Little Black Stones: An Open Letter to My Friends, Family and Community


To my friends, my family, my once-were’s and once-again-shall-be’s, my friends-of-friends, cherished ones and those I’ll never meet:

  • I turn 41 in a couple of months.
  • I weigh 330 lbs.
  • My measurements are 56-53-60.
  • My BMI is almost 55
  • I consume more than 5,000 calories a day on a regular basis.
  • I have gained 90 lbs in the last three years.
  • I eat to the point of vomiting a couple of times a month.
  • I spend about nine hours a day at a desk, five hours on the couch and eight hours sleeping. The other two? In my car, or struggling to move through the world.
  • I have great difficulty doing the simplest of things: using the washroom, getting into a car, standing up from a seated position, getting out of bed.
  • When I walk, my belly is so heavy, it causes excruciating back pain within just a minute or two.
  • The only time I stand for longer than a few minutes is when I’m in the shower. I have to lean on the counter to brush my teeth.
  • Grocery shopping is the most painful couple of hours of my week.
  • I get a debilitating pain in my stomach. They don’t know if it’s gallstones or reflux…I thought it was a heart attack the first time it happened a few years ago.
  • I use a CPAP machine to sleep – if I don’t, I stop breathing approximately 20 times per hour and my oxygen saturation can dip into the 80% range.
  • I went on my first diet at 10 years old. I was offered $100 to lose 25 lbs. I didn’t make it. It was the first of many attempts, a few short-lived successes and many, many failures.

These little black stones I collect and carry are my shame. They are the secrets behind what you all can see so clearly and what is reflected on the scale. I share them with you not to gain your sympathy, but because the truth will set me free. Because my vulnerability is a gift I can give to you, and to myself. Showing you my deepest source of shame, gives me the opportunity to discover that people can know me, and love me anyway.

I can take the little black stones and do one of two things with them: I can let them define me. I can clench them in my fists and cram them into my pockets until body and spirit are too heavy to carry – until I lay down and let my life slip away.

Or I can ask for your help. You, out there in the world, may have some wisdom, some guidance, some kind words or encouragement. I can enroll you in the possibility of letting the little black stones go, one-by-one until I have created a beautiful, abundant, nourishing life.

I am choosing this, the latter path, and I’m asking you to come with me. I’m asking you for your help and your encouragement as I make my way to a place of health and happiness. Not just now, but a week from now, three months from now, five years from now. Not just for me, but also for you, for your other friends and family – for anyone you know is carrying their own little black stones. You have no idea how powerful you are and how making a connection can change someone’s life…and your own.

I have carried these stones alone for too long and I am tired. Cynicism and pride have kept me chained to a body that keeps getting bigger as my life gets smaller. Today, I am new. Today, I approach this lifelong struggle as a novice, with a child’s mind, with humility and with an open heart. Clearly, I don’t have the answers. I’m hoping you can help me find them.

Through this blog, Nourishing Camie, I will share what I learn, what I feel and what I experience in hopes of informing, inspiring, educating and entertaining as we take this journey from stuffed-but-starving to nourished and fulfilled. I will reach out to some of you for your own gifts, talents and expertise and I encourage you to be in touch with me with your questions, ideas and inspirations. Please follow, join, tweet and share. I’m gonna need all the help I can get 🙂

Love and Light,

11 thoughts on “Little Black Stones: An Open Letter to My Friends, Family and Community

  1. Hi Camie,

    I saw your post through my friend Kenji and I just wanted you to know that I am here. I hear you and I am available, even if all you need is to know you are not alone.


  2. You rock Camie Leard​​! Your beauty in heart, mind and spirit are only rivaled by the beauty of your art, writing and song ❤ Enjoy the journey to health! Celebrate small victories and learn to LOVE the taste of success! Literally 🙂


  3. Hey Camie, first piece of advice I wanna give you and myself, that do not be discouraged by anybody. Today’s world has lots of people like us, and we will reach a more healthy life, together. I will be more than happy if I can help you in any way. I am 68kg, but according to my height, I should be 53. So, I have to loose 15 kgs, and girl! You inspire me.. You are truly beautiful girl, and I am sure you will reach your goal and I will try to follow you. Lots of love ❤


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