On March 1, 2004, a Los Angeles woman named Bonnie saw her life change forever. Her mother, Ella, the person she relied on for nearly everything, passed away. Up until that point, Bonnie had an unbreakable bond with her mother, never having to worry about anything and leaning on her so much that Bonnie never felt the need to exert her independence. When Ella died, Bonnie felt that a part of her died, too.
Bonnie sunk into a deep depression, unable to even leave her home. As her friends grew more and more concerned, Bonnie's weight began spiraling out of control. Three years after her mom passed, Bonnie's father also died, further fueling her grief.
It's now been more than seven years since Bonnie has left her home, and five years since she has gotten out of bed. The last time she stepped on a scale five years ago, Bonnie weighed 550 pounds. Now, she says she is well over 600. Unable to care for her own basic needs, Bonnie relies on her 24-year-old daughter Jamesha for survival.
Desperate to find help for Bonnie, her friends wrote to Iyanla Vanzant in hopes she could foster the emotional and physical healing necessary to save Bonnie's life. . When Iyanla arrived in Los Angeles, she asked Bonnie to articulate how it felt to be alive without her mother. Bonnie immediately became emotional and started to cry.
"Let it up," Iyanla said softly, offering comfort. "Let it up, Miss Bonnie."
"She left me," Bonnie said, her eyes closed.
"She left you and then he left you. And then you got in this bed," Iyanla said. "Do you get that, Miss Bonnie? Mommy left you, you got fat."
"Fatter," Bonnie said.
Iyanla continued. "Daddy left you, you laid down," she said.
"And then I put that dependence on my daughter. I put it on her," Bonnie cried.
"Let it up," Iyanla said. "Don't rush it."