I was just watching a TV documentary about the really, really, really obese- people who can’t walk due to their obesity. One woman, who at her zenith was over 700 pounds and confined to her bed, described her meal for a day: 20 pieces of fried chicken, a pound of mashed potatoes with gravy, piles of peas and several pieces of bread… and I’m thinking- she can’t get out of bed. Somebody is bringing her this food.
Why the fuck would you bring a 700 pound person in bed, especially one that you loved, 20 pieces of fried chicken? I would so totally be “Here’s a two piece happy meal, byotch. You want more? Well you know where the KFC is. When you can haul your ass out of bed and fit it in a car you can go get alllllll you want, but til then- here’s a two piece- and I’ve taken the skin off. Enjoy!”
Why do people enable these folks? Yes, I know that it’s a deep seated psychological issue that causes them to eat this much and that it’s not a matter of hopping on a treadmill, but you are feeding their addiction. They day they can’t get out of bed is they day they get their first Oprah Shake, and if they don’t like it they can get used to walking again. Tough love. Baby steps. This is the same as bringing somebody clean needles and helping them tie their arm off and then whining about how awful it is they have a smack problem.
I just don’t understand it. (Happy outcome at least: Through surgery, diet, exercise and counselling the woman on the documentary is down to a fat but “grocery store fat” [i.e. you see fatter people at the grocery store any day] 250 lbs…)
I’ve never understood it myself. About 10 years ago, I weighed over 250 pounds at 5’6". I have always struggled with my weight, but this was the largest I had ever been. I decided it was time to lose weight, and after doing some research, decided on a very low fat diet. I knew the fat content of everything I ate, and tried to keep it down to 20 grams a day or less (not counting 2% milk ‘cause I need my bones). This was not an easy task, as my husband is 6’ and very thin - he wears the same size at age 48 he wore in high school. I was trying, and making slow progress. One night Mr. SCL asks if I would like a grilled cheese sandwich. Now, let me tell you, this man makes the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. I’m not going to go into details about the perfect crunchy toasted outside or the hot gooey chee…never mind. I said “No thank you, I’m not hungry.” About half an hour later he walks in the office with a grilled cheese sandwich and a cold glass of milk.
One of the things that was very difficult for me, in my battle to lose weight, was to overcome things I had been taught as a child. “Clean your plate.” “It’s lunchtime, you have to eat.” I had talked about this with my husband at the start of my diet and thought he understood.
He really understood when I threw the grilled cheese sandwich at his head and started screaming that he was sabatoging my attempts to lose weight. I don’t think he meant to, but he was.
It took a year, but I lost 100 pounds and have kept most of it off for 10 years.
I should perhaps add that “I’m fat myself” so that this doesn’t turn into a “You don’t understand…” yadda fest.
I watched an interview with Darlene Cates (who played Gilbert Grape’s mom) and she’s larger now than she was then and confined to a really big wheelchair. It’s so sad. Again, I know there are major issues there that have nothing to do with physical hunger, but her loved ones aren’t helping. (And she seems like a very sweet lady.)
Somewhere, I read about a similiar situation where the bedridden person was supposed to be on a diet, but every family member slipped her extra food. However, the woman in your example seems to have had unified meals, so she would either have to have multiple people giving her the same meal or one person giving her a large meal.
Afterthought: Some people continue to feed obese relatives because it turns them on. Check out Dan Savage’s Skipping Towards Gomorrah for a feeder/gainer explanation.
Well, most people arn’t really that stupid. They realize that a 700 pound woman has a serious problem. And they also realize that 700 pounds is a huge stress the body was never meant to take, and isn’t likely to recover from
I am a fat ass guy. But I havn’t come close to 700 pounds. However, assuming the money wasn’t a problem, at 700 pounds I would pretty much assume I was gonna die from it, and pretty fucking soon, and the people around me would hopefully realize that too . And I’d hope to hell that my family would have the brains to realize that I’d have few pleasures left in my life, and that forcing rice cakes and seaweed mulp down my throat is only gonna give me an extra year or so of life, so bring me the goddamn fried chicken and let me enjoy a little bit of existence on this piece of shit world.
I’ve been the world’s biggest yo-yo over this last decade, from 170 to 300 and back and then forth, to the point now, at 350 (now 330) I’m handing my guts over to the doc and saying “hey, slice and dice them. Thank you.”
That being said, you cannot get cripplingly obese without someone who’s either playing Martyr-to-the-out-of-control or Superior-by-way-of-comparison. It just strikes me as another kind of Munchausen-by-Proxy. Plus you’ve gotta wonder, just who is cleaning up after these folks who can’t move? <shudder>
wolfman might have a good point. The family may well love the woman but also believe she is beyond help and certain to die of the extreme weight problem. At that point even a loving family might decide well at least we can let her die happy, all she enjoys is eating fried chicken, we’ll let her eat as much as she likes so that she is at least happy.
WRT to men feeding enormous women there is a quasi-fetish subculture of people (mainly men) who consider themselved “feeders” and take great pride in how large they can “grow” their women. They keep detailed stats on weight and girth measurements and the women (who they often claim to be deeply in love with) are essentially like a prize pumpkin or state fair pig. Needless to say the women often have severe mental issues in these scenarios.
WRT to women feeding men it mostly iseems to be women who have incredibly low self esteem or self worth issues and their huge “eaters” give them a sense of validation and purpose.
Beyond this some huge people are on multiple disability payments and a parasitic relative living in their house may feel it is easier to give them their food delivery than be homeless.
I wouldn’t bring a junky heroin or crack - no matter how much it added to their quality of life.
Why would I bring someone bedridden by their obesity 20 pieces of KFC? I might bring them one or two, but not 20 a damn day.
If I love you, and you’re in that situation, and you wants you some finger lickin’ goodness, you can get yourownself down to the KFC for it. You can go to hell your own way, but I am under no obligation to pack your luggage.
I’m fat. Seriously fat. Trying to convince my doctor to allow weight loss surgery fat. And I saw probably this same documentary (Discovery Health channel) last month. I turned to my husband and said, “If I’m ever too fat to get my lard ass out of bed, and I beg you to bring me food… Slap me and give me water. The water will keep me alive until I lose enough weight to be able to get up and slap you back.”
Good lord. Even if you’ve given up all hope that your family member would lose weight, think of the expense of groceries!!!
So Sampiro, which of your relatives was that show about? d&r
I’ve fat too, and I think there is a lot of explanation in the enablers. I remember times trying to lose weight, and my then-wife would go to the store and buy cookies, cake, make brownies, etc. I have a huge lack of willpower, so walking into the kitchen and seeing cookies and brownies was pretty much like just bringing them to me in bed.
I used to weigh over 300 lbs. About 15 years ago I actually went on a diet for a year, healthily (though shakes were emphasized more in those days) and came within striking distance of my supposed “ideal weight” according to charts- about 179. People literally thought I was in the last stages of cancer or AIDS- you could actually see my ribs when I breathed in). I put the weight back on, then lost some (not all) and for most of the last 12 years or so I’ve been about 70-80 lbs. over my alleged “ideal weight” (I think it’s more like 50-60, but whatever- I’m fat). I’m about to start South Beach because the weight and the smoking are causing major health problems and men in my family either make it to 100 or wake up dead in their early 50s and I’ve a feeling I’ve more of the latter genes than the former.
I used to live with mother who does not and will not acknowledge any teaching of nutrition that affects what she likes to eat. (This is a woman who literally uses a George Foreman grill because she likes the way “it catches the drippings for you” [she lets them congeal and eats them on bread]). If it stands still it gets fried and soaked in gravy, and the worst part is that like most regional/ethnic cooking that’s horrible healthwise, it’s all ddddeeelllliiiicccciiiiooouuusss.
Now I live on my own and can’t find the willpower to cook (so I’m always eating junk food and at restaurants) and get my fat ass onto a treadmill. There are some other health issues, but those are the main ones.
However, if I ever reached the point that I couldn’t work (which these people have) it would seem a self-remedying case. I couldn’t pay my rent and my basic expenses with just a disability check. I feel terribly sorry for these people, and I honestly thing there is probably something physically wrong with their brain (some part of self-control is just not connecting), but if I had one in the family I’d treat them like a drug addict and intervene.