Former Clark student and author of a cookbook used in Clark curriculum, “Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box,” Chrisetta Mosley shares her story about her journey through weight loss and her college experience.
Q: How did you get where you are now?
A: I’m a product of childhood obesity, so I’ve never been what you can call average size. I’ve always been overweight and when I graduated out of high school I weighed a whopping 300 pounds but it never really bothered me too much that I was overweight. I still was very popular and hung out with all the popular kids. By the time I reached my late 20s I weighed up to 388 pounds. And that for me, for any human obviously, was just too much.
Q: What inspired you to take the steps to get you where you are now?
A: At the time I was going to Seattle University and I was earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism. At that point I kind of knew that if I didn’t change my life I was going to die. So I decided to just get control of myself and I did and at that point I had gastric bypass surgery, and from that surgery I lost 100 pounds pretty much effortlessly. I hadn’t really changed my eating habits. I lost the weight and I kept the weight off for about 5 years. In 2009, I had unfortunate things happen to me that caused me to go in to a deep depression. At that point I kind of decided that I was going to check out and take sleeping pills and not do much. But then I kept having this agonizing nagging voice telling me that I should do something different. So I got up and took a walk. That’s what the voice was telling me to do, so I did it. I went on a walk outside and that walk changed my life.
Q: How did it change your life?
A: I started writing this new blog called “Farewell Fatso” about my journey and about my battle with obesity. The blog really started taking off. Then that following year, after the blog had already been started, The Columbian newspaper picked up a story about me and my weight loss and the blog. That’s when things really picked up for me and I started public speaking and just really being in the public eye. Then I came to Clark College, enrolled in the fitness trainer program, met Lisa Borho, and she accepted me in the program right away.
Q: How was the Clark experience?
A: It was my intention to be in the fitness training program, but then I started taking this course called Food and Your Health with Veronica Brock. And Food and Your Health really just expanded my knowledge about food and how it nourished our bodies. That was the next piece that I really needed to kind of help me with my own personal journey.
Q: What inspired you to write the book?
A: Veronica and I really became friendly and my mind was expanding with all kinds of knowledge. I wrote my first cookbook “Bringing Cooking Back” while I was going to Clark last fall, so fall of 2011. Veronica knew about the cookbook and she actually bought a copy of the cookbook at the time. So then that spring they said “You know how we could get her recipe ideas into our curriculum?” And, voila, this is how we get recipes into the curriculum.
Q: What is the motto you live by?
A: We are inside of a box, a processed food box, and it’s not our fault that we’re here. We’ve been pushed by a lot of different angles to get us here, but it’s time to take control and step outside that box.
Q: What was your goal in life before Clark?
A: I was hopeful that my blog might inspire people since I didn’t really know what the blog would end up being. At one point I was really hopeful to reach children with blogs. Since I grew up overweight, I was hopeful to reach children and parents of overweight children. Things took a different direction. I was set on a whole different path.
Q: How did the Clark experience help you get where you are now?
A: It’s not your typical story of how Clark may help you. Usually you go to school, get a degree, and that’s how you can say it helped. They just helped me because I learned so much about food and I really was able to bond with the great community of people, instructors and students. They are helping me further in my passion for food by offering the cookbook and by now allowing me to teach their students. They’ve helped me in abundance of ways.