Obesity and the 600lb Woman

On Tuesday, a 600 pound fetish model named Donna was interviewed on the Howard Stern Show.

She claimed to be eating her way to weigh 1,000 pounds.

She was 530 pounds when she gave birth to her child and claims to have the world’s record of “the heaviest woman to deliver a child vaginally ever.”

Her fiance has to bathe her.  She can’t really move around much. She claims she can eat 70-80 pieces of sushi in one sitting. She’ll eat 6 English Muffins for breakfast. Her calorie intake for the day was usually around 4,000 calories. But in another article about her, she states she eats 12,000 calories a day!

During the interview I could hear her labored breathing the entire time. She really seemed to be struggling just to get air.

This interview made me really sad for her. I have these thoughts about obese people I see out and about. I was obese at one point in my life. It was not fun, or healthy. I felt sickly and my body hurt. I was so unhealthy and I made a positive change and am no longer obese. When I see someone who is obese, I feel sad because I can relate to how they must feel. I don’t want to judge them, but I wish I could help them.

The CDC claims that in 2007-2008 32.2% of men and 35.5% of women in America are obese. That is an astonishing number to me. First Lady Michelle Obama has recently started a campaign to prevent Childhood Obesity. I am 100% in support of this campaign and as a reformed fat person, I want to LEAD by example! I want to teach my future children that exercise can be fun, that hiking and biking is exciting, that eating good food is the way to live. Kids learn from their parents and copy what they do.

I wonder about Donna’s children. How much do they weigh? Are they on the road to obesity like their mother? It’s such a sad thing.

I’m not going to list a bunch of stats about how unhealthy obesity is. We all know obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, death. I knew that as a fat person and I ignored it until it was IN MY FACE. A doctor had to say “YOU ARE GOING TO BE DIABETIC SOON.”

A coworker of mine is going through a similar struggle. She told me that she went to the doctor because her knees always hurt, she has asthma, she has no energy. Her back hurts. She falls asleep in the middle of the day and has sleep apnea at night. She said she’s tired of being fat but doesn’t want to make the changes she has to make. I didn’t give her advice. I wanted to. She knows my story. But people have to make that change–make that decision–by themselves. Me telling them what they “should” do is not going to help.

I get a lot of emails from readers in various stages of their weight loss and they all ask for advice. I honestly don’t know what to say except this:

YOU HAVE TO WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH.

Seriously. Why do you want to lose weight? Because you feel like you “have” to or “should” lose weight? Or do you want to lose weight because you WANT to be healthy?

I decided to lose weight for many reasons:

I did not want to be diabetic.

I did not want to give myself insulin shots.

I did not want to take blood pressure medication.

I hated how dizzy/nauseated/sick I felt from high blood pressure.

I was tired of my hips/feet/back hurting ALL THE TIME.

I wanted to be attractive to the opposite sex.

I wanted to one day walk down the isle with the man of my dreams and not be in a size 20 dress.

I wanted to look good in my brother’s wedding photos.

I wanted a life!

I was tired of being “the fat friend.”

I was tired of being the “invisible girl.”

I was tired of being depressed and sad about my weight.

Some of those reasons may seem like shallow reasons but they are legitimate. Wanting to “look good” is just as good a reason as any! It’s human nature to want to be attractive and feel confident and sexy in our own skin.

There is no “magic answer” for losing weight. My advice: EAT HEALTHY. Count calories/points. Be AWARE of what you are eating. And exercise. Start by walking then step it up.

Okay, time to get off the soap-box I guess. 😉

QUESTION: What was your “in your face” moment? Why do you want to lose weight?