The Surprising Career Of My 600-Lb. Life's Samantha

One of the most anticipated season premieres of the year is a reality show in which everyone roots for the losers. The ninth season of My 600-lb. Life debuts on December 30 on TLC in a special two-hour event — and this one promises to be even more compelling than usual thanks to one particular cast member (via TLC).

As fans of the show know, My 600-lb. Life follows the journey of individuals who are morbidly obese — so much so that it often affects their ability to walk, much less hold down a job or live a satisfying and happy life. They turn to Houston-based, weight-loss physician Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (Dr. Now) to help turn their lives around through bariatric surgery. But having a smaller stomach is only part of the solution; the patients have to commit to the difficult process of changing their eating and exercise habits in order to lose the hundreds of extra pounds.

Many of the patients shown on the program admit that they turn to food to deal with their emotions or to heal from past traumas. In the case of Samantha Mason, the client shown on the premiere episode, her eating habits are actually tied to her job (via Hollywood Life).

My 600-lb. Life's Samantha Mason's job actually revolves around eating

Samantha is a mom from Colorado whose unusual career has contributed to her weight gain (via YouTube). As a fetish model, she makes videos of herself for a paying audience of viewers who derive sexual pleasure from watching overweight people eating. As quoted by Hollywood Life, Samantha explains, "I eat for people. I just eat what I want and they pay for it, as long as I film it. So that's how I make a living and keep going, and it makes me feel appreciated." In the preview clip provided by TLC, we see Samantha eating an entire carrot cake for the camera. As she polishes off the last crumbs, she tells her audience, "We've come to the saddest part of this situation, and that's the end of this cake. Parting is such sweet sorrow."

Although her daughter credits the job with improving her mom's self-image because "people see her as beautiful," Samantha knows that it's also risking her life. "I found the perfect community to reinforce my worst habits," she says. "I last weighed in six months ago legitimately, and I was at 811 pounds." In fact, it appears that Samantha is so dangerously obese that she can't arrange the cross-country transport to see Dr. Now.

Who can help Samantha if she can't go to Houston? Will she be able to achieve her weight-loss goals? This promises to be one of My 600-Lb. Life's most compelling stories yet.