REBEKAH DEVLIN OUT OF THE BOX
IT’S easy to pass judgment on fat people. They’re lazy; they’ve got no one to blame but themselves; if they truly want to lose weight, they should just stop shovelling food into their mouths.
But watching these brave students at Wellspring Academy, a boarding school for overweight and obese children, will break your heart.
This is the first generation of teenagers who might not live longer than their parents.
Contemplate that for a moment. It’s horrifying.
Scotty Basso is just 13, but needs to lose at least 68kg.
‘‘ At school I got picked on a lot, it felt like they didn’t even want me there,’’ the 166kg teen says through tears.
All of these kids know what it is like to be ostracised.
Sixteen-year-old Tanisha is classified as super morbidly obese. She weighs a staggering 231kg. Her legs are bowing because she is so heavy and she’s endured more surgeries than she can recall.
‘‘ The insults under people’s breath that I still catch . . . they look at me as if I’m some kind of alien,’’ she says.
When her measurements are taken, the tape won’t reach around her waist. Her despair is tangible. ‘‘ He had to estimate the rest
Weighty issue: teen challenge. of the way, I was just embarrassed,’’ she says.
The students’ courage will astound you as they dare to dream of a better life.
Tanisha, who can barely stand up, tries to participate in a basketball match.
‘‘ I can’t remember the last time I played sports,’’ she says. ‘‘ The biggest challenge wasn’t even playing basketball, it was walking to the other side of the court. I couldn’t even stay in for a whole minute,’’
But after a short rest, she goes back in. When she scores a goal, you want to jump through the TV and high-five her yourself.
‘‘ I’ve never scored a basket in a game,’’ she says, beaming.
You go, girl. Too Fat For 15: Fighting Back Lifestyle You, Foxtel/ Austar, 9.30pm