The 45-year-old has been nibbling on pebbles and stones for the past 20 years and in that time, has consumed more than 1,360kg (215st) – the average weight of a humpback whale.
The mother of two claims that rocks are her ‘ultimate comfort food’ but since marrying husband Jim last year, her habit has taken a serious hit.
'Jim makes me so happy I’ve started eating less,’ said Mrs Widener. ‘But everyone has bad days and when I have one, only rocks can make me feel better.’
The care worker, who keeps a stash of stones in a special kitchen cupboard, enjoys selecting her snacks during romantic walks with her husband.
‘I pick the ones I like the look of,’ she said. ‘I like their earthy flavour so sometimes I just suck the mud straight off.’
Mrs Widener’s favourite rocks are soft and brittle but she often breaks down boulders with her special rock hammer at home in Bedford, Virginia.
‘I feel better just knowing the rocks are there,’ she explained. ‘Like a comfort, they’re there for me when I’m upset.’
Mrs Widener’s bizarre craving is caused by the medical condition Pica, which makes sufferers become obsessed with eating strange objects. Animals such as wolves and turtles eat rocks to aid digestion – but the habit is rarely seen in humans.