Story of 'World's Heaviest Living Woman' Will Break Your Heart

scale The newest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records comes out next week. And while some of the records in the 2012 version are almost unbelievable -- i.e., the woman with the fastest half-marathon time while pushing a pram (13 miles in only 1:30:51!) -- others are a little more disturbing. Meet Pauline Potterthe "World's Heaviest Living Woman."

The 48-year-old weighed 643 pounds when she qualified for Guinness last year. Hearing her story breaks my heart. The compulsive eater told People that the title is "a little degrading," but she hopes it will get her national attention and a doctor will offer to help her lose weight.

It seems to me that these extreme obesity cases are sort of "in" right now. Just last week, we heard about the "World's Heaviest Mother," 600-pound Donna Simpson. I say keep the stories coming, ladies. It will save your lives.

$100 would be great. It makes it pretty desirable. I’d get through a month, at least!


Potter tells People about her desire to do everyday things like getting dressed in the morning by herself or checking the mail. Instead, she's trapped by her body and mostly stays in her bed in her Sacramento, California home.

"Everything people take for granted -- those are the things I dream of," she said. "I'm not living. I want more."

When she does go out, she says all people do is stare at her and take photos. It's painful, to say the least.

"I still hurt, I still bleed," she said.

I can't imagine not being able to stand up and tie my own shoes. To be honest, if I were her, I'd probably stay home too.

Potter's got to be wicked depressed. And I'm sure that depression is stopping her from taking the necessary measures she needs to lose weight. By checking in with Guinness, she's taking the first step. She'll need a nutritionist or a doctor to help put a plan together for her, and coaching on what foods boast what nutrients or what to do if she just wants a quick (healthy) snack. What physician wouldn't want to be known as the one who helped the heaviest living woman lose weight? Sounds like an all-time claim to fame to me.

Whatever the size, dieting alone is never easy. I got to a point back in college where I had to make a conscious choice to lose weight myself, and I turned to a friend to help me. I'd tell her about my progress and she and I would work out together. It became a necessary crutch that enabled me to eventually drop a total of 60 pounds.

So while this is tough for Potter, at least the hard part is over. People everywhere are hearing her story, and hopefully she'll find someone to lean on. I can almost guarantee that once the Guinness Book of World Records 2013 comes out, there will be a new woman to take over the title.

Do you look to friends or family to help you lose weight?


Image via puuikibeach/Flickr

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