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?

15 responses to “Obesity and the 600lb Woman

  1. I guess I never really had an “in my face” moment- it was more of a series of events over time that made me realize I needed to CHOOSE to make a change. It’s very hard to change- not a tangible thing for most people.

    This woman makes me sad. She’s all over the news lately. I just want to shake her and scream at her- life is worth way more than being a fetish model and being portrayed as a “freak” because of your weight.

  2. while i never reached the point of technical obesity, the “in your face” moment that spurred me to get fit was seeing a picture of myself from a trip to visit my baby cousins in 2008. i had avoided cameras for quite a while and in that picture my body looked like an apple with my little toothpick arms and legs sticking out of it. i couldn’t believe it was me!

    over the next year i lost 30 lbs with the help of a nutritionist, whole foods, and exercise! :)

  3. My doctor directly asked me “What is going on with your weight?” At first, i was offended, mad, sad, embarrassed, etc, but as soon as I let that fade I realized she was asking me out of genuine concern. it took a few months but after that I joined WW, started working out, and have been on the road to a healthier me ever since.

  4. It is so sad that she is that selfish. She is not going to live to see her children grow if she continues down that road. I read an article about her too and I read more like 10,000 calories a day. 4,000 seems a little low (still a lot, but easy to do). That is three meals out and a couple of desserts. I just think that she needs to be a good example for her children. The one thing I have learned the most is even if you don’t say a thing, kids will pick up on your habits. I have noticed my daughter asking for more veggies and trying to mimic my eating style.

  5. This lady makes me really sad. I hate to be judgmental – but I can’t help but feel that she is missing out on life. And, her child will inevitably be missing out on life too. Some of the fondest childhood memories of mine are camping and hiking with my mum and dad – something that this lady, I expect, will never be able to offer her child :(

  6. I had lots of in your face moments, and many of them I ignored for a long time. Let’s see – there is the old favorite of someone asking when the baby was due or would it be breaking the lawn chair around the campfire with a group of friends and don’t forget the warnings from the doctor – they were sure fun too.

    I’m just glad I don’t need to go there any more. I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I’m a long way from invisible girl – thank God.

  7. I heard this as well.

    and quite frankly I dont even yet have anything to say—I have THAT MANY thoughts still swirling in my cranium.

  8. hey my in my face moment is when My current fiancee told me that he couldnt accept me getting bigger then this i am 5″4 and got to 229Lbs , i have lost 40lbs in a year doing nothing more then watch what i eat , i am now following a supervised diet as i am looking to get to my ideal weight to look perfect o my wedding day , my fiancee is not mean he just never told me it bothered him not to hurt my feelings and now it came out , he has a great body and very attractive man , why do i expect him to look good always like he does and i dont make an effort to look good for him that was my in your face moment.

  9. Just came across your site (via Rachael Wilkerson’s) – wanted to say that I really enjoy it. I am in an interesting situation where I am in great health, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, etc (I kid you not, just had a full physical 2 weeks ago and my own doctor was surprised) – but I am definitely obese (5’10 and 270) – so I feel more of the vain pressure to do something about my health (i.e. be smaller then my awesome boyfriend). Its frustrating to know I eat less and healthier then all of my (skinny) friends, but I am the one who battles the bulged. I just need to get to the tipping point to actually DO something.

    When I read the article on this woman I was sad and angry that she is able to raise her kids with such a dangerous life style and that she makes the world look at obesity like those of us who are don’t take it seriously. I very much do. I don’t want to be a fat bride someday! (vain or not!).

    Anyway, thanks for posting!

    -J

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