Killing Ourselves Softly, Part 1: Recognize That Nobody Is Coming To Rescue You

*Audience Warning* If you can’t handle candid talk about obesity, please avert your eyes and stop reading HERE.

I’ve been reading some fascinating books by Steve Siebold called How Rich People Think, and Die Fat Or Get Tough: 101 Differences In Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People. In both books, he describes the differences between how achievers think (he calls them “world class”) and how the mediocre masses think (he refers to them as “the middle class”).

He makes some profound points that extend far beyond the issues of money and fitness. Much of what he says reveals the self-imposed obstacles created by delusional thinking. I believe there’s much that most African-American women can learn from his books because many of us are literally dying for our delusions. We cling to delusions that gradually diminish our lives and even kill us. Instead of facing the harsh realities that can spur us toward seeking abundant life.

THE ONE DELUSION THAT UNDERGIRDS ALL OTHER DELUSIONS

The first delusion that’s killing many African-American women softly is the belief that somebody is going to rescue us. This one delusion is much like The One Ring in The Lord Of The Rings. The delusion that somebody else is going to rescue us is the underlying, controlling source of many other self-destructive behaviors, such as the inappropriate “therapy talk” that I’ve criticized. Too many African-American women believe that if only they scream out their pain loud enough in public, that somebody’s going to do something to alleviate that pain. No. Instead, all that happens is that we “other” ourselves in the eyes of the world at large. Also, our public yelps of pain become a source of pleasure and entertainment for the people who hate us, such as the Yung Bergs of the world.

The delusion that somebody else is going to rescue us is why we do very little to rescue ourselves. And so, many of us literally die of preventable, obesity-related ailments.

In Die Fat Or Get Tough, Mr. Siebold says,

Fat people are waiting to be rescued from obesity. Fit people know no one is coming to the rescue.
The middle-class mindset is famous for waiting for the hero on the white horse to rescue him from his problems. Whether it’s their parents, the government, their spouse or the company they work for, many people have a deep rooted belief that it’s somebody else’s responsibility to make them healthy, wealthy and happy. So when they get fat, not only do they blame the food companies and restaurants, they also expect something or someone to show up and save them from themselves. The great ones know if they get fat the only person who can save them is the man in the mirror. The mantra of the world-class thinker has always been the same: I am responsible.

This is the cornerstone of their success in everything they do. If they need coaching, mentoring or support, they ask for it without hesitation. The difference is no matter how much help they receive, they believe their success or failure is up to them. They refuse to blame anyone else for their shortcomings. If they lose focus and gain weight, you can bet it won’t be long before they’re back at their ideal weight, stronger than ever. Of course this is the general philosophy of world-class thinkers, so they are able to apply it in all areas of their lives. If you’ve ever wondered why some people seem to have it all, stop wondering and start dissecting their beliefs and philosophies on life and living. That’s where their success begins.

Die Fat Or Get Tough, Amazon Kindle Locations 188-98.

FROGS IN A GRADUALLY BOILING POT TELLING OTHER FROGS THAT IT’S “UNREALISTIC” TO JUMP OUT

Intertwined with the rescue delusion is the frequent refusal to accept responsibility for our own choices. This includes most African-Americans’ free and voluntary choice of refusing to even try to upgrade their life circumstances. Instead of taking action in support lifestyle optimization, we proclaim all such strategies to be “unrealistic.” Meanwhile, we watch people from other ethnic and racial groups use these same strategies that we’ve labeled “unrealistic” to get ahead. In fact, for almost a century, we’ve watched several waves of immigrants (including some Black-skinned ones) come to this country and do all sorts of “unrealistic” things.

I’m reminded of this because I recently ran across a comment by a detractor over at The Black Snob Blog. My frequent discussion of strategies for developing additional income streams and international relocation options seems to frighten and upset this individual. According to her, this sort of conversation is “unrealistic.” I upset her even more when I spoke of sitting out this recent election, and researching third party candidates that I could wholeheartedly support in future elections.

This concerned individual proclaimed that, “. . . The truth is that MOST Americans of any race do not (and will never) have the resources or wealth to thrive even when the economy is not doing well and most Americans CANNOT run to a foreign country at will. We have to try to fix things here. If we throw our hands up in the air and do nothing, then we are GUARANTEED to fail. I hope that most black women will go out there and vote tomorrow, even though they may currently feel discouraged or disappointed.” See the comments to this post at The Black Snob Blog for the entire comment.

I wonder if this concerned individual believes that it’s more “realistic” for African-American women to continue hoping for new programs in the midst of a failing economy. Thereby putting their fates in the hands of the American voting public—roughly half of whom have repeatedly shown themselves to be insane.

Here’s the thing: While various Black “frogs in a gradually boiling pot” are busy telling each other that various strategies are not feasible, other people—who are much poorer than even the poorest African-Americans—are busy using these same strategies to upgrade their lives.

The November 6, 2010, issue of the New York Times featured a story titled “In Venezuela, A New Wave of Foreigners.” Among other people, the story mentioned a gentleman named Etienne Dieu-Seul, a street vendor who arrived in Venezuela from Haiti a month before the earthquake.

At the other end of the economic spectrum, many new immigrants continue to arrive on tourist visas and overstay their visits, drawn by incomes that are still higher than those in some of Venezuela’s neighbors and by a broad array of social welfare programs for the poor championed by Mr. Chávez’s government.

“One can live with a little bit of dignity here, at least enough to send money home now and again,” said Etienne Dieu-Seul, 35, a Haitian street vendor, who moved here a month before the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. After the disaster, officials here said they would grant residence visas to the 15,000 Haitians believed to have been here illegally.

I would bet that Mr. Dieu-Seul the street vendor is very thankful he did something as “unrealistic” and “not feasible” as leaving desperately poor Haiti to go to Venezuela. The people in Haiti that he’s sending money to are probably also very thankful.

I won’t even get into the steady stream of American retirees on fixed incomes who relocate overseas each year in order to live much better for much less money. There’s nothing “unrealistic” about taking the minimal action steps of getting a passport and researching your options. Ladies, keep in mind that there are a lot of nervous crabs in a barrel out there who are deeply frightened by the idea that you might make the leap into abundant life. It’s one thing to discuss the hurdles and difficulties involved with an undertaking. I’ve never pretended that making any of these moves is easy. All the things I talk about involve putting in effort and work. Some of us don’t want to put in that sort of effort, so we proclaim various things to be impossible or unrealistic.

Mr. Siebold mentioned this type of thinking when he said,

Fat people believe diets don’t work. Fit people believe people don’t work.
Americans have been programmed to believe diets don’t work because of the inability of the average person to stick to them, and their unwillingness to take responsibility for their own failure.

. . . Exacerbating the delusion of the masses are the weight loss companies telling people getting fat isn’t their fault. Of course, this makes fat people feel comfortable with their failures, and comfort is the most important thing to the middle-class consciousness. . . . To add insult to injury, these diet companies have the audacity to brainwash the masses into believing losing and maintaining their weight will be easy and effortless.

Amazon Kindle Locations 166-74 through 174-84.

Ladies, there are many people who make their money from telling you comforting lies. Lies they know you desperately want to believe. Most of these lies translate into the fantasy of being able to keep doing what you’ve been doing, and somehow get a different result than what you’ve been getting. I know how hard it can be to let go of comforting fairy tales, but that’s what it takes to move forward in the real world.

LET GO OF THE HIVE MENTALITY TRICK BAG

In addition, there’s also the unfortunate hive mentality that tells many Black women they can’t or shouldn’t make any moves toward abundant life unless or until there’s a solution in place for every other African-American in the US. That’s self-defeating and downright crazy. Let go of that Hive Mentality Trick Bag.

IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE REAL TALK THAT WILL BE FEATURED IN THIS SERIES, PLEASE DON’T READ THESE “KILLING OURSELVES SOFTLY” ESSAYS

There’s a difference between the necessary and ultimately beneficial discomfort of facing reality, versus undue, full-blown emotional distress. I’m not trying to cause anybody emotional distress. And if reading this series of Killing Ourselves Softly posts is causing you emotional distress, please STOP reading these posts.

PLEASE DON’T IMITATE BLACK UNDERCLASS CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS IN YOUR COMMENTS TO THESE POSTS

When I was still involved in servicing the Black underclass, there was a certain type of client interaction that I stopped putting up with past a certain point. Unlike more successful (professional) criminals, Black underclass defendants generally have the self-destructive mental habit of being so emotionally invested in defending their point of view, they miss the larger point of whatever’s going on. Their point of view usually means “pity parties” and expecting other people to feel sorry for them. Here’s an example of a typical conversation with a Black underclass defendant,

Black Underclass Client: That cop was wrong!
Me: Yeah, but do you understand that it was NOT a good idea to yell out ‘F____ you!’ and kick the side of the police car?

Black Underclass Client: You’re not on my side.
Me: It’s my duty to tell you the truth about your case, not only what you want to hear. The same way when I see my doctor, I want her to tell me the truth. I don’t want her telling me happy talk unless it’s actually true.

Contrast this with how other types of people (including more professional criminals), who tend to be more rational, respond,

Professional Criminal Client: What am I looking at?
Me: From X to Y if convicted.

Professional Criminal Client: What are my odds?
Me: [whatever they appear to be for that particular case]

Professional Criminal Client: What can be done [to improve those odds]?
Me: X, Y, Z. [For example, things like retaining an expert witness, etc.]

Please don’t imitate Black underclass defendants and write in with “you’re not on overweight Black women’s side” arguments. As I detailed at the previous blog, I’ve had my own adventures (sometimes misadventures) with using the Power 90/P90X programs. Including this little episode from the third week of the program,

Today is Day 19 of the Power 90 program.

The Awful Truth
Day 13: I had a 1-day Rage Against the Diet Plan Rebellion. Including NO anti-cancer juicing with Brussels sprouts. And NO anti-cancer cup of sencha green tea. What was truly upsetting is that the junk food I ate didn’t even taste right anymore!!! Including my beloved, deep-fried seafood from Long John Silver’s. {throwing my arms up in the air in disgust}

This “not tasting right” is what happens when you indulge in grease, sugar, and processed “foods” after you’ve stepped away from it for any amount of time. Feh!

Oh well, I got back in the dietary saddle the next day.

Gold Stars
I’ve been faithfully doing the workouts. I don’t mind the repetition of the weight training workout, but it does bother me with the cardio portion. So, every once in a while I’ll substitute Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout for the cardio portion. Her workout is also hard, and there are NO breaks! [Thanks for the video recommendation, Kia!]

Things The Personal Trainer Told Me Years Ago
Don’t live or die by the scale. Especially during the first 45 days of any program. Body composition is as important as pounds. Muscle mass weighs more than fat. You can lose fat and gain muscle mass, which can cause the numbers on the scale to stop moving. This is why it’s so important to take tape measurements of yourself at the beginning. Measure your progress during the first 45 days by [fractional] inches lost, and how your clothes are fitting you. NOT by pounds.

What’s going on with you? How are your Wildest Dreams coming along?

{chuckling at the memory and at myself}

In terms of the obesity issue, let me repeat some things I said in this earlier post,

CURRENT DOGMA—REFUSAL TO CHEERLEAD OBESITY = BEING AN EXCLUSIONARY OPPRESSOR

The current dogma among large numbers of African-American women is what has been called “fat acceptance,” and the cheerleading of obesity. It’s taboo among African-American women to: (1) refuse to cheerlead obesity, and (2) openly speak of the very real negative consequences of obesity. God help any African-American woman (of any weight range) who openly warns against obesity and urges overweight African-American women to lose weight.

REALITY—AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN ARE DYING LEFT AND RIGHT DUE TO OBESITY-RELATED AILMENTS

While I was at work last week, I came to a shocking realization. It turns out that for at least the past 5 years, every time that an ambulance has been called to my work building to assist an employee, the stricken employee has been an African-American woman. Every . . . single . . . time. The ambulance has been called for four Black women. Some of them have had the ambulance called more than once. None of them are elderly. All of them are suffering from various chronic ailments such as high blood pressure, and so on. All of them are overweight or obese. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

During a recent conversation, a reader asked,

Khadija, I’m reflecting on your ideas about Gabby and Semenya and the thought that the attention cast on them negatively impacts black women and undermines our beauty/femininity rep in mainstream culture. There are many black women who are LGBT identified, and many whose weight ranges from more than the size 2-6 beauty ideal, all the way to fat, as with white women in both cases. Is there a space for these black women in the Sojourner’s movement Khadija?

With the weight issue, I’ve heard variations on this question before at the previous blog. During this most recent conversation, I replied as follows,

Whoever said that there wasn’t space for “these women in the Sojourners movement”? Where is that thought coming from? Where have I—or anybody else—said that there wasn’t space for these women? I’m also wondering where you got those dress size ranges from. I know that I have never spoken in terms of specific dress sizes. Where’s that coming from?

Which leads me to my next question—What does “support” look like, as you see it?

Does “support” mean ratifying everything and anything about what people are doing?

Does “support” mean remaining silent about aspects of certain situations that are problematic?

I’m curious: What would you have me say or do (that I’m not already doing) to demonstrate “support” for GLBT women and/or women who, as YOU described them, “whose weight ranges from more than the size 2-6 beauty ideal”?

If you read the post from the previous blog [that I had linked to in an earlier comment] (and some other posts from there), you’ll see that I’ve spoken out against bigotry against GLBT people. What else would you have me say to demonstrate my “support” (as you define “support”)?

I eagerly look forward to your reply.

. . . I’m happy I asked for some clarification; I think I now have a better understanding of your questions. Here’s my response:

I don’t have a separate policy position regarding overweight AA women. I also don’t have a separate policy position regarding AA lesbians.

I want the same thing (abundant life) for all AA women and girls.

The idea of separating AA lesbians or overweight AA women out of my work never occurred to me. When I’m talking to or about AA women and girls, I’m referring to ALL of us.

Being overweight or morbidly obese like Ms. Sidibe is not healthy for any AA woman or girl. There are real life, real world negative consequences attached to overweight/obesity. I firmly believe that AA women need to stop tripping about this. I would suggest that folks who haven’t already done so, take the time to read Tracy’s excellent guest post over at Christelyn’s house. Here’s part of it:

“Since last Friday, three women that I know have passed on. No, I’m not use the nice words for this – three women – two good friends of my mother’s and one brilliant caring friend of mine – ARE DEAD. Way before their time. My friend – a nurse, a mother, and a comedian that could make a statue laugh – had a heart attack sitting in her car. She was on her way home from work. They found her the next morning. DEAD.

She was a big woman: she would always tell me that one day she was going to join me on my walks. Like me, she had diabetes and high blood pressure. Like me, she ignored the signs of trouble – failing eyesight, tiredness, aching limbs, headaches – put her cares in the “hands of Jesus”, and kept right on eating. Eating. She would get upset when you got on her about her food choices. Or about how her weight fluctuations were affecting her hormones – she was getting the rash on her neck and damn near growing a beard.. “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine”….. She was 43. She had two kids. She had a husband. Now her business is their business – they have to bury her, and go on without her.”

So, I doubt that I’ll ever give a “hip, hip, hooray” in support of anybody being morbidly obese. I have changed my views about several key things; and I expect to continue to have evolving views as long as I’m alive. However, I just don’t see my views about AA women and obesity changing. Certainly not in order to accommodate the current fat acceptance dogma.

Ladies, the hour is late. It’s later than many of us think. These delusions are killing us softly. I won’t tiptoe around them anymore.

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98 Responses to “Killing Ourselves Softly, Part 1: Recognize That Nobody Is Coming To Rescue You”

  1. joyousnerd says:

    Oh goodness, Khadija. You are really stepping on some toes this week!

    I love the quotes from Die Fat or Get Tough. I really need to get that book! I wholeheartedly agree that personal responsibility is essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

    For me, changing my mindset has had the greatest impact on weight loss. For instance, years ago when I tried to work out and was interrupted by the kids, I’d feel so frustrated and overwhelmed. I made a decision to change the way I react. I tell myself that come Hades or high water, I’m doing this workout. If I get interrupted 5 times, so what? I’m still going to finish. My mantra became “I can’t always change what happens to me, but I can always choose how I react to it.” Then I started making changes like setting the alarm to get up before the kids. If I sleep through the alarm, I don’t berate myself, I just do what I can with them underfoot. Even 20 minutes is better than nothing.

    Of all the doctors and other medical personnel I’ve interacted with over the past few years when I was obese, all of them were very supportive of my elevated weight except two. One was a doctor who was downright cruel and mean-spirited in his mocking of me. The other is my dear OB/GYN who told me the plain truth, but not in a hurtful way. He told me I’d start to have more and more health problems the longer I carried the weight, and it would be more difficult to lose the longer I carried it. I know he actually likes me as a person, which made it easier to hear him out.

    Now, looking back, it makes me scratch my chin to think of all of the other medical folks who were so chipper about me being obese. I realize they were all WW. What’s that about? The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if they like seeing BW fat because we will be less competition. Though most WW don’t seem to even be aware of the possibility of WM choosing BW over them, so I may be way off base. Maybe they like to contrast their svelte frames against the heavy bulgy BW?

    In any case, obesity is deadly. A slow, painful kind of death at that. One that robs you of your mobility, your dignity, and then your life. Not a pretty picture.

    • Neecy says:

      Joyousnerd,

      I have had the same experiences with WW. All of my WW co workers etc., have encouraged me that i am “attractive and beautiful” the way i am and I do not need to lose weight. When they ask me why i don’t do online dating and I tell them b/c of my weight, they just “oMG that is SOOOOOOO not a reason for you not to go online and date!! You will find a man who loves you for you”.

      yet when I look at these WW (both young and middle aged) none of these women are overweight. LOL and at company functoins better believe they are watching what they are eating and working out in the mornings.

      i think its a mixture of two things. (1) Maybe they do in the back of their minds want BW to remain overweight b/c the know MOST attractive WM don’t find obese women attractive and (2) Maybe they really have become accostomed to BW saying they are “proud of their curves” so when a BW doesn’t feel that way, they feel the need to remind us we should be?

      The hell if I know. but its fishy its always WW telling me I’m fine the way i am – being overweight.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        “i think its a mixture of two things. (1) Maybe they do in the back of their minds want BW to remain overweight b/c the know MOST attractive WM don’t find obese women attractive and (2) Maybe they really have become accostomed to BW saying they are “proud of their curves” so when a BW doesn’t feel that way, they feel the need to remind us we should be?”

        Neecy and JoyousNerd, I think you might be on to something. It could be a combination of things.

        Some WW may be sabotaging to keep BW away from decent men.

        Some WW may actually subconsciously see BW as separate and not even women therefore – the “its ok/different for black folks, but not for me” rules apply instead of universal rules/norms. Like when Khadija referenced the liberal crazy policies they institute to experiment on Black people with while they do the opposite.

        I mean some black folks and BW have loudly proclaimed some strange stuff so maybe they are following along with that.

        I also think that people say stuff when they kind of like you to be polite or make you feel better. No one ever told me I was fat or overweight. They always reassured me that I was just fine as in looked ok, I was attractive, I was teasingly plump. I shouldn’t worry about it and this is when I was borderline obese.

        Also like Khadija said to avoid the hassle.

        Back in the stone ages when I used to watch TV. I saw a wife swap episode where a WW went to live with a Black family. The only daughter was overweight. She wasn’t obese, but she was heavy for her height and age. And one day the WW started talking to her about it and all hell broke loose.

        I am just imagining what would happen if a WW or another nonBW actually did say something to a BW about weight. You know what the conversations between BW have been like on some of these blogs concerning weight have been like.

        Factor in race perceptions, the ABC script, maybe some class differences/hateration and this conversation might need to take place either in a hospital or a police station because when its all said and done the services of one or both may be needed.

        And how many people actually tell someone when their fly is unzipped, or their slip is showing, or their dress is tucked in their pantyhose, or your milk is leaking through your maternity blouse, or you need to stop eating boiled eggs for lunch, or your breath is stanking today – your deodorant gave out? etc

        Talking about weight is loaded. Most people would and do take it as a very personal attack.

        Finally, I think even outside of race there is another kind of sabotage. Some people get used to you being one notch below them in their minds. And they want you to stay that way. They need you to be the conception they have of you because it makes them feel secure and good about themselves when they compare themselves to you. Your changing is a threat. It makes them uncomfortable.

        When I started loosing weight I got jokes and comments from men and women inside and outside my family. I got admonishments not to loose too much and discouragements about losing at all. I had no idea that people paid that dog gone much attention to me.

        Now that I have lost weight its competition/comparing time. Not because of me, but now women (even fam) are always asking me what size I am and how much do I weigh now. And now usually shifts in time to next week’s now, to the week after’s now, to two month’s later now.

        And I get snubbed sometimes big time. I get the everyone was there- where were you- um no one told me I guess I wasn’t invited situations.

        I also get so many gifts of free unhealthy food (sabotage). I had one friend (or maybe frenemy) gift me out of the blue with a whole tote bag (a nylon full sized tote – i wish i was lying- with a witch on a broomstick on the front – I wish I was lying) of Halloween candy this Halloween (snickers, rollos, twix, kit cats, baby ruths – you name it) and I had told her specifically that I was restricting carbs and sugar.

        I get more offers for hot wings, fried fish, and fried chicken dinners I don’t know what to do. I even had one woman buy me 2 – not 1 but 2 sugar cane iced teas. Now when I was fat no one would offer to pay for any food item for me at all. Now
        I get so many offer and surprise gifts of food I can open a food desert style grocery store.

        • Robynne says:

          Crabs in a barrel, smh…

          On the issue concerning WW being comfortable with bigger bw – the ww could also be supporting of weight gain in bw, because they know that even when bw are slim and in shape, we are still naturally curvy and more attractive to men in general, as opposed to being two dimensional – ie no behind, a very long back, small chest area. A typical size 5/6 bw, on the other hand, still has her behind, a shorter back, a pinched waist, no lovehandles, etc. Guess who’s body is hotter?

      • Lorie says:

        Neecy,

        Of course, I don’t know your full story but for some reason I’ve been thinking about your post for about a day. Feel free to discard these thoughts if they are of little use to you:
        1- Would you consider online dating as you transition fr current wgt to ideal wgt? I’m not sure if you date offline but if not, it would be a good way to practice flirting and dating skills. This is important, IMHO
        2- I also notice that WW discourage me in anything that would make me more attractive. Maybe BW can manage our brands so that these women don’t know what our plans are (lose wgt, find a mate, get a promotion, etc)… After all, you already know that they will discourage you from making any noticable positive change. (I’m not saying that they are bad- just acting in their own interest… as we should.) Also, I notice people treat me with more respect when I am reserved. They become to get familiar with me (cross boundaries) when I tell all.

        • ak says:

          Lorie:

          I’m not saying that they are bad- just acting in their own interest… as we should.

          Um, sometimes people can be both. Acting in their own interests AND bad, bad for you. Can’t someone act in their own interests, and still manage one little ‘Good luck with your weight loss’? Or why don’t they just stay silent on the matter? Why do they just HAVE to sabotage?

          I think that one can stay on the path to achieving their goals and dreams, and maintaining all of what they already do have without being a scheming female dog. But God gave us all free will, and some will choose to be female dogs, and some won’t.

  2. Neecy says:

    It is what is is Khadija. The fact is BW should be greatful to hear another side to this “fat acceptance’ issue. I see it for what it is. Many BW have bought into this fat acceptance thing hook, line and sinker.

    Although I am dealing with my own issues getting more weight off, I will and have never blamed anything or anyone for why I allowed myself to gain the weight i did and how long it has taken me to finally do something about it.

    And although i am constantly told how “beautiful” i am and how I can find someone to love me for me, I still say i want better than that. i want the options. I want to look and feel my best. I refuse to go into online dating until I have reached my weight goals b/c the reality is MOST men prefer a woman who is nicely shaped, healthy and somewhat fit looking – NOT overweight or obese.

    All the WW at my job tell me “oh that doesn’t matter if a guy loves you he loves you. Plus you are so attractive a guy would be lucky to have you” blah blah blah. Yet these same WW are NOT overweight and probably will never be b/c they understand how important it is to be and look healthy.

    BW need to let go of the “i love my curves” mantra. B/C nowadays what goes for “curves” is really rolls of fat. And i am not trying to be funny or mean b/c I am overweight myself.

    but i remember reading a quote from the Black girl who plays on the TV show “GLEE”. She is very overweight. Anyway she was qouted in a magazine saying “I love and embrace all of my curves and feel good about my body”. i’m thinking. YOU ARE NOT CURVY!! You are overweight & OBESE. Do any of the Non Black girls on that show that she plays in even come close to her size? NO WAY.

    i’m tired of BW allowing themsleves and others to tell them being overweight and obese is okay. its NOT. And the older one gets the harder it is to get it off.

    ok i’m finished ranting lol

    • joyousnerd says:

      Yes, that is a prime BW delusion about weight: curves are not the same as rolls of fat on a 4 ft wide waistline. No ma’am. I used to believe it myself though, because when I am at a healthy weight I do have serious curves. And my excess fat was well distributed so that I still had that same basic shape even when I was as wide as two ax handles SMDH.

      You can be curvy and be small. You can be curvy and be huge (though that’s not generally what happens, what happens is you get ROLLS.)Shape does not equal size; it’s such a delusion. A deadly delusion.

      @Khadija- I think you are right, they did not want me to blow up screaming and hollering about fat acceptance and bone density lol. They didn’t want me to start neck rolling and whatnot. They just wanted me to go about my day, fat and happy, while they went on with their business.

      I really need to get these books… off to amazon.

  3. JoyousNerd,

    You said, “Oh goodness, Khadija. You are really stepping on some toes this week!”

    I know. {smile} But it needs to be said. Unapologetically. Large numbers of AA women are literally—and totally unnecessarily—losing their lives over these various delusions. As I’ve mentioned before, I started off reading the How Rich People Think book. I found that I had to tighten up some of my own thought patterns after reading some of the things he pointed out. I was so impressed by what I’ve read of that, I decided to buy all 3 of Mr. Siebold’s books.

    What’s so interesting is that the things he’s saying apply to so many different people and situations. Delusional thinking is at the root of most problems in a developed country like the US. And it’s AAs’ mass refusal to face reality that has us collectively forming a permanent underclass in this country. Let me repeat MY point of concern: Large numbers of AA women are literally—and totally unnecessarily—losing their lives over these various delusions. We need to wake up.

    You said, “Now, looking back, it makes me scratch my chin to think of all of the other medical folks who were so chipper about me being obese. I realize they were all WW. What’s that about? The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if they like seeing BW fat because we will be less competition. Though most WW don’t seem to even be aware of the possibility of WM choosing BW over them, so I may be way off base. Maybe they like to contrast their svelte frames against the heavy bulgy BW?”

    I’m inclined to chalk it up to them just NOT CARING; or NOT CARING ENOUGH to risk an unpleasant argument with their overweight BW patients. I know from my own experience that you get a lot of stress and friction with certain types of clients when you tell them unpleasant realities. So, a lot of professionals don’t bother. Or they softpeddle the message to avoid friction.

    Now, I’m not saying to beat anybody over the head with negative information. But I talk to my clients the way I want my doctors to talk to me: Just tell me the plain truth, lay out my options, and then I’ll figure out where I want to go from there. NONE of this requires being mean-spirited or insulting anybody.

    You said, “In any case, obesity is deadly. A slow, painful kind of death at that. One that robs you of your mobility, your dignity, and then your life. Not a pretty picture.”

    Oh, Mr. Siebold talks about that. “Difference 13: Fat people believe obesity won’t kill you. Fit people believe obesity won’t kill you tomorrow.”

    I’ll note that Mr. Siebold mentions that: (1) he used to be overweight until he worked to get the excess weight off, and (2) his book is not for people with eating disorders or psychological problems. He’s mananged to deeply anger a number of folks who are advocates of Fat Acceptance. Here’s a negative review here: http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/steve-siebold-wants-your-16-even-if-it-kills-you/
    _____________________________________________

    Neecy,

    You said, “All the WW at my job tell me “oh that doesn’t matter if a guy loves you he loves you. Plus you are so attractive a guy would be lucky to have you” blah blah blah. Yet these same WW are NOT overweight and probably will never be b/c they understand how important it is to be and look healthy.”

    ALL of that “do as I say and not as I do for myself” advice that other folks (in particular BM and nonblack women) love to give AA women is highly suspicious.

    You said, “i’m tired of BW allowing themsleves and others to tell them being overweight and obese is okay. its NOT.”

    I’m tired of it too. That—and the ever-increasing number of unnecessary AA women casualties—are the reasons why I’m speaking out.

    Expect Success!

  4. Robynne says:

    Khadija, you have been going at it hard, breaking down the walls of fantastical thinking, and the unfortunate habit people have of rationalizing foolishness. I’ve never been overweight, but recently – since I began grad school in fact, I’ve noticed that I’ve been putting on some weight. I can still fit into most of my clothing – some of which I’ve had since a teenager, but all this unhealthy eating and late night snacking isn’t cutting it. For some women, that’s how it begins: the weight gain is very negligible, very slow – so much so that you don’t treat it seriously. Much like your frog in the slow boiling water. I need to jump out of the water before I’m cooked. I’m by no means fat, but I am too complacent about the current state of affairs with regards to my eating habits. There will come a day where I can no longer rely on my high metabolism to keep the rolls off. In fact, I’m pretty sure those days are just about done, since the extra inches are sticking like they never did before. Probably, the only reason why I haven’t got completely out of control has something to do with the fact that the train station is a good 10-15 minute walk from my place each way, and I do walk briskly in each direction. Plus, I walk on the escalators (up and down) and use the stairs as much as possible (at least going downstairs), instead of taking the elevator. Otherwise, I don’t even want to think about what I’d look like. Thanks for this, it is very timely.

    • Valerie M says:

      You said: “For some women, that’s how it begins: the weight gain is very negligible, very slow – so much so that you don’t treat it seriously.”

      That is exactly what I tell people as well, Robyne. It’s amazing to me how this simple fact goes right past so many people’s head. I am not obese by any means, but I can be a little bit anal about my weight. I used to be a bit chubby and there’s NO way I’m getting back to that if I can help it! I get on a scale 1-2 times a week and if I see that I’m consistently weighing 3-5+ pounds more than my average range, I need to buckle down. I treat it like a negative feedback loop.

      People call me paranoid and that it’s not a big deal. The best way to not get fat is to nip it in the bud before it spirals out of control – that is when it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        The thing is that even small baby steps over time can make a difference. Like when my mother and her friends do a small amount of exercise the immediately report feeling better, having better motion, and less aches.

        Even Dr. Oz said that a 10-15 pound loss and keeping your waist size (if you are a woman) below 35″ can really help – thats the minimum to get you out of the “danger” zone.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        I have scale wars. What is a good brand? I had an incident at Wal Mart. Since I know that they are getting funny about returns (they refused to honor a warranty on a previous product). I went to the scale section, took one of each off the shelf, out of the box, and tried them all. They didn’t like that. But none of them satisfied me. I hate the crazy readings I get and sometimes its hard to tell when they are off.

  5. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “I wonder if this concerned individual believes that it’s more “realistic” for African-American women to continue hoping for new programs in the midst of a failing economy. Thereby putting their fates in the hands of the American voting public—roughly half of whom have repeatedly shown themselves to be insane.”

    This is so dangerous – this attitude. I know that by the time I am old enough and ready – there will be nothing for me i.e. medicare, social security etc. In the past month I have witnessed 3 folks who thought they had the best medicare in the world get rude awakenings. One person who neglects their health and could prevent so many illnesses had the impression that they can just go to the ER whenever they felt like it bc medicare would pay for it. And in the past they did. But not this time. She got a bill a few weeks later from some specialist service and medicare says ignore it while the specialist is destroying her credit. I had another person go to get glasses again they were supposed to get it for free as in the past – well a lot of service providers changed and no longer accept the medicare supplement she has and the copays have risen to something astronomical (as in so high she may as well pay cash for the glasses outright) in order to create glasses that addressed her specific eye issues.

    I don’t understand how someone can just leave something like this up to other people. I am trying as best as I can to move forward o make sure I don’t end up like this. I am so concerned at times for the future.

    Not only that, but I am noticing that people are being nickle and dimed to death. Both my mother’s home and car insurance have jumped up (not a lot, but by enough dollars 5-10 to notice) due to “fees”. She has been a long time customer with each company, never late, and never had any incidents and all they can say “is well you know costs are rising”. If anything I think these prices should be declining as the car is older and home values are in the toilet. The same thing with her satellite company (4.00 extra mysterious dollars) and the last time I was in Target I was charged a .05% transaction fee. For making a purchase in person!

    The difference between the criminals is striking in the example you provided. The professional criminal (yuck) wants to win and will do anything it takes to get that. Whereas it seems like the Black criminal wants sympathy more than winning. Or it seems like he/she thinks that sympathy/empathy will allow him/her to win.

    Regarding weight: All of my doctors have been obese. All of my nurses have been obese. Most of them have been AA. The 4 that were nonblack were 3 were WW and only 1 was thin. One was Indian/SE Asian she was average. They all told me I was normal – I wasn’t.

    • ak says:

      Yeaaahhh. I didn’t realize any of this you see. Really fat doctors, and then they expect other people to listen to them about health and staying in shape. What is that all about?

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Yes all the time. Overweight docs you see a few, but lots of overweight nurses and hospital/clinic admin staff – from the receptionist to the unit secretary etc.

        • ak says:

          Good gravy Oshun! I really don’t want to sound as if I’m some closet ‘fat-tist'(LOL!) or anything, but fat, or obese doctors and fat nurses?

          Talk about not living by example. I’m not saying that everybody should be a stick-like supermodel but if a patient has high blood pressure, diabetes, rolls of fat, and dangerous close to losing limbs and appendages due to diabetes or getting glaucoma from the high blood pressure , how are they gonna take an obese doctor or nurse seriously regarding eating healthily, and exercising regularly??

          • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

            I understand. I have noticed this for a minute. It goes like this for black people working in medicine in my area no matter the job most of the BW are overweight or obese. You may see a few very young nurses or BW docs or higher level admin in the professional offices who are normal sized, but for the most part it kind of mirrors what is going on in society.

            Then next you have this thing going on with WW. Its about 50/50. The lower on the pay scale – it seems the more overweight or obese the WW are.

            Then there are those who are other nonblack who depending on age may look like they are about to tip the scale in the direction of overweight or may be slightly overweight.

            Men on the other hand tend to be very fit no matter the age or race although I see more BM who are overweight or obese in medicine here or nearly there than groups of other men. Some of the male docs I have seen have been so fit and attractive I have been like, “um no, you will not be giving me a breast exam – ever.”

            This also could be bc I live in one of the nationally ranked fattest states in the US.

            I don’t think these people “counsel” about health. When I first started losing weight I asked a local clinic if I could use their scale late in the evenings before closing when they didn’t have a lot of patients, because I was having scale wars and I wanted accurate readings. And someone told me yes over the phone.

            Well when I got there all these women – most of them BW, most of them obese got together and had some kind of session. They huddled in a group talking- acting like this was puzzling and they didn’t know what to do. They had me go from the receptionist desk to the intake part. Then they had me go to a nurse’s station and back to the receptionist desk.

            I told them who told me it was ok over the phone. No matter.

            They said they would then do it once as a courtesy, but the scale was for their patients. Then they made me sit and wait in an empty waiting room at closing time to get on it.

  6. Robynne,

    You said, “Khadija, you have been going at it hard, breaking down the walls of fantastical thinking, and the unfortunate habit people have of rationalizing foolishness.”

    Oh yeah, I’m done with “tiptoeing through the tulips” with some of these issues.

    You said, “I’ve never been overweight, but recently – since I began grad school in fact, I’ve noticed that I’ve been putting on some weight. I can still fit into most of my clothing – some of which I’ve had since a teenager, but all this unhealthy eating and late night snacking isn’t cutting it. For some women, that’s how it begins: the weight gain is very negligible, very slow – so much so that you don’t treat it seriously. Much like your frog in the slow boiling water. I need to jump out of the water before I’m cooked.”

    That sounds a lot like the so-called “freshman fifteen.” As in the 10-15 lbs. that incoming college students often gain from the switch to near-constant fast food and late night snacking. Yes, it’d be wise to nip that in the bud. It does not get any easier the older you get.
    _________________________________________

    Oshun/Aphrodite,

    THANK YOU for discussing the non-obesity-related angles to this issue. There are MANY types of gradually boiling “pots” that are filled with complacent, sleeping AA frogs.

    The “good jobs” are disappearing. The remaining jobs are cutting back on salaries and benefits. So, if somebody truly believes that it’s “unrealistic” and “not feasible” for individual AAs to develop additional income streams, then what is their plan for surviving and thriving in the current economy? Hoping that the government will save them? Lord have mercy on them, because the policies supported by the roughly half of the country that takes Fox “News” seriously WON’T.

    You said, “The difference between the criminals is striking in the example you provided. The professional criminal (yuck) wants to win and will do anything it takes to get that. Whereas it seems like the Black criminal wants sympathy more than winning. Or it seems like he/she thinks that sympathy/empathy will allow him/her to win.”

    The other angle is that this delusional expectation of sympathy is a large part of why Black underclass, unprofessional criminals run their mouths and make statements (aka confessions) to the police. Often, they’re delusional enough to think that other people—curiously, including the police and prosecutors—are going to care about their self-serving sob stories (and cut them some slack). It’s often very difficult to get Black underclass defendants to shut up, and stop talking about their cases to random people. And then they’re shocked when their own statements bite them in the buttocks with jurors.

    I hate to say it, but this is the same dynamic with the inappropriate public broadcasting of therapy talk. It’s also the same dynamic in the overall AA political strategy of trying to get nonblack others to feel sorry for us. In all these scenarios, the “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” speaker has the delusional assumption that listeners are automatically going to be sympathetic. Umm…no.

    Now, I’m not saying that we’re totally alone in this “keep the tearjerker personal stories flowing” habit. The Jewish collective has successfully used their Holocaust to force concessions from others. [Although, I’ll note that the shelf date on WWII-based tearjerker tales is getting old, and reaching its expiration date in the minds of many people.] However, Jewish people don’t rely on trying to elicit sympathy from outsiders as their sole strategy. They’ve got multiple other strategies in place.

    Expect Success!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      No problem Khadija! Thank you for this post/discussion.

      All of the people I mentioned are either overweight or obese and have the associated illnesses that are related to that. For example the one that needed glasses has diabetes and that has affected her sight thus, a series of new glasses that have to be changed every year or two. And she keeps different pairs with different prescriptions around because depending on her glucose levels it can affect her vision.

      It has even affected her eyes in other ways they are always red/yellow and blood vessels have burst in them before, the shape has changed so she has that to deal with on top of a natural change like needing bifocals or something.

      The ER visits of the others are all for:

      1. chronic infections from reduced immunity due to being a diabetic. (lung, skin sores that get out of hand etc) Diabetics are very slow healers – a simple cut while cooking can become a nightmare and forget about foot injuries. The pedicure salon is not a diabetic’s friend.

      Once my mother’s feet turned black as in midnight black up to the ankles and we were concerned that she would lose her feet. She also has the issue of severely cracked skin (which allows bacteria inside + reduced immunity- well not good) all over her soles that freely bleeds (from the cracks) and turns into open sores. This is related to the diabetes and she has a prescription cream that she uses specifically for this.

      I may get a cold and get over in a week, I may get the flu and be down for 2, but a diabetic will more than likely eventually end up with pnemonia that requires some heavy duty IV antibiotics.

      One year everyone got sick and my mother, a diabetic, stayed sicker much longer than the rest of us and eventually had to be hospitalized and be given a boatload of Levaquin which is a dangerous antibiotic, but because the cold kept progressing and turned into full blown pneumonia she had no choice. Now she takes both flu and pneumonia vaccinations every year.

      2. These people go are rushed to the ER for extremely high blood pressure; passing out, self testing and finding out that the blood pressure is some ridiculous number, ridiculous edemas and swelling – to the point where the foot is spilling out of the shoe and the leg is so bloated it has lost shape (which requires a manual drawing of fluid with needles or pressure cuffs to maintain circulation)

      3. congestive heart failure issues

      4. diabetic fainting spells – self testing and discovering that the number is 200+ so they need IVs to bring the blood sugar levels down, extreme dehydration with fuzzy thinking related to diabetes

      5. chronic constipation (not going for a week to 10 days) from all the medications or from high blood pressure medicine that continually draws all the fluid off/out of your body

      6. just everything! It seems like there is a snowball effect. A lot of people I know don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure – but both of them and it snowballs with all the other resulting ailments and complications and who can forget the side effects that come from the 1 million medicines they have to take.

      And it seems that all of these roads lead to heart failure. I don’t know any one of them family included that doesn’t have diabetes and high blood pressure and not have congestive heart failure – it seems to eventually get them.

      My uncle just turned 50 and he had high blood, and diabetes for years and was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He had his 1st heart attack last year. My mother was diagnosed in the past 2 years after having diabetes for years – she had a small heart attack in 08. My DBRBM brother is headed on that road – his blood pressure stays off the charts ( I guess all that evil) and the blood pressure has damaged his eyes so badly that docs are concerned that he may have severely compromised vision. He is in his 40s and refuses to buy glasses. Nice to think of when driving on the road.

      Even family friends… It goes 1st diabetes for a few years or high blood pressure and then a few years down the road they get the combo: both high blood pressure and diabetes together and then in a few more years they all eventually get heart disease and start having strokes and heart attacks.

      And it scares me. They think its all a normal part getting older or getting old and I am not so sure. Some of these people are on a minimum of 14 medications at a time and they say well when you get older you have to take something. And some of the meds are critical – especially heart medications.

      It scares me bc I think if we have a Katrina to come through here all of these people are going to die. Or if something breaks down in society and I am concerned with all this shut down government talk – these people are going to die.

      I try to offer advice. Like maybe instead of waiting for things to get so bad, why not call you primary care physician when you notice things changing in order to avoid going to the ER? Why wait until you are that bad off? Your PCP is you mainline – you are supposed to be working with this doc to get better not find better ways of living with disease.

      I mean especially now hearing these insurance surprises I would hate for one of them to go and then get some bill for 1k or more on the assumption that its covered.

      A few years ago I had some kind of strong allergic reaction to a skin care product. My skin turned raw and red, I broke out in hives, I was itching, weak – I had a fever, my hands and tongue started swelling to enormous proportions, Benadryl was laughing at me, and I had no health insurance.

      I drove myself to the ER. They saw me for 5 minutes, gave me a shot, and a script. When I got the bill I needed to be committed. It was 500 for the ER and I was thinking expensive, but it made sense. Then weeks later, the doc billed me separately for 300. Surprise in the mail – surprise in the mail. All for five minutes and a shot. Fortunately I was able to pay it off, but if an ambulance took me – I don’t know how much that would have been!

      But I am thinking these people are on fixed incomes or have had their incomes slashed. The economy is so unstable and there are all these insurance surprises. This could drive them into the poor house and damage their credit big time. The people in the billing dept were none too nice to me and didn’t think highly or kindly about my creative installment plan.

      I try to also encourage other forms of prevention and I get so exasperated sometimes. I sound like a broken record.

      For example some of them have really bad arthritis to the point where they can’t lift their arms over their heads to put their clothes on. And these people aren’t old old. They are not 70, 80+. Some of them can’t get in and out of the tub and we are talking early 50s here. I don’t want to overstep, but I think a 50 year should not get stuck in the tub. I have some interesting I can’t get out of the tub stories. And I pray that God doesn’t strike me down for laughing at the tub stories.

      They can barely get in and out of a car – I have watched and it is a process. Slowly angle and sit, turn slowly, put one foot in, drag the other foot in. Position yourself in the seat.

      They can’t walk up the steps of the church – it is a process, a slow one – and sometimes an amusing one when heels are involved.

      I had one relative destroy – I mean completely murder- a beautiful pair of dress shoes walking to a gravesite at a family funeral. The grave was on an slight incline and her feet went every which a way. It took three men to help her walk about 50 yards with lots of rests in between and when it was all said and done it looked like dogs had got at them shoes. The straps were broken, fabric ripped, rhinestones were missing.

      Some can barely walk or stand due to balance issues. I almost accidentally killed one of my mother’s friends in her 60s at a holiday barbecue once because although she is obese – she has no muscle tone in her legs and her sense of balance is so poor.

      I had been imbibing and had to rush to the facilities. She was standing to my left in front of the stove and I rushed passed her barely touching her. (I promise) I brushed her arm and she completely lost her balance. I tried to steady her, but I thought if this woman hits the ground I can’t help her, if she takes me with her, we are both in trouble, and please God don’t let her hit her head on the stove.

      And the killing part is I tell them all to exercise. I know it hurts at first with the arthritis, but try to do a little something each time and it will get better. Arthritis improves with exercise. Stomach exercises help your back. Reducing the weight will decrease the joint stress.

      And they tell me they will tell the doc so they can go to physical therapy. And I am like thinking well physical therapy is exercise. Lets avoid the surprises in the mail and just do a little exercise.

      And I had some of them walking in the mornings and working with resistance bands, and they report better results and feeling better and having a better range of movement, but then they stop.

      I wonder if obesity would be used to further drive people out of jobs. I mean if people freely discriminate/show bias against obese people and employers cry about the healthcare costs and how obese workers drove the cost of insurance up prior to the changes that are resulting in mail surprises… who knows.

      “The other angle is that this delusional expectation of sympathy is a large part of why Black underclass, unprofessional criminals run their mouths and make statements (aka confessions) to the police. It’s often very difficult to get Black underclass defendants to shut up, and stop talking about their cases to random people.”

      This is crazy to me. I don’t get it. How do you sell yourself down the river?

      “I hate to say it, but this is the same dynamic with the inappropriate public broadcasting of therapy talk. It’s also the same dynamic in the overall AA political strategy of trying to get nonblack others to feel sorry for us.”

      Ok seeing the connection more clearly now.

      • vonnie says:

        bwahahahahahahahahaha @ the shoes at the gravesite story…omg, girl.

        This is all just sad, truly. My mom is 50 and you wouldn’t peg her as being a day over 38. There is NO reason that a 50 year old should be hobbled and moving slowly like an 80 year old! My grandpa worked until he was 80 and finally got the slow gait and pain as he approached his death at 89. People need to take care of themselves and stop with the bs excuses! Why arent’ they sick and tired of being sick and tired??

        • *Audience Note*

          I’m not amused by any of these horrific tales of illness-related suffering and loss of dignity. 🙁

          However, I published this (unkind) comment because people need to understand how many people REALLY react to these sorts of things. Laughter can be nervous laughter at things that are deeply upsetting. Or it can be genuine amusement at other people’s suffering. In any event, whatever the motivation, this is how many folks actually respond to you airing your problems in public.

          Ladies, let me repeat: Everybody’s not going to sympathize with your suffering. In fact, I would estimate that most people WON’T have any sort of empathy for your troubles. This is why I want you to let go of the fantasy that somebody else is going to rescue/help you. Nobody’s going to rescue you but YOU.

          Expect Success!

          • vonnie says:

            I’m not laughing at the lady, moreso how the poster described the shoes looking like the dogs had gotten to them.

          • Vonnie,

            I’m relieved to hear that.

            I would hope that everyone would please keep in mind that there are already-upset women reading this conversation. And speak accordingly as we discuss these sensitive issues.

            My purpose is to shine a spotlight on some delusions that need to be confronted and discarded. Not to rip scabs off of wounds.

            Expect Success!

        • Zoopath says:

          *sheepishly raises hand* I snicked at the desciption of the shoes as well, not at the ladies suffering. It’s stories like that that steered me away from clinical medicine. I would have just become bitter and mean after seeing so much self-destructive behvior. My BF in med school saw a resident grab a lady’s belly roll and shake it while saying “You need to lose this”. I heard about that and decided that I didn’t want to risk ending up so jaded and being cruel to my patients.

          • Zoopath,

            The problem is that—without any clarification given—other readers have/had no way of knowing precisely what it was that amused people were snickering at.

            You mentioned this appalling tale: “My BF in med school saw a resident grab a lady’s belly roll and shake it while saying “You need to lose this”.”

            Oh…h*ll NO. I have a thing about human dignity. That so-called “resident” (I want to say monster) is blessed that somebody like me wasn’t in some way connected to that patient. If a so-called doctor ever did something that degrading to anybody I cared about, I would do everything in my power to DESTROY that doctor’s license and career.

            Starting with going to the medical board to file a complaint. And perhaps even calling the police and asking to file a complaint for battery. That sort of offensive touching is NOT any kind of medical treatment, as far as I’m concerned.

            Expect Success!

      • tertiaryanna says:

        They think its all a normal part getting older or getting old and I am not so sure. Some of these people are on a minimum of 14 medications at a time and they say well when you get older you have to take something. And some of the meds are critical – especially heart medications.

        It’s not normal, but it’s expected consequence for running your body into the dirt. If you take care of your body, you will see visible signs of ageing: wrinkled skin, and probably glasses. But unless you have a genetic predisposition, you shouldn’t be on a truckload of medication even as an older person.

        It scares me bc I think if we have a Katrina to come through here all of these people are going to die.

        It doesn’t even need to be that serious. Think what will happen if a power outage lasts for more than a day, or when weather closes a city for more than a day. What happens when you can’t refrigerate those expensive meds, or replace them because you can’t get to the store?

        “Some of them can’t get in and out of the tub and we are talking early 50s here…. I have some interesting I can’t get out of the tub stories.

        What happens when that person is alone in the house? And isn’t found for hours? This means that there’s some relative that has to be handy just to help this person bathe.

        Think about this. If you are a 50 year old woman, and you can’t get out of the tub on your own, who is helping you do that? My first thought is your 25 year old daughter.

        I’m trying not to be too harsh here, but I believe this is one way that younger BW are indoctrinated to have low boundaries.

        It starts with primary authority figures who can’t handle the basic adult tasks of life: taking care of one’s health, finances, emotional health, household or children.

        The adults invariably rely on a nearby person to help manage those tasks. The parent-child bond is very strong, and I think this is why the children are asked to manage these tasks. I also think it’s because a child is less able to enforce boundaries than an adult.

        I see too many young BW taking on these roles. At a time when BW should be learning independence and boundaries in a healthy manner, they’re being asked to handle the jobs their parents should be doing.

        That 25 year old is being trained that it’s her job to make sure her mom is ok. And if the mom is doing like the other stories we’ve seen her (“don’t tell me what to eat”) then that young BW is learning that when you love someone, it’s ok for them to take from you, even if it’s because they’ve refused to take accountability for their actions.

        I believe this mindset is a major factor in BW learning that reciprocity is unnecessary.

        • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

          Really good points Tertiaryanna.

        • ak says:

          This is a good point. About ten years ago now I aw a talk show that had a white woman on there that was almost so obese that she could barely leave the house, and she relied on her poor teen daughter to do the things for the house such as buying her food. They showed the inside of this woman’s refrigerator and it looked like the inside of the frozen food section of Costco or Sam’s Place. I saw at least six boxes of frozen burgers in there!

          And her daughter was the only one physically able to drive or walk to the store for all of this food. I was thinking that’s crazy. If I had to buy food for my mother because she was incapable of getting it for herself because of her obesity, I would only be putting fruits and veg in that house from now on!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite,

      Thank you for talking some more REAL TALK and telling the grim details of what it’s really like for many people living with obesity-related ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure. That mess is NO joke. And NOT anything that I would ever want to be mixed up in.

      You said, “Even family friends… It goes 1st diabetes for a few years or high blood pressure and then a few years down the road they get the combo: both high blood pressure and diabetes together and then in a few more years they all eventually get heart disease and start having strokes and heart attacks.

      And it scares me. They think its all a normal part getting older or getting old and I am not so sure. Some of these people are on a minimum of 14 medications at a time and they say well when you get older you have to take something. And some of the meds are critical – especially heart medications.”

      NO, that mess is not a normal part of aging. I think about the elderly folks in my granparents’ generation. For the most part, they didn’t start having those sorts of issues until they were elderly for real—not until they reached their late 70s, 80s, and beyond. And a lot of them never had those issues until their very last year of life.

      You said, “It scares me bc I think if we have a Katrina to come through here all of these people are going to die. Or if something breaks down in society and I am concerned with all this shut down government talk – these people are going to die.”

      Yeah, that’s right. That’s some more real talk. Just think back to all the Fox “News” viewers who characterized the Obama-ssiah’s originally proposed health plan as consisting of so-called “death panels.” I find it amazing that anybody’s willing to passively sit back and trust their overall fate to these types of nuts…

      You said, “For example some of them have really bad arthritis to the point where they can’t lift their arms over their heads to put their clothes on. And these people aren’t old old. They are not 70, 80+. Some of them can’t get in and out of the tub and we are talking early 50s here. I don’t want to overstep, but I think a 50 year should not get stuck in the tub. I have some interesting I can’t get out of the tub stories. And I pray that God doesn’t strike me down for laughing at the tub stories.

      They can barely get in and out of a car – I have watched and it is a process. Slowly angle and sit, turn slowly, put one foot in, drag the other foot in. Position yourself in the seat.”

      “…Some can barely walk or stand due to balance issues. I almost accidentally killed one of my mother’s friends in her 60s at a holiday barbecue once because although she is obese – she has no muscle tone in her legs and her sense of balance is so poor.”

      This is not cute. And it’s NOT necessary. I praise God that my parents haven’t let themselves get like that, and they’re in their 70s. My mother faithfully goes to her line dance classes with other seniors several times a week. She’s dancing with her peers in her 70s while these other people are near-invalids in their 50s. That’s a d*mn shame…

      You said, “I wonder if obesity would be used to further drive people out of jobs. I mean if people freely discriminate/show bias against obese people and employers cry about the healthcare costs and how obese workers drove the cost of insurance up prior to the changes that are resulting in mail surprises… who knows.”

      That’s the wave of the future. Who’s going to pay for all these sick people who can barely work in their 40s+? Also factor in the emerging trend of obesity (including morbid obesity) among AA children and teens. If increasing numbers of AA children are starting off in such poor health, they’re almost certain to start having the sorts of issues you described beginning in their 20s

      This is not a pretty picture. And it’s totally unnecessary suffering. All because of a core refusal to face reality.

      In terms of the motor-mouth Black underclass defendants, you said, “This is crazy to me. I don’t get it. How do you sell yourself down the river?”

      They run their mouths because they expect other people to “understand” their issues, their problems, their pain, their worries, and so on. It doesn’t occur to them that nobody else is inclined to care. The same way it doesn’t occur to AA women who engage in therapy talk that nobody else is inclined to care about their traumas.

      Expect Success!

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        No, problem. I really didn’t start putting all the concrete details together until I started thinking about it when I read your post. It seems like one disease just snowballs into so many others. It may start out with one disease, but that disease can bring on so many associated diseases and complications. And it affects so much of their lives. The health stuff spills over into everything finances etc..

        I just actually realized that I am one of the few people I know who doesn’t have any illness. Knock hard on wood. Between the few and far between cold and a sprain to two – I am ok- Thank God.

        “NO, that mess is not a normal part of aging. I think about the elderly folks in my granparents’ generation. For the most part, they didn’t start having those sorts of issues until they were elderly for real—not until they reached their late 70s, 80s, and beyond. And a lot of them never had those issues until their very last year of life.”

        This is my goal. Ernestine Shepard and Ms Marjorie are my idols. I am not going out like that.

        I had one WW friend (obese) admit to me with much embarrassment, that she can’t properly bathe or wipe herself sometimes. She also admitted that sometimes she can’t wash her hair because she can’t hold her arms up for a long time- she gets tired – they are heavy.

        And she has a host of other illnesses like body alignment problems, MS, fibromyalgia. And she is on the same type of medicine merry go round- x med gives her y side effect which makes her gain more weight, or increases constipation, or causes neurological issues.. and she is in her late 40s.

        “That’s the wave of the future. Who’s going to pay for all these sick people who can barely work in their 40s+? Also factor in the emerging trend of obesity (including morbid obesity) among AA children and teens. If increasing numbers of AA children are starting off in such poor health, they’re almost certain to start having the sorts of issues you described beginning in their 20s…”

        Yes. I have a cousin who is in her 30s now, obese, but she developed high blood when she was 18! I thought that was unusual. Now I see that kids as young as 10 are getting high blood and cholesterol. You are right their 20s will not look good.

  7. tertiaryanna says:

    “Ladies, the hour is late. It’s later than many of us think. These delusions are killing us softly. I won’t tiptoe around them anymore.”

    Khadija,

    THANK YOU. I’ve seen this happen with BW that I know. I’ll add this as another reality check: the people who DON’T die from the heart attacks, or the diabetes-related surgeries? These women have a long and EXPENSIVE road ahead. If you think joining a gym is costly, think about the cost of prescription medication, monthly doctor’s visits and lost wages during the illness and recovery. If the illness was serious enough, you can be on this medication for life, paying that money for the rest. of. your. life. It’s NO joke.

    I was listening to a fitness show, and the Dr. said that one of the leading causes of death in the elderly is from broken hips. Not because breaking a hip can kill you, but because the lack of mobility from that injury can greatly damage your health. Being overweight also limits your mobility, and that is very bad for your health.

    There are a lot of diet tips out there, so I won’t address that. But to the women for whom weight is mainly a psychological issue, the emotional aspect of eating IS something that people can change. Have faith in yourself, and if you can’t have faith in that, realize that there are many other people like you. So there are providers that can help you because they have seen people in your situation. If you are unhappy with the person you have, please don’t be discouraged. Just find someone who can help you meet your goal.

    There are therapists if your health insurance will allow it. If not, there are self-help books that deal with self-esteem, anxiety, goal-setting, behavior modification, finding quality support and procrastination. I think that a combination of self-study and professional help can be very helpful. Some therapists even have sliding scales, for those readers who are uninsured or underemployed.

    It does take work. I have issues with my weight and my self-image too, so I am not speaking as a Chanel Iman lookalike. Not by a long shot. But BW should not think that a non-fulfilling physical or psychological state is set in stone. People CAN make changes in their lives.

    Thank you for speaking the truth, as the TRUTH, and not as half-lies. It may be harsh, but I would much rather endanger my pride than endanger my life or happiness.

    • Neecy says:

      T,

      Great and very real post!! i can certainly attest to this.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      “These women have a long and EXPENSIVE road ahead. If you think joining a gym is costly, think about the cost of prescription medication, monthly doctor’s visits and lost wages during the illness and recovery. If the illness was serious enough, you can be on this medication for life, paying that money for the rest. of. your. life. It’s NO joke.”

      This is so true and insurance can be funny about this. Sometimes the time you run out of medicines and the time that insurance calculates for coverage is not the same. You can be out of meds and the insurance will say – 10 more days until we will pay again. I have experienced this with getting my mom’s meds and I used to work in a pharmacy so I have had to tell people this.

      Sometimes the customers would beg to be given a few pills to “get them by” and take it out of their next refill. If you had a kind pharmacist they would do it, but if you had someone who went by the rules you were messed up.

      And if you paid out of pocket like you said it was no joke. Insulin is expensive! A box of needles – the good high quality ones anyway run about 20-30 dollars. And the insulin itself is about 30 dollars depending on type.

      Fortunately I was able to coerce my mother into making some changes so she is on a pill instead of the insulin, but she is still on a pill.

      “I was listening to a fitness show, and the Dr. said that one of the leading causes of death in the elderly is from broken hips. Not because breaking a hip can kill you, but because the lack of mobility from that injury can greatly damage your health. Being overweight also limits your mobility, and that is very bad for your health.”

      This is what I am concerned about too. My mother included. My mother has fallen maybe 3 times in the past 5 years and I am scared that this is how she will die. The last time she fell she fell face first and split open her cheek – completely open. Her eye was blackened and she was bruised and cut up pretty bad all over. The skin was off her knees and I was concerned about fractures. She had so much swelling for such a long time.

      If I fall and I have (tripping over something or taking an awkward step resulting in sprained ankles), I can kind of catch myself or brace myself to prevent it or stop it from being so bad. I may injure my ankle or foot, but not my whole body (arms, shoulders, torso etc) – even though I hit the floor or ground.

      But them not having any kind of balance they can’t resteady themselves to prevent it and with the lack of strength they just free fall hard whichever way they are falling and get injured all over – including when my mother went face first – and she fell in a parking lot on asphalt.

      Then getting up is hard because they have no leg/thigh strength (or all their weight is in their stomachs) to hoist their bodies up from the ground/floor. I have had to coach people and help them to roll over, get on their hands and knees and kind of crawl to something so they can grab onto it to steady themselves and then I can help them get up. Its a process.

  8. Vanessa F. says:

    Morning Khadija and ladies (much too infrequent poster here!)

    Seeing the way that the economy is going, last year I decided to prepare myself for the future by getting my financial house in order and investigating additional income streams (which will hopefully be executed in early 2011). One matter that I took care of after much research this summer was to purchase long-term care insurance (along with life insurance that has excellent locked in rates) just in case I become temporarily disabled due accident on or off the job or illness of any sort. Due to my healthy habits/overall good health, I was able to get the lowest rate the company offered. The agent was shocked that I was able to obtain the best rate. I was a little perturbed by him being shocked but I got over it.

    It was interesting that many in my peer group were taken aback that I was already preparing being in my late 20’s and all. I had to tell a few of them, we will look up and will be 60 years old soon enough. I do not want to be in a position of robbing Peter to pay Paul or begging family members/kids to take care of me in my golden years.

    As for people who want to keep their heads in the sand about the reality of this cold cruel world, all I can do is say a little prayer for them and keep it moving.

    -Vanessa F.

    • Muse says:

      I encourage every woman to get Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, and Long Term Care. Get these policies while you are young and/or healthy because you can lock in those low rates. Even if you are healthy, accidents do happen and you don’t want to depend on the government for your income or start draining your savings. I also recommend having a year’s worth of bills/mortgage/rent in savings. Last but not least, GET OUT OF DEBT! Debt is equivalent to slavery. When you are in debt your options are limited. There is no such thing as good debt. That’s a lie from the pit of hell.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        Muse thanks for the tips. I am taking notes and looking into this. I have life insurance, but not this.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      This is really smart and excellent news.

  9. Tertiaryanna,

    You’re welcome! You said, “But BW should not think that a non-fulfilling physical or psychological state is set in stone. People CAN make changes in their lives.”

    ITA!
    _________________________________________

    VanessaF.,

    Good Morning! You said, “As for people who want to keep their heads in the sand about the reality of this cold cruel world, all I can do is say a little prayer for them and keep it moving.”

    Me too. {shaking my head}

    Expect Success!

  10. Valerie M says:

    As I mentioned in my response to Robyne, I was a chubby teenager growing up until one day I decided I wasn’t going to let myself get bigger. I completely overhauled the way I think about food and managed to lose 20 pounds – AND kept it off for the past 6 years. I don’t believe in “diets,” I believe in lifestyle changes.

    Some of the most important things I learned from this experience:

    1) It’s not necessarily what you eat or how many calories you eat – it’s HOW you eat. It’s not that what you eat or calories aren’t important. But I feel like people who focus too much on those miss the entire point. 100 calorie pack of Oreos is still 100 empty calories filled with junk. “Healthy” TV dinners is still – drumroll – let’s hear it, processed TV dinners. Branching off of that, it’s okay to eat junk food if you balance it out with healthier foods. If 75-80% of my diet is healthy, I’m good.

    2) This is not news but I am truly convinced that it is the chemicals in processed foods that is the main cause of obesity. It seems like the more “healthy” processed foods there are out there, the fatter the population gets. How did people avoid obesity before all these “necessary” diets??? Again, this is not news but the more you can control what ingredients goes into your food the better,

    3) Hunger is NOT an emergency. I recently read an article, I can’t find it now, that Americans are afraid of being hungry. But in reality, hunger is NOT an emergency. You don’t have to eat every time you feel a few gas bubbles pop in your stomach.

    4) PORTION CONTROL is of utmost importance. Portions in this country are seriously OUT OF CONTROL. When I eat correct portions, people tell me I “eat like a bird” and “that’s why I’m too skinny, I need to eat some more.” It’s no wonder why so many people are obese. I no longer pay attention. After 6 years of doing this, I can now tell what is 1 serving of meat, yogurt or anything. I can tell, just from sight, what is 1 cup, 1 ounce, whatever. You name it. I don’t pay attention to what other people tell me the correct portion is. Two more things: (1) Eat from a smaller plate to remove the temptation that you’re not eating enough and (2) you don’t have to eat everything on the plate if it is a big plate – you can split it into two meals. This is what I do at the rare occasions I eat at restaurants.

    5) Drinks of all kinds are evil culprits. An 8oz glass of “healthy” fruit juice can contain as much as 8 teaspoons of sugar! If you don’t know, your body converts extra sugar into fat as a way to store energy. All of those sugary drinks like lemonade, sodas, etc can have the same amount of calories as a small meal, BY ITSELF. Yet I routinely see people down 12 oz cups during meals, and then go back for refills.

    6) Exercise helps you lose weight until you hit a certain point. If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, it helps. Otherwise, exercise only helps you maintain it. Eating healthier is far more important than exercise for losing and maintaining weight. All the exercise in the world will not fix a crappy diet and its consequences in the long run. I am not saying exercise is bad, but people often sabotage it. I see a lot of people “treat” themselves to a Big Mac after a workout because they “deserve it.”

    I could go on and on about this but I’ll cut it short here.

  11. KM says:

    I’ve been reading the post and the replies to this post and I must say, ladies, you’ve definitely given me hope for BW and their health.

    I used to be 300 lbs back in 2007. I’m 225 right now and still losing (after getting down to 205, gaining 35, losing 15 more). I’m in my mid-twenties. I can tell there has been a huge difference in my health. This is not proven but I believe that every extra 10 lbs that you have is a year lost on your life. It’s a year lost due to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, lung disease, etc.

    And lets keep it real in this case, BW spend lots of money on getting our hair done, nails done, clothes, etc. to say that we look good despite the obesity. Losing weight makes your face look better, your features better, skin clearer, figure better. Also, all these BM say they want a thick woman but when BM marry/are serious about a BW, the BW is in good physical shape so that doesn’t even work either.

    I know how I was treated when I wore a size 20, size 18, size 16, size 14, size 12. You are treated better in general by society the smaller you are. Simple truth.

    Khadija, you keep talking about living a flawless life and becoming flawless, I’ve noticed the more I focus on me, my health, the more flawless I’ve become mentally and physically and emotionally. People are scared of what the future brings if they change themselves in anyway. Thank you for consistently speaking the truth.

  12. MsMellody says:

    I am overjoyed that you have decided to write about this obesity issue Khadija!!

    Thank you thank you thank you for looking this issue square in the eye and calling this out.

    It is true that BW suffer and seem to shockingly think that this is just their lot in life. A stark stark contrast to our White counterparts- they ask for help/assistance/coaching etc.
    If there is one thing to take away from this post it is squarely SELF RESPONSIBILITY.

    Life style changes, portion control, mental therapy if necessary.

    Take a good hard look at yourself and get involved in YOUR LIFE. Find one of the many resources out there that will work for you – and yes you don’t know what will work UNTIL YOU TRY IT.

    You may be a woman that needs circuit training, aerobics, ipod with headphone and a new pair of Asics and head to the park and walk the track for 30 minutes EVERYDAY rain or shine..you may be a woman who needs to go the YMCA or you may be the type of woman like me who accessed http://www.collagevideo.com and found a series of workouts called The Firm and lost 67 pounds in the privacy of her unfinished basement because she started to suffer from those “blurry” vision spells and couldnt get out of her car one day after working the nite shift at her job.

    You may be another woman who needs a personal coach and you dont want to pay for it..but remember what another commenter said above– you pay now or you pay later with the costs of prescription medications you will need to take for the rest of your life, insulin shots, feets turning black, threats of taking the foot off, ER visits, walking canes…all because you didnt go get a pair of Asics from DSW get a ipod with headphones put on a pair of leggings and that oversized t-shirt from that church picnic from ’87 and head to the park to walk the track!!!

    Just a few suggestions. Simple just take care of yourself, eat less move more, lift some weights, check out that collage video site – what made the difference for me was getting that catalogue in hand and reading the reviews of their 10,000 aerobic/walking etc excercise videos.

    Yes, I felt I was so fat that I didnt want anybody looking at me in a gym somewhere – However I had reached that sick and tired point and I really KNOW that God put that video catalogue in my hands and saved my life!!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Congrats on your loss Ms Mellody!

    • MsMellody,

      You’re welcome; and keep up the great work! {deep martial arts bow in salute}

      You said, “It is true that BW suffer and seem to shockingly think that this is just their lot in life. A stark stark contrast to our White counterparts- they ask for help/assistance/coaching etc.
      If there is one thing to take away from this post it is squarely SELF RESPONSIBILITY.”

      It’s this overall resignation to diminished life that I hope to chip away at. I don’t get it. If things aren’t working, you keep going until you find something that does work for you. Even if it takes years, you keep going in life. It’s not easy, and it’s definitely not always fun, but you keep going. So, I can’t understand this “I’ll just sit in place and die” thing. Even a roach will scurry to try to preserve its little life. I think what angers me the most about all of this are the dishonest slogans that edumacated people—who really should know better—have come up with to cheerlead this DEATH-style: “fat acceptance” and all the rest of that bs.

      Expect Success!

  13. joyousnerd says:

    So many great points here. Huge congrats to all the readers who have lost weight!!!

    I also lost a significant amount of weight but the sad part is I can’t tell you how much I lost. Why? When I went to the doctor I closed my eyes on the scale and ordered the nurse NOT to say the number! I didn’t even own a scale at home; still don’t. Talk about delusion SMDH.

    So I don’t know where I started off, but I DO know that now I feel much better. Next time I go to the doctor and every time from here on out, I will be getting that number, trust and believe.

    Now that I have gone from a 3x to a size Small (huge grin) the following positive changes have occurred:

    – I can look at myself in the buff without crying, or feeling queasy.

    – I can find clothes to fit me in ANY store.

    – I can walk around without pain.

    – My hands and feet don’t tingle/fall asleep all the time like they used to.

    – I can not only walk up the stairs but I can RUN up them! And now I refuse to walk up them, I always run every time with a huge looney smile on my face!

    – I can swing my 3 year old boy around like he only weighs an ounce, and when he wants to play longer I can keep going, not tell him I need to rest.

    – I feel pretty. Can’t put a price on that. I know now that if it came to it, I could get another man in 2.2 seconds, because I’m the same great catch I was before as far as personality and character, AND I have a toned curvy body.

    – I used to feel exhausted 24/7. I woke up feeling exhausted. I never had any energy. Now I have energy to spare. I can do my 5 mile powerwalk and not even feel tired after. I don’t start to sweat until mile 3!

    – My self-respect has made a comeback. I feel better about myself and I’m generally happier. People aren’t as dismissive of me as before, too.

    – Depression has lifted. I felt like poop before not because I had a chemical imbalance in my brain that I needed antidepressants for, but because my body was unhealthy, starved of nutrients and deprived of sunlight! Now I eat healthier, I move, I get fresh air and I feel happy, no side effects or copay required.

    – As I mentioned in the previous post, my marriage has improved.

    Oshun/Aphrodite’s post made me laugh too, not at the suffering of her relatives but at her skillful use of language. But Khadija’s point is well taken; this is serious pain, suffering and death of black people… it’s far from funny.

    @Valerie: Your comment about fear of hunger was very sound. Many BW have experienced feast and famine patterns in childhood. This was my experience. Before my mom remarried, we were dead broke. The week before my mom got paid we were eating very little, but once she got paid the fridge was full. That cycle of gorging during times of plenty left me in a state where I did panic at the feeling of hunger, because I did often go hungry during lean times. I’m not making excuses here, just saying I had to overcome this.

    My solution is to immediately have a bowl of frozen or canned (I know, I know) veggies with light salad dressing on it when my stomach growls. Instead of feeling panic over trying to decide what to eat, I have my solution pre-planned.

    After I eat this little snack, I can take a little time to prepare a healthy balanced meal. I’ve even had to say out loud to myself “There is plenty of food here, I’m not going to starve” to stop the anxiety hunger brings.

    • JoyousNerd,

      You said, “My solution is to immediately have a bowl of frozen or canned (I know, I know) veggies with light salad dressing on it when my stomach growls.”

      Not to worry. The same way I WON’T tolerate Natural Hair Wars here, I also won’t tolerate The Church of Organic Food Orthodoxy here. I’m not having any of that type of pressure up in here. I simply want more AA women to be healthy, happy and wealthy! And whatever legal means work for individual BW to achieve this are just fine with me.

      Expect Success!

  14. Hi everyone!

    I have advice for all the moms and future moms out there. YOU be the one to get onto your kids from an early age about their weight! My mom has never been shy about telling me when she thought I was getting a little too big and I believe that has helped me stay relatively slim/medium my whole life. And of course how you say it is very important. Even when I was annoyed by it,I have never felt belittled or judged by my mother’s statements; just that she genuinely cared about me and my health. I also have to say seeing my mom actively work on her own weight problem showed me that she was serious about her worries concerning me. I believe that the parent-offspring relationship might be the only one that can overcome the “you’re just hating on me” accusations, especially if you start from an early age.

    I also have to say my mom has overcome some cultural conditioning of her own to be able to tell me this. Growing up she was a bit chubby and her sister was the skinny one and my grandma adored the way my mom looked and was always trying to get her sister to eat more.

    I have recently begun working out and I have already gained 2 fringe benefits.
    1. Unexpected increase in discipline. (Due to my schedule I have to get up at 7am to workout)
    2. Much less crampy periods!

    I was expecting the discipline but not the cramp relief. Just experiencing such a dramatic change in that area after only working out for less than 2 weeks, was a big reminder to me how many issues we think we just have to live with it that can be improved (often unexpectedly) by making better lifestyle choices.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Thank you for sharing this! I wish someone had gently said something to me when I was a kid.

  15. mochachoc says:

    I found Oshun/Aphrodite’s story shocking. I am however glad she spoke the truth.

    Unfortunately, I think those who need to take heed may not be moved into action. Many BW will shake their head’s but quietly dismiss this story as something which has nothing to do with them. “I ain’t heavy like that, I don’t have high blood pressure, that is not me” they reason. Meanwhile, they are carrying extra weight they need to shift. They cannot imagine in a few years that could be them.

    There is a human tendency to compare ourselves to people who most resemble ourselves. Consequently, some overweight/obese BW will look at other BW to measure how well they are doing. The danger with this is obesity is at an all time high among BW so the individual gets a false assessment of how well she is doing. Coupled with all the fat acceptance rhetoric and the downright aversion to being slim (we tend not to say people are slim; we say: they need to find food, they are anorexic, she is a ‘bagabones’ and so on) BW find reasons to justify their obesity or think they are doing fine.

    What we don’t do is compare ourselves to WW or AW because that would cause too much anxiety. Nor even to BW of much earlier times. We dismiss them as examples of what optimum weight looks like because, well, they’re not us, right? If we did, we would get a better picture of how fat some of us really are.

    Many BW suffer from a lack of intimacy and soothing. And as we know, many have experienced all kinds of trauma and stress. One unfortunate outcome is that we look for intimacy and soothing in the wrong places. So that creamy chocolate cake is no longer just a cake; rather it becomes: a substitute/compensation/reward. We tell ourselves: ‘I deserve it, I’ve worked hard, I’ve suffered, damn it I’ve earned it’. What a poor substitute for emotional and physical needs. Sometimes we simply over emphasise the importance of food. Recently a BW blogger was letting the world know she had gained an enormous amount of weight since moving abroad. One commentator suggested giving up cake and reducing her bread intake. Her reply was life would not be worth living without cake and bread (I paraphrase).

    This waiting to be rescued, magical thinking mentality is insidiuous. When we imagine some external entity will come riding on the waves to pick us up out of our misery, we effectively give up what personal power we have. For me; exercising personal responsibility is a political act. I free myself (as far as possible. I’m not deluded I know there are limits) from the pressures of external forces when I put me at the centre of control. For example; rather than demand fast food outlets reduce the fat content of their food I choose to eat elsewhere or cook.

    I used to spend a lot of time getting mad at ‘the system’. I waited and hoped for the day ‘the system’ would be overthrown and fairness would ensue. “They owe us; they should do right by us”, I wailed. Magical thinking. Delusion. No one cares.

    Let’s not wait around hoping someone/thing is going to turn up to make it all better. They/it usually does not.

    • Mochachoc,

      You said, “Many BW suffer from a lack of intimacy and soothing. And as we know, many have experienced all kinds of trauma and stress. One unfortunate outcome is that we look for intimacy and soothing in the wrong places. So that creamy chocolate cake is no longer just a cake; rather it becomes: a substitute/compensation/reward. We tell ourselves: ‘I deserve it, I’ve worked hard, I’ve suffered, damn it I’ve earned it’. What a poor substitute for emotional and physical needs.”

      Indeed. Pain is a signal that something is wrong and something needs to be done to address whatever’s wrong. And instead of doing that, so many BW have found a deadly state of false equilibrium by self-medicating to cope with pain. In many cases, self-medicating with food.

      [There are some other medications that BW are patted on the head for, such as excessive church/mosque/political activist meeting attendance…but I digress.]

      You said, “This waiting to be rescued, magical thinking mentality is insidiuous. When we imagine some external entity will come riding on the waves to pick us up out of our misery, we effectively give up what personal power we have. For me; exercising personal responsibility is a political act. I free myself (as far as possible. I’m not deluded I know there are limits) from the pressures of external forces when I put me at the centre of control. For example; rather than demand fast food outlets reduce the fat content of their food I choose to eat elsewhere or cook.”

      {loud applause} Hear, hear!

      You said, “Let’s not wait around hoping someone/thing is going to turn up to make it all better. They/it usually does not.”

      ITA.

      Expect Success!

    • KM says:

      ITA with your post!

      We have the power.. but too many of us don’t use it to help ourselves.

  16. Muse says:

    ::HIGH FIVE TO KHADIJA::

    Thank you so much for posting this message. Please write another book. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one you published. Get a talk or radio show too…please? So many of us appreciate your candor in these essays. There is nothing harsh about telling the truth in love with the goal of edifying your fellow man. Black women need to realize that we hit the genetic goldmine when it comes to aging. If we take good care of ourselves we could look 30 years younger than our chronological age. Black women look amazing without trying! My mother who is almost 60 passes for my sister on a bad day. Heck she makes me want to step my game up because she gets hit on when we go out. She’s very feminine while I’m a more laid back jeans and tank top type of person. In fact every black woman I know who takes good care of herself physically, mentally, and spiritually looks amazing. They have smooth skin, fit bodies, nice cloths, and they have such a happy disposition. You can tell these women pamper themselves and don’t hang around toxic people. Toxic people and environments will age you just as fast as drugs.

    Someone mentioned in an earlier post that it is easy to get complacent when you are only gaining weight slowly but those 5lbs could easily turn into 60lbs if you aren’t careful. Now that I’m in my late twenties I noticed that I can’t slack off or eat the crap I got away with in college. Working out and eating healthy has to be a lifestyle. I feel sluggish when I don’t work out. I remember a few days go I made the mistake and ate some taco bell because I was in a rush and didn’t have time to cook. Man I felt sick after half an hour. My body is use to organic and healthy foods so it went into shock when I put that poison into my body. I did a detox the day after because I felt so sick. Then I wondered how the heck do people eat junk like that every day and not expect to die?

    I will also attest that overweight people are discriminated against in the work force. Every year at my company I’ve been promoted to a higher position. I’m there for kicks until I complete my transition out of corporate America which is scheduled to take place June of 2011. I’m so excited! But I digress. Anyway, there is an equally talented biracial Latina coworker of mine who was hired at the same time and her career is stagnant. She has not been promoted to the Senior Analyst position or Director which she completely deserves based on her work. She can’t exactly leave because the job market is crap in LA. I truly believe that she is discriminated against because of her obesity. This woman who is sweet and bright is 5’4 and weights close to 300lbs. BTW she is only 27. She sweats a lot in meetings and you can hear her huffing and puffing when we walk down the hall. I actually overheard our VP one time refer to her as oinksters (a pig). They work her like a horse too. She takes on other people’s projects because she wants to be accepted so badly and compensate for her weight issues. People know not to put off extra work on me unless they want me to take full credit. (Sounds bad but there is a method to my madness) I refuse to work like a horse without getting the proper recognition. She allows others to take credit for her work! She says its humility and that she’s team player. I asked her well despite my lack of humility I’ve been promoted four times in four years while you are pretty much at the same level. She knows that her weight is impacting not only her career but her appearance as well. She often has sweat stains in her armpits and the small of her back. She also looks disheveled and unorganized.

    What bothers me is that instead of ordering healthy food such as vegetables and lean meat when we go out to eat, she gets the most fattening foods on the menu. She eats steaks, potatoes with gravy, pasta dishes with heavy cream, and other fattening foods. The portions are large at the places we eat. If I order I usually split my food with someone else and have left over for the next day. She finishes off the large portions and orders desert. She admitted one time that the heavy foods rich in sodium sedate her and she feels happy afterwards. It’s like a natural high for her. She gets comfort from eating and feeling stuffed. Her statement was profound because she knows this is an issue but isn’t doing anything to stop it. I offered be her work out buddy since we live so close to each other but she declined. I feel bad for her because she could go so far if she didn’t have the excessive weight. What’s even more insane is that you can tell she would be a real looker if she dropped 150lbs.

    My coworker also has guys using her because they know she doesn’t value herself. We went to happy hour and bonded over our mutual hatred of an audit project with SEC we just completed and there she revealed a lot about her dating life which saddened me even more. Despite this young woman being overweight, she has a lot going for her. She went to a top university, has (or had) great career prospects, smart, and full of promise but her weight is holding her back. This woman currently dates a DBR black male who essentially lives with her. He is unemployed and has two kids who don’t take care of. I have to admit that he is extremely attractive and I believe she is shocked that someone so aesthetically appealing would pay attention to her. I actually told her she should be careful because he doesn’t seem like he had much going for him besides looks. I met him and knew he was a predator as soon as he opened his mouth. He even tried to flirt with me low key. When I revealed this to her, she accused me of ::DRUM ROLL::: being jealous. I gave her the Kanye West shrug and said I was going to be honest about my observations. Her man is trying to be a “model” and an actor but doesn’t go on auditions or anything. He sits at home playing video games and has the nerve to expect her to cook when she gets in from work! Mind you this fool is 30 something years old. He appears on party flyers and has a side hustle at some club. He had another female up in her house when she worked a 13 hour day and she believed his lame excuse that she was his acting partner. Her life is the mess nightmares are made of. I believe if she lost weight and rebuild her self esteem, she would see this no good loser she calls a man for what he is and kick him to the curve. I believe she would get more respect at work and actually run things as she should be doing. Recently my coworker said she feels her heart speeding up at night. That sent chills down my spine and I told her I hope you are going ot the doctor for that because your heart should not be racing at night! Being overweight isn’t just dangerous to your health but other aspects of your life. People see your pain when you are obese and will take advantage of.

    • Muse,

      Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

      You said, “What bothers me is that instead of ordering healthy food such as vegetables and lean meat when we go out to eat, she gets the most fattening foods on the menu. She eats steaks, potatoes with gravy, pasta dishes with heavy cream, and other fattening foods. The portions are large at the places we eat. If I order I usually split my food with someone else and have left over for the next day. She finishes off the large portions and orders desert. She admitted one time that the heavy foods rich in sodium sedate her and she feels happy afterwards. It’s like a natural high for her. She gets comfort from eating and feeling stuffed. Her statement was profound because she knows this is an issue but isn’t doing anything to stop it. I offered be her work out buddy since we live so close to each other but she declined. I feel bad for her because she could go so far if she didn’t have the excessive weight. What’s even more insane is that you can tell she would be a real looker if she dropped 150lbs.”

      The tricky part about trying to be helpful in that sort of situation is that you don’t want to look like you’re trying to snatch away the only little bit of joy in her life. Which is how “Food Police” comments and behaviors (scolding people about their food choices, showing silent disapproval of their food choices, etc.) are often perceived. Offers to be a workout buddy are more likely to be received in the spirit in which they were offered (as opposed to being seen as joy-stealing attempts).

      You said, “Being overweight isn’t just dangerous to your health but other aspects of your life. People see your pain when you are obese and will take advantage of.”

      This is disgusting but true.

      Expect Success!

    • tertiaryanna says:

      Black women need to realize that we hit the genetic goldmine when it comes to aging…. In fact every black woman I know who takes good care of herself physically, mentally, and spiritually looks amazing.

      This is such a good point. Sometimes I wonder if the frequent media portrayal of BW as unhappy, unwholesome, unattractive women is why it’s so easy to forget what you’ve said here.

    • MsMellody says:

      Muse-

      I apologize in advance for this comment but – Is this a Tyler Perry movie script?

      I mean really. I hope that you have one final conversation with this young lady and simply tell her that she has the choice in how she lives her life. Tell her that she should look into finding resources to address her food addiction.

      Then pray for her, and encourage her to GET INVOLVED with HER LIFE. Give her that collage video catalogue I mentioned earlier and tell her get about the business of livin’!

  17. joyousnerd says:

    Wow, Muse… that made me sad for your co-worker. The part about the heart racing is familiar to me, and I too used to sit and sweat for no reason too. I hope she’s using condoms with that DBR.

    You know, about 75% of the reason I’m applying for dual citizenship is because they have universal healthcare. I found out a few years ago that my father (DBRBM scum) died of MS. I’m trying to prevent myself from developing it by drinking green tea and wheat grass juice, taking vitamin supplements esp Vitamin D, and growing organic veggies to eat. I’m really hoping I never become disabled but if I do, I want to have that citizenship in my pocket. The US is NOT the place to be disabled.

    I have heard that long term care insurance can be very difficult to collect; the companies want to make you fight for every.single.penny of that coverage. It certainly beats waiting on medicare which probably won’t even exist by then.

    Any young women lurking here should consider when choosing a mate that a European man can offer you security that no American can… the security of EU citizenship!

    • Muse says:

      Actually Joy, most LTD/LTC policies are paid. The individual applying needs to be organized and know exactly why they are unable to work. Most people get denied benefits because they don’t bother reading their policy.

      • tertiaryanna says:

        “Most people get denied benefits because they don’t bother reading their policy.

        Muse, I respectfully disagree.

        A friend of mine had very good insurance, and it was a constant struggle. This is because there is still paperwork that needs to be done during the illness. When you are sick, really sick, you don’t have the time or energy to make sure all these duties are done. So you may be entitled to (a certain level of coverage) and still have to fight to make sure you get it before the bills are due.

        Also, there are often billing discrepancies from the hospital. I can attest that a recent routine visit I had that should have been covered by my insurance took about 8 months to resolve, because of a billing error on the hospital side. It took multiple phone calls to the insurer and provider to get that straightened out, and it could have damaged my credit had it taken longer. I go to a very good hospital.

        Because my visit was a short-term thing, it was easy to figure out what had happened, but it was a huge inconvenience. If it had been a major illness, with multiple doctors and areas of the hospital, it would have been a nightmare.

        We already know that many BW do not marry, and that can mean there’s not another adult in the home who is dedicated to make sure their partner’s health needs are covered. So during that illness, the patient truly may not be able to make sure she gets what she’s owed.

        What I am saying is that sometimes, entitlements are only as good as the ability to enforce them. When you are very ill, you’re not in the best position to fight for yourself.

        • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

          I am starting to view insurance as a necessary evil. I hear too many horror stories. And you made another good point about BW being alone and unable to self advocate oftentimes.

    • JoyousNerd,

      That’s a VERY important angle about dual citizenship that I hadn’t thought about before. Thanks for pointing that out!

      Expect Success!

    • Lynn says:

      Amen! That’s really deep. It never occurred to me to borrow a page from other foreign born women who become American citizens through marriage. Whay shouldn’t we BW reapt some of the same dual citizenship benefits. This is one of the reasons I love this blog. BW sharing insights, points of views across the globe for our mutual upliftment.

      Onward and Upward!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      “Recently a BW blogger was letting the world know she had gained an enormous amount of weight since moving abroad. One commentator suggested giving up cake and reducing her bread intake. Her reply was life would not be worth living without cake and bread (I paraphrase).”

      I would think that this would be really hard – being obese in Europe since the impression I get is that so few people are. And I crave carbs and sugar, but you can have substitutes that can take the edge off the craving.

      • MsMellody says:

        I know exactly who you are referring to and I truly hope that she regains her joy of life and loses that weight.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      “Any young women lurking here should consider when choosing a mate that a European man can offer you security that no American can… the security of EU citizenship!”

      I am cosigning on this! I had been mulling this over. American men are wonderful of course, but it seems like there are a few European countries that are more stable economically as well and are doing well despite the global recession.

    • Karen says:

      Please be aware that there are two angles to this. A person can apply for citizenship through marriage however, the host country’s laws apply – NOT the EU laws. If you obtain citizenship and then move to another EU country, the EU laws take precedence (in most cases).

      An example:

      If you are married to someone from France and both of you live in Germany. Then whether you have French citizenship or not, the key point is HOW LONG you have been married (to avoid “sham” marriages), it has to be at least a number of years. Then, you are recognized to have many of the same EU rights as your spouse. The right to work is a key one. Due to EU law, your French spouse can work in Germany and by default you can too. If however your spouse was German, then you would have to follow their guidelines in Germany and there is no guarantee that you would qualify to work right away…

      It is important when such a time comes, to evaluate all the aspects and ramifications. It is not always necessary to have dual citizenship to have recognition of rights. Also, if you have lived in many countries 7-10 years there, then application for citizenship can be done independent of marital status. HOWEVER, as with most things, there is a catch. Not every country recognizes dual citizenship and many countries requires that one’s prior citizenship be forfeitted.

  18. Faith says:

    I appreciate the ways you challenge our thought processes. I often find myself contemplating what I value while weighing a potential shift as it may benefit me. These conversations are ultimately useful even as they pose varying degrees of discomfort for some of us. Jillian Michaels was on a daytime talk show today and for some reason I think she looks better in workout gear than regular clothes. It was interesting to see the hosts try to do the simple routine she was showing even though they’re thin because they’re not in nearly as good a shape as she is. So getting fit is necessary across the board for all women. She also discussed her plans to adopt two children: one from a country in Africa and one in the US. It was her discussion about the intensive process for qualification that I found interesting as yet again, any woman who can get pregnant can have a child without knowing the tools of parenting. The adaptation of a new mindset is difficult especially if others around you are not willing to consider making any changes. They’re going to see it as a threat to their complacency so we have to be careful lest we isolate ourselves (which may be good initially but not sustainable for the long haul). I’m making some personal changes which I will likely discuss in another month or so. I want to be able to assess how far I’ve gone into these latests changes and navigated through the end of the year transition as I’ve “wanted” to make changes before but they were circumstantial. Something has definitely shifted as things that would tempt and distract don’t hold their usual sway. Relief!

    • Faith,

      Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

      I was shocked and challenged by some of the statements I’ve read in Mr. Siebold’s books. And I’ve tightened up some of my own thoughts after mulling over his points. It’s an ongoing process. I’m thankful for whatever insights come my way—I had never heard of him until after I stumbled onto some blogs that were very critical of him, like the one I linked to in an earlier comment.

      Expect Success!

  19. sisterlocgirl says:

    Khadijah, this entire series is dead on. My husband always knows when i’m reading your blog because i’m talking to the screen LOL! I happen to be a kidney doctor ( nephrologist ) by profession and this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I am an advanced home exerciser, and I routinely prescribe exercise to my patients. I am a walking billboard for exercise. I walk it like I talk it. In case anyone may be confused, FAT IS KILLING YOU! We used to think fat was inactive and merely unattractive. What we have found now is that not only is abdominal fat metabolically active, it is active in a very NEGATIVE, unhealthy way. You can stick your had in the sand if you choose, but when the heart attack, stroke, diabetes, amputations, dialysis, colon breast or lung cancers and other real life consequences of your refusal to take personal responsibility strike let me tell you what you have to look forward to in the American Healthcare system. Most urban hospitals are staffed with primarily foreign medical graduates whose only impression of AA folks is obtained from the news, TP movies, hip hop videos and the idiots of our community who come to the hospital midday dressed in pajamas and slippers( yes, Sponge-Bob and Dora on GROWN FOLKS ) barely able to speak english and acting as if the staff is responsible for you choosing your hair weave, acrylic nails, gold teeth/rings, and the latest Baby Phat outfit over your medications. Long story short ( its been an irritating week at the hospital dealing with the laziness/sloth/ idiocy/apathy/stupidity of the current trainees )these people don’t give a rat’s ass if you are healthy or not. You are merely an interruption in their day of pretending to be a cast member of House or Grey’s Anatomy. My motto? DON’T GET SICK! These new trainees have never met common sense and critical thinking may as well be Vulcan. Most people around 40 years old or older who work in healthcare will probably tell you the same thing. Your best bet is to make the effort to get off your butt, buy some exercise dvds, and stop eating fast food. Even in the hood you can find frozen vegetables, canned beans, leaner cuts of meat and healthier ways to cook. Most black folks have cable, and the Food Network has tons of cooking shows that are free. What does exercise do for you? It decreases your risks for diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, strengthens your immune system, improves depression, improves your sleep, increases your orgasmic potential, and adds years to your life. Oh, and if you are healthier you actually may be able to get yourself out of a life threatening situation. I absolutely loved Pamela Peeke’s show Fit to Live. It takes out of shape people and puts them in real life disaster situations. Can you run up 3 flight of stairs? Can you pull your own body weight up over a barrier? Can you crawl 50 feet on your hands and knees? Would you make it down the staircase of a highrise building if you had to evacuate quickly? Can you run from a rampaging gunman? Can you climb out of a burning house? Could you help a child get out of a burning house? Fitness is about a heck of a lot more than being a size______. Being in shape may save your life one day. Food for thought.

    • Sisterlocgirl,

      Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

      You said, “I happen to be a kidney doctor (nephrologist ) by profession and this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I am an advanced home exerciser, and I routinely prescribe exercise to my patients. I am a walking billboard for exercise. I walk it like I talk it. In case anyone may be confused, FAT IS KILLING YOU! We used to think fat was inactive and merely unattractive. What we have found now is that not only is abdominal fat metabolically active, it is active in a very NEGATIVE, unhealthy way.”

      Given how scientists (including doctors) tend to speak in understatement when it comes to official science stuff, those phrases you used to describe fat…“metabolically active”“active in a very NEGATIVE, unhealthy way”…are spine-chilling.

      You said, “You can stick your had in the sand if you choose, but when the heart attack, stroke, diabetes, amputations, dialysis, colon breast or lung cancers and other real life consequences of your refusal to take personal responsibility strike let me tell you what you have to look forward to in the American Healthcare system…”

      Is it just me?—I feel like there are suddenly dialysis centers all over the place. I don’t recall seeing a dialysis center practically in every neighborhood before now.

      You said, “Most urban hospitals are staffed with primarily foreign medical graduates whose only impression of AA folks is obtained from the news, TP movies, hip hop videos and the idiots of our community who come to the hospital midday dressed in pajamas and slippers( yes, Sponge-Bob and Dora on GROWN FOLKS ) barely able to speak english and acting as if the staff is responsible for you choosing your hair weave, acrylic nails, gold teeth/rings, and the latest Baby Phat outfit over your medications.”

      This reminds me of a mildly-retarded, 20-something AA woman client I had years ago while servicing the Black underclass. She was more interested in running the streets with her DBRBM boyfriend(s) than in showing up for all of her dialysis appointments. [!!!]

      She would also blow off dialysis appointments to hang out with her “friends.” Needless to say, hanging out also took priority over showing up for court appearances. I couldn’t tell if these missed dialysis appointments were the result of her being trifling or untreated mental illness or both.

      You said, “Long story short ( its been an irritating week at the hospital dealing with the laziness/sloth/ idiocy/apathy/stupidity of the current trainees )these people don’t give a rat’s ass if you are healthy or not. You are merely an interruption in their day of pretending to be a cast member of House or Grey’s Anatomy.”

      {mirthless chuckling}

      You said, “My motto? DON’T GET SICK!…Your best bet is to make the effort to get off your butt, buy some exercise dvds, and stop eating fast food…What does exercise do for you? It decreases your risks for diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, strengthens your immune system, improves depression, improves your sleep, increases your orgasmic potential, and adds years to your life. Oh, and if you are healthier you actually may be able to get yourself out of a life threatening situation.”

      {wild cheering and standing ovation}

      You said, “I absolutely loved Pamela Peeke’s show Fit to Live. It takes out of shape people and puts them in real life disaster situations.”

      I had never heard of that show; I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Expect Success!

      • Zoopath says:

        @Khadija: The resident who did the belly grabbing to that poor indigent woman was a Chinese FOB. Sisterloc girl speaks the truth. Poor urban medical centers/HBCU medical schools are being overrun by 2nd tier (as far as I’m concerned) foreign doctors. Many of them do care, but not enough of them do.

        @Sisterloc girl: I COULD NOT do your job, lord have mercy! 🙂 Although I did kind of splash myself in the face (like a tiny drop but I felt it) while I was grossing a colon last week, so that was kinda/very unpleasant. But at least the colon doesn’t talk back and give me excuses 🙂

        • sisterlocgirl says:

          One of the fastest growing sectors in healthcare is the dialysis sector. Khadijah, you are not hallucinating. Dialysis units are popping up like McDonald’s used to and the clinics are FULL. A disproportionate number of the dialysis population is represented by aa folks. Coporate healthcare is more than happy to collect millions of dollars from us. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you can do everything right & still need dialysis. Thank God we have the technology available. But I will do everything in my power to avoid it if I can. Exercise and eating healthier is a far better alternative to taking 20-30 pills a day just to keep things somewhat normalized. And taking 20 pills is better than 3 times a week dialysis sessions. I can’t tell you how many patients tell me they take too many pills and are later shocked when the stroke, amputation, heart attack etc inevitably occurs. Magical,noncritical thinking will be the downfall of a great number of aa people. I get lots of compliments on my physique, and when people ask me what I do I get these blank stares. “You actually sweat? ” ” I don’t have time to exercise 45 minutes a day! ” ” You actually lift weights? That’s too heavy for me “. I read your Power 90 entry and had to giggle. I’m a Firm girl myself,but I have my fair share of BeachBody programs. My dvd library contains a minimum 100 exercise titles, the majority being The Firm and various others (Turbo Jam, Yoga Booty Ballet, Shawn T, Leslie Sansone,Rodney Yee yoga, Minna Lessig, Jillian Mchaels I like variety! )generally purchased with my Healthsavings account because they are the foundation of my health and wellness program. I consider that all money well spent. Being healthy is way cheaper, finacially and physically.

          • Sisterlocgirl,

            You said, “One of the fastest growing sectors in healthcare is the dialysis sector. Khadijah, you are not hallucinating. Dialysis units are popping up like McDonald’s used to and the clinics are FULL. A disproportionate number of the dialysis population is represented by aa folks.”

            Oh…wow. {shudder}

            You said, “Coporate healthcare is more than happy to collect millions of dollars from us. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you can do everything right & still need dialysis. Thank God we have the technology available. But I will do everything in my power to avoid it if I can. Exercise and eating healthier is a far better alternative to taking 20-30 pills a day just to keep things somewhat normalized. And taking 20 pills is better than 3 times a week dialysis sessions. I can’t tell you how many patients tell me they take too many pills and are later shocked when the stroke, amputation, heart attack etc inevitably occurs.”

            Indeed. Praise God for the medical technology, but I’m NOT trying to be mixed up in anything like that. I didn’t know about the pill situation. As it is, I often have a problem swallowing pills (dating back to when I almost choked on a cough drop when I was small). I can’t imagine taking dozens of pills each day. {shudder}

            You said, “I read your Power 90 entry and had to giggle. I’m a Firm girl myself,but I have my fair share of BeachBody programs. My dvd library contains a minimum 100 exercise titles, the majority being The Firm and various others..”

            Yeah, I have to rotate whatever I’m doing. I’ll go through phases where I’m sick of “official” workouts, and just take walks or jump on my rebounder. Right now, I’m coming off a period of being relatively inactive. [See ladies…you have to keep going. Even if you temporarily fall off the wagon, you dust yourself off and get back on.] I just started the Venus Index Workout. It’s a 12-week program with 3 workouts per week, so I don’t feel as annoyed and put out as I did with Power90/P90X.

            Note To Gentlemen Readers: It’s from the same gentlemen that did the Adonis Index Workout system for men. See HERE for more details.

            You said, “…generally purchased with my Healthsavings account because they are the foundation of my health and wellness program. I consider that all money well spent. Being healthy is way cheaper, finacially and physically.”

            Indeed. And it helps prevent having to choke down dozens of pills per day, and other extremely unpleasant experiences.

            Expect Success!

          • MsMellody says:

            Hurray Hurray..another Firm Girl!!

            I cant say it enough- learning that I have muscle and tone depth changed my absolute life. I left the food fog..I could think clearer..I got noticed wherever I went. And let me add this ladies – that is truly our greatest power having heads turns and approving nods and pleasant receptions from men. Thank you sisterlocgirl for your insightful comments!!

        • Zoopath,

          You said, “The resident who did the belly grabbing to that poor indigent woman was a Chinese FOB. Sisterloc girl speaks the truth. Poor urban medical centers/HBCU medical schools are being overrun by 2nd tier (as far as I’m concerned) foreign doctors. Many of them do care, but not enough of them do.”

          {shaking my head in dismay} Whoever that resident was, I would do everything I could to give them a very special experience to remember for a very long time.

          As in a complaint before the medical board, complaint to HMO network, complaint to police, complaint to federal immigration (ICE) about whatever type of permission they have to be here in the first place, and so on. If that’s how that individual treats American patients, then perhaps they shouldn’t have whatever special visa allows them to be here (to demean, degrade, and otherwise mishandle American patients).

          As far as I’m concerned, that resident needs to be on the next plane smokin’ back to Taipei (or wherever).

          There are sooo many people making their way in the world off the backs of AAs. Not that I blame them for doing so by taking up slots at HBCU medical schools and whatnot. It would be nice if more AAs would wake up and take advantage of everything that’s out there—just like these other folks do.

          Expect Success!

    • MsMellody says:

      OMG OMG and OMG Thank You THank You Thank You Sisterlocgirl for that indepth scientific and real world assessment of Khadija’s post.

      I thank you from the bottom of my heart..I mean I am in tears over here!! Because my mother worked at Roseland Hospital for over 30 years …and the horror stories she would tell me could peel the paint off of a wall!!

      Let me tell anyone who is reading this and NOT taking this getting your life/your body/your mentality together…this is the real deal people. What Sisterlocgirl has described is the inner politics of a workplace ( remember my fave saying “all politics is local” ) that means in ANY workplace there is a body politic at hand. Meaning the underlying apathy or involvement of the personnel will always come “shining” through in small quiet unspoken moments.

      I have heard my mother talk about what she heard first hand in terms of what the doctors and floor nurses would be saying about patients when the patients were out of ear shot. She told me how the doctor’s would talk about this person or that person –and yes the universal tale that your mother has told you all your life “make sure you leave the house in clean underwear” comes to mind. Because YES the docs would talk about how a person would be dressed/ their demeanor in terms of ability to speak coherent english etc., their “likelihood” of following up on their instructions, whether they had attentive family members etc.
      Yeah and you can stop your whining about ” docs and nurses are NOT SUPPOSED to do this and that..” but like Sisterloc girl has so eloquently pulled the screen back so to speak on what the thinking is among the medical personnel on any given day- you would be wise to tone up, keep those legs tight those arms strong those abdomens reduced of fat.

      On a second and last personal note I am going to Google search that program that Sisterlocgirl mentioned and as usual here is yet ANOTHER plug for work out system that I have enjoyed – “Lotte Burke Method” ..I found it at collage video but I see that they no longer carry it..but guess what the internet is at your finger tips – do some searching for it and order it..get a chair and put on some leggings and that t-shirt a pair of socks and get about the business of livin’.

  20. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Regarding my amusement. [Khadija speaking: Oshun/Aphrodite, it was clear (at least to me) from the context of your comments that you had compassion for the people involved in the tales. And that you weren’t in any way laughing at them or at their suffering. I wasn’t sure what was going on with other amused comments because there was no clarification given.]

    A lot of it is because it is uncomfortable and lot of the people relay these tub stories in odd ways. For example some of their 1st responses when they manage to get themselves out of their situations with or without help is to call me or my mother or someone else and immediately relay the story.

    For example, my aunt had some type of situation/emergency, I can’t remember, it was a minute ago, and she called my mother and I am thinking well what is she going to do? She lives 30-40 minutes away from you. This would the time where you need to call the ambulance 1st and then call your husband and son.

    Also I would not repeatedly allow this to keep happening – which it does. There would only be only 1 time that I would get stuck in a tub. If I even felt like I was getting to the point where I couldn’t get in and out of a tub I would go to a medical supply company, spend 30 dollars, and buy a shower/bathing chair and sit it in my tub.

    So after time 5,6,7,8, and 9 gets relayed I am amused.

    Its almost like there is some sense of perverse something or other going on – this is how tough I have it/what I am going through- angle going on. There are no plans to make changes (forget about health changes) get a bathing chair, look into shower rails – no consideration of what if my legs give out when I am getting in and I hit my head – they just want to relay the story.

    With the shoes. The same thing. I have a sense of wonderment. Its not like this stuff is hitting them out of the blue. They know it is difficult to walk w/o heels and nearly impossible to go up stairs in heels in the condition they are in. Its one thing to have a singular incident, but another for this to be your regular m.o. all day everyday. And on top of that other people often have to step in and brace you up so you don’t injure yourself (and I have helped brace more than a few).

    If things were that bad I would wear sensible shoes or if I am having medical issues go ahead and get the orthopedic shoes that give proper support. They forced my mother to wear two pair of these. They told her not to wear even think about regular shoes or even athletic shoes.

    These shoes are not pretty, but it just makes sense to do. If it is that critical I would wear some sensible shoes to wherever I was going and then change into the fashion shoes once I got there. But that never happens.

  21. Truth P. says:

    Apparently alot of people are very happy with the status quo.You know,the one with black women waaaayy at the bottom.Even many black women who are currently at the bottom b*tchin and moanin about it.They don’t want to do the work that it takes to come up.Our lives could be so much better if only we’d do the work.But too many black women hate the remedy so they stay at the bottom and b*tch and moan about how it just aint fair.

    [Feel free to omit the following if you deem necessary Khadija.I don’t mean to offend you or anyone else.If I have my apologies in advance. Khadija speaking: I’m not offended. 🙂]
    All this kinda reminds me of the bible Matthew chapter 19:16-22.
    When this guy asked Jesus how could he inherit eternal life.
    From KJV. http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Matthew/19/

    16-And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    17 – And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
    18 – He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
    19 – Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    20 – The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    21 – Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
    22 – But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”

    Black women claim to want deliverance from the hellish lives they live but don’t want to do what it takes to be delivered.

    What does it take for many black women to be delivered?
    Giving up the unhealthy thinking and the unhealthy lifestyles
    1.Eat healthy and lose weight
    2.Eschew the oow babymama hood
    3.Eschew man sharing,dbr men,and probably *most*AA men in general
    4.Retrain our minds to be pro self over pro black man and community
    5.Do all this while seeking professional help,for those that need it,for the mind.The mental barriers are the one’s that hinder our personal growth the most.

    I’m a work in progress with regards to weight myself.I will accomplish my goals.Right now i’m thankful that my self esteem is not so low that I allow myself to be in relationships with LV/NV men.That’ll NEVER happen.It’s really shocking to some women that I don’t deal with the dbrbm that approach me.They can’t believe that I have self esteem and that I don’t care about attention from dbrbm.Some consider me stuck up.WHATEVER!Some actually have convinced themselves to feel sorry for me and my singleness all the while they are being used and abused by their dbr baby daddies.WHATEVER!

    One thing I know for sure is no matter the low or mediocre quality of life an individual has they can always make things worse or better.I choose to make my situation better.No dbr will EVER be allowed into my life and I will NEVER have any oow children.Things can always be worse but i’m not gonna make it any.

    • Lorie says:

      Truth P, you saidd, “Some consider me stuck up.WHATEVER!”

      “Stuck up” is an insult, often reserved for women with healthy self-esteem, hurled by those who are unable to meet or understand basic standards of dignity. The fact that these women, who accept NV/LV males (not men) as partners, consider you stuck up makes me think you are on the right track…

      My younger brother calls me this and I suspect that he is on his way to becomeing NV or LV. I try when I can but I understand that it is not my responsibility to save him. In fact, my mother’s insistance on coddling him encourages his entitled behavior. He’s 19 now (but actually 13 judging by his actions). So, I know it won’t be long before I have to further distance myself from him… It is sad, as I do love him 🙁

      Anyway, Truth P, keep up the good work! I could use some of your resolve. If fact, as I type, I am fully dressed in workout gear. Off to the park for a 4milie jog. (It will be tough after several months of inconsistant exercise.) However, it is a beautiful morning and I can’t think of a better way to start the day! 🙂

    • Faith Dow says:

      Be “stuck up” in the same way SOME blacks claim we’re “talking and acting” white for wanting to be educated and have a minimum of standards.

    • MsMellody says:

      Go girl go!! Keep it movin’ and dont even worry about what all those people are saying. I heard the EXACT EXACT same thing.

      I actually had to laugh about some of those memories a few days ago after me and hubby got back from sunny Southwestern state and began our second home search. I even laugh about those comments as I often have to remark to myself about how absolutely great it feels to be so well cared for and pampered by this man.

      I laugh because I know that a lot if not ALL of these people who used to talk about me would give anything to trade places with this well cared for, pampered, LOVED respected married woman. Who’s husband puts God first in his life and has the ultimate respect for our marriage and his commitment to me. Puts my enjoyment/provision and care as a priority in EVERY sense of the word.

      And yes , I never had any OOW kids, graduated college, bought my own condo, then married. In that exact “boring” order!!! (LOL!)

  22. Truth P. says:

    I have heard so many things about how people who have let their weight and health “go”, can go into remision of alot of the diseases that has befallen them.I heard that diabetes,clogged arteries,heart disease,many cancers can be reversed with weight loss and healthy eating i.e diet rich with veggies fruits nuts and certain spices etc.
    I hope that some of the readers don’t think it’s too late and will still try to do something about their health and weight.

    It just seems sooooo much cheaper to be healthy.Since recessions and bad economies have always hit us first and harder than others,it seems we need to start being more frugal.We can start through focusing on prevention and reversal of poor diet related illnesses.

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      “I have heard so many things about how people who have let their weight and health “go”, can go into remision of alot of the diseases that has befallen them.I heard that diabetes,clogged arteries,heart disease,many cancers can be reversed with weight loss and healthy eating i.e diet rich with veggies fruits nuts and certain spices etc.”

      This is how I got my mom off insulin and got some of her other meds reduced. I keep encouraging her to go the extra mile though. I also had a neighbor to do this.

  23. Karen says:

    With every meal, one is making a choice to eat for better health or not. Just for info; I had picked up a few pounds after our vacation in the summer. As Khadija had shared info on the Paleo Diet (which I had been doing a modified version due to gluten intolerance without knowing it already), I decided on Sept. 1st to completely convert to the Paleo Diet. My original plan was to do two months and then decide. I was weighing – 133.5 lbs on Sept. 1st (I am 5’1″ tall). As of today I weigh – 122 lbs.

    My observations: I had already eliminated gluten-based products but the first two weeks were tough as my normal non-gluten bread products were rice and corn based. They were of course eliminated. After the two weeks, I no longer missed them. I have always eaten fruits, vegetables and the like, so no problem there.

    Healthwise, I have not had any serious issues, although high blood pressure and diabetes run in my family, I have neither. Interestingly, I do have slight arthritis in the joint of my big toe and although I do not need any medication, from time to time there would be inflammation and swelling. Since changing my eating habits, there as been no symptoms other than a slight ache, which is a big improvement from before.

    I have decided to make this a permanent change. In essence, the complete elimination of processed foods of any type has been for me a big success.

    Full disclosure, I have never had a serious weight problem but I made a decision long ago that the only person that is 100% responsibile for my health and well-being is ME. Preventative care is ALWAYS better and less costly than any cure (obviously ruling out any genetic based illnesses and the like).

    When I read these stories above, it really saddens me because it is self-induced. The only thing required to turn it around would be to take responsibility for causes, and take measures one step at a time to lose the weight.

  24. diva says:

    About two years ago, I went through a period of rapid weight gain. Everyday I felt winded, tired, gassy, constipated and every single joint ached. It was awful. I didn’t even think about whether or not I looked good, ie supermodel good. But I sure knew I felt crappy from dawn to dusk. And I was just slightly overweight; so I know these women who are overweight claiming they are happy with their size are lying. I like curves too; I have curves NOW. Before, I just had fat.
    I joined a gym. I go twice a week. I live overseas so I walk and ride a bicycle everywhere. I go swimming. I spend weekends going on trail hikes or picnics rather than walking around a shopping center spending money I should be investing in my future business.
    I quit making diet excuses. I avoid fast food. I threw out the deep fryer and I avoid snack food aisles. I never buy soft drinks. I learned to like herbal tea, tofu, and green salad.
    It grew up on old school southern pork and fry everything but I changed, so it can be done. Now that I lost weight and got into shape I am more sociable, confident, and my business plans are falling into place. Obesity is a physical, mental, and spiritual trap. Good karma to all those breaking out of it.

  25. T says:

    I have no delusions about fat. I have lost over 20 pounds, and I have no plans of gaining it back. That said, I believe that the fat acceptance folks fall into two camps: the self-deluded, fat-is-where-it’s-at, skinny-women-are-evil, my boyfriend/friends/family like me this way people and the complacent, undisciplined people who complain that they are always tired and sick, sick and tired. If these people were alone, all by themselves, without feedback from the television, the Internet, etc., they would say that they hate feeling this way, being fat all the time, but due to all that noise they entertain on a regular basis, they choose not to do anything about it. Instead, they stay where they are, doing what they do.

    I fell into the second camp of folks, but I got tired of being fat and hearing all the external noise, so I started doing something about my situation. Taking control of what I wanted to see and hear, what I wanted to look like and feel like. Let me tell you, it’s a great feeling to put on clothes, and they actually fit! It’s a great feeling to be able to walk without getting tired, breathe comfortably without sounding like you’re ready to pass out, and pass on seconds and dessert without feeling guilty or ashamed.

    Like many of you, I am on my way to feeling and looking good. After all, I have a milestone birthday coming up in about four months, and I want to look good for it!!

  26. Everybody,

    I’m going to leave the comments open to this post for the next couple of days. So, please continue talking among yourselves.

    However, because I feel that the hour is late with these particular issues, I’m also going to move on and publish Part 2 today. We all have to either keep it moving or get moving with these issues. ASAP.

    Expect Success!

  27. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Karen I co-sign on the processed foods.
    Congrats Diva and T.

  28. pioneervalleywoman says:

    I’m a bit late to the conversation, but the story of some diabetics just about floored me. Diabetes runs in my family, and I have never seen my relatives with the disease let themselves get to that, praise God!

    The most important thing for any diabetic, as has been said over and over again, is diet and exercise. See a diabetic nutrition, get items from the American Diabetic Association. Visit the healthy cooking and fitness aisle of the bookstore and see what is available. Go to the Y and talk to the fitness staff, and take a class.

    Important as well is the H1c level, and from what Oshun is saying, it sounds like her relatives are at the level which is beyond healthy for anyone, even for a diabetic.

    Diabetics should make sure the H1c level is below a 7.0. At levels above 7.0, that is when the risk of complications follow.

    Needless to say, knowing my family history, I’ve been a serious gym rat for years. When I was in my early 20s, a dance class or two a week could do it, but as I got older, I realized I wanted, no, needed, more–five days a week, and I have modified things over the years, but nowadays, after chatting to some nutritionists/dieticians and fitness professionals, I’m going on the route of not just cardio, but more weights I have added in Pilates–that stuff is no joke! It is about strengthening your core…I thought my abs were firm and in shape, after one session, I ached for a week!

    I like the natural high I get on exercising. I love feeling the power in my legs and arms as I exercise and lift weights. I love that when I exercise, I get the most amazing insights as my brain responds to the increased energy and works overtime, I can barely keep up. Don’t laugh, but at times I have had to run to find some scrap paper after about 1/2 hour on the elliptical machine, because all of sudden my head feels like “it is on fire” with ideas….

    Exercise is my drug, and when I don’t get my fix, ie., because other commitments prevent me from doing what I wand to do most, I am pissed!

  29. mekare williams says:

    Well I guess I will have to part ways with this movement because the constant talk about obesity and how it is not good to be fat has *never* helped me. This just doesnt work for me. You guys act like only certain AA women who are thin will be saved and I just dont buy that. So good luck to you guys. Glad I never bought your book.

    • mekare williams,

      THANK YOU for providing a “teachable moment.” Let me take it from the top:

      (1) You say that “the constant talk about obesity and how it is not good to be fat has *never* helped” you. Continue with that mindset and perhaps you’ll get to find out whether or not:

      high blood pressure,
      stroke and its complications,
      diabetes and its complications, and/or
      having a heart attack “helps” you.

      Good luck with that.

      (2) When it comes to other adults, I refuse to be more invested in an issue than the people who are directly affected by it. So, in your case, if you don’t value your health, I don’t care about your health either. It’s your party, you can unnecessarily die an early death if you want to. Your free and voluntary choice to set yourself up for unnecessary health problems does not trouble me. To the tune of the Isley Brothers: {“it’s your thang, do what you wanna do…”}

      (3) Please be advised that your increased risk of unnecessary, debilitating health issues ALSO won’t trouble your fellow taxpayers. In case you didn’t get the memo from the past few elections, roughly 50% of your fellow citizens don’t care if you have any health care at all. I guarantee they won’t want their tax dollars going to subsidize your future preventable medical issues.

      In the context of an ever-dwindling tax base, I’m not keen on having my tax dollars subsidize medical care for alcoholics who drank their way into permanent liver damage. Alcoholics did that to themselves, so they should take the lead in financing the repair work for their chosen self-damaging behavior.

      Many of your fellow taxpayers would put people like YOU in the same self-inflicted-disease category as the alcoholic who caused his own liver damage. They won’t want to financially support your future medical care in any way, shape, or form.

      In fact, if I were a gambler, I would bet that later on down the road…if or when some or all of the health horrors discussed during this conversation that you don’t want to hear…

      …start happening to you

      …there won’t be any extra money left over for programs to pay for self-inflicted sick folks—like the way you’re setting yourself up to be. And nobody except whoever is close to you will care. I won’t care either, because God respects free will and so do I. To the tune of the Isley Brothers: {“it’s your thang, do what you wanna do…”}

      You said, “Glad I never bought your book.”

      I’m also glad you never bought my book. Because I don’t want people like you to have it. Please don’t ever change your mind. Please be sure to NEVER buy the book in the future.

      Goodbye, good luck with your future health and survival, and God bless. {waving goodbye}

  30. Ladies,

    It’s time for me to close the comments section to this post. I feel that what’s being said in the Killing Ourselves Softly posts is OBVIOUS. These 2 posts were more about breaking through the “we’re going to cheerlead fat acceptance—even if it’s literally killing us” taboo than anything else.

    As Mr. Siebold notes in Die Fat Or Get Tough, people aren’t stupid. Folks know they’re digging their graves with their forks and spoons. The problem is that we’ve (AA women in particular) come up with all these comforting, tranquilizing mantras to silence the small, anxious inner voice that tells us, “What I’m doing to my body is not okay. The way I’m neglecting and abusing my body is not okay.”

    The hour is late. It’s later than many of us think. These delusions are killing us softly. I won’t tiptoe around them anymore. And you can’t afford to delude yourselves with these false “fat acceptance” mantras anymore. Your quality of life—and your life itself—are hanging in the balance.

    God respects free will, and so do I. Nevertheless, I do hope that you’ll join me in doing my best to choose VIBRANT LIFE instead of sickness and death!

    May God bless you all,

    Khadija Nassif

  31. […] post is a follow-up to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Killing Ourselves Softly series of […]