How it Feels to Have a Morbidly Obese Parent: A Letter From My Daughter

Jodi Davis

| 3 min read

Little girl looking at her mom
Jodi Davis and Kirstin
Lately, I keep wracking my brain to figure out how I can help morbidly obese people realize their condition doesn’t only affect them, but their entire family. I’ve become very frustrated as I try to come up with a solution to reach them, but for some reason the answer just isn’t clear to me.
I was morbidly obese for several years, so I know how it feels. I did everything possible to avoid people who wanted to talk to me about my obesity. I didn’t want to hear about it or read about it; in fact, I wanted everyone to just leave me alone. I wanted to stay hidden away – that’s where the morbidly obese belong, according to society, right? That’s how I felt, and I’m very aware that countless others feel that exact same way.
So that is where the problem lies. How can I help people when they refuse to connect with anyone about their obesity and don’t want to be seen in public? How can I help them learn that they can make a change and lose the weight if I can’t even contact them?
My oldest daughter, Kirstin thought it might help reach the unreachable if she shared how it felt for her as a young child with a morbidly-obese parent.

A Letter from Kirstin:

I was in fifth grade when I finally realized my mom wasn’t like all the other mommies. Even though in so many ways she was the best mother in the world due to her strong involvement in our lives through school, sports, talent shows, and the like, it was in fifth grade when I noticed my mother wasn’t normal; she was obese.

Once I noticed my mother was this overweight, it wasn’t long before I understood the disadvantages that came with that fact. I soon appreciated every day with her more and more because I had no idea how many days she might have left. It wasn’t like it was just her problem anymore, it was mine too. I would worry that her obesity would catch up with her. I couldn’t just put it in the back of my mind either because as a child, your mother is everything.

As a child of an obese mother, I just want you to know that if you’re overweight and you have children … they worry about it, and they worry about you.

They may not say they worry about it or even act like they notice, but I can promise you that they do. When you decided to have children, you made a commitment to do everything in your power to be there for them.

Also, know that if you’re overweight, you can’t compensate for it by helping at their school or buying them things. Nothing can compensate for the fact that your choices can leave them without a mother. What you may not understand is the reality that you can die from being overweight.

Is any food really worth not seeing your child walk on their graduation day or seeing them get married or holding their first child? If you had cancer, wouldn’t you fight for your life? You would seek help and do whatever’s necessary to stay alive. Obesity is no different. It’s hurting you and you really do have the choice … obesity is 100% curable. My mom did it and you can too.
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Photo credit: mmg1design

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