Killing Ourselves Softly, Part 2: Stop Falling Into The “I’ll Start Next Monday” Trap

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

This post is a follow-up to Part 1 of this series. 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.

RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO WAIT UNTIL “NEXT MONDAY” TO MAKE A CHANGE

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

Fat people believe they can always start over on Monday. Fit people know Monday is never coming.
Narcotics are the scourge of the poverty class. Alcohol is a killer of the working class. Self-delusion is the addiction of the middle class. While fat people delude themselves into believing they can continue starting over on Monday and eventually succeed, critical thinkers recognize this common psychological trap. The core belief is “I can eat the same and get different results.”

. . . With the majority of the media and advertisers supporting their belief that diets don’t work, [uncommitted dieters] feel vindicated and go right back to eating like a fat person. Critical thinkers know that saying diets don’t work is like saying exercise doesn’t work. It’s a ridiculous claim that’s perpetuated for the purpose of manipulating the masses to buy the latest pill, potion or wonder drug that will make them thin and healthy. So the masses feel comfortable while they eat themselves into an early grave, and the producers of the cure-alls laugh all the way to the bank.

. . . Critical thinkers take full responsibility for their results, and rarely believe profit driven claims that make the difficult appear easy. Starting over (again) Monday is an endless loop that keeps people fat forever.

(emphasis added)

Amazon Kindle Locations through 437-42 through 442-52.

WHEN YOU WAIT UNTIL “NEXT MONDAY,” YOU’RE ACTUALLY WAITING FOR A CRISIS THAT WILL FORCE YOU TO MAKE A CHANGE

When you wait until “next Monday,” you’re actually waiting for a crisis to happen that will force you to make some changes.

  • When you wait until “next Monday” to begin developing additional income streams, you’re actually waiting to be laid off before you take that action.
  • When you wait until “next Monday” to improve your dietary choices, you’re actually waiting to become diabetic before you take that action.
  • When you wait until “next Monday” to start exercising, you’re actually waiting until you have a stroke or heart attack before you take that action. You’re actually waiting to do some rehabilitative physical therapy.

Waiting until circumstances force you to take action usually doesn’t work out very well. Why in the world would you wait for these sorts of things to happen before taking action? How much longer do you plan to wait?

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25 Responses to “Killing Ourselves Softly, Part 2: Stop Falling Into The “I’ll Start Next Monday” Trap”

  1. vonnie says:

    I have it BAD with procrastination and this is a good kick in the pants. I’ve been working out 3-4 times a week lately, but mainly because my best friend literally shows up and drags me out to the gym that she paid for both of us to attend, lol. I don’t know why I become so lazy when it comes to working out, especially when I’ve dropped 30 lbs before and felt/looked so much better! Well, 20 lbs down from my highest weight and have about 40-50 more to go.

    I keep putting off my book writing too, surely should be further along with that! Half or all of it should be done by now and I am so sporadic with writing on it. Okay, no more “I’ll do it later”, need to go write a chapter/scene/SOMETHING now 🙂

  2. Vonnie,

    Good! 🙂

    Expect Success!

  3. Nia-Maya says:

    Hi Khadija – Thanks so much for posting these excerpts from the book. I just ordered it online!!

  4. joyousnerd says:

    I spent YEARS on the Next Monday carousel. Each time I’d order a fattening dessert, it was because I was going to start next Monday and deserved a little treat beforehand. That mentality is the death of many a procrastinator.

    Now I still mess up and eat junk. It happens way more often than I would like to admit. Instead of starting next Monday, I have a little ritual of getting back in the saddle. I tell myself that the slip-up is OVER and DONE with. Then I touch my collarbone. See, when I was so fat before, I couldn’t feel my collarbone at all; it was buried under a thick pad of fat. I couldn’t pinpoint it at all. Now I can see it in the mirror and I can feel it when I touch my shoulder. It’s a reminder of how very far I’ve come. After I fondle my collarbone lol, I go and fix myself a salad or a small bowl of veggies. Even if I’m not hungry, I eat a small amount of this healthy stuff, followed by a glass of water and my vitamins.

    Once I’ve done that, I feel like I’m already back on the wagon; no need to wait till next Monday.

    There are other areas of my life where I had to come to the same realization. I’m not ready to discuss it just yet, but I had to accept that either I will take action and make a significant change in my life that will be uncomfortable OR I could wait and justify/explain away/ignore the unpleasant reality until it destroyed my life… and I could spend decades being bitter about it.

    Next Monday doesn’t come, unless it’s the heart attack next Monday, the job loss Next Monday or some other catastrophe. It’s sad but true that when Next Monday happens to you, it will HURT like crazy, much less than being proactive now will actually hurt.

  5. lunanoire says:

    What I really appreciate about this blog in general is the tough love. Unlike commercials selling things you don’t need to impress people you may not know or like, you goal is not to make BW feel bad about themselves, but to say, “You deserve success. It is difficult, ongoing work with stumbles from time to time, but you’re worth the time, money and effort.”

  6. Hodan says:

    great post, I agree with the saying : Prevention is always better than a Cure”. I’m equally guilty of procrastinating everything to death, from my salah to my future goals. My mom always says to us, life is never guaranteed and sorry for bringing spirituality or religion into, but this post reminds me of the Prophet of Allah PBUH saying: Live your life as if though you are a temporary guest in this world or a stranger passing the street” (I’m paraphrasing and Allah knows best).

    I bought Steve Siebold book “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class” after I read one of your other posts about his books. I also bought Dr. Walter Doyle Staples, ‘Think like a Winner’. I will share my feed backs when I finish both books and actually apply some of the great advice and techniques in my life.

    qoute: “WHEN YOU WAIT UNTIL “NEXT MONDAY,” YOU’RE ACTUALLY WAITING FOR A CRISIS THAT WILL FORCE YOU TO MAKE A CHANGE”

    Hodan: Very much true, I believe fear of failure and lack of clear goals often is the biggest sabotage for many. Personally, success has always been my fear. You might say how the heck can success be a block, but I’ve always felt uncomfortable with accolades from teachers, bosses and strangers….probably because I knew I had to top whatever I have achieved so far. However, as I got older, I realized our purpose on this earth is to achieve success in both the private and public life in our own terms. After all, as a Muslim serving my Creator includes living a healthy, fulfilling life in different and richly diverse way. Taking care of your physical and mental health is part of our worship.

    Even though I never been obese, but I’ve been out of shape for 2 years and I can relate to how that can damage your self esteem. Now that I’m almost back to my old size from 3 yrs ago, I can see the difference in how I approach life and work. For one, you have so much energy and been physically fit translates to spiritual and mental fitness. You are ready to think about your goals whatever it might be and taking chances in things you never thought becomes a reality. Also, you end up dropping people from your life who do not hold much value or joy. This year has brought a lot of changes and one of them is losing 2 friends I cared about a lot….with the realization that sometimes we women are our worse enemy. Jealousy and emotional blackmails are very toxic and getting rid of people who feel that towards you is important.

    Thanks for sharing this blog with us Khadija, its been informative and enlightening for me.

  7. Nia-Maya,

    You’re welcome!
    _________________________________________

    JoyousNerd,

    Guurl, you’ve been on a roll with providing extremely useful “back-up” for me with the last few posts! THANK YOU, I truly appreciate it.

    You said, “Next Monday doesn’t come, unless it’s the heart attack next Monday, the job loss Next Monday or some other catastrophe. It’s sad but true that when Next Monday happens to you, it will HURT like crazy, much less than being proactive now will actually hurt.”

    JoyousNerd, that’s some more REAL TALK. When we refuse to be proactive about our health and financial security, that makes it almost certain that whatever’s coming around the bend Next Monday is nothing nice. And nothing we want to be involved in.

    You said, “I spent YEARS on the Next Monday carousel. Each time I’d order a fattening dessert, it was because I was going to start next Monday and deserved a little treat beforehand. That mentality is the death of many a procrastinator.”

    Indeed. There are more AAs “fixin’ to do” various things than actually moving forward. Meanwhile, so many AA women are dropping like flies. They’re physically collapsing. They’re emotionally collapsing. They’re financially collapsing. I’m fed up with looking at all these unnecessary BW casualties.

    You said, “Now I still mess up and eat junk. It happens way more often than I would like to admit. Instead of starting next Monday, I have a little ritual of getting back in the saddle. I tell myself that the slip-up is OVER and DONE with. Then I touch my collarbone. See, when I was so fat before, I couldn’t feel my collarbone at all; it was buried under a thick pad of fat. I couldn’t pinpoint it at all. Now I can see it in the mirror and I can feel it when I touch my shoulder. It’s a reminder of how very far I’ve come. After I fondle my collarbone lol, I go and fix myself a salad or a small bowl of veggies. Even if I’m not hungry, I eat a small amount of this healthy stuff, followed by a glass of water and my vitamins.

    Once I’ve done that, I feel like I’m already back on the wagon; no need to wait till next Monday.”

    That’s the point: getting back on the wagon ASAP. Not feeling bad about whatever slip-up happened. The past, even a moment ago, is already dead and gone. The point is to keep moving forward—even if it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I mentioned my Power90/P90X backslide episodes during Part 1. During the Part 1 conversation, I also mentioned how right now I’m coming off a period of relative physical inactivity. As I said,

    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.

    The point is to keep moving forward.
    _______________________________________________

    Lunanoire,

    Yes, I truly want BW to win in life. I’m fed up with looking at all these casualties that didn’t have to be. The point is for more BW to get (back) on the wagon ASAP. Not to feel bad about whatever slip-up happened. The past, even a moment ago, is already dead and gone. As a wise modern Muslim scholar pointed out,

    Regret over loss is another loss, as it is said: busying oneself with regret over time lost in the past is wasting the present time! Hence it is said: Time is like a sword, if you do not slay it, it slays you.

    The Value of Time, by Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, pg. 7. (emphasis added)

    The point is to keep moving forward—even if it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back.
    _______________________________________________

    Hodan,

    You’re welcome! You might also want to check out the book I mentioned in my reply to Lunanoire—The Value of Time, by Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah.

    Expect Success!

  8. I just ran across this article. For whatever reason, “Type 2 Diabetes” is trending at #8 at the moment in Yahoo online searches.

    From “Diabetes An Illness People Can’t Afford to Get”:

    Diabetes treatment is unaffordable for many sufferers and only 25 percent get the care the care they need, experts say. Their research relates to people with Type 2 Diabetes – the most common form of the illness.

    Diabetes patients spend an average of $6,000 annually on treatment, according to a recent report put out by Consumer Reports Health. The figure includes monitoring supplies, medicines, doctor visits, annual eye exams and other routine costs.

    But the total doesn’t include the costs of medical complications that often result from Type 2 diabetes, like heart disease, strokes, liver and kidney damage, eye damage and a susceptibility to infections and poor healing that can lead to amputations, the New York Times reports.

    Another worrying figure pertains to the statistic that one in 10 Americans has diabetes and by 2050, it will rise to one in three – if the present trends continue. It currently costs the country’s health care system $174 billion a year.

    (emphasis added)

    http://www.thirdage.com/news/diabetes-illness-people-cant-afford-get_11-13-2010

    Expect Success!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      Talk about synchronicity!

      6k annually. I am imagining 6k each year added up over the lifetime of the illness with compound interest …thats a nice chunk of change.

      And I don’t know what to say about only 25% of people actually getting treatment. That is so awful. That means that 75% of the people who have it are not even monitoring themselves – which will lead to some serious medical/financial crisis down the road.

      1 in three is a huge number of people. That is just wow.

  9. Tee says:

    Khadija:

    I hear you loud and clear! Thank you!

    Peace

  10. sisterlocgirl says:

    Everyone has a choice to make. As i’m writing this i’ve seen three commercials advertising ways to obtain blood glucose monitors, test strips, supplies etc. Ladies, no one advertises for ANYTHING unless there’s profit to be gained. A good portion of diabetic symptoms can be controlled through diet and exercise. One of the approaches I have taken is to employ the ” Clean Eating ” lifestyle. The basic premise is eating 5-6 small meals a day,made up of a lean protein complex carb and a vegetable/fruit option. You eat every 2-4 hours and avoid processed foods. Sounds crazy, but it keeps you from feeling hungry and maintains a steady blood glucose level throughout the day. There is also a magazine called Clean Eating that provides recipes, a 2 week meal plan and support to make the changes that will help you become healthier. A doable exercise program is also a must. You may need to go through some trial and error to figure out what works for you,but it is well worth the effort. I am a home exercise advocate but if you are serious about optimizing you life developing a solid fitness program is a must. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Changing your diet can only get you so far if weight loss is your goal. People are profitting off the magical thinking of the masses. I don’t blame these companies/individuals for profitting by providing a needed service. I simply choose to finance people/companies that enable my health rather than enabling me to become more ill. A small, but SIGNIFICANT difference in mindset. Just something to think about. Many people moan about how hard a good diet and exercise habits are, but the alternatives are far more costly and difficult in the long run. I like exercising at home because many times i’m not saying very nice things to the instructors while i’m in the midst of the program (lol), but boy do I like the results!

  11. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Ok. I am officially scared straight. LOL

    Between the dialysis centers mentioned on the other thread, hearing the way that doctors and nurses talk about their patients – I can’t do it. Those comments are going to have me specifically looking for and requesting all BW medical practitioners. I know that may come with its own issues, but now I am thinking all kinds of things about foreign docs.

    I knew I couldn’t afford to be sick, but I really can’t afford to get sick with esp. with one of these illnesses.

    I have bumped up my weight training in response to these threads. Hearing PVW and Roslyn (thank you!) talk about it made me interested and I bought a few sets of 10-15 pound dumbells to start.

    I was kind of working out, but now I am going to try and establish it as a pattern/habit.

    It is very true. If you are not being proactive then you are waiting for a crisis. And crises are not fun. I must say that I did take my health for granted for a long time, but just putting it all together – seeing it in black and white- made me realize that that if you don’t have your health – you really don’t have anything. You can’t do anything, you become so vulnerable and dependent on others and thats so dangerous because as you said – there is no cavalry coming for BW. And if you do get some help more than likely it is because you are a unfairly burdening another/other BW close to you.

    • sisterlocgirl says:

      Oshun/Aphrodite, I’m glad you are willing to take serious action regarding your helath. I definitely am an advocate of exercising and weight training. I do have a suggestion for you though. Are you regularly lifting weights or are you just starting out? If you’re a newbie I would definitely recommend a wider range of weights. My weights range from 2-25 pounds. A great beginner set would be 3,5 and 8 lbs in addition to your 10 & 15 pounders. If you are new and jump to too heavy a weight too fast you are risking injury. I have been regularly exercising since 2003 and have been the most consistent this past year with a 2010 fitness challenge thru my primary fitness program. Its well worth it to either have a session with a personal trainer for form points or putting up a full length mirror to make sure you’re doing the moves correctly. You go Girl!

  12. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    “Regret over loss is another loss, as it is said: busying oneself with regret over time lost in the past is wasting the present time! Hence it is said: Time is like a sword, if you do not slay it, it slays you.”

    I have to admit, I do this sometimes. I can get lost in regret.

  13. Karen says:

    Oshun said,

    “…if you don’t have your health – you really don’t have anything. You can’t do anything, you become so vulnerable and dependent on others and thats so dangerous because as you said – there is no cavalry coming for BW. And if you do get some help more than likely it is because you are a unfairly burdening another/other BW close to you.”

    That is the bottom line.

  14. Tee,

    You’re welcome!
    __________________________________________________

    Sisterlocgirl,

    Thanks for the info; I’m going to look into that magazine.
    __________________________________________________

    Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You said, “6k annually. I am imagining 6k each year added up over the lifetime of the illness with compound interest …thats a nice chunk of change.”

    Yes, it IS a nice chunk of change. One that could have been spent so much more pleasurably and productively.

    Expect Success!

  15. Everybody,

    I’m going to close the comments to Part 1 and Part 2 sometime later tonight. I’m going to move on to the next blog post tomorrow. 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.”

    Mr. Siebold is also correct when he says that one of the mental crutches that helps people DIE FAT is making simple things (like exercise and diet changes) unnecessarily complicated. As he notes, there are already a lot of strategies and plans put forth by many, many doctors and fitness specialists. Pick something that works for you and go with it!

    Listen to the inner voice that says, “I need to treat myself better and get myself together.” And TAKE ACTION. NOW—while it’s still voluntary and optional.

    Expect Success!

  16. hi Khadija and all-

    hopefully i am not too late to post a comment. i wanted to start by sharing some information that i happened upon recently. it is rather long but valuable information:

    “We all think eating fruit means just buying fruit, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It’s not as easy as you think. It’s important to know how and WHEN to eat fruit.

    What is the correct way of eating fruits?

    IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUITS AFTER YOUR MEALS! * FRUITS SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
    If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

    FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let’s say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.

    In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil…

    So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining — every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc — actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!

    Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes – all these will NOT happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach.

    There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon, that are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight.

    When you need to drink fruit juice – drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don’t even drink juice that has been heated up. Don’t eat cooked fruits because you don’t get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.

    But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

    KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

    APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

    STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.

    ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.

    WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene — the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.

    GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.

    Don’t Drink Cold water after a meal. Can you believe this?? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

    A serious note about heart attacks – HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE’: (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let’s be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.”

    • Focused Purpose,

      In the future, please give the citation or the link to where you found the information, so people can evaluate the source of the information for themselves.

      Speaking for myself, I know that I’m always EXTREMELY wary of “Natural/Organic/Vegeterian/Vegan Food Police”-sounding statements because food is ultra-political—bordering on religious dogma—for a lot of those folks. I’m more focused on practical, pragmatic nutritional solutions, not on “original sin”-type dogma that’s thinly cloaked under the guise of “natural” food commandments. [And they are commandments, because the “Natural/Organic/Vegeterian/Vegan Food Police” usually want to do a lot of commanding this and forbidding that.]

      Expect Success!

  17. Khadija-

    i came to visit and was amazed at how on point your posts are. it is as if you are posting in response to some of the experiences i am having offline. LOL.

    recently, i have encountered a few obese black women. when i suggest we get together for a walk or spend our time together doing something other than eating, my suggestions are not well received. this leaves me feeling rather frustrated. add to it the fact that i am not a big woman and i find it difficult to mitigate the feeling that they read my suggestions as “judgment”. little do they realize that i come from a LONG line of big women. when i share this with them, i sense they don’t believe me. my habits are all that keep me from being a big woman. i often joke that i am daily killing my inner fat girl that is determined to come out and meet folks. this is my way of helping folks understand that i am more a hard worker than “lucky”, and to decline the nonstop offers of pastries, candy, etc.

    i have a really good friend that has a young teen daughter. this daughter is visibly struggling with self acceptance. as a way of comforting herself, she is developing an unhealthy relationship with food. she is also gaining weight as a result. since she is not even sixteen, i have taken her under my wing and spend quite a bit of time with her. we go shopping and do girl things together whenever her mother permits. this child has cried her heart out to me expressing the concern that because she is black that she is ugly. when asked why she would believe such a thing, she indicated it is because of how the boys at school treat her in relation to how they treat the nonblk girls. my friend’s ex husband is not as involved with his children from their marriage. his current wife’s children enjoy most of his presence and resources. curiously, on some level, i sense her mother isn’t too keen on my becoming too close to her daughter.

    one night, i was at my friend’s house and she invited other friends over. the other women, i had never met before were extremely overweight. as we all sat around talking, my friend’s daughter came in and sat next to me. the conversation turned to weight. i felt uncomfortable because i was the thinnest woman there. on some level, i felt as though my input would be discounted. nevertheless, i offered to the topic the importance of a healthy lifestyle. the focus, in my opinion, should not be so much on weight as eating for health. in doing so, the weight issue would be addressed. while everyone is built to be a size 0, no one is built to be morbidly obese.

    when i suggested that folks should focus more on eating what is good for them than what tastes good to them, that is when the convo went a bit sideways. these women proceeded to defend their unhealthy practices. IF the teen had been mine, i would have excused her. since she is not and i was at someone else’s house, i just rolled with the convo, though horrified she was taking all the unhealthy, dysfunctional justifications in. when i suggested that fat and healthy DO NOT go together despite what they tell us on tv, one woman in particular became offended. she began to talk about how healthy she was, that she was an athlete, and her fat had never prohibited her from doing anything. keep in mind, this woman shared earlier that she had undergone a surgical procedure that would prevent her from over eating. i asked her if she was so happily, healthily, and athleticly fat why she would go to such extremes? (i wanted to ask her why she was telling that big lie in front of the child?)

    needless to say that question set it off. lol. i asked it deliberately because it angered me that these older women were speaking so recklessly in baby girl’s presence.

    my girlfriend reassured her daughter that one could be “plump” and healthy and dismissed her. i decided to shut up and work on a way to excuse myself from the madness of the evening. now, whenever my girlfriend invites me over, i ask her who is going to be there or expected to join later. never again! NEVER again!

    Khadija, it truly disturbs me that so many are miserable yet encourage others, particularly younger ladies, to join them in their misery. as my grandma said, misery loves company. you addressing the very real health concerns, is like a breath of fresh air. i wish i had printouts of this post and comments to hand around as party favors for the evening. lol. there’s a bit of grrr there because i have been dealing with folks that are stuck on stupid and DETERMINED to stick others with them as of late.

    thanks for your excellent posts and informative comments.

    blessings all…

    • Focused Purpose,

      You’re welcome, Sis. And thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it.

      You said, “Khadija, it truly disturbs me that so many are miserable yet encourage others, particularly younger ladies, to join them in their misery. as my grandma said, misery loves company. you addressing the very real health concerns, is like a breath of fresh air. i wish i had printouts of this post and comments to hand around as party favors for the evening. lol. there’s a bit of grrr there because i have been dealing with folks that are stuck on stupid and DETERMINED to stick others with them as of late.”

      I’ll say it the plain way:

      I know it’s hard to do, but we must step out of the way and LET suicidal adult Black women dig their own early graves with their forks and spoons! Let them unnecessarily sicken themselves—and die an early death—in their self-imposed delusions.

      And focus on trying to save Black girls who can still be reached.

      I’m not going to fight with another grown woman who’s adamant about destroying her health and her life. If she wants to die that badly, I’ll let her die. I’ll say just enough so my conscience is clear that I warned the person long before their situation became critical. But I refuse to be more worried about some other grown person’s life than they are. Let me repeat my reply to some similar mess (similar to the mess that you described) that a dissenting commenter said during the Part 1 conversation:

      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}

      Like I said: I give the warning; and I’m usually willing to actively help those women who are willing to help themselves. And then I wash my hands of the rest who are adamant about continuing with their self-destruction. That’s why I’m not going to belabor the conversations to these 2 posts. This stuff we’re discussing is obvious.

      Expect Success!

  18. Queenie23 says:

    I lost 40lbs, but I’m still not that toned. I gained the weight from emotional eating.To tell you the truth I just wanted my body back. Even though I can’t leave my situation right now…..I still made the choice that yes I can still thrive while I’m here. I didn’t use the fact that I’m still in a stress filled environment as an excuse to not take care of myself. I still have more things to address though.

  19. 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

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