People Magazine ran an article online yesterday about the world’s heaviest living woman, an American named Pauline. She will go in the Guinness Book of World Records for weighing 643 pounds in February 2011, though she now thinks she’s closer to 700 pounds. First of all, I find these types of stats for the Guinness Book as sad and degrading. I’m all for keeping track of world records for sport accomplishments or things like the fastest car, tallest building, but there are so many bizarre stats in that book like weight that are horrible.
Reading the article in People, I felt really sad. She obviously wants and needs help and is feeling so lost and desperate, that she thinks the only way she can get it is by putting herself in the Guinness Book. She is hoping a doctor or nutritionist will help her by seeing her story in this book. Meanwhile she’s enduring even more ridicule and judgement as a result.
Granted, one can argue she has no one to blame for her weight but herself, though obviously some genetics play a role here given her size. Not to mention she seems to have a food addiction problem to get to the size she is. No matter what, she definitely doesn’t want to be there and doesn’t know what to do. It’s obviously not as simple as “quit eating so much” with someone her size.
It’s interesting that you never hear about the thinnest woman or thinnest man in these books. I’m guessing it’s probably in there since everything else is, but it’s not a headline making statistic like the overweight people are. Biggest Loser gets quite a media buzz whenever they have the largest contestant on the show whether it’s the largest man, largest woman or largest person overall, their ratings skyrocket.
Overweight people are dealing with so much more than just simply eating too much. They have deeper issues that cause them to behave that way both mentally and probably a lot of genetics too. Yet, they are splashed all over the media to be laughed at and judged. I sincerely hope that someone in the health profession does help Pauline. She is asking for it and is willing to lose her pride and dignity with the Guinness Book to get it.
If you know someone who is overweight and has said they need help, help them. Don’t laugh or judge, but actually help them. Whether it’s being their workout buddy or ordering something healthy at a restaurant so they don’t feel left out when they do, it’s the small steps that lead to big changes.