Monday, June 21, 2010

Larger Than Life

This weekend, my friend showed me a rather shocking news item: it was an interview with a woman named Donna Simpson from New Jersey who is striving to break the world record for "Fattest Woman." She is currently 600 pounds and aspires to weigh 1000 within the next two years. To make money, she runs a web site where people can watch her eating, and she has her husband and children's full approval. No, I am not kidding.

As disgusted as I am by this, though, I have to think: how much different from her am I really? Sure, I'm not exploiting myself nor am I going to such extremes to pack on the pounds, but I am aware of the damage I've done to my body. I've known all this time that I've been putting on the weight and I haven't successfully stopped it. So while we may gawk at this woman and exclaim, "But she's going to kill herself! What about her kids?" basically, I'm doing the same thing -- albeit in a more subtle manner.

I suppose I can understand her wanting to "own" her obesity, rather than being shunned by society. And I can definitely understand her wanting to just throw in the towel and eat what she wants after failing on one diet after another. What I don't get, however, is how she can want to so blatantly do something that I imagine will make her very uncomfortable. I already suffer from back and knee problems and I can't imagine what it would be like to have to deal with that, not to mention bed sores and the many other problems that accompany extreme morbid obesity.

I'm not sure if this woman's goal signifies sheer stubborness on her part -- a proverbial slap in the face to all of those obesity epidemic alarmists out there -- or if she is just trying to commit suicide. Guess I'll never know. But though I don't quite get this goal, I wish her good health and happiness ... and the deep hope that I continue to have LESS in common with someone who is destroying her body.

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