Case story: The Childhood Shield

Every Body Tells A Story

Henrik Fenstoft is born on a summer day in 1969 in Odense, Denmark. As a child, Henrik’s weight is normal; his birth weight is only 2550 kilogram. As a teenager he starts to gain weight and at the age of 16 he weighs 125 kg. When he turns 27 his weight reaches 240 kg. In his mid thirties Henrik’s weight exceeds 300 kg and he starts to receive injections with the male sex hormone testosterone which put a stop to the weight gain. Until then numerous consultations with dieticians and diet plans have had no effect. Henrik is always hungry and never feels full.

At the age of 40 Henrik gets diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and over a short period of time he gains 56 kg and reaches a weight of 364 kg. Henrik is unhappy, he gets skin infections, his legs cannot support the weight of his body and he spends his life in his bed and his XXL-Rehab Minimaxx wheelchair.

The doctors demand he must lose weight to get a gastric bypass surgery and be able to walk 50 m. A new dietician is appointed to Henrik and she has a completely different approach to diet plans and how to lose weight. She focuses on the small changes to the diet and on replacing the most fattening products with healthier options. The dietician and Henrik start cooperating around Henrik’s diet; soon Henrik is sole responsible and his weight loss is steady. His weight drops to 291 kg, he feels much better and he starts feeling full again. He is still lying in his bed but he is happy.


Having thought about it, Henrik changes his mind about having a gastric bypass surgery. First of all the side effects are too many. Secondly, the weight loss is going well and he has come to realise that there could be a reason to why he has eaten so much. He sets a new goal: to be able to get out of bed and to walk – by himself. In short: to regain control over his life.Henrik is granted double up on rehabilitation to achieve his goal. Little by little he is able to walk again by using the XXL-Rehab Stand Tall. More improvements follow. Henrik starts taking showers on his own, using a shower commode, his mobility improves – he moves around his house by using a rollator.

Henrik is still very interested in food – he wants to find out the reason why he has always eaten so much. Conversations with a psychologist help him find the answer. He realises that he has had an eating disorder since his days at school. The many kilos he gained as a teenager has been an attempt to create a shield. A shield that could protect him from being bullied by the other children at school, a shield that could help him through all the defeats that followed. And no matter how hard he tried, he never received his father’s recognition. Food was a comfort.

Now food is no longer a comfort. He is more confident, sets small goals of weight loss that he can achieve so he can get the feeling of small successes. His weight is 251 kg and he is wants to lose more weight to become totally independent – and he will keep on fighting to get there.