Heavy

Ok, the show Heavy really, really spoke to me.  I did some research and decided to apply.  The first step is a simple letter/bio.  This is the letter I will be submitting shortly, minus my phone numbers.  As much as I love my readers, you will fair better at getting a non-sarcastic reply if you just email me.

Jan 17, 2011 324 lbs

 

Name:  Christi Bennington
Age:  35 years
Height:  Almost 5’8″
Weight: 324 lbs
 
Howdy Ya’ll,
I am Christi Bennington, and as you can probably tell I am from Texas.  I am a 35-year-old mother of four wonderful little girls, and the wife to a loving and supportive husband.  I am 5’8″ tall and my current weight is 324 lbs.  By my estimation that is 184 lbs of extra fat I carry around.
My struggle with being overweight has been life long.  As a child my days began with a hamburger from Jack In The Box, and ended with a full-sized candy bar.  That’s not to mention the countless sodas and nearly, whole gallons of milk I consumed as well.
By the time I was a teenager and entering high school, my weight was at 232 lbs.  Of course, I was the target of bullying and jokes, and over the course of my high school career I learned to be the funny, sarcastic fat girl.  By being sarcastic I had built up a wall to deflect the scrutiny of others and keep them from becoming too close.
At 20 years old, my weight has soared to 285 lbs, and my self-esteem had pretty well bottomed out at that point.  I spent the next 6 years eating and drinking anything I wanted, with little thought of what or why I was putting it into my body.
At 26 my oldest daughter was born.  After the pregnancy my weight reached a staggering 360+ pounds.  When my daughter turned 1, I decided I wanted to go back to school.  In the midst of juggling school and being a single parent, I made the decision to switch to diet sodas and started watching my carb intake.  A year and a half later my weight was down to 280 lbs.
In August 2004, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter.  During this pregnancy I managed to keep my weight gain to only 11 pounds.
By this time I was re-married, but my husband worked a lot and I was left at home to care for 2 small children, everyday.  I would often eat out of boredom and my weight, again, began to climb.
By October 2005, not only was my weight up to 320 lbs, I was also pregnant again.  Except, with this pregnancy I developed gestational diabetes and continued to gain weight uncontrollably.  I gave birth to my 3rd daughter in May of 2006 at about 350 lbs.
Over whelmed by 3 small children and a husband who was always working, I turned to food to fill all of my emotional needs.  If I was happy, I ate.  If I was sad, I ate.  I just ate a lot, all.of.the.time.
Some how though, over the next couple of years my weight stabilized and only fluctuated between 320 lbs and 330 lbs.
In the fall of 2008, fed up with being fat, I decided to join Weight Watchers.  Now, my stint with Weight Watchers was very short-lived.  During the 8 weeks that I was a member, I obsessed about food.  When can I eat again?  How much can I eat?  What can I eat?  To the tune of a 15 pound weight gain.  Fifteen pounds in 8 weeks was excessive, even to me.  My weight at this point was 335 pounds.
In January 2009, I was again blessed with the news that I was pregnant.  By March of that year, the gestational diabetes was back and reeking havoc on my body.  it did not seem to matter how much insulin I took or what else I did, I could not get my blood sugar below 300.  I am medically trained (EMS) and fully realize the ramifications of an elevated blood sugar that is sustained for any length of time.
My doctor decided in September 2009 to deliver my fourth daughter by C-section, 5 weeks early.  This decision was made because at my last check-up, the baby’s weight was already estimated at 10 lbs.  My blood sugars had been so out of control that even 5 weeks shy of being full term, my baby’s growth rate had been accelerated to the point that she was larger than a “normal”, full term baby.  Also, the doctor was concerned about my high blood sugars causing her kidney damage.  Because my blood sugar had been high, her blood sugar was essentially high as well, causing her urine out put (amniotic fluid) to be significantly increased.
My weight the day of the delivery was 355 lbs.  The C-section went smoothly and we welcomed a 9 lb 15 oz, and premature, little girl to the world.  Two weeks after my last daughter was born, I weight 304 lbs at my check-up.
Because my daughter was premature, she was born with cardiac septal hypertrophy.  This was also a direct result of my gestational diabetes and weight.
After 10 agonizing days in the NICU, my baby was finally released to go home.   My husband had taken off work for her birth and once we realized just how sick she was, he decided to stay with me and her.  Once her health was no longer in danger, my husband called the company he was working for to let them know he could come back to work.  Much to our surprise though, during his approved time off, the company had decided to terminate his position.
With my husband not having a job,  we very quickly became homeless.  Thankfully, my father-in-law had an efficiency apartment (1 room) that we were able to move into.  While my husband struggled to find work, I struggled to keep it together.  Again, I was turning to food.
In October 2010, I decided enough was enough.  My weight was at 336 lbs, and I was tired of being depressed, angry, and sad.  That is just part of the emotional aspect of being morbidly obese.  Physically I hurt, have shortness of breath, and struggle to dress myself at times, just to name a few.
I can’t run and play with my children the way I want.  I can’t be the wife and mother that I want to be.  Over the years, I have with drawn from society.  My days consist of watching TV and being on the computer.  I am no longer social.  Sure I go out to the store and to pick up my kids from school, but i no longer have friends who are not online.
In October 2010, when I decided I’d had enough, I began trying to educate myself about food and exercise and I joined the YMCA.  Even with all of that, I simply do not have the tools necessary to make a change on my own, and  I have never been taught anything about nutrition or exercise.  Even though my family is in a much better place today than we were a year ago, we still can not afford to pay for a nutritionist and personal trainer. 
As my weight has fluctuated over the years, I have gone from being able to describe myself as smart, funny, sarcastic, independent and happy to nothing more than a mediocre wife and mother.
The straw that has finally broken this camel’s back is a letter I received from the school district.  In the letter they detail out how my 4-year-old is obese.  She already weights 55.6 lbs and has a BMI of 20%.
It breaks my heart to know that she has learned this from me.  It kills me that I do not have the tools to teach her better.  Naturally, I am very concerned about all four of my daughter’s health and weight.  But, through some stroke of good luck and genetic jackpot, my other 3 daughters seem to be holding their own for now.  I know if I don’t change me and learn a better way to teach them, eventually they too will face the same fate as me. 
I live every day in fear.  Fear that I will have a heart attack or stroke.  Fear that I will die prematurely and miss out on a full and happy life with my husband and kids.  I am most fearful that my daughters will take after me.  That they will be defined and consumed by their weight.
I am a 324 lbs woman, desperate for help.  Desperate to change my life, my husband’s life and the lives of 4 precious, little girls.  Desperate to find Christi.
For more information or a closer look at what makes me tick, please visit www.findingchristi.wordpress.com.
 
Thank You,
Christi Bennington

Jan 17, 2011 324 lbs

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1 Comment

Filed under General, Health

One response to “Heavy

  1. Elizabeth

    Wow. If that letter doesn’t get them to contact you, I don’t know what will. I am hoping they accept you and I’m looking forward to where this path will take you. Love ya.

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