“I feel like I’m kind of living a lie"

By Julie Mazziotta
March 29, 2018

After years of struggling with her weight, Shantel Carrilo successfully lost 194 lbs. from her six-foot frame. But she feels like her accomplishment is marred by her excess skin.

The single mom squeezes her stomach weight into a waist trainer every day.

“I feel like I’m kind of living a lie, because I strap this puppy up everywhere I go,” Carrilo, 28, says in this exclusive clip from Wednesday’s episode of Skin Tight. “When I go out I do get attention, but I’m sucked in, I have 100 things on me, and I’m sucking in all the time trying to look skinny at every angle.”

The image she projects doesn’t match up with Carrilo’s interior monologue.

“I’m thinking in my head, constantly, ‘I’m disgusting,’ ” she says. “I’ve tried to accept the way I am, but I can’t and I won’t. I’ve come this far; I want to finish this journey.”

Carrilo was able to lose the weight through weight loss surgery, which she elected to undergo after a lifetime of overeating.

“I was big my whole entire life,” she says. “Not only am I six feet tall, but I was just always heavier. And I always heard, ‘Oh my god, if only your body matched your face, you could run the world.’ ”

She says her family would try to feed her healthy meals, but her dad was an abusive alcoholic who would attempt to make up for his behavior with candy and cookies.

After high school, Carrilo got pregnant and didn’t have the support of the baby’s father.

“I was so unhappy. And again I turned to food, and I continued to gain weight,” she says. “Eventually we broke up, and I was alone. Just a young mom feeling sorry for myself. I wouldn’t leave the house. I would just sit and eat. And in two years I gained at least 80 lbs.”

Carrilo knew she had to make a change when she weighed herself for the first time in years.

“I bought a scale because I never kept a scale at my house, and I went home, weighed myself and it said 375, and I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,” she says. “I knew I needed to do something, not only for me. I had to step up and get my health right for my daughter.”

Now 194 lbs. down, Carrilo has changed her physical health, but her self-esteem is still low because of her excess skin. Her hope now is to get skin removal surgery, and have the confidence to be a good mom to her daughter.

Skin Tight airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on TLC.