Anyone who has read my columns on here (even though most of them are music-related) has probably heard me talk about how obsessed I am with weight loss shows. What you may not know is that I have always been self-conscious about my weight and throughout life chose to mask my sadness with humor. Even my college entrance essay was a story about one of the times (yes, one of the times) I went to fat camp as a teen.
When I found out the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) was in the process of creating its own weight loss reality show, I was really excited. There are a few weight loss shows out there right now that I feel are worth watching but when you’ve got a name like Oprah attached to a show, there’s a sense that it will be done with dignity.
We had the opportunity to speak with DeJuaii Pace, one of the featured members from Addicted to Food. Not only did she take the brave step to share her weight problems on camera, but in order to deal with those problems she also had to come to terms with her sexuality and how that has impacted her weight gain and the rest of her life.
AfterEllen.com: I want to say first that I just got out of my Weight Watchers meeting and gained two pounds this week – so you’re in good hands.
DeJuaii Pace: Aw, it’s OK. It’s probably water weight.
AE: Well I went out last night so I’m pretty sure it was the pita and martinis I had. But it’s OK, every day is a new day, right?
DP: Yes it is; every day is a new day. Live only for today.
AE: When do you think your weight struggles began? Were you a heavy child or did your weight gain start later?
DP: My weight gain started later; pretty much right after high school.
AE: I’m looking at your website with your sisters right now. Are there eight girls in your family?
DP: Nine girls and one brother.< /p>
AE: Oh wow! That is a gigantic family.
DP: Yeah there are a lot of us!
AE: So I assume that could either make it really fun or you’d have to fight for attention.
DP: Oh it was a lot of fun, never a dull moment!
AE: How did you find out about the show and what made you say, “You know, I think I’ll go on reality TV?” albeit, a classier version of reality TV?
DP: Actually I didn’t know it was a reality TV show until three days later. I was on a website and I had been working out and working out and trying to eat right and I just wasn’t losing weight. I was walking five miles a day and nothing was happening. So I saw this ad on the site that said, “Are you struggling to lose weight? Tell us your story,” so I thought I was just kind of writing a status for someone to give me support because I was really depressed that day. I just said, “I have been struggling with my weight for a long time; I’m 45 years old; I’m a virgin and I’m tired of being a virgin.” [laughs] So I was like, “somebody help!”
Two days later I got a call from the producers telling me they were part of a show and they said they were really interested in having me on it. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” So they asked me to be part of it and I was like “Yes! Anything to get out of Atlanta!” and it just started from there.