I didn't believe in magic. The family skeptic. But why shouldn't I be? There's a scientific explanation for nearly everything, and the things that there aren't explanations for, research is being done to provide explanations. I love my mother and sister, but Dad was the only one who I felt understood me. He built my interest in history, and my love of facts. Which is why I took after Dad while Chrissy took after Mom: personality, interests, growing up I even looked more like my father. While Chrissy was learning homemaking, I was playing softball. When she was getting married, I was finishing college without a committed relationship. When she was searching for her first home, I was searching for explanations of historic phenomenon. Right now I really needed explanations for the change in course my own life had taken.What happened? How did I get here? Of course Mom and Chrissy had their own ideas.
"It's the curse." Chrissy would say as she ate her fifth slice of pizza.
"Damn that Jaelle." My mother would say after reaching the top of a staircase winded.
"Stupid family curse" I would mutter as I struggle to get out of bed in the morning.
I should explain. My name is Natalie Kaminsky. Tomorrow I will turn 45 years old. I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, and a teacher. And I weigh 700 pounds. I think. I'm definitely the largest person on record in my family, and this is something we keep track of as I'll explain shortly. I eat no less than 6 meals a day, two breakfasts, two lunches, a large dinner, and a final meal whenever my stomach decides to wake me up. My daughter has had the upstairs master bed and bathroom for the past 4 years when I no longer had the strength to go up and down the stairs daily. I'm known by name at several local restaurants. I haven't shopped for clothes in a store in close to a decade. My hips are bigger around than my husband is tall. I haven't driven in 5 years, I haven't sat in the front seat in 3. Through all of this aside from mobility issues in the past few years I am remarkably healthy. There's just one thing: I'm insatiable.
I wasn't always like this. I used to get full from two slices of pizza. Now I can eat a large pizza, an order of wings, a two liter of Dr. Pepper, and if there's cheesecake for dessert that too. 1 hot dog used to be enough, now 1 pack is a snack. One bowl from Chipotle could be three meals, now its two burritos and chips and a bowl for dip. But before I get carried away I should just start at the beginning, I'm sure you're just dying to hear how a girl of average build came to join a group of people only seen by most on weeknight programs on TLC. So for that, we're going to have to go back 25 years or so, seems as good as any place to start.
"Naaaaaat," Chrissy whined. "wake up you said you'd take me to school."
This would be annoying enough coming from my little sister's sassy morning voice. It was more annoying because she said this sprawled across me, all 250+ pounds of her.
"Why can't Todd take you?" I said breathlessly from underneath her gut. Todd being the boyfriend she loved to throw in my face.
"He's already left town for the baseball game, so I need a ride." she replied climbing off of me and making her way for my door. "And can we stop for breakfast?"
"I guess. I was really looking forward to the days where my winter break didn't overlap yours. Was kinda hoping I might actually get some sleep"
I hated Chrissy back then. Mom was probably still asleep, this was back when she was at her biggest. Shortly after my dad passed away, my mother who was not a small woman to begin with began to eat in an attempt to fill the void in her heart that my father's death created. As a result, she was now 550 pounds, and her day didn't begin until either I or Chrissy helped her to the kitchen.
I told Chrissy to go start my car while I got dressed and got Mom settled for the day. I wore a pair of sweats from high school and a hoodie from college. No need to dress to impress today, as soon as I dropped Chrissy off I was headed back to bed.
Entering mom's bedroom I picked up an empty pizza box from the night before and sat it at the foot of the bed. Mom laid on her back in a night gown that over the month's since my father had died had transformed into a t-shirt, and if she didn't cut back it'd become a crop top.
"Good morning Natalie" she yawned.
"Morning Mom, up we go."
I held out both hands and she grabbed on. Honestly this was easier with Chrissy, but I was too sleepy to think logistics. Once she was sitting up, I helped her shuffle to the edge of the bed. After a countdown from three, some heavy lifting on her part, and pulling with more effort than I remember using just the day before, and she's on her feet.
"Have a good day dear."
I wish her the same and I meet Chrissy in the car, hoping she can keep breakfast under ten dollars today.