The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

It Takes A Village

on February 17, 2014

Every so often I just Google “fat” and see what comes up. Today this caught my attention.  A young man named Eric Ekis is a freshman at a high school in Indiana.  He is 6 feet four inches tall and weighs approximately 500 pounds.  He was quiet and withdrawn and the students and teachers couldn’t help but notice his size.  One of his teachers attempted to connect with the boy and eventually when he realized that this man genuinely cared, Eric opted to join a school fitness program and is now supported by teachers and students alike who want to see the boy get healthy.  I do harbour some concerns that this boy is being treated as a “project” by the school and if he fails or struggles or has setbacks that he may lose some of his supporters which could cause him more pain, but it sounds like he appreciates the help and as a result of the people in his school caring about his well being he has made friends and hopefully some of his issues like depression related to the loss of his father may be lessened.  It also looks like this school is working on creating a healthy environment for all of its students by not only creating and maintaining the morning exercise program, but they appear to also be teaching kids how to make healthy choices and read food labels and the like.  

I read this story and I wondered if I was Eric if I would have accepted the help that was being offered.  I wasn’t his size, but I was one of the biggest kids in my high school and while I had friends and engaged in a lot of activities I was always conscious that I was different and there were times when I opted not to participate in activities because I felt that I would be ostracized or judged.  My journey to better health and nutrition has always been a solitary one.  From the age of seven I dieted with my mother, but I often felt like my weight was my fault and I felt powerless because for the most part when we are children we don’t make our own food choices or our own choices about exercise or healthy lifestyle and we simply do not have the knowledge or the tools to help ourselves.  I think this is one of  the reasons I dabbled with Bulimic behaviours as a preteen because it gave me a sense of control.  I remember gulping down a handful of diet pills and vitamins and like something out of a cartoon thinking, “I’ll show them, won’t they be surprised”.  I’m not even sure now exactly who the “them” was, but I remember feeling like I was frantically scrambling for the tatters of a lifeline.  It was only much later that I realized  it was untethered.

Recently I’ve been struggling with some health issues and some medication side effects.  The result is that I want to sleep a lot and more often than not I choose to do that instead of really anything else.  I have one friend who is very concerned and has asked me to keep her updated on all of my appointments and another who lives close by who when I told her what was up with me immediately suggested that we start walking once it warms up a bit.  Others have also expressed their concern and I must admit that while I need to deal with much of this on my own it is a comfort to know that people are willing to help and are interested in my well being.  They are my friends, I had an inkling that they cared since why else would they be my friends, but sometimes it is nice to be reminded that one is not alone.

– the Goddess


6 responses to “It Takes A Village

  1. tinfoil27 says:

    I struggle with my health all the time. My friends and family do not harp as much as they used too. Maybe they have given up a bit. Every so often I will get a comment thrown at me and I can tell they are just as awkward talking about the problem as myself. I don’t have much motivation at all like I used too. I suppose its because my weight is the highest it has ever been and I feel like there is no way out. When reading your post when time allows I always get a bit of a charge I suppose it is because it hits home. Anyway thanks and I look forward to following you and reading what you have to say.

    • Often I think people don’t know what to say or I find people often talk down to me as if I had no idea that salad is good for me and butter not so much. What I liked about this school in Indiana was that they weren’t just telling him he should do something, they were working with him. That can make all the difference.

  2. tinfoil27 says:

    Yes they got involved and I agree that it can make all the difference and sounds like he has made some friends since people are involved with his life and getting to know him.

  3. kevinstahl says:

    Hello, my name is Kevin Stahl, I go to Franklin Schools. I have been working with Eric. I posted on my blog two video blog posts by Eric, who is on Youtube, and the link to WishTV’s series on him! Please take a look at them! He posts video blogs to hopefully inspire others like him.

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