‘Heaviest woman in the world’ tipped the scales at 677lbs

World’s heaviest woman who tipped the scales at 677lbs falls back into bad habits after gaining 43lbs following drastic weight-loss surgery

  • Pauline Potter was the heaviest woman in the Guinness Book of Records 
  • Managed to get down to 249lbs after bariatric surgery on hit show My 600lb Life
  • Weight had crept back up to 292lbs when she appeared on the follow-up show 

A morbidly-obese woman who lost an impressive 428lbs (194kg) has fallen back into bad habits after gaining 43lbs (19kg). 

Pauline Potter was named the heaviest woman alive in the Guinness Book of Records when she tipped the scales at 643lbs (292kg) in 2011. At her heaviest, she weighed 677lbs (307kg).

Desperate for a ‘normal life’, she moved from California to Houston to meet with Dr Younan Nowzaradan, star of the hit TLC reality show My 600lb Life. 

Ms Potter, who is in her early fifties, managed to slim down to 249lbs (112kg) after bariatric surgery.

However, her weight had crept back up to 292lbs (132kg) when she appeared on the follow-up show My 600lb Life: Where Are They Now?. 

Pauline Potter is pictured at her heaviest, tipping the scales at 677lbs (307kg) three years ago

Despite undergoing bariatric surgery, Ms Potter continued to overindulge in fatty foods, which she called the ‘highlight’ of her day. She started overeating started as a child when her parents divorced. She was ‘chubby’ at eight and weighed nearly 300lbs (136kg) by the time she was 17

Three years ago, Ms Potter uttered the words: ‘I just wonder if I’ll ever have a normal life.’ 

Barely able to move, she relied on her son Dillon to cook for her and clean the house, Distractify reported.  

Only able to ‘feed and wipe’ herself, she said: ‘I am absolutely trapped in this body.’ 

Ms Potter previously called food the ‘highlight’ of her day. Her overeating reportedly started as a child when her parents divorced and her stay-at-home mother was barely able to afford food.

When her parents reunited and money became less of an issue, Ms Potter ‘overdid it’. 

She claims she began to get ‘chubby’ when she was eight years old and by the time she was 17, she weighed nearly 300lbs (136kg). 

Ms Potter hit the 500lb (226kg) mark at 29, the same year she gave birth to her son. 

Not long after Ms Potter met Dr Nowzaradan, the medic dumped her from his weight-loss programme when she refused to get out of bed after undergoing bariatric surgery.

The medic warned this was putting her at risk of a blood clot, but Ms Potter insisted she had pulled a muscle in her abdomen, which made it too painful to move.

‘You are making excuses that are not acceptable,’ Dr Nowzaradan said. ‘I want to see you walk out of this room.’ 

Mr Potter, who claims to have tried 30 diets, was eventually forced to undergo another high-risk surgery to put a blood-clot filter into her leg. 

Ms Potter was dumped from the ‘My 600lb Life’ weight-loss programme when she refused to get out of bed following bariatric surgery. She claimed a pulled muscle in her abdomen made walking too painful, but medics warned she was putting herself at risk of a deadly blood clot

Pictured at her most obese, Ms Potter was named the heaviest woman alive in the Guinness Book of Records. She was eventually allowed to rejoin the weight-loss programme when she lost 148lbs (67kg) one year after the operation. However, her weight later crept back on

Ms Potter has also gone under the knife to remove excess folds of skin from her abdomen 

After several months in hospital, Ms Potter was eventually discharged. She then rejoined the show after she lost 148lbs (67kg) a year on from the operation. 

Although pleased with her weight loss, Ms Potter complained of constant knee pain and repeatedly requested medication to numb her discomfort.

She then lost 50lbs (22kg) when ‘popping painkillers’ left her unable to keep food down. 

Things took a dramatic turn for the worse when Ms Potter was rushed to hospital with sepsis.

Doctors claimed her ‘addiction’ to painkillers had caused an ulcer to burst into her bloodstream, triggering sepsis.

After having the ulcer removed and overcoming the health scare, Ms Potter managed to continue with the weight-loss programme.

Barely able to walk, Ms Potter relied on her son Dillon to do virtually everything for her while she was at her heaviest. Dr Younan Nowzaradan, star of the hit TLC reality show My 600lb Life, warned Ms Potter’s son could be ‘burying her soon’ unless she changed her lifestyle 

Pictured refusing to walk after bariatric surgery, Ms Potter said she feels ‘trapped in her body’

Although the operation helped her shed the pounds, Ms Potter was still dependent on a wheelchair, with her skin folds being ‘the greatest obstacle she had for walking’

Although trimmer, Ms Potter struggled to walk due to the strain her excess folds of skin were putting on her body.

‘At this point, it’s the greatest obstacle I have for walking,’ she said. 

After having the skin removed, Ms Potter’s weight went down to 249lbs. Despite her continued leg pain, things seemed to be looking up. 

However, at her third appointment with Dr Nowzaradan two months later, Ms Potter’s weight had crept up to 292lbs.

She previously said: ‘That fat girl in me is still there. The doctor fixed our stomachs, but he didn’t fix our minds,’ International Business Times reported.

Ms Potter claimed she was just bloated and suffering from lymphedema, which is defined as swelling in the limbs. 

Dr Nowzaradan later found she skipped several physical therapy appointments. Refusing to accept her excuses, he dumped her from the programme. 

‘Pauline’s self-destructive behavior continues to be a problem,’ he said. ‘She has no intention to change right now. 

‘Hopefully, Dillon won’t end up burying his mother soon.’ 

Ms Potter is said to have moved back to her native Sacramento. Her weight is unknown.  

After having excess skin removed, Ms Potter still struggled to walk due to pain in her legs

Ms Potter celebrated her weight loss but still felt like a ‘fat girl on the inside’


Obesity is defined as an adult having a BMI of 30 or over.

A healthy person’s BMI – calculated by dividing weight in kg by height in metres, and the answer by the height again – is between 18.5 and 24.9. 

Among children, obesity is defined as being in the 95th percentile.

Percentiles compare youngsters to others their same age. 

For example, if a three-month-old is in the 40th percentile for weight, that means that 40 per cent of three-month-olds weigh the same or less than that baby.

Around 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men in the UK are overweight or obese. 

The condition costs the NHS around £6.1billion, out of its approximate £124.7 billion budget, every year.

This is due to obesity increasing a person’s risk of a number of life-threatening conditions.

Such conditions include type 2 diabetes, which can cause kidney disease, blindness and even limb amputations.

Research suggests that at least one in six hospital beds in the UK are taken up by a diabetes patient.

Obesity also raises the risk of heart disease, which kills 315,000 people every year in the UK – making it the number one cause of death.

Carrying dangerous amounts of weight has also been linked to 12 different cancers. 

This includes breast, which affects one in eight women at some point in their lives.

Among children, research suggests that 70 per cent of obese youngsters have high blood pressure or raised cholesterol, which puts them at risk of heart disease.

Obese children are also significantly more likely to become obese adults. 

And if children are overweight, their obesity in adulthood is often more severe.  

As many as one in five children start school in the UK being overweight or obese, which rises to one in three by the time they turn 10.  

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