On July 20th, 2013 I will depart Bodega Bay, CA to walk the circumference of the United States. This is an almost 9000 mile long walk that will take 14 months. You can check out my route. I do this for me – as a way to take back control of my weight and my life. Even more than that, I do it for every single obese person out there. It is time we rediscovered our strength, self confidence and voice again.
During this trip around the United States I want to talk with people about how we can fight back. I will use this trip to get out there, meet people and put the spot light on obesity and the related issues. I also intend to raise money to aid in the fight against obesity.
My name is Malene, and I am 41 years old. I have struggled my entire life with my weight. At the moment I weigh around 295 pounds and I am 5’2 tall. This is down from my highest weight at 330 pounds.
Not only have I struggled with obesity, but both of my mothers have too. While I did not know my biological mother well, I know she was 5’1 tall and over 400 pounds at her death at 56 years old. My adoptive mother who raised me got diabetes due to obesity, and the uncontrolled diabetes led to other even more serious health issues.
In our conversations about obesity I think some vital things are missed. Being fat is not just about my size, and losing weight is not as simple as “eat less, exercise more, feel better”. If it was as simple as that then we would not have an obesity epidemic. Obesity is much more complex than that. So many of us struggle with the effects of obesity – lack of self confidence, depression, lack of energy, inability to do the things we want to do, discrimination and ultimately obesity related illnesses. The number of obese people in the United States is growing not getting better. In spite of 61 billion dollars being spend on weight loss products every single year we keep getting fatter, which means we need to look deeper to find better solutions to this problem.
On this trip I want to talk about obesity to help all of us to find out what we need to fight back. I want to look at obesity as more than simply a weight issue, an issue of behavior, or as is so often spoken – a moral issue. As we talk about obesity it is my hope that it will become a little more clear how we can take back our strength so that weight loss will be a natural result of well being.
Clearly, I intend to lose weight while I walk. I hope to have lost 30 pounds before departure in July, but regardless of what I weigh when I leave I will start to walk. I have no doubt that the first couple of months will be a physical struggle as well as a mental one, I suspect most people would find it that no matter what they weigh. I do this for myself – I want to take back my power. I also do this for every single obese person out there who feels like “I can’t!”
I hope you will join me on this journey. To talk about what we need to feel stronger and to leave behind the shackles of obesity.
More about my personal story: