550-Pound Woman Who Became a Circus Performer Sheds 440 Pounds To Become a Diet Guru

A new book has given a fascinating insight into the life of Celesta Geyer, a 550-pound circus performer dubbed the “World’s Most Beautiful Fat Lady.” Therese O’Neill’s Unbecoming a Lady shares a glimpse into the whirlwind trajectory of Celeste, who quit school at 16 after being mercilessly tormented by classmates over her weight. She bounced from job to job — from factory worker to beautician — before she finally decided to embrace her size and tour with the circus. Celeste, from Cincinnati, Ohio, assumed the stage name Dolly Dimple and made a fortune by cashing in on her weight. Standing just 4’11”, her weight was even more accentuated. By the age of 50, her enormous weight began to take a toll on her body, and after a near-fatal heart attack, she shed a whopping 440 pounds in just over a year. While her vast weight wasn’t enough to secure her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, her weight loss was. Celeste became a diet guru, developing the Diet or Die weight-loss plan. She restricted her diet to just 800 calories a day, something that is not advocated. Medical experts recommend that you limit your caloric intake to no less than 1,000 a calories a day. Celeste managed to keep her weight off for the next 31 years. When she passed away in 1982 at the age of 81, she weighed just 121 pounds.