HOLLY Tame didn’t get to 267 kilograms because she loved cake.
The 29-year-old nearly ate herself to death because she “used food to comfort, nurture and soothe herself”.
Ms Tame who has shed 160 kilograms since she was told she would not live to 30, wants people to know about the “multifaceted health impacts” both mental and physical, that obesity has.
“I was not surprised to hear the Riverina was the state’s fattest region,” Ms Tame said.
At her largest Ms Tame could not buy any clothes in Australia.
She wore a 8XL that could only be purchased in America.
“It’s about a size 15 to 16XL by Australian standards,” Ms Tame said.
Aged 27 Ms Tame should have been young, carefree and enjoying the time of her life, instead she could not even go to the movies.
“I couldn’t fit in the chair, I couldn’t stand, physically I was in so much pain – it was a vicious cycle.”
But the weight Ms Tame was bearing was not just physical, it was mental.
“When you’re that big people don’t look at you as a person – they look at you as a thing.
“(Life) was so hard for me because of the way people reacted to me – it’s like if your a certain weight they think they have the right to comment, the right to judge.
“I didn’t get to 267 kilograms because I loved cake.
“A lot had happened in my life and I had deep anxiety – I see my obesity as a symptom of what was really going.”
Determined to reach her 30th birthday Ms Tame underwent lap band surgery.
“I was the biggest woman my doctor had ever operated on," Ms Tame said.
She dropped 47 kilograms to 220 kilograms before undergoing surgery – and that was just the beginning.
“I now go to counselling once I week because I saw that I have an addiction to food.
“The gastric sleeve can help me to a certain extent but I needed to deal with it emotionally as well.”
Ms Tame, who currently weighs 107 kilograms and is still losing weight, said seeing people on the street who were bound, physically and mentally, by their weight made her extremely sad.
“If I can possibly do it (lose the weight) anyone can do it.
“I hope that I too can inspire someone.”
Ms Tame, who hopes to be a social worker, is a strong advocate for obese to receive psychological help.
She said realistic exercise programs for obese people should be set up.
“When you’re 267 kg you can’t even fit on a treadmill.
“There should also be cheap healthy food option and better mental health support for obese people.”