle their weight loss after the show

Amber Rachdi elected not to appear in follow-up episodes of “My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?” And they told Starcasm their experience working on the show was “disorganized and jarring.” However, they have continued to keep fans apprised of their progress via social media, most recently, Instagram.

Rachdi’s Instagram feed is filled with selfies of the reality star as they celebrate small victories, such as fitting into a pair of jeans again for the first time since high school, wearing a too-big blouse that didn’t fit two months prior, or making it to their 30th birthday, against the many doomsday predictions of doctors in their past. Their posts fluctuate between inspirational and humorous, such as this post where they state, “I’m not actually attractive. I just have great eyebrows.” And this post, where they liken themselves to a “miserable puffy squirrel” because they’d gotten their wisdom teeth removed. In the majority of their photos, Rachdi models new hairstyles, makeup looks they found online, and glamorous clothing, like the clingy lace dress they wore to their brother’s wedding.

Rachdi’s gentle sense of humor, kindness, and humility shine through in their Instagram posts, as they did on the show, which may be part of the reason why their episode is so memorable. Rachdi is likable, even at their worst, and you can’t help but root for them to succeed.

As Amber Rachdi continued to lose weight, their self-esteem only grew

Fans who watched Amber Rachdi’s episode on “My 600-lb Life” remember their struggles with fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem. On the show, they talked about feeling hopeless and wondering whether it was even worth it to try and lose the weight. They admitted they had an unhealthy relationship with food and that they felt humiliated and tired much of the time. But these days, much has changed. The new Rachdi bears little resemblance to the one from the show, and not just in appearance. There’s been a change of attitude, too.

Where Rachdi once referred to themselves using derogatory language, they now have a much healthier mentality. Posting Instagram selfies with captions such as, “Every once in a while, I feel beautiful,” is becoming more the norm than the exception, and for good reason. Though Rachdi was always attractive, with their hair neatly done and their makeup pristine, today, they have true star quality. Rachdi’s social media feed is jam-packed with body positivity and inspiration for others who struggle with similar issues.

It was revealed, near the end of their episode, that Rachdi had joined a gym. No longer did they turn to food as a coping mechanism for anxiety or fear.  Instead, they had learned how to work through problems and were no longer letting their feelings have control. And apparently, that trend has continued.

Amber Rachdi’s happiness with themselves and their new life led to exciting announcements

Though they have since deleted their Twitter account, Amber Rachdi was active on the platform for several years following their appearance on TLC’s “My 600-lb Life.” And though they’re much more quiet about their personal life today, they did initially post an engagement announcement on Twitter in 2016. In the post, Rachdi asks, “Who is getting hella married? I’m getting hella married.” When a fan asked if their intended was Rowdy, their boyfriend on the show, they responded negatively, saying, “Rowdy and I split up last year. He’s still my bestie.”

In the post, Rachdi shows off a heart-shaped engagement ring but fails to mention the name of their fiance. In a separate Twitter post several years later, they did refer to their husband as Steve.

Rachdi has not publicly mentioned whether they have children. However, they did post this image on Instagram, with the single-word caption, “Momgoth.” The cryptic post had fans asking if Rachdi was a mum and offering their congratulations, to which they replied, “Not to human children, at any rate. It’s just an aesthetic.” Perhaps they were referring to some fur babies?

Amber Rachdi seems to find inspiration in the support of their fans

Unfortunately, not everyone who appeared on “My 600-lb Life” had the same stellar results as Amber Rachdi. However, Rachdi never looked back once they had that first visit with Dr. Now. Whether it was the healthy goals they set for themselves, the unwavering encouragement from their supportive network, or a combination of many factors, the images Rachdi posts of themselves today look nothing at all like the 23-three-year-old from the show. It seems everything about their life has changed, and the changes encompass much more than just what’s on their table.

The support of their social media fans is likely another factor in Rachdi’s ongoing success. Followers regularly post comments such as “U R absolutely beautiful!” and “Wow. You look GOOD,” on posts such as these. And sometimes, Rachdi themself replies, thanking fans for their positivity or explaining a new nail trend or hairstyle. It’s heartening to see Rachdi interact with their followers in such an outgoing and joyful manner, especially after viewing the beginning of “Amber’s Story,” where they talk about how much they dislike themselves and the body they’re in.

It seems, after spending much of the first part of their life housebound and surrounded by only a few trusted family members and friends, Rachdi has blossomed into an outgoing, confident young person who’s unafraid to push back against hateful comments and negativity, like their response to this commenter on their Instagram post, where they told them to “mind [their] own business,” followed with a clown emoji.

As they continue to lose weight, Amber Rachdi’s true personality is emerging

As Amber Rachdi continues to be successful on their weight-loss journey, it seems their true personality has begun to shine. Two years after their episode aired, they posted this Marilyn-Monroe-esque image on Instagram (complete with blonde hair and a bright red lip) with the caption, “I may have cut all my hair off.” Rachdi’s pose and appearance are strikingly similar to the 50s bombshell, and fans immediately made the connection. The post accumulated more than 3,000 likes and a slew of positive comments.

Rachdi’s interests now parallel others of women their own age, leading toward hair, nail, and makeup treatments. In their posts, they model cute outfits and sing the praises of foam rollers and beanies for hiding hair flaws. It’s likely Rachdi was interested in these things all along, but feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem pushed them to the back, where they may have been forgotten even before they were ever acknowledged. For those following along in their transformation, the change is nothing short of inspiring. There’s no doubt that you’re left wondering just how many people Rachdi has helped over the years, simply by being willing to share their stories.

Today, Amber Rachdi is at peace with their appearance

There is a recurrent theme throughout Amber Rachdi’s Instagram feed and its headshots. Often, bolder fans will request full-body pics of the reality star, and, Rachdi will sometimes concur. They posted this Instagram image in December of 2019 with the caption, “By popular request, not a headshot. I’ll never be thin, but I think I’ve made peace with it.” In the photo, Rachdi stands before a mirror, wearing blue jeans and an off-the-shoulder black top, looking beautiful and confident in the skin they’re in.

To date, it’s unclear how much weight Rachdi has continued to lose, whether they had their skin removal surgery, or whether they are still plagued by oversized lymphedema. About such topics, Rachdi remains silent. But while fans may never again see Rachdi appear on a reality television show, they can still follow their life-affirming posts on social media for inspiration and body positivity. And they can rewatch “Amber’s Story,” on TLC via Discovery Plus to revisit how far they’ve come.

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