The series My 600 Lb. Life focuses on the powerful stories of morbidly obese people as they attempt to better their lives. Each of the individuals weigh more than 600 pounds and take the steps to follow through with a high-risk gastric bypass surgery. While some are eager to rid themselves of the weight, others put up more of a fight, especially because of all the drastic changes that come along with the weight-loss journey. On episode 11 of season 6, James “LB” Bonner is the subject and viewers get an inside look at his family, his struggles and his relationships. Get to know more about Bonner in our 5 Fast Facts below.
1. His Weight Spiraled Out of Control When His Aunt Passed Away
According to the Daily Mail, Bonner’s favorite aunt (Dora) would spoil him with food, which did not help his situation. In turn, Bonner weighed 150 pounds by the time he was 8 years old. According to TLC, Aunt Dora was more dedicated to Bonner because he was the only boy in the family. Bonner spent a great deal of time with his Aunt Dora and Uncle Sam, looking to them as second parents, calling them “Ma Two” and “Dad Two.”
Bonner stated on the show that,”I was always excited to go stay with my aunt and uncle. Every time I would get down there, the first thing she’d do is go open up the cabinets and say: ‘Whatcha want?’” Unfortunately, just before Bonner’s ninth birthday, Aunt Dora died of cancer. Bonner felt comfort in food, using it as a coping mechanism for his grief.
2. Bonner Was Adopted
Bonner hails from Lexington, South Carolina. For most of his early years, Bonner said that he tried to “prove himself” to his adoptive family, but ultimately, his life took a turn as he battled obesity. On My 600 Lb. Life, Bonner revealed, “I was adopted as a newborn because, after having three girls, my parents decided to adopt a boy, and so they got me.”
In a clip from the show, Bonner’s father, Buddy, said that, “Everybody wants to have a son, especially me. That’s all I dreamed of: having a boy, giving him my name, letting him carry on my life.” According to TLC, Buddy said that the entire family wanted to be a part of Bonner’s adoption.
Since working hard at losing weight, Bonner told The Lexington Ledger that his relationship with his family has greatly improved, especially with his mother, as reported by Newsweek. And, with the help of weight loss surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, Bonner’s health has continued to get better as well.
3. His Leg Was Amputated After an ATV Accident
Then, the Daily Mail reported that when he was 25 years old, he had to have his right leg amputated, as the result of an ATV accident. It was then that Bonner’s weight issues really exploded.
4. A Torn ACL Ruined His Chances of Success In Football
As a teenager, Bonner tore his ACL and this was another time that he decided to turn to food for help. The Daily Mail reported that Bonner’s weight didn’t stop him from participating in sports throughout high school at White Knoll High School. Unfortunately, Bonner tore his ACL, which ended any chance he had of becoming a success with a football career. Bonner explained to The Lexington Ledger that, “You always hear about the fat kid getting picked last in gym class, but I was always picked first or second.”
5. Bonner Dropped Out of High School
The Lexington Ledger reported that Bonner dropped out of high school after he started partying hard and drinking a lot. Overcoming his drinking was one of his biggest struggles, as Bonner told Newsweek that, “The hardest thing for me to give up was definitely potatoes and alcohol. Not only did I kick a food addiction and a food issue, I’ve also overcome an alcohol addiction as well.”