Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let's play the blame game...

Or not.

There's a 3-part series happening over on The Root that has me a bit miffed because it's just full of BS excuses as to why more Black women are overweight vs. the rest of the population and that they can't figure out how to combat it.

It's been about 2 hours since I wrote this first sentence which gave me time to mull it over (and finish reading the series).  I guess what set me off on a tangent is that the author doesn't want to hear that this obesity issue is attributed to "eating too much and moving too little"; that weight gain/loss is directly tied to our emotion states.

Ok, let's say LaShaune's been a size 14 girl ever since I can remember. The lowest weight for me was 135 my freshman year in college (way back in the day) and that was only because I had to meet weight in order to maintain my ROTC scholarship (I never made the 132 weight requirement). LaShaune was an active girl throughout HS and college, playing tennis, faking the run for ROTC, etc. I suffered a traumatic event in college and moved back home with family. I still played tennis after working through my crap in 1991-1992. Woo hoo, got a call to move to NYC in 1997. Moved back to Houston in 2001, finally stepped on a scale - 191 (I think).  Joined a gym, got a trainer, got down to 173 (or somewhere close). More crap happened compounded by back issues and finally surgery in 2005 - moved to 203 (my highest weight). Entered a weight loss study, dropped to 165 at the end of the study (learned diet and exercise and emotional support/control).  Now, I'm working towards getting to 150 (the magic number).

Yes, I've suffered abuse. Yes, I've been depressed (did I mentioned I moved back to Houston from NYC - who the heck moves FROM the best place in the US?). Yes, I've seen a therapist. Yes, I've talked with girlfriends.  Yes, I've been on medication for my depression. Yes, I've done diet pills, weight watchers, joined and dropped gyms. Yes, I'm Black and female.

Let's face it - losing weight is hard as hell! Staying motivated, eating the right things, not overeating when stuff goes to pot or just hanging out friends.  It's not easy...

We ladies, regardless of melanin content, deal with stress, abuse, depression, daily life in various manners. And to say that Black women have it worse than others just continues to compound the issue that we're somehow wired differently from the rest of the human race. I think it's a total crock of crap and that Black women need to wake up and realize that if we don't start taking care of ourselves, that being "thick" really isn't healthy, we will end up 6 feet under. I think we've bought into the Vogue idea of beauty and lost sight of what's really important - not being diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

I'm not here to be a size 8 squeezing into a pair of Calvin's like Oprah did way back when diet pills hit the scene. I'm here to learn how to be healthy and hopefully impose that healthy attitude on others.


The Merry said...

My roommate in college was black. Everything she ate was fried, sugared, or slathered in mayo. And yes, the damn girl was thin as a rail.
She did nothing to deserve her figure: she smoked, did no exercise, and could have won a gold medal in laziness.
Researchers should wake up and smell the Latte: good genes are not related to the amount of melanin in your skin.

to dream the KIMpossible dream said...

Awesome, honest post, LaShaune! I think people just look to make excuses sometimes. The bottom line is if this is the battle you have to fight in this's a never ending battle no matter what your skin color.

LaShaune said...

I'm not from the school of thought that just because your black, you've got it worse than others. Exception to that rule is being a black male (because life is harder for black men these days).

So to tell the world that your fat because you're black and you've got it worse than everyone else is just BS.

I was smacked in the face when my co-worker, who is Hispanic challenged me. She has 2 elementary age girls, her hubby was overseas, she worked full time and went to school full time. She lost hers through eating right and working out (she turned me on to Turbo Jam). She said to me one day: What's my excuse? Haha. I'm not married and don't have kids. I work full time, went to school full time - I had no excuse.

So to those who say/think it's hard because of blah, blah, blah...unless your bedridden and no range of motion, we don't have any excuses.

Cat said...

Black, woman, man, white, purple with assorted polka dots... IT IS FAT. As you said, it's moving more and eating less. I have some problems with arthritis, and I can (and occasionally have) used it as an excuse not to work out. That is my choice, and I have paid for it accordingly. Fat's fat, and until we work on getting rid of it, which is as hard as h*ll, and not saying, ooh, poor liddle me (for WHATEVER reason), that tush is still going to be more than ample.

2 cents from Cat. You speak the truth well, (except that I consider Oregon the best place...)


karen@fitnessjourney said...

You have a wonderful attitude. As a college student I did an internship with our local Fair Housing Center and had my eyes opened to the discrimination of black men and women in the housing market. As a white woman I have not had these struggles but I can appreciate how discrimination can lead to depressed feelings and, in turn, turning to food for comfort.

Fashion Meets Food said...

Wow girl absolutely love this post! You have such a fab attitude


Savvy Gal said...

great post my dear. I am all about positive attitude recently too.

Heather said...

Thanks for posting. This was really interesting. A good attitude goes a long way.