Name: Ian Hilken
USI #: 1020386
Programme: Communication Studies
Course: Reporting and Writing 1: Basic News and Features
Lecturer: Mr. Michael Brotherson
“I look in the mirror, and I hate what I see. I’m not small enough. I’m not good enough, and I never will be. I poke my stomach and all I feel is fat. I hate myself.”
These are words of a thirty-five-year-old woman who is extremely overweight, dissatisfied, ashamed, and hateful of the life she lives. Her name is Patricia Lewis and she was born on August 18th, 1984 in the mining town of Linden carrying a weight of 20 lbs. As she grew older, her weight multiplied at an alarming rate and by the time she was 16, she weighed 180 lbs. By the time she was 25, 300 lbs.
Many, when contacted, attributed her weight to the theory that she was a binge eater. They further, not too keenly, said that the most they know of her is that she was extremely overweight and in desperate need of help.
Patricia attributed her size to her parents, grandparents, and other generations claiming that they were all “big built folks” and described herself as having a void that only seemed to be filled by food. She said, “I have no friends, no significant other, no children, and no family. Both my parents are dead, and I am an only child. What else is there for me to do?”
Patricia hated her life. She wished she was never born, but never has she attempted or even thought of ending her life. At age 34 having 350 lbs., Patricia was diagnosed as obese. This diagnosis apparently set off a bell in her brain as she seemed to have become painfully aware of her size and therefore made the effort to rid her self of the excessive fat. She tried all existing medications that promised to aid in weight loss but to no avail. She tried exercising and dieting, but nothing seemed to work.
This disappointed caused her to lose hope and seemingly caused the void she felt deep within, to get wider; causing her to fill it with the only thing that seemed to work: food. In so doing, within two months Patricia moved from 350 lbs. to 455 lbs.
With teary eyes she said that one night she cried herself to sleep after downing enough food to feed five persons. During her slumber, she claims to have heard a distinct voice saying, “lose the weight or lose your life.” After hearing this voice, she said that she awoke with a renewed determination to rid herself of the weight no matter what.
With this determination she purged, dieted, and exercised. She drastically reduced the amount of food she ate per day, skipped meals, and even went a day or two without eating. She purposed in her heart to lose the excess weight. However, she still felt the void deep within her and needed it to be filled. She craved food.
Her cravings were so strong that she wanted to give up on her fight. But she held fast and went in search of something else to fill the void. She tried reading, nothing. Watching movies, nothing. Taking long walks, making friends, nothing.
According to her, as she was heading home one evening from the gym she had enrolled in, she heard a song being played in a nearby bar that she described as “uplifting”. This song was Army of Me by Christina Aguilera. With what can be described as a smile of restored strength, she said “that song was written by God for me. I love it so much and it truly will serve as my motivator.”
With this song, Patricia stuck to her diet, exercised regularly, and ate healthily. Now, she is 300 lbs. lighter. As of right now, she is a beautiful, healthy, and confident 35-year-old woman standing at a height of 5′ 8″ carrying a weight of 155 lbs., and no longer has a void within her.
She has made many friends and is now a personal trainer, and an advocate for healthy eating.