Home Health News “World’s Fattest Woman” Too Overweight For Medical Help?

“World’s Fattest Woman” Too Overweight For Medical Help?

by Erika Nicole Kendall

This was shared by a commenter on another post.

I thought I’d leave it up to y’all to discuss this… please keep it respectful.

At 700lbs, 49-year-old Terri Smith finds herself in an urgent situation. In need of an MRI for her brain, she is unable to move, stand or roll on her own.

To make matters worse, even if she does manage to escape the confines of her Ohio home, she is far too big to fit in an MRI machine. They even considered using the MRI at the Cleveland Zoo, but the zoo doesn’t have the appropriate accreditation to conduct MRI’s on humans.

Terri’s husband and daughter do everything for her from feeding, bathing and dressing her in bed. Says Smith,

My husband is my guardian angel. He’s stuck by me through everything. Most men would have left a long time ago, and who could blame them — but Myron is a living saint.

Bed-ridden for the past 3 years, Terri has been heavy all of her life. Says Terri of her weight,

It’s awful how it creeps up on you. Once you cannot exercise it doesn’t matter how healthily you eat, the weight just sticks. You’re not burning off a single calorie.


If I were to be completely honest, I sometimes have a high tolerance for other peoples’ pain. I really do hope Terri gets the help she needs to give herself a chance to live. This is a sad, sad situation. However, it is also a largely preventable one.

And husband and daughter do sound like saints, but are they more enablers?

The original article asks some awfully good questions…

So… what are you thinking right now?

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LaRoja313 December 18, 2010 - 1:33 PM

This is just so sad. All I see is pain, fear and shame hiding under the guise of fat. I truly hope that she and her family can collectively decide to commit to weight loss.

VM December 18, 2010 - 1:40 PM

I am thinking that, yes, there obviously was/is some enabling going on here. She didn’t get to 700 pounds ALL by herself while she has been bed-bound. Somebody had to continue bringing her food.

Very sad, indeed. I, too, hope she gets help soon.

Tremilla October 16, 2011 - 5:53 PM

I had the same thought. Someone definitely had to be supplying her with food if she was beridden.

Jilnail December 18, 2010 - 1:40 PM

My prayers are deeply with that family. I hate that things happen that way and for Ms. Smith there are things within yourself that you must change within you and your family. God bless you

Dee December 18, 2010 - 2:12 PM

I hope she is able to get the help she needs. I don’t agree with her quote though

“It’s awful how it creeps up on you. Once you cannot exercise it doesn’t matter how healthily you eat, the weight just sticks. You’re not burning off a single calorie.”

You burn calories just by breathing.I find it hard to believe that she is on a restricted calorie diet of 1200-1500 and still gaining weight. Yes she may have a medical condition but at the same time you burn calories just from each breathe you take and just by being a couch potato. the average woman burns about 1300 calories a day just by existing. I would be interested to know what her healthy diet consisted of and what her husband and daughter bring her to eat each day.

Sadiqua December 18, 2010 - 3:02 PM

There has to be some enabling here…even if she was calling out for food, I’d take the phone from her! I pray she finds help soon so that she can be a bigger part of her familys life.

naomi December 18, 2010 - 3:16 PM

That’s such a dehumanizing picture. . . Why make her into such an object?

Nancy December 18, 2010 - 3:35 PM

While I am sorry she is in this situation, unable to get the medical help she needs, but we all know this didn’t happen overnight. I’m a little torn as to whether I truly feel sorry for her, or whether I’m just highly disgusted. Someone should’ve intervened hundreds of pounds ago. Her family has definitely enabled her to get to this weight, and that is truly sad.

Tina F. December 18, 2010 - 4:17 PM

To be completely honest, I’m completely torn with my thoughts about this story. On one hand, I am sympathetic in that it is unfortunate her weight has (in her words, “creeps up”, – past tense used) “crept upon” her and has prevented her from getting the medical help that she needs but I am also very, very unsympathetic because I feel upset that somehow, somewhere along the way, she gave up her own power to do and be better for herself. Somehow, she gave herself permission to not care about herself enough to change the situation sooner. However, when her life is at stake, there is media coverage given and all those who see it are expected to have sympathy for her. To me, it’s just like the story of the young lady who was a minister’s daughter and 500 lbs and no one did more to help, which ultimately led to her death. Most of us were upset about no one stepping up to show her a better way but it’s the same way here. Myron and their daughter can show her, and maintain for her, a better way by at least looking into obesity clinics where she could get better help or by trying to incorporate some upper body exercises so she can at least work some weight off of her chest. After all, I did notice that of everything she mentioned, the one thing she failed to mention was exercise. I know that the Brookhaven Obesity Clinic in Brookhaven, NY have had larger patients there who lost weight simply by starting with arm/upper body exercises.

Sorry for the long rant but that’s how torn I am about this. I want to be sympathetic about her situation but I don’t know if I can since other than eating, nothing such as exercise was mentioned. I’m a big proponent of eating right AND exercising and if she hasn’t done that but has had the time to do an interview, I have to question her priorities and desires as well as where I should place my sympathies.

Daisy January 19, 2011 - 12:39 PM

I agreed with your comment wholeheartedly. When my weight ballooned to 350 lbs I said enough! I lost 150 lbs through diet and exercise. We have to stop digging our graves with our forks as black women.

Starry October 16, 2011 - 9:01 AM

Your words “stop digging our graves with our forks” really hit me hard because they are just so darned

Starry October 16, 2011 - 9:05 AM

Your words ‘digging our graves with our forks’ really stopped and made me think. They are so darned accurate and that is *exactly* what so many of us are doing – or, at least, were doing before we decided to take personal responsibility for our health and our lives. Thank you for putting it so clearly!

(sorry – pressed ‘enter’ before finishing the last comment!!)

TyeTye January 17, 2013 - 10:33 AM

i totally agree with you. i have seen amazing stories of people as large as her who have lost weight.

Malene April 13, 2013 - 6:30 PM

Obesity is a much more complex issue than just food and exercise.

There is a large genetic component to obesity. I believe this is because several different hormonal imbalances causes obesity. Once there is excess fat the fat itself creates hormonal imbalances as well.

Then there are emotional components of obesity. This too can easily overwhelm even a strong person.

It is much too easy to sit in judgment of this woman and her family. Much too easy!

asada December 18, 2010 - 4:40 PM

This is were I can see why “food Addiction” exists. What is her story, why hasn’t she been committed to an institution that will watch her weight for her. I have seen people as heavy as her lose weight. She is soo young.

Chanel December 18, 2010 - 4:47 PM

I’m thinking, I have an aunt in a similar situation. She wasn’t always heavy but will tell you quick that she doesn’t eat that much and that it’s her glands/genes/diabetes/heart problems that keep her from losing weight. It wasn’t until she and her daughter moved in with us that I saw for myself what the problem was. She didn’t eat a lot at one time, but she ate constantly!! From the time she got up until the time she went to bed it was eat food, prepare food, think about buying more food. Her daughter, my cousin, was an enabler. Much like the husband and daughter in this article. You can imagine the kind of hell being raised when you don’t bring whatever snacky food thing they might be craving at the moment. It’s a sad situation for sure. Even sadder I think is how disconnected we are from the truth about our food and the reality of what we’re putting in our bodies. I am not judging this woman or her situation, but based on my personal experience with my aunt, I can tell you healthy eating is NOT happening, exercise or no exercise.

Mayotte C. March 2, 2011 - 2:38 PM

I wholeheartedly agree! There is power in the truth. I lost over 40lbs only to gain it back in 8 months because I was in a state of denial. Once I began recording every morsel of food that went into my mouth I realized “wow, I’m eating a lot more than I ever thought I was.” I’ve been keeping a food diary for the last 6 weeks and I’ve lost 9lbs. I’m forever on team food diary. Even though I hate it and it’s a pain, it’s the only way I can see the truth about what I really eat.

KIM December 18, 2010 - 7:08 PM

It’s really sad, yes they maybe “Saints” in your eyes and you may feel as though he is your guardian angel but I wouldn’t necessarily call him that. More so he is definitely an enabler. He just may be that type of man that want you to depend on him…. so sad to say, but it is people out there that want to be needed by any means necessary.

She She January 20, 2011 - 12:51 PM

i strongly agree kim

Madame: The Journey December 18, 2010 - 7:34 PM

The “enabler” factor is a very touchy one for me. My mother was not too far off from Mrs. Smith’s weight and when you become a caregiver (ages 13-18 in my case) to a morbidly obese individual, it’s difficult to say “no.” They’re in a position of vulnerability and embarrassment (relying on others to bathe, use the restroom, walk, etc.) and you see their emotional distress on a daily basis. With that, all you want to do is ease their frustration and unfortunately, it’s with the food that got them in that very predicament.

I’m not making excuses … I just wish people would realize that it’s easier said, than to just “stop feeding them,” same as it is to tell someone only 50 pounds overweight to just “stop eating so much.”

Oddly enough, as with most of us who were/are overweight or morbidly obese, it’s not really about the food. At 257 pounds, mentally, I was probably no different than this woman.

Mrs. Smith is someone my mother (through a support organization she founded) has reached out to, for counseling and support. My prayers and well wishes stay with their family, as this situation rings all too familiar. http://www.madamethejourneyblog.com/2008/06/halfway-to-goal-moms-gbs-transformation.html

Abiola Agbabiaka December 18, 2010 - 8:29 PM

As sympathetic as I am to being confined to a bed and having everyone do everything for her, I’m also upset at the fact that she allowed her life to become so meaningless as to lose it so willingly. I know she did not wake up one morning at 700lbs. I know weight loss is difficult, a lot of ppl fight this battle every day. However, being overweight and being morbidly obese are far apart.
Easy as it is to blame her family, I saw a show on TLC where this man’s family stopped overfeeding him. He claimed he could not walk when he had them to feed him. When they stopped, he started ordering delivery and deviced a bucket he lowered out of his window to pay and receive his food.
Terri has to choose life, until then, unfortunately, noone can save her life!

Paceon December 18, 2010 - 10:41 PM

Can you say DENIAL? Of greater concern to me than “how” she reached her present weight, is the fact that her situation was allowed to reach this extreme before intervention was sought. What is going on in her (and the family’s) reality? I ask this out of sincere concern, not judgement. I don’t care if she eats Twinkies by the boxful or if she has an endocrine problem; her situation needed to be adressed 400lbs ago, or certainly by the time she became bedridden. It seems this entire family could benefit from some mental health counseling.

annmarie March 20, 2015 - 1:32 PM

I agree with Paceon its denial at its finest when you reach the 200lb mark its time to start cutting down nobody can help you till you are willing to help yourself i its a mental problem endocrine etc…..get
some help there are doctors from various fields that can help you i am speaking from experience i went threw the same issues at 250 lbs i did not make everyone responsible for my weight issues i went and got some help and lost 50 lbs and still losing.

JoAnna December 19, 2010 - 6:08 AM

I’ve had an older relative living with me for the past year since she had back surgery to replace and extend a rod on her spine. She couldn’t drive, had trouble cleaning herself after went to the bathroom when she wore the back brace, and only did the physical therapy when the guy came to the house twice a week. I had to buy groceries and because I bought decent food, she started losing 4-5lbs per month. After she recovered enough to start driving, she stopped losing weight. Now, she has to get a hip replaced, but needs to lose 50lbs before the surgeon will consider it. I told her a lot of her aches and pains would disappear if she made an effort. We both have a touch of “Arthur” and weather changes make our joints ache. Combine that with exercise, and some days I fall into bed right after a workout.

I told my relative that it was up to her to lose the weight. I was not going to nag her about it, and if she wanted to eat junk, she had to buy it. Also told her that if she didn’t work on losing the weight, she could leave my house and find a new place to live. It’s not easy seeing her in pain some days after bending over to pick up a newspaper, but if I let her, she’ll lay in her hospital bed all day. She asked why I had to be so selfish and nasty as to insist she walk to the front porch and pick up her own newspaper. Or make her own breakfast or lunch because she didn’t want to stand in the kitchen and fix a sandwich or heat up leftovers. I told her I was not going to let her ruin my life by doing everything for her. It has not been pretty, but it’s been necessary to push her into signing herself up for classes with a trainer.

No one gets to 700lbs with caretakers unless someone is enabling their continued weight gain. It’s like digging a grave and pushing the victim into it while attached at the ankle.

Charlese December 28, 2012 - 11:48 PM

Kudos. It’s hard to take a hard line with someone you love. Even harder when you live with them. I pray her health will continue to improve.

Adrienne December 19, 2010 - 9:20 AM

I pray her situation works out…What are the possible exercise solutions when a person becomes this way?

Her husband looks a little too happy…


Natisha December 24, 2010 - 2:23 AM

I was thinking the same thing…like he has something up his sleeve. I don’t trust him.

CoCo January 21, 2011 - 10:48 PM

I agree. I also noticed that he looked especially happy and it made me think of a fetish I read about years ago; feeders and feedees. A certain group of people are into feeding a small person until they get bigger. Maybe this is their thing? Even so, it’s a very sad situation.

Sharon December 19, 2010 - 12:08 PM

I also don’t agree with the statement “It’s awful how it creeps up on you. Once you cannot exercise it doesn’t matter how healthily you eat, the weight just sticks. You’re not burning off a single calorie.”

Seems like her husband is one of those men that claims that the bigger you are the more he loves you. Im sorry but love isn’t letting the one you care about become bed-ridden by something that can be prevented.

I pray that she gets the help that she needs….

Darthjaeda December 19, 2010 - 2:32 PM

I’m incredibly sad for this woman, and I sincerely hope she gets the help she needs so desperately. Her family needs counseling however. The way it sounds, he’s never gotten mad about it, he’s never put his foot down, never given her an ultimatum…and it has not been to her benefit.

Toya December 19, 2010 - 2:36 PM

While I empathize with this beautiful human being because she lives in such misery, it doesn’t quite “creep up” on you. And she CAN exercise. If she can talk, breathe, mover her fingers, hands, arms, then she can exercise.

I have a friend who suffered a traumatic brain injury and has been in a persistent vegetative state for over 6 years. He still has to be fed. His family moves his body parts for him. He REALLY “can’t move”–anything. No weight has crept up on him at all. In fact, they fight to keep weight on him at times. My point is that, even a seemingly motionless body still burns calories to function, and hers functions a hell of a lot better than his does.

So, yes, Mrs. Smith. It DOES matter how healthy you eat.

Also, addiction is a family disease. The father and daughter are enablers and probably feel just as helpless, if not more helpless than the mother. I do hope they get help in time.

Tremilla October 16, 2011 - 5:59 PM

I agre 100%. There is no way that a person who is eating healthy would reach 700 lbs, even if they’re not exercising. I find it unbelievable that even though she is 700 lbs. bedridden, her health is deteriorating, and she still is in denial about the whole situation. Until she and her family completely take responsibility for their actions, she can not start the road to recovery.

Cheryl December 20, 2010 - 10:12 AM

I do feel sorry for this woman. I feel sorry that she is unable to get the medical attention that she needs. I feel sorry that she is assaulting herself daily with food that will likely kill her. I am sorry that her family is unwilling/unable to give her the help that she needs. I can’t help but feel that I could have been her.

Eva January 7, 2011 - 2:39 PM

I wonder what her story is. She reminds me of people I’ve seen in my 12 step program who started drinking just “a little” and within a few years they were full blown alcoholics. It takes many years and many enablers to get to that place. I believe her husband is a HUGE enabler, the same as a spouse who gets their husband/wife alcohol to “calm them down.”

Jennifer January 17, 2011 - 5:16 PM

I come from a similar situation as most of you. Some may call me an enabler too. But there are some things that you may not know about the super-morbidly obese. My mother is north of 500-lbs. And truthfully, she doesn’t eat all day and she doesn’t sit down for 6 hamburgers and 4 large fries. But what she does eat, as you probably already guessed, it’s the best choices of food at all. Like fried chicken, collard greens (with the bacon drippings), and cornbread (buttered of course). And you already know, she trained me all my life how to cook these soulful dishes. But at some point, you try to help them change their lifestyles.

We have tried several different diets from low carb, to Jenny Craig, weight watchers, and even counting calories and grams of fat. The problem is that it doesn’t work. The reason being, that once someone reaches the super-morbidly obese range, nothing functions as it should anymore. The normal 1200 calories a woman should consume, no longer applies. 6 small meals a day to boost the metabolism also no longer applies. And at this stage, you are also too high of a risk for any surgical weight loss procedure as well as any medically supervised program. At this point, you are helpless. You basically need to be sent away to a facility which specializes in nutrition and weight loss for the SMO. And this costs lots of money and most insurance plans will not pay.

So not only do I understand what Mrs. Smith is going through. I also understand that her options are extremely limited. It is unfortunate that like my mother, her weight has reached a point where she is now in the “twilight zone” – for lack of better description.

Pat Rice December 28, 2012 - 10:41 PM

My friend James Had a wife who was SMO. He found a program for her through a local university. Sadly, she died within months of entering the program. I think the main problem is that people wait to intervene after the person is bedridden and mentally devasted, defeated and
so resistant to change that the program can offer little in the way of help. Your relative may not like the way you help but an intervention is need post haste! Prayers for this family and yours.

RY January 18, 2011 - 8:42 AM

This is really disgusting, the picture, the woman and her family. Unless she has a debilitating medical condition where her metabolism is completely off and her thyroid or something is in need of complete revamping, how the hell a homo sapiens with a brain gets into this state of existence? Now she is not even human, she is an elephant, all she does is lay in bed, eat, sh*t and sleep.
She must be on disability and her nasty husband and daughter are living off her disability payments and it is convenient them to keep her like that. Theirs is a family of disgusting lowlifes.
She does not need an MRI, it would be more humanitarian to put her out of her misery at this point or let her expire from whatever ails her.

Erika January 18, 2011 - 10:03 AM

I don’t know that I could EVER be this judgmental of or disrespectful to another person.

“Disgusting lowlifes?” “Put out of her misery?”


Debbie Estelle January 19, 2011 - 12:50 PM

Quote from Terri :

” It’s awful how it creeps up on you. Once you cannot exercise it doesn’t matter how healthily you eat, the weight just sticks. You’re not burning off a single calorie.”

I will try to refrain from being critical because there are a NUMBER of factors that go into getting to this point. Anything from stress, mental illness, sleep apnea ect can play a large part.

I too believe this story is very sad. It takes a LONG time to get to a point of weighing 700 pounds… but it still starts one pound @ a time. I pray this woman finds the strength, courage, honesty, humility and fight to FIGHT for her own life!!! She literally is at a point where anything can go wrong due to her weight. That isn’t a judgement, it is a reality.

I am ecouraged by the story of Rosalie Bradford who weighed at one point 1,200 pounds. She used Richard Simmons exercise tapes to just clap at first to loose weight. Can’t remember the exact amount but she ended up loosing a LOT and still holds the GBWR record for loosing the most amount of weight for a woman.

My grandmother is also VERY obese. Not sure here weight but she is at least 400+. She would make a comment similar to Terri’s and has been house/bed ridden for a long time. But… I’ve watched her eat ‘family’ sized portions, use half a stick of butter on mashed potatoes and eat a steak that should have been portioned for 3.

No it is NOT easy to loose weight once we get to a certain place but it is certainly possible! But people give up. They hit 250… then 300… then 350 and start feeling like ‘I’m fat already so what is the use? 50 more pounds won’t make a diffrence”… But it really does!

I hope that since her family is who feeds/takes care of her, they will feed her healthier foods like unlimited portions of veggies, unlimited portions of fruits, lean (small portions) of meats and give her water and cystal light to drink.

If they did that for one year, I would bet a whole LOT, that she would drop 200+ pounds and perhaps get to a point where she too can clap… kick or move in some way!

God bless them! I pray they get the help they need!

Erika January 19, 2011 - 1:16 PM

I’ma have to veto the “Crystal Light” idea, though. Just putting that out there. LOLOL

Tam130 January 19, 2011 - 2:40 PM

Why veto the crystal light? I’m just curious because I use it.

Debbie Estelle January 19, 2011 - 3:37 PM

To be honest, I am not a fan of cystal light either. The only reason I suggested it is, if she is drinking a bunch of soda or other very sugary drinks, it could be a step in the right direction.

My intention was to say “it is possible to START” and “PLEASE, start somewhere!!!”

Debbie Estelle January 19, 2011 - 3:44 PM

* I should clarify. My Gma can go outside… She DOES go outside! BUT when she is home she has a hard time moving and mostly resides where it is most comfortable (bed).

I mainly added her in the first place to illustrate two things:

1) Even when you are VERY large, it takes a VERY long time to get to the point where you can’t move or go out at ALL.

2) It starts one pound at a time. And is lost one pound at a time. I just do NOT believe that it is humanly possible to ‘eat healthy’ and due to actual weight not loose a single path. If one eats healthy, they WILL loose weight. Perhaps not quickly but it WILL happen.

* I just don’t think Ms. Terri (unfortuantely) is eating healthy. I think she’s given up… She tried a quick fix/ a quick route and when she saw it didn’t work as quickly (or with the results) as she expected she got gained an attitude that said ‘what is the use’.

I’ve been there! I am in a (small way) here now! But I know if I am to loose the weight I need and live the live I want… Adding another 50, 100 or 200 pounds is WAY opposite of what I need… Gotta go down… One pound @ a time!

Imani January 17, 2013 - 11:21 AM

I agree that the comments were cruel and inhumane – to refer to a human being in any condition as an animal in this case the reference was elephant and then to call her husband and daughter nasty and that she should be “put out of her misery” is disgusting. Being physically healthy is clearly not a condition of mental health as evidenced by the comments

CoCo January 21, 2011 - 10:58 PM

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this was a little much.

Just sayin’…

melissa December 28, 2012 - 10:11 PM

that is horrible that “RY” would say such a thing. it is not your situation to understand, but it goes to show how easily we judge one another. No the situation is not perfect and its less than desirable but geesh have a heart….

JayDee February 3, 2011 - 1:21 AM

At first she enabled herself. Now, her family is enabling her. Obviously, she can’t prepare her own food if she is unable to move. Her family needs to give her and themselves a clean diet (lifestyle change).

ManWifeDog March 10, 2011 - 3:17 PM

Right now I’m thinking what you’re thinking. This was totally preventable!!! I can understand waking up and realizing you’ve tip-toed past 200 lbs (I’ve been there and back) but 700? Did she not feel overweight or scared for her health at 300 or 400? I feel like the people around her should have insisted she get help long before she was too big to fit in an MRI machine. It’s so sad. They saw this coming even if she didn’t. I’d want my husband or daughter to help me save my life not help me barely have one. Just my immediate thoughts…

Prettymama September 3, 2011 - 1:17 AM

I feel sorry for her, but sometimes when you’re 300lbs, and people are telling you, girl you are soo cute, or, girl you carry yourself well, you like to believe the hype even though you know its wrong. I pray to God that I never give up like that because that’s what happen, somewhere she gave up on herself. Its hard to get up in fight, but sometimes its so easy to try and play dead. So I hope we all keep her and her family in our prayers, because if we remember WHO is in control, all things are possible..Peace

LALA May 15, 2011 - 2:06 PM

I was once this lady i was 747 lbs last year. I had really let my self go and everyone around me that thought that was helping me but they were really killing me. I had to take control of my life. I have lost 233 lbs over that last year. my goal weight is 180 lbs and i will continue on until i meet that goal. i know it will be hard for her to get up but she has to do something to get to moving. she can start off with any type of sit down exercises but she will eventually have to get up out that no matter how much pain she is in. I know the feeling but i feel a lot better now since starting my journey and being able to do for my self. I went from not getting out my bed not even leaving my house in 4 years and in a years time i now have my own place. i shop for myself and i am able to take showers. until she really make up her mind that she needs to do this she will never lose the weight. if she doing it for other people she will not stick to it. i am willing to talk with her and share my story I can be reached at beautifulga2004@aol.com.. I will keep this woman in my prayers but i am with all of you her husband looks too happy to be with a woman that if does not change her life now she is putting herself in a early grave.

Tammie May 16, 2011 - 10:56 AM

I applaud you for your success so far. All of us have to take control of our lives if we want to be healthy. I also agree with you and others about the husband. I cannot see a person wanting a person to continue with an unproductive life.

LaDonna July 13, 2011 - 11:49 PM

I’m not buying that the weight just stuck to her because she couldn’t exercise. Our bodies burn calories by default of functioning alone. My honest thought is that she doesn’t know this and is a bit out of touch with the fact that her body has a caloric maintenance level. Or that exercise is only 20s% of weight loss. The other 80 is diet. What we perceive as fact becomes reality in our own heads. I think she believed not being able to exercise automatically meant she’d gain weight so she gave up accountability for what she could control which was her food intake. She seems to count it out as being a culprit in this situation. Its unfortunate what lack of information leads us to.

TJ August 15, 2011 - 1:20 PM

I hope she finds the help she needs quickly. My heart is so full for her and her family. It’s a shame and hard to look at her picture. The zoo MRI machine, really!?!? Yes she is a extremely large woman but she isn’t an animal…gosh I know there are weight limits on machines there has to be some more apporiate than zoo equipment. Myabe a biatric dr can put her on the shakes they use for their patients who need to loose weight quickly then she can at least walk and maybe help herself, my goodness this was hard to read it took me 3 tries to get through it. I don’t know, poor lady. God help her.

Stefanie September 12, 2011 - 2:59 PM

LALA’s post (great job!) should let us know that there is help possible for Terri Smith. There are so many avenues available now that if the right person hears Terri’s story, she can get the help that she needs. I will feel like s*** on a stick if someone told me the only way I can get medical help is by going to a ZOO!!!!! But you know what? Everyone does things when they feel like it or they feel they are even worth it. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to day what her family is doing to her. Who knows what’s going on in their house? But I will say this, from the facts given in the story – she needs help. Her family must encourage her all the way if they are going to be in her life. She has to know that every day she has breath in her body, she can lift her arms and do that as much as possible. She can make good food choices. She may have a medical condition; but unfortunately, she did not pay attention to what was going on with her and 700 pounds later, she is lost. It’s so sad. Does she have my sympathy? Sure she does. Will I feel sorry for her if she chooses not to get help? NOPE!!!! And it would be good if her able-bodied husband and daughter will physically seek help for their family member as well, before her life is cut short.
My uncle and I would always watch these shows with these morbidly obese people. He and I are both overweight – but nothing to be put on TV for (you know what I mean). And he says ‘I can’t believe anyone can get like that.’ My response – anybody can do anything – they can make changes, or they can give up and stop paying attention to what is going on around them. None of us, especially those of us who pick up fat easily, are exempt from losing control of our lives. I hope there will be an update to this lady’s story – a good one.

Lynn September 24, 2011 - 9:19 PM

I can sympathize with this woman and her situation because like everyone says once you get to this size and then the enabling starts it takes a STRONG will to stop it. This situation is like drug addiction. Even though I only got to about 340lbs I know if I had allowed my family to help me (and they WOULD have) I would have gotten a LOT bigger. I know that my husband would have enabled me just like this man is doing this woman. At this point they all have got to step back and see what is happening and if not she along with her family is gonna KILL her. I knew a lady came to the office with a book when I was 340 and sat at my desk. She opened it and showed me her pictures. She had to be nearly 500lbs. She had gastric bypass surgery. You would have NEVER known that was her. She said she carried that book around and shared her story with obese people that she felt would listen. I WAS grateful. Her husband LEFT HER when the weight came off. Why because he was an enabler and that was WHAT HE WANTED TO BE. She said she still loved him and prayed he would come to himself but she was NEVER going back. She helped me. After that day I went on a campaign to lose weight and so far I am winning and my husband and family HELP me in my fight. I pray she gets the help she needs and that SOMEBODY steps in with the light that will bring her family back to sanity.

Danielle October 16, 2011 - 2:53 PM

Lynn , your story is sad and amazing. So sorry that ladies’ husband left her.
I’m glad you were receptive to her story.

Starry October 16, 2011 - 9:04 AM

Your words ‘digging our graves with our forks’ really stopped and made me think. They are so darned accurate and that is *exactly* what so many of us are doing – or, at least, were doing before we decided to take personal responsibility for our health and our lives. Thank you for putting it so clearly!

Kelekona October 17, 2011 - 7:06 PM

All other issues aside, whatever she needs the MRI for, can’t a blind eye be turned towards the fact that the only machine in the area that can fit her belongs to a zoo and just get some human-hospital techs to run and read the thing?

What is the cost for waiting until she can fit into a machine designed for humans?

Insensitive moment… her weight-gain should have stabilized or slowed the moment she couldn’t walk to the kitchen.

Cherished October 21, 2011 - 5:20 PM

I think if I hadn’t watched the reality show on morbidly obese that I wouldn’t understand but after watching a couple of those shows. I am able to understand the viewpoints from both the “patient” and the “enablers”. What I learned is yes, they are eating massive amounts of food and drink and yes, the enablers are feeding them the food. When removed out of the environment with the enablers (hospital treatment)…they loose weight.

Tiera October 27, 2011 - 3:29 AM

Ok so after watching the YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCq4F1bq-S8), I found this out: her daughter is not feeding her healthy foods. While the video shows that Najah feeds her mom fruit and a salad, I couldn’t help but to notice what Najah put “in” the salad and the portion of fruit that she fed her mother. I observed that Najah literally “loaded” her mom’s salad with cheese. To make matters worse, it was probably “processed” cheese. I’m sure Najah thought she was feeding her mom healthy foods in an innocent attempt to help her mom (commendable), but she seems to be “unknowing” (innocently) when it comes to portion sizes and salad accessory choices. Check out the video. My deepest sympathy goes out to the entire family. I actually went searching trying to find updates on Terri but to no avail. I hope she gets well.

1beautifullymade November 15, 2011 - 12:57 PM

I really dont want to be this woman EVER, but sometimes I just feel so depressed I dont feel like getting out of bed some days, than other days I will go all day eating properly than I find myself wanting to eat everything in the fridge….I hate myself because I dont understand what the heck is wrong with me ..why do i keep doing this to my self..what is wrong..I have reached my heaviest 313lbs and my dauhter is right here watching my every move….Ahhhhh I see how the guy said some one should shoot her and put her out of her misery..and shoot i am sure some people may feel the same about me..but why doesnt any of that help motivate me to STOP..WHY CANT I JUST STOP…there are soo many issues..

Lorrie November 15, 2011 - 7:08 PM

My heart goes out to you 1beautifullymade, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and it sounds as if you have clinical depression. I am no doctor, but I have felt the same way and had similar issues and still weigh 320, BUT I have had regular check ups, the doctors ran much needed tests to rule out the possibility of any existing illness or condition, I have had procedures to treat conditions discovered, I take prescribed medications daily and I have took an active role in my own healthcare. My conditions contributed to depression, food cravings, lethargy, weight gain and overall declining health. I would like to encourage you to interview doctors, find one that has your best interest, begin to recognize and identify your symptoms, communicate with your doctor, get some tests done and start taking control of your health. It took me about two years from finding a good doctor, identifying my symptoms, taking the right tests, getting the treatment right, getting procedures done to treat those conditions, recovering, reassessing, starting over, getting a routine of taking daily medication, adjusting those medications over time and being committed to my health as a whole. I researched any and everything that related to my diagnosis and came to my doctor with questions. I directed my care, I requested necessary tests and I monitored how I felt. I did not wait for the doctor to care about me. I encourage you to do the same. Even though I weigh 320, I eat well (healthy), I try to exercise daily and am active.

Cheryl November 15, 2011 - 2:04 PM

Why in the world can’t she get to an open MRI? You can’t swing a dead cat around here without seeing an advertisement for an open MRI center. There is no need to humiliate this woman by taking her to treatment at the zoo. All facets of this woman’s health are in serious need of intervention.
Her family does too, placating her with the foods she loves is not doing her any good.

Kani January 17, 2013 - 11:01 AM

Even open MRI’s have a weight limit: 550 pounds.

Lorrie November 15, 2011 - 6:49 PM

Many times humans have more empathy, compassion and love for objects like cars and animals than they do people!

The first thing that comes to my mind is that you don’t ask a hungry person why they don’t have money to buy their own food before you feed them, no more than you would ask a fat person why they are fat before you help them get assistance. The point of helping someone in need is to help them so you can then address the root of their problems, otherwise they will not listen. My comment about the photo and the article is the same as others – it is sad. The only difference between this woman’s addiction and enablers and other addicts is that her addiction is more visible, easier to poke fun at and very easy to judge. Do we tell the drug addict, well I don’t want to help you because I want to know why you started on drugs in the first place? No, we help them into a rehab program that in turn teaches them about their addiction and helps them become overcomers. We MUST help this woman become an overcomer, if not for herself but for her living child or anyone else’s life she may touch – whether she dies or not or whether you think she is a hopeless case or not.
The second thing to understand is that broken people cannot fix broken people. Healthy people help broken, hurting, sick people. To expect that a child or dependent/supportive boyfriend would be able to teach her healthy habits is unrealistic – psychologically and physically speaking. That’s one of my problems, with comments so far. She may very well have died peacefully in her home of heart failure which most overweight patients do without any hiccup or excessive healthcare costs but she had no idea she would have issues with her brain. Every overweight person does not burden the system, many of them probably die quietly. In addition to that, do we even know when is the last time she had a doctors appointment? I would be interested to find out how she even found out she needed an MRI. If she has not been under the regular care of a physician, how do we know if she does not have thyroid problems? Before we tell her she made her bed and she needs to lie in it we need to consider her lack of knowledge and possible ignorance.
Obviously, there was an issue in her life that allowed her to get to this point and of course we can have discussions about what she shoulda, coulda, woulda do but that is beside the point – right now she needs help. This is the hand she was dealt and she contributed to it. End of story.So instead of people debating the obvious things like prevention, unhealthy eating habits and co-dependency. The discussion should be, how can we get the zoo certified? Or is there an insurance company that would allow for temporary use coverage for the use of the MRI for a human for a day? Does there exist a lab that performs studies into this condition so that she may receive free treatment? Does she qualify for any pilot programs or studies regarding obesity and cancer? Lets think outside of the box, let us not participate in groupthink.
Lastly, yes of course she should get media attention and she should get empathy for this situation no matter how preventable it is. The equation of compassion is NOT whether or not someone deserves it or if the situation was preventable, compassion defies reasoning that is why it is compassion.

Kimberly December 29, 2012 - 2:49 AM

Lorrie that was eloquently said. Lol I could have saved my post if I would have read yours beforehand.

Alisha November 16, 2011 - 8:49 AM

@Lorrie *stands up and applauds*

Violets Mommy April 24, 2012 - 5:58 PM

If I were the husband I wouldn’t be smiling, his wife’s health is in the shitter in the worst way and she cannot get an MRI because of her weight. The hubbs and the daughter are enabling no doubt about that. Someone should have gotten involved @ 250lbs. Actually now may be too late.

Morbidly Obese June 25, 2012 - 4:30 PM

What if we considered no longer throwing the term “morbidly obese” around so casually in our thoughts and comments. Yes, a 700 lb woman is “morbidly obese”–and so am I, at 285 lbs and 5’8″. That’s about the same as so many other commenters when we break down the height/weight balance. I’m on my journey toward healing like so many of us are, and that term is one that is so loaded (apparently, according to one commenter I too should just be “put out of my misery” for being nonhuman? and to be fair, Ericka addressed that horrid comment) but that term is so loaded and basically incorporates anyone more than 50 or so lbs above their sanctioned BMI. Let’s try to be loving to each other in these forums…most of us get enough loaded crap from the outside world that makes the struggles we’re facing to get healthy–to believe we’re even worthy of loving ourselves and being healthy and not just ‘putting ourselves out of our misery’–that it seems this beautiful forum this sister has built for us can be so much more than a place to throw around critically wounding terms without understanding what they mean and how they impact us and each other. Just a suggestion. Offered respectfully.

Annette August 21, 2012 - 2:42 PM

What I am thinking is we find what we need, he wanted someone who needs him, and so did she. Both keep the situation going her by being helpless and him that keeps her helpless.

It’s sad but I feel she is slowly killing herself, she don’t want to live. Someone who wants to live is active out and about. Doesn’t eat food that make you sluggish and inactive, food that doesn’t sedate you because you are too unhappy to face life.

Ashlee December 28, 2012 - 10:13 PM

I’ve seen a situation like this before. I do empathize with her as far as feeling like she has no options because once you reach that point, it is understandable to feel that way. However there IS a way for her to get out of that she just has to have the determination and focus to do so. even is she just works to clap her hands for 30 minutes each day and cuts down her caloric intake while eating more meals each day that’s a start to her getting out of the bed. Yes it will take a considerate amount of time to see any results, but it has happened before and it IS possible. if she really wants out, she’ll find a way. I do hope that she gets the help she needs and the motivation to help herself. Yes her family are enablers, they love her so much that they’ll do anything for her, but at some point, they’ve got to tell her the truth and start doing GOOD for her instead of just what she wants. they are brave and honorable for sticking with her through this.

Cynthia December 28, 2012 - 10:13 PM

This is my biggest fear. I am currently hovering around 500lbs. i am able to get around very well. I have no medical problems at this time. I am a single mother of five and I work as a full time special education teacher. by the time i get home from extra-curricular activities and get homework done and kids fed it is time for bed. I was doing zumba for a while but the the kids activities started and i had to give it up. i so don’t want this to happen to me but there are not enough hours in the day for me.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 29, 2012 - 4:37 PM

*huge hug*

Celeste January 17, 2013 - 1:17 PM

Cynthia, I totally empathize with your dilemma, however, there are times when we MUST put ourselves first. How does a mother of 5 and dedicated teacher do this when she is so busy giving of herself to others? You’ve got to realize that in order to continue to be there for the ones you care for, you need to take care of you. How? Is it possible to scale back a few of the kids’ activities, or change the activities to ones that you can physically be involved in with them? Do you have a support system that can allow you some time to yourself to perhaps get back to Zumba or another activity? It can be difficult to let others in when you are so used to handling things. I don’t presume to know your situation, but I hear myself in your words and hope that you consider making yourself a priority. It is the best gift you can give to those you care about and who care about you. Be blessed.

As far as the article goes, I pray that this family gets the help they all need before it’s too late. This is clearly not just about one persons physical health. Thanks Erika for another enlightening post.

Cassandre December 28, 2012 - 10:20 PM

Reading this makes me so sad for her and i think we have a deeper issue in this community when it comes to healthy eating and our weight. there’s definitely some enabling going on but it’s so much bigger then that.

Jenaee December 28, 2012 - 10:22 PM

Of course her family is enabling her…. because they have no choice. If someone WANTS TO DIE or has a DEATH WISH, as this woman clearly does, it is very hard to convince them to get on the straight and narrow and do what’s best for them. At that point, after fighting and crying and fighting and crying… you ultimately just want to make their lives as good as possible, before they check out. And that is where her family finds itself right now. Making her happy before she dies on them. I know this, because I have FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE in a scenario very similar… and after all the bitching, and the pressure to change, and the prayer circles for a breakthrough… and the doctors saying things HAD to change… and the steep decline in health… all that was left was to realize this person WANTED TO DIE, and there was nothing more we could do. It is very sad… but it happens every single day… and there is not much anyone can do to change it. 🙁 My prayers go out to her family, who will have to bury her soon, if she doesn’t change her ways….. and I am sure that they are prepared to do just that.

Mishala December 28, 2012 - 10:53 PM

I wonder what’s wrong with her. One the one hand, I feel no sympathy, because a person just doesn’t balloon to seven hundred pounds. I would think, being bed ridden, she would have a lot of time to get online and figure out how to get herself well. On the other hand, I have an aunt who is a very large woman. Sadly, despite her stellar eating habits, the combination of her medical ailments, which include a degenerative spinal disease, and the variety of medication have made it almost impossible for her to lose weight. Healthily, anyway. So while I can sympathize, unless there is a legitimate medical reason, I feel a large part of the blame falls on her, and secondarily on her family.

tina December 29, 2012 - 12:05 AM

I feel for her, and it also motivates me to do something for myself. I can lie to myself and say it all “crept up on me”, but nothing can “creep” up on you unless you give it an outlet whether through lack of exercise or lack of diet control or both. I’ve got to do better and so does she.

Kimberly December 29, 2012 - 2:15 AM

In the majority of the comments in regards to this sister’s weight, eating and health challenges, I noticed 2 very disturbing trends. The first is that her husband and daughter are singled out as having a role in helping her control her addiction. They are the victims in this situation and are the hostages of their love for her. They are neither educated or trained to effectively and consistently handle an addiction of that magnitude. Secondly, she is villainized because of her massive weight and obvious eating disorder. If she were a crack addict or alcoholic, people would attempt to understand or at least investigate the root of her addiction. Perhaps childhood abuse or neglect or any other severe trauma that causes human beings to loose control and become addicts. Just a thought.

Annette December 29, 2012 - 10:13 PM

I think they are enablers who don’t know they are enablers maybe? Yes she has a weight problem that goes way beyond food.

Then another thought hit me is waiting around to get her insurance money when she passes away? Is he enabling to collect on the policy? Is her being helpless a financial gain to the family? I hope not.

She has basically sat down and slowly letting herself die. She has given up on life. They are making her comfortable. She is no different from an anorexic who don’t love themselves. When you get that big it’s difficult. I at 300lb broke my leg and had complications and was in a wheel chair for yearssssss. Very scary.

After I got sick and tired of them taking my money. On different drugs which has complications and slowed down my metabolism I decided to look up what was best for me. Spent the time on line to figure out why my body is like this.

I noticed that due to digestive issues I got sick more often and also gained a lot more weight. Releasing your waste regularly (daily) eating more fruits and veges made me feel better (plus digestive enzymes). My body was off balance I didn’t want to do much but I felt better when I started to gradually improve my diet.

Looks like her family don’t have a weight problem yet I found out I can’t eat the same things my family eats since it makes my digestion go wacky and I gain weight. It also makes me moody and unbalanced. So I would suggest to her family consult a nutritionist and stop spending time and money on doctors that just push pills and take your money. Medicine is a business that need victims I mean patients.

Also set up a program for exercises to gradually help to move every day. After I took over my health and kicked the doctors to the curb I got better. The medication was keeping me sedated. I had reflux etc. Also the side effects from the medication causes other side effects. I must have been prescribed about 20 different drugs.

It starts with food, she can’t get it so he has to get help on a diet and exercise program to help her.

It wasn’t easy I asked someone what do I do, they said keep a journal. I kept a food journal listened to Dr Oz started to substitute the food I like for a healthier version. So many different health sites online that was how I found Erika. Thank God Erika I have learned so much and get such inspiration to keep going. My grandma died of a stroke just after she retired. My mother has diabetes. I want to live much longer without complications.

Crystal December 30, 2012 - 1:19 AM

It just looks like a slow suicide.

Tessa January 2, 2013 - 5:37 PM

I feel for this woman, and i feel for her family. It is not my place to judge, no one can know what brought her to that point. Most of my family has suffered with weight issues. My mom is the one with the most issues. She has high blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes II. She has back problems as well from a fall many years ago. She has gotten better. There was a time when she would lie in bed and wouldnt do anything. 2 years ago, she fell because she got dizzy doing laundry and my sister had to care for her until she was able to get up and care for herself.

It is so hard because i insist so much for her to eat healthy, and she gets so angry and resistant. Some people, the more you insist the more they want to keep going. My mom didnt stop smoking until SHE wanted to. She didnt start eating healthier and exercising until SHE wanted too. She still has a long way to go. But at least she tries to do some light walking a few times a week.

She is much stronger, but still has to take so many pills. I help her and try to tell her how to eat better. But its not easy because I struggle myself. I have gained and lost 100 lbs so many times i have lost count. Just two years ago, i started counting calories and i lost 100 lbs. I felt so good physically, but mentally… i hated the loose skin,the stretch marks, and the fact that i hated my body. I felt like i would never be “normal”.

I just got so obsessed i wouldnt eat unless i knew the calories, i would exercise 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. i felt so annoyed that everyone around me could eat like a normal human being. And i was being punished for being fat and out of control… I started having overeating issues, i would eat until i was nauseous and in pain. I even got gall stones, which increased my pain. In a matter of months i gained 60 lbs. I just felt so lost and alone. My mom would try to help me, but i would just break down in tears, because it made the shame so much greater.

I would just lie and bed and not want anyone to see me because i was ashamed. I would insult and degrade myself for being so weak and pathetic. I would just spend hours crying and feeling so embarrassed. I am at a better place now. I dont cry all the time, and am trying to eat healthier. I still dont eat healthy all the time and eat unhealthy things, but i dont feel the need to eat all the time.

I have lost some weight. I dont know how much, as i’m afraid to put pressure on myself. As time goes by i find myself eating more and more like i did when i was counting calories. I feel better mentally. But there are still days when i wish i could just go to sleep and not wake up. Moments when i wonder why i even bother trying.

I now know that if i ever want to be totally healthy. That i will need to get better not only physically, but mentally as well. I dont know why food is so comforting. but it really is. So yes, i do feel for this woman, and for her family. I pray she finds the strength to change, because it is not an easy step to take, it is so much easier to just give up.

Eloquence, Inc. January 17, 2013 - 10:29 AM

I’m disappointed…I thought a blog like this would have gone past the obvious and posted for us up front some kind of deeper history as to how she got to this point.

Why doesn’t someone just have the zoo GET the certification or a special waiver to do the MRI on HER specifically?

And now for the more shallow stuff: I hope she KNOWS her husband is cheating on her even if he’s not just up and leaving her…logic and common sense and if he’s in the .0001% that wouldn’t stray in this situation, we certainly don’t make assumptions based on the minority trend, but based on what USUALLY happens. She is obviously a candidate for a major weight reduction surgery and she should start instructing her husband and daughter to fundraise and find some agency that will fund it, and some doctors that will do it.

Solutions not sitting there grateful people are helping you die.

Erika Nicole Kendall January 17, 2013 - 12:32 PM

You’re disappointed in me for talking about the “deeper issues” of a stranger I didn’t interview or even have previous knowledge of or access to…. but you proceed to talk about how her husband MUST be a double scumbag and be cheating on her? Because it’s impossible for a man to actually be faithful to a woman who may be incapacitated?

Chile, your opinions of me matter SO little after that. Clearly, my blog – the one you’re so disappointed in – isn’t for you. Lawd. LOL

Hilda Sanchez January 17, 2013 - 10:47 AM

She is in need of physical and mental help.

The Mighty Quinn January 17, 2013 - 10:52 AM

This is so convoluted with issues, it is hard to know where to start. Like any kind of abuse or self harm, this woman is the only person who can say “when”. I have seen this kind of thing on TV and would say “I would give her a salad and tell her if she wanted something else, she would have to walk to the store and get it!”

This is ignorance, enabling, pain, helplessness, control, embarrassment and shame (there are loads of other words) all rolled into this situation. My heart breaks for her and her family to have to go through this. I believe we are all on different levels, emotionally, spiritually and conscientiously and this woman is not “aware” enough to stop this madness.

This could be me if I was not aware of my body. I am considered morbidly obese, but I am working hard to get in shape. I try to surround myself with friends who want to get out and do something and won’t allow enablers in my life.

I have no words……

AMickey January 17, 2013 - 11:12 AM

Long time reader and first or second time commenter.

My mother is morbidly obese and I just recently had to call our doctor to update him on her very obvious changes. (We work in the same office and she’s been using her office chair to get around instead of actually walking. Among other things.) Her appointment is in a few days and that’s when she’ll find out that I was the one that called it in. I know she’ll be mad and emotional, but I’m still happy that she’s going.

Then I read this story. And it saddens me that she didn’t try to prevent something like this from happening. I’m not saying that she didn’t try, but some of her comments suggest otherwise.

“It’s awful how it creeps up on you. Once you cannot exercise it doesn’t matter how healthily you eat, the weight just sticks. You’re not burning off a single calorie.”

I don’t agree with that mentality. I almost see that as an excuse to eat poorly and not exercise. You can always do something for exercise. I believe my own mother would make improvements if she just invested a few minutes each day to move. Because once you invest even a little bit of time, things get easier and you can start investing more time for it.

Also, eating healthy is so very crucial. It makes you feel better. If this woman can even start eating a salad a day in substitution for one meal, I guarantee she’d feel and see a difference within a month or so.

I’m not trying to be crude. I see a very sad situation and I would very much so like to see her be healthy. I’d like to see her actually live her life. She might think there isn’t much hope for her, but there is. Her life has meaning and she has the potential to make changes. And she needs to much encouragement to start this and keep going. So that she can get the MRI that she needs.

Erika Nicole Kendall January 17, 2013 - 12:33 PM

It’s certainly not an excuse to eat poorly and not work out, because both of those have other important purposes that extend BEYOND “weight loss.”

Teri January 17, 2013 - 12:26 PM

This is not sad at all, she did this to herself. She put the food in her mouth and kept chewing. Her family and friends brought her the food to eat. Remember, God helps those who help themselves, and he doesn’t mean to all of the food in the world.

Christine January 17, 2013 - 2:12 PM

It is not my place to judge her or her family. My place is to pray for her not to ask those curious questions as to why. We already now the “why”, she made mistakes just like the rest of us. We need to look at her heart not down on her, she is doing that to herself already. Just remember we have all have our issues, hers is just more visible then ours.

BlackBerry Molasses January 17, 2013 - 2:47 PM

This woman is sick. Her sickness is complicated. There are probably mental as well as physical aspects to her sickness. And its true… she didn’t get to and stay at this point by herself.

However, the people who are showing a marked lack of empathy (and that includes people saying “I feel___ for her BUT”… you need to remember she is a person. A complicated being who is more than just her physical body.Sadly, her physical being has become her prison. If we are truly a community of people who are kind, loving, and empathetic, then our discussion of her situation should be a discussion of how to help her and others like her– with compassion and respect.

No one was ever shamed into becoming healthy. And I’m seeing some shame peppered through this discussion. The journey to health starts with love. Not hatred and shaming.

I’m not going to postulate what got her to the place she’s currently in, because I don’t know her at all. I don’t know her family. I don’t know her history. There are so many things that have contributed to her current situation that we know nothing about… and its really none of our business unless we are going to be active in helping her regain what she has lost– mind, spirit AND body.

If there is to be help for her, I want to be a part of that.

Aside: Ericka, Its your blog and you run it as you see fit. You know I love you like I love my Jimmy Choo’s, but Ry’s comment– I think it should be removed. Even thought you addressed it, its still visible. That comment is vile. Its abusive. Its violent. Its disgusting. Beyond that though, its likely a trigger for some people.

Erika Nicole Kendall January 17, 2013 - 5:43 PM

You’re absolutely right; it should be removed for all the reasons you’ve listed, and even a few more.

I left it up because I think it’s important. I think that seeing something like that – easily, one of the most cruel comments ever left on this site – shows people what I’m talking about when I talk about the need for compassion, the futility of fat-shaming, the kinds of attitudes people deal with in regards to their bodies. I’m serious when I say, quite frankly, that people are scumbags when it comes to this stuff.

I ALSO think the compassion shown in the other comments, no doubt compelled because of Ry’s comments, are just as empathetic and understanding as Ry’s comment is nasty. There’s a balance, IMO.

shannon frady February 27, 2013 - 3:32 PM

My thoughts are this,being obese myself and the days my legs were hurting so bad,i decided right then i was in control .the husband and daughter enable her,if she cant get out of bed,then they can control what she eats and you dont have to be extremely active to lose weight.lots of fruits and vegtables.i eat alot of fish(baked of course).try 6 mini meals aday and if you feel the need to eat just make smarter choices at first its hard,im not going to lie,but once you are on the right path,it gets easier.ive lost 99lbs and no surgery.i still got a ways to go.but living in my bed because im fat is not an option for me.wishing her good luck!

vinnae February 19, 2014 - 10:37 AM

I really don’t know what to say.

Tess March 6, 2014 - 3:16 PM

After reading this article I had a couple of thoughts:

1. Yes, she is being enabled. As the enabler yes we know it can be hard to say no but when life and death are a factor we’ve all got to “man up”

2. What is the real reason why she is so big? What happened in her life that threw her off track? If she doesn’t fix the mental the physical will never heal.

3. Because of the possible “life issues” I understand how she got to be that size and didn’t notice…its the same thing with hoarders. Using a compulsion to remedy what is really wrong.

4. Although, the picture can be disturbing to some I believe it can empower others to be more healthy.

Just my thoughts.

janeen June 19, 2014 - 12:12 PM

I really couldn’t get the original article( using my phone),but I think my greatest issue with this is we treat obesity and the factors around it as a moral/ethical one. If she were bulimic or anorexic we question would question the psychological issues/causes that led to the physical symptoms. To me that’s the most concerning aspect to articles like this. As a society, I really think we know, to the core something may be going on, whether it be depression, anxiety, abuse, but when it is shown through obesity, we take a rather nasty, punishing tone. We avert our eyes, and we avoid “those” people, but I very rarely see people finding meaningful ways to and communicating concern for an obese stranger.

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