Is Kitty your real name?
Yes. I was named after Kitty Wells the country singer. My uncle is named Bunny (we Jamaicans must have an affinity for the animal kingdom when pregnant). He is Bunny Wailer, from Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Is it true you lost 345 pounds?
I did. After a horrible car accident right after high school graduation I went from a fit, athletic cheerleader of 135 pounds to 515 pounds. The industrial scale they put me on couldn’t measure a heavier weight (I literally tipped the scales), so it’s possible I weighed even more at the time. After gaining almost four hundred pounds in two years I thought I would never be able to be active again. I’m now just under 170…and counting!
What was the most unexpected thing about being really fat?
My mind couldn’t grasp my width. I kept bumping into things and knocking objects over. Now that I’ve lost weight, I think I take up more space than my physical body actually does. It’s a mind f***, for sure.
What’s the biggest difference between living in Jamaica versus Minnesota?
The COLD! When my mom first saw squirrels up here she thought they were mongooses, but we now know mongooses can’t survive in this weather. Besides the major climate difference, I’d have to say the people are much more reserved in Minnesota. In Jamaica, they’ll blurt out ANYTHING that comes to mind lol. It’s quite endearing. I heard quite an assortment colorful descriptives from old friends in my village when they saw my weight gain for the first time in person! My little cousin actually called me a “cow in di grass.” But, mi nah fret.
What’s your favorite exercise?
What’s your favorite food?
After the accident? Whoppers and Spam (not even joking).
Now? Lately I’ve been on a brussel sprout kick (I eat them with every meal which drives everyone nuts) and strawberries.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
Oh no! I can’t name just one: Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Eleanor Roosevelt, Stephen Hawking, Anne Frank, Hedy Lamar, Joan of Arc, Mata Hari, Oprah.
Were you bullied as a kid?
Oh boy, you bet I was. But it made me a much more resilient person, which I’m grateful for.
What’s your weirdest fear?
I’m afraid my cat will eat all my books or paper journals. He’s like a goat and even tries to eat money lying around (not a frequent problem for me, don’t worry).
What’s the most useless talent you have?
I can recite (or sing) any commercial I’ve ever seen, on cue. I even remember ones I used to watch as a toddler. My memory is super weird and precise. It used to drive my parents absolutely crazy, and slightly creeps people out! It’s a good party trick, but not a very useful one in real life.
What’s a good theme song for your life?
“The Cat Came Back” by Fred Penner.