It’s been almost three years since I started by weight loss journey. I was able to lose 100 pounds and get back down to my target – healthy weight, the weight I’ve been most of my adult life outside of pregnancy. I did it in seven and a half months and I’ve kept it off ever since! I know how weight gain happens. I know how weight loss happens, too.
If you didn’t read part 1 “Food: friend or enemy” please go do that now before you read part 2. This post is going to talk about a few reasons why so many Americans are overweight. I want to niche down even more and say, dare I say, why so many black women in America are overweight. I am a black woman, in case you didn’t know. And I once was overweight. Very overweight. I come from a family over overweight women, on my maternal and paternal sides, and I have seen first hand some things that lead to being overweight, as well as staying overweight. I’ve also seen first hand some of the health issues that come with being overweight as well, and I really want more black women in America to take a serious look at how we got here, and take some serious action to change where we are.
Let’s start with the simple, most obvious reason so many of black women are overweight, and that is overeating. Many will argue that the way black people, and specifically for this post, black women eat, is cultural. But, if we’re being completely honest, it’s not. The infamous “soul food” is derived from slavery and having to make scraps of animal and other food items to taste good enough to consume. We’ve carried the slave conditioning for generations. It’s simple: the food choices we make are unhealthy. We eat too much salt, too many carbs, and too much sugar, and we eat these things in portion sizes that are too large. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not a regular part of a lot of black women’s diets. Legumes and grains are not a large part of black women’s diet. Consuming healthy amounts of water instead of soda and juices, is not a regular part of black women’s diets.
That is one issue, but another one is discipline. A lot of us do not have enough discipline to exercise and make healthy choices. Instead, we make excuses about not having enough time or being too tired to exercise. The truth is, we are lazy. The truth is, we have enough time, we just don’t fit exercise into our daily schedules because we don’t value it, or the health benefits that come along with it, enough. The truth is that if we exercise, we’d have more energy and feel less tired. We’d also be able to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and a healthy BMI. We’d minimize the number of deaths from heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes – some things proven to be associated with being unhealthy and overweight.
Let’s talk about it. Are we ready to talk about it? Black women – are we ready to get real with ourselves and realize that we need to do better? We have to start taking better care of our physical selves! It isn’t all about what you can adorn yourself with on the outside to look pretty. It’s more so about the health of our inside that counts.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.