Best Friends Who Each Weigh Nearly 500 Lbs. Seek Weight Loss Surgery Together: ‘She’s Got My Back’
Vanessa Cross and Meghan Crumpler have been friends since junior high, supporting each other over the years when they were bullied for their size
Since junior high, Vanessa Cross and Meghan Crumpler have been there for each other, throughout years of poverty and bullying. Both women have been judged and criticized for their weight, but they always stood up for one another. And now, they're looking to lose weight together.
"This girl has been with me ride or die through it and if anyone says anything to me, she's got my back," Cross, 41, explains in this exclusive clip from Wednesday's premiere of Too Large.
"I used to threaten them with other things but now I just say I'm going to sit on your a--, leave her alone," Crumpler, 42, says, laughing.
Cross's family struggled with poverty when she was growing up — at ages 4 and 5 she lived in a car with her mother.
"I was big, because my mother comforted me with food," she explains. "Any time I cried, I was happy, anything, she gave me a cookie, gave me a cookie."
That led to bullying at school, which Cross says was a "rough" time — until she met Crumpler.
"Meghan came along and became my best friend," Cross says. "She went to the person and said, 'Excuse me, what are you doing? No, we don't need to pick on nobody.' She was cussing them out. I had you as my friend to carry me through and make a difference so many times that you were the only reason I woke up the next day. You gave me hope. You gave me strength. Meghan's an amazing person."
"Shucks," Crumpler says, laughing.
Years later, the pair are still the best of friends, and Crumpler is hoping to convince Cross to start losing weight together so they can qualify for weight loss surgery. Crumpler, at 496 lbs., needs an oxygen tank to breathe and wants to be free of it, but Cross, at 440 lbs., is harder to convince.
Cross tells Crumpler, though, that she's been avoiding restaurants out of concern that she won't fit at the tables, and that she's still dealing with people commenting on her weight.
"Somebody the other day, I pulled up at the gas station, was pumping gas, and from across the parking lot called me a fat 'b-i-…' From across a parking lot," Cross recalls. "I sat in my car and cried for 10 minutes. Somebody who never met me and didn't know me."
"People are extremely judgmental of people my size," Cross explains. "They think that we're just nasty people, we sit on our butts. We eat, we don't bathe, we don't take care of ourself. And it's not true. I'm the same as a woman that weighs 150 lbs. Just because I've got extra skin doesn't make me any different. My heart still works, my brain still works, and I still have emotions."
She tells Crumpler: "You're like me, we are so beautiful. Yeah, we big, we got a little," she says, holding her stomach. "But we pretty."
Too Large begins streaming June 2 on Discovery+.
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