Like many people these days, I've always had a weight problem. Traditional diets have never worked for me and I've tried some pretty outlandish tactics through the years. Back in March of 2010, Dr. Sanford Siegal sent me an email offering me $50,000 to stop what I was doing and try to lose weight using his new cookie diet. I declined his offer since I was more concerned with gaining weight at the time. A couple of days later, I received another e-mail concerning the cookie diet. This time it was from Dr. Siegal's son Matthew Siegal, President and CEO of Dr. Siegal's Direct Nutritionals. He said he was willing to double the offer and pay me $100,000 to go on the cookie diet. He sent over a couple of boxes of cookies for me to try. I would have preferred chocolate chip or even peanut butter but he sent oatmeal raisin. The cookies were OK, but each cookie was 90 calories. I could eat about 50 in one sitting and that would be 4,500 calories just in cookies. I decided that the cookie diet wouldn't work and the payment was contingent on my losing weight, so I again turned down the offer.
As a young adult I really wanted to be thin more than anything else and when I was about 22-years-old I weighed roughly 325 lbs. I was making very good money working as a caregiver/therapist at the state-run Broadview Developmental Center just outside of Cleveland. They took in mentally challenged people from institutions that treated them like animals. My job was to try and teach them how to eat, how to brush their teeth, and other personal hygiene tasks. I grew up in the suburbs of Akron and wasn't really aware that there were some seedy neighborhoods nearby. At the time my roommate and I were living in a pretty bad part of town but it never dawned on me until I noticed all the skinny drug addicts running around. An acquaintance of mine who worked at a bank was telling me how the people who smoked crack never ate. Now this seemed like a great risk/reward situation. My parents thought I was going to die from being overweight and I figured they would rather bury a thin daughter than a fat one. My suddenly unemployed and much thinner friend from the bank helped me score my first bag of rock cocaine. I smoked up a $20 bag in about an hour and although I was still hungry, I decided to get more. I wound up smoking about $120 worth every day. Throughout a six month period I smoked crack daily and it never decreased my appetite. I would work at the development center during the day and clean my house at night. I never lost any weight, but my house was immaculate. I should have known better since the diet pills that my step mom forced me to take had the same result. I decided that it wasn't going to work and that was the end of my days on the pipe.
Nothing I've ever tried had been successful for me, I felt like I would always be fat. Still, I was always looking for some get thin quick scheme. Not too long after my crack smoking period I started hanging out with a friend who worked as a physical therapist. His name was Paul and he also was looking for an easy way to lose weight. Paul told me about a strange new phenomenon that people were trying instead of going on a diet. It was known as the "Tapeworm Trend." That's right, tapeworms. Quite simply, the idea was to ingest a live tapeworm and it would live in your intestines. You could eat anything you wanted as often as you like and the worm would consume most of the food. At this point I was ready to try anything, so I told Paul to get me one and I would swallow the worm. As it turned out, Paul wasn't able to locate one and I never got the chance to try the parasite diet. Too bad, it really sounded promising.
I need to take a long hard look at all the crazy things I've done in my life. Seriously, I am not a youngster anymore and I have a family to think of. I really need help. At over well over 500 pounds and with my health issues, I need some realistic treatment. I know I should be in counseling and I've got to get out of this rut. My children need me and I don't want to let them down, I wouldn't want them to wind up in therapy because of my mistakes.
This past week I watched my son Devin become very upset after hearing about the suicide of a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. This story really hit home for him since it is happening at his school too. Devin is just a year older and I guess he can identify with this young man. He's been very active with his classmates trying to fight this epidemic. I'm proud of him for getting involved in something he feels strongly about and I very much want to make him proud of me. I've got to get my life back under control so I can be a better mother to both Devin and Jacqueline.