Depression can lend itself in many forms. From abusing alcohol, sex, drugs, gambling and in the case of Chuck Turner of Beaumont, Texas, over eating.
After the murder of his beloved wife, Chuck Turner took to eating to compensate for his loss and gnawing away at his pain. Yet so rabid had the man’s grief become he soon found himself piling on the pounds and then some. In Chuck Turner’s case it led to the man putting on over 400 pounds as he now ballooned at a life threatening 700 pounds.
Tells Chuck Turner via the learning channel on the show’s feature, My 600-lb Life: ‘When I was a kid growing up I didn’t see myself getting really big like I am now,’
‘I was a normal sized kid. I’d say it was my thirties when I started putting the weight on gradually.’
‘My weight got up to 250lbs, then 280lbs and it reached about 300lbs and then my wife was murdered. It just floored me.’
‘She was a good person, my best friend. I just couldn’t take it so I turned to food.’
‘I shut the world out and just locked myself away and ate fast food three times a day. I wasn’t even thinking about food – I’d just blank my mind out.’
By now married a second time to Nissa, Chuck Turner’s burgeoning weight began to take a toll not just on his health but that on his relationship too. Under immense strain, Nissa would begin to balk at leaving Chuck, taking along with her his adoptive son, Nathan.
It was at this juncture Chuck Stone had to do something. He could choose to eat himself into denial or face the reality of his situation.
Told Chuck Stone who by then was experiencing real health issues: ‘My weight makes things a lot harder on me, it makes it hard to breathe, it’s hard for me to stand and get around. It’s hard for me to do normal things; my weight has handicapped me.
‘I hurt a lot, I have a lymphedema on my leg and right now on a scale of one to 10, the pain is a nine.
‘I’m tired and exhausted and I just can’t keep doing this. I’d rather be a dead man than have to live like this the rest of my life.’
And then came the turning point:
Tells Chuck Stone: ‘The main thing that really upsets me is putting a lot of strain on my wife. I can’t do my part of all the things I’m supposed to do. And I want to provide for Nissa, to give her the life she deserves.
‘I think losing weight would make a world of difference; it would make me a better dad and a better husband.
‘The thought of leaving her behind, of leaving the baby behind hurts. I’m ready to do something about this weight. I need to get it off or I’m going to die.’
Added Nissa: ‘Marriage is extremely difficult when you are married to someone who weighs over 600lb.
‘We don’t have any intimate relationship – our marriage is much more caregiver/patient. He eats enough to feed 20 people.’
‘I just feel like a servant. Being a single mum is one thing, but being a single mum when there’s another human being there is much harder.
‘Our family won’t last much longer if something doesn’t change. I want Chuck to get help. I would like for him to have a happy life and have an opportunity to live.’
Sure that weight loss surgery was his only option, Chuck made the decision to travel to a hospital in Houston that specializes in performing weight loss procedures on the morbidly obese.
Speaking ahead of the operation, surgeon Dr Nowzaradan told: ‘Chuck has very unhealthy eating habits and if they continue then surgery won’t be a good option for him.’
At Dr Nowzaradan’s insistence, Chuck Stone embarked on a liquid diet to lose 35lb before going under the knife in a bid to make surgery less risky.
Although the surgery was a success, the beleaguered Chuck Stone admitted he still had cravings to quell.
Tells Chuck Stone: ‘I thought the surgery would take away the cravings, but it hasn’t been that easy. I’m eating less but I still like good food that tastes good.
‘Now that the surgery is over and done with, I know what I can eat and how much I can eat. if you’ve eaten more than you’re supposed to it will really make you sick.’
A year after the operation, Chuck Stone says he’s feeling better than ever and says his dramatic weight loss has helped him rethink his life.
Tells Stone: ‘It is a very scary reality. I better wake up and get serious. I always thought I was my weight that was the issue, but the reason I put it on was because of thing I hadn’t dealt with.
‘I know I have to come to terms with so many of my issues to get my life in order. I don’t know why I get angry like I do. I just lash out, and Nissa doesn’t deserve it and I feel so bad when I do.
‘I realised there was a lot of pain I hadn’t dealt with and it’s been eating away at me, creating this anger inside me and driving me to food. So many of my issues come from not dealing with the death of my first wife.
Adding: ‘My whole life is changed and I feel like a new man. I’m on the road to being a better husband and father.
‘Losing the weight has given me a sense of movement, freedom and confidence. Now I know I can financially provide for my family
‘A year ago I was a walking dead man. Weight loss surgery has saved my life. I know I have a long way to go but I also know I can do it. I’m ready to move forward with my life.’