Overweight and Forgotten: Lorna, Glenice, Blair

Overweight and Forgotten: Lorna, Glenice, Blair

"I've been abandoned by my family because I weigh 650 pounds," Lorna says.

Her sister, Glenice, says, "I resent Lorna feeling like the whole family has forgotten about her. She got herself in that situation; she's responsible to get herself back out of it."

"My sisters say, ‘You need to get your jaws wired, and then we'll spend time with you,' and it tears me up," Lorna says.

"It's not that we're turning against her, it's just that we have our own lives," Glenice explains. "We can't be with Lorna all the time."

"They don't want to take care of me. My boyfriend, Blair, is the one who has been there to take care of me," Lorna says. "I'm very dependent on Blair. I could not cope with daily life without Blair."

"I'm the only person who is willing to help Lorna with her day-to-day life because her family just drops the ball every day," Blair says. "I take care of everything that Lorna needs and all the house chores that have to be done too."

"Blair does the cooking, the laundry, the shopping, taking care of the dogs, taking care of me," Lorna says.

Blair's busy day starts at 6:30 in the morning, when he gets up and begins cleaning. Then he makes Lorna breakfast, which is usually French vanilla coffee and a bagel with a cheese slice or Cheez Whiz. "Lorna has a very bad addiction to soda pop. She can probably polish off three liters of pop a day," Blair says.


"Very seldom do I ever eat lunch," Lorna says. "For dinner, Blair will cook two steaks. I eat a steak about the size of my hand, and I eat a potato, and I eat a couple scoops of whatever vegetable is being put out." She says she doesn't even eat all of that.

"Lorna is lying to the whole family about her diet, but most importantly, Lorna is lying to herself," Glenice says.

 

Lorna rarely leaves her home. "I can't get off the bed alone because of my joints hurting so bad," Lorna says. "I've slept in the chair for two months, which caused pressure ulcers. I need a wider electric wheelchair. It won't fit through the doors. It won't fit down the hallway. I would have panic attacks, and I felt I couldn't breathe."

Blair helps her to bed, but then wakes up multiple times a night to help Lorna to the bathroom. "She never sleeps any longer than three hours tops. The whole next day, you drag yourself around. It's terrible. And then you have to start the whole process over again."

"He needs some relief. He works 24/7. It's a hard job taking care of me," Lorna says.

Lorna joins Dr. Phil, Glenice and Blair via satellite from her home.

"What is a good day for you?" Dr. Phil asks Lorna.

"A good day is being able to move
around without being in a lot of pain. My family doesn't realize the pain I'm in," Lorna says. She says her hips and knees are in bad shape.

"Clearly, you're morbidly obese to an extreme degree. Why do you think that's true?" Dr. Phil asks.

"A lot of it has to do with eating when I was younger," she says. "I don't deny that, but I don't feel that I overeat now. I feel a lot of my weight gain lately, or within the last five or six years, has to do with not being able to get out and get around. And I do have an addiction to pop."

"Do you want to change this?" Dr. Phil asks. "That sounds like an obvious question, but it's really not, and I want you to think about it for a minute." Dr. Phil tells her that he has helped obese people in the past lose up to 350 pounds. "One of the things that I always assess first is how honest the person is being with themself and what their stage of readiness is."

He turns to Glenice and asks, "Why do you think your sister is so morbidly obese?"

"I think she got out of control when she was younger, eating, and it's just gotten to the point now that she can't exercise, she can't get out and do anything, and I think she still eats a lot," Glenice says.

Blair disagrees. "No, she doesn't eat a lot."

Dr. Phil is doubtful. "You don't get to be 650 or 700 pounds without ingesting a pretty massive amount of food on a pretty regular basis," he says. "Are you telling me that she's eating 15-, 16-, 1700 calories a day? I don't believe that."

"Well, that's the truth," Blair says. "That's all she eats every day. It's the same thing."

"So we have a miracle of modern science here, where somebody is generating mass from nothing?" Dr. Phil asks.

"She also drinks a lot of pop every day," Blair says.

Dr. Phil says he can't help the problem if he doesn't know the whole story. "Lorna, do you think the primary contributor to your weight gain at this point is your addiction to soft drinks?" he asks her.

Lorna replies affirmatively, but says it's also because she can't move to work off the soda. She knows that the three liters of soda a day is a significant contribution to her weight.

Dr. Phil tells Lorna that what she consumes in soda every day is approximately 1,200 calories. Over a year, that is almost a half million calories. If she were to just cut out her soda consumption, she would lose 125 pounds in one year. "If you add to that the proper medical care, the proper exercise " and there is very much that you can do, even in the condition that you are now " then you can begin to have an impact on all of these things. You know, I'm an incurable optimist, and I don't see this as a hopeless situation."