The Woman Behind the Title
“I am currently the Guinness World record holder of heaviest living woman,” says Pauline. “The last time I weighed myself was probably about four months ago, and I weighed 660. My heaviest has been 711.”

She says her son, Dillon, is her caretaker. “My son does everything for me,” Pauline explains. “I will stay in my bed all day if Dillon were not here, only because I can’t lift my legs — they’re pretty heavy. Getting dressed is difficult. Dillon helps me get dressed every time. I can’t even put my own underwear on because I can’t bend over to step my feet into them. It is hard to shower. Half the time I end up washing my hair in the kitchen sink.”

“I’m addicted to food … I’m a compulsive over eater."


“Sometimes I wish my addiction was drugs or alcohol because then at least I could quit it cold turkey. Food you can’t quit cold-turkey because you have to eat to live. My worst nightmare would be immobility for sure — being stuck in bed or having to use a bed pan. I don’t even want to think about where I could be in five years if I don’t lose the weight … I don’t know why I did this to myself.”

It took an ambulance, a second support vehicle and a five-man crew to help her make the 400-mile trip to the Dr. Phil studio.

Follow Pauline on her trip to the Dr. Phil show.


“Tell me what you’re thinking and feeling right now,” Dr. Phil says to Pauline.

[AD]“I’m just really emotional after I hear the tape and stuff. You know, that’s me,” she says of the video footage from her pre-show interview. “That’s my life story.”

Pauline confides that she’s embarrassed to see how food has taken over her life. She admits that she gained weight deliberately to win Guinness’ heaviest woman title, and to “shame herself” into losing weight.
 
“I figured if someone could see this title, they would see me, and it would be out on the Internet,” she says. “I’d be really embarrassed, but at least someone could see my story, and maybe help me.”“What’s your theory on how this happened?” Dr. Phil asks.

“I’m not really sure,” Pauline admits. “You know, as a kid, we celebrated with food for any emotion — happy, sad, whatever. So, maybe it started that way. It is in our genes. All of my family is big, but I’m absolutely not blaming it on that. I know I have a big appetite."

Dr. Phil shows Pauline pictures of herself at various ages in her life. He notes one photograph of Pauline as a child at a healthy weight. He then shows another image of 13-year-old Pauline at 220 pounds.

“What happened between 5 and 13 that caused you to basically double in size?” Dr. Phil asks.

Pauline explains that her parents got a divorce, but she really can’t trace her overeating to one emotional event.

[AD]She adds that one of the hardest aspects of her weight is the strain her body feels while moving. “There are so many things I would like to be able to do. Once I get winded, I have to sit down and rest, or my lower back starts to hurt if I walk too long. If I even stand up for five minutes, I’m going to feel like I’m dying before I sit down. One time I walked from my bedroom to the kitchen to wash my hair, and I had to sit down. By the time I got to that sink, if that chair hadn’t of been there, I would have been in trouble.”

Tour the grocery aisle with Pauline. What does she put in her cart?
Although basic trips to the grocery store are difficult, Pauline says she enjoys them because they allow her to leave the house.

“How do you deal with the criticism and the stares when you’re out?” Dr. Phil asks. “Because I know that hurts you a lot.”

“Some days, I just ignore it, and I have a tough skin, and I just think, well, I’m probably the biggest girl they’ve ever seen so, OK, that’s fine. And some days I may say, ‘What are you looking at? You want to take a picture?’”

“Two things bother me about this,” Dr. Phil explains. “One is not the aesthetics of your weight, but the health aspects of your weight. I just know that you are at risk way beyond what you would be at a normal weight. It’s like you’re playing Russian Roulette here, and that bothers me a lot. And secondly, what bothers me is what you’re missing — that part of life where you could have so much joy that a lot of us take for granted. What do you think you’re missing?”

[AD]“Everything,” Pauline says, growing tearful. “I can’t go out and check my mail. When my son was 6, I asked him, ‘What’s the one thing you want to do with Mommy?’ And I thought he was going to say Disneyland or something. And he said, ‘I want to ride bikes with you.’ And to this day, it still haunts me that I haven’t gotten to ride a bike with him.”

Pauline says she can’t drive because she outgrew her car, and even when she swims, she has to return home wet, because she doesn’t have the energy to dry herself off like others. “To just be able to do what they do would be a dream come true,” she explains.