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  1. #1
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    I'm sure we've had this topic before, but I missed it if we did. I was watching a program on BET once and they had a panel on there that consisted of both Black women and Black men. They had a spectrum of views from "one must be tight and fit" to "I ain't fat I'm phat." For a long time the Black community has chalked our excess weight up to being big boned, thick, curvy, etc. I did this for many years, when the reality was I was carrying extra weight that later became detrimental to my health.

    Sometimes I think we as a people go too far in our acceptance of differences in body types. We have to admit that sometimes fat is just fat, and something needs to be done about it. I am including myself in this too, because I have always been overweight. As a child it was "oh she's just a little chubby, look how cute." Now that I'm almost choking to death when I walk the three flights up to my apartment, it ain't so cute.

    I am a healthcare worker, and one of the things that saddens me is to see my people in the hospital jacked up because they didn't take their obesity seriously. Some of them are still in denial about the effects their size is having on their health. There are soooo many Black people with diabetes, hypertension, vascular disease (usually due to the diabetes), heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. At one time, being overweight was something older adults were dealing with. You know, after the babies and 20 years on the job, an extra 50 lbs just piled on. Yet you drive by any elementary school and you'll see some children wearing adult sized clothing.

    I have a good friend who's stepson was 100 lbs as a 7 year old. He is now 10 and probably over 150 lbs. He wears a men's 44, which is big even for a grown man! His family says it's all in the genes. But is this a valid excuse? Since when did our genes cause us to become this big? And why are we okay with that?
    Bigger is better (of course I'm talking about hair!)

  2. #2
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    I'm with you. Black Americans -- like Americans in general -- are just too fat. And it's having very bad effects on our health.

    I read an interesting theory somewhere that said that the Africans who survived the Middle Passage genetically had a higher fat: bone ratio or something like that, and that that is why they survived the long journey when so many others died even though they were malnourished. Extra fat/energy reserves.

    I don't know how true this is, but it's interesting to think about.

    Even if true though that can't be the whole answer, cause we all know the main culprit is in our diets/sedentary lifestyles.

  3. #3
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    He is now 10 and probably over 150 lbs. He wears a men's 44, which is big even for a grown man! His family says it's all in the genes. But is this a valid excuse? Since when did our genes cause us to become this big? And why are we okay with that?
    [/b]
    sigh....I grew up with two guys who were always chubby/fat...one of them died at the age of 25, went into an irreversible coma after not taking his diabetes/blood pressure meds... the other had heart surgery at the same age....he's still with us thank God. All the weight, all those years had put a strain on his heart and his mother could no longer say "he's just BIG BONEDED"..... :unsure: I thought the episode on celebrity fit club when they really couldn't tell the difference b/w Bone Crusher's bones and one of the trainers to be VERY TELLING....we have to STOP making excuses as a people because our lives are really at stake!

    Even if true though that can't be the whole answer, cause we all know the main culprit is in our diets/sedentary lifestyles.[/b]
    Two of my mother's friends...one passed away, another lost her leg, complications from diabetes and blood pressure....it's just sad all the way around...we give our careers and education so much TIME but exercise just never seems to make it into the schedule when it should be the FIRST thing on the list...I'm guilty and I'm fixing that aspect of my weight loss on a daily basis.
    "The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible, but there arriving she is sure of bliss and forever dwells in paradise." - Plato


  4. #4
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    I have been fat all my life. In the last two years I lost 50 pounds but I am still fat 230 lbs. Im not ashamed to say it. At the age of 8 I had breasts from the age of 13 Ive worn plus size..Ive never been skinny or have a clue what I am missing. BUT I work out and eat right I recently found out that I have a thyroid condition hyperthyroid and Im going to see a specialist later this month. I have worked out for years at the gym. I am one of those people who loves to work out. I can dance for hours and often outdance many women and men of all shapes and sizes. Women come up to me and ask me how can I go for hours like that.

    This is a touchy issue. I know plenty of fat women who are more health obsessed than some slim women, go from diet to dies, lifestyle changes, excerise classes.
    We shouldnt paint all large women with the same brush.
    Not all of us are lazy, not all of us eat too much not all of us sit in front of the tv and eat bonbons all day.
    I am fat , phat and all of that. I have been working on my health...other than my thyroid condition (which may be the reason why I am large anyway) I am perfectly healthy. I am not in denial, I am on a never ending quest to improve my life and my health. Like anyone else I want to live a long life.

    My mother has high blood pressure, diabetes and arithritis...but she is not fat. This strongly concerns me. I have none of those conditions and why? I am aware that some may be heriditary.....what this did to me was make me run to the doctor every six months to test everything I eat better than I did years ago, more natural ingredients, less processed. I hate pop. I drink lots of water.

    A lady who many of my friends are close with died last week as she went to the US to have a gastric bypass. She did this to fit in with the rest of society. This angers me so much. She tried to fix it and it cost her her life at 31 years of age!!!
    I starved myself for weeks at a time I only lost 20-30 pounds, sick as a dog...not eating it not the way to do it. Fat women can be anorexic I was.

    We must proceed with caution in this "We all must be thin" mentality. The diet industry makes billions of dollars because people have no clue how to fix what society tells them is broke. These quick fixes do not work. Bandaid solutions do not work it may cost you your life.
    When it comes to health we need to examine the mind body and spirit in order to achieve success.
    Im still here and kicking...After a couple years of growing out my TWA. I cut it all off in February 2007.... It was inching down my neck..ha! Its been almost 6 months and I have a good 2+ inches again...avatar pic is from August 2007. Happily Nappy Ever After!

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  5. #5
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    We must proceed with caution in this "We all must be thin" mentality. The diet industry makes billions of dollars because people have no clue how to fix what society tells them is broke. These quick fixes do not work. Bandaid solutions do not work it may cost you your life.
    When it comes to health we need to examine the mind body and spirit in order to achieve success.[/b]
    I don't think anyone [in THIS thread] is saying that we all need to be thin. The general message is that we all need to be HEALTHY--and skinny is not always healthy, but neither is fat. In the same way that people should not conform to a "skinny is better" mentality, we also shouldn't flippantly dismiss health issues among the obese. It all has to be balanced.

    I believe that most people who go on diets do so in order to be "more acceptable" in our society--whatever that looks like to them. Very rarely have I talked to a girlfriend who is trying to lose weight to better her health. And because health is not really the core focus, people are more apt to try to lose weight in UNhealthy ways (i.e. diet pills, starving themselves, etc.) They want to be skinny NOW, they want to be size X NOW, and because of this many rely on surgeries like liposuction and gastric bypass to acheive the results they want faster, even though it may impose a SERIOUS risk to their health.

    I think we need to pay just as much attention to the health of the mind and spirit as we do to the body. Because a lot of the issue is mental battle.

  6. #6
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    I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. i have always been really thin and throughout school people would call me anorexic and tell me to eat because I wasn't "thick" or "big bonededed". The black's version of how a woman should look makes me feel that I'm way too small so I catch myself eating more than I should just so i can gain weight.

    Sometimes my friends would be like "guys don't like skinny girls" blah blah blah so I always felt that if I was 40-50 lbs heavier...

    There are alot of things the black community is in denial over...this is just one of many. My friend already has HBP and she's 21. I told her she needs to eat better foods like whole grains and brown rice and she accused me of trying to be white. Stating "Black people eat gutter food...u tryna be white or somethin? eatin brown rice and junk?" I thought that was the most IGGNANT @SS comment I've ever heard...fine...go ahead and kill yoself. Ima chill over here wit my salad and brown rice...

    I kno these diseases run in my family (my grandfather has 6 right now) so I wanna make sure I don't end up like him.
    LAST evil chemical fire cream: March 17, 2006
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  7. #7
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    I am ecstatic that someone started a thread like this. I think that it is fantastic that some people are starting to look at the alarming rate at which this country is getting bigger and bigger. But before I go any further I would like to say that the word big is not necessarily bad. It's just that there are so many people who feel tha ttheir size is ok. While not everyone is meant to be a size 4, it is also true that not so many people shoud be a size 26. There are plenty of people who work out and eat right and still wear a 16, and there is nothing wrong with that. The problem lies when people simply accept their obesity because they feel that as a black man or woman it is what they are supposed to be, or use that as an excuse to not take better care of themselves.

    The average obese american breaks 3 toilets a year, this statistic was gathered by a company who produces a new toilet called the "Big John" which is tested up to 1 ton. It has a wider seat and larger flush capacity to accomodate those who are overweight, the very fact that this company exists and makes enough money to sustain itself is crazy. That means that there are so many obese people in america that they have their own company to make them special toilets?!?!? That is not a fashion trend or just something in the genes, that is inactivity combined with over processed food and inappropriate portions. The US has the largest proportion of people in the world that are overfed and malnourished.

    This is getting longer than I anticipated it to be so I think I better wrap it up, but the bottom line is that no one is saying that thin is the only way to be healthy, and being fat is not anything you should chalk up to being black. Take care of yourself no matter what size you are.
    "My vision would turn your world upside down, tear asunder your illusions, and send the sanctuary of your own ignorance crashing down around you." - Huey Freeman

  8. #8
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    I agree. What's really sad is that if you're not very overweight, people will say you are being like a white girl.

    My mom is 5'3, over 180 lbs and thinks she is healthy. I am 5'4 1/2 130-135 lbs and she thinks I'm being like Nicole Richie. She needs to wake up, she, and many black women like her, are unnecessarily putting themselves at a higher risk of breast cancer. My mother has already had one abnormal breast growth, it's time for her to wake up.

    Airlines spend extra money carrying around our oversized butts. That alone is sad. I think SUV's are increasingly popular b/c people are increasing in size.

    What really irks me is that people think it's completely genetic. I know people (not just black people) who will claim they are fat b/c of genetics but they'll eat 1/3 their weight in Reese's cups and never get off the couch.

    Part of the problem is that healthy eating and exercise are considered things for white girls only.
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  9. #9
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    i hate that "white people food" mess, what are we still slaves eating whatever crap comes our way, and if you look at the diets of alot of african countries they eat well balanced healthy diets, i have friends from ghana and senegal and they look at the black american diet as eew, we should learn from them, and yeah i'm thin always have been, i'm 5' 0" tall and about 95 lbs, i'm thin but i'm curvy and yet people, especially black people are always like oh my you should eat more and analyze everything i eat and question why i do yoga, cause if you are thin why, well i natually have a high metabolism but maybe i wanna stay healthy as i age and the reason i'm curvy and not just skinny is cause i tone my body to have lean muscle, and i was blessed with a butt and chest, but yeah i try to help my family enjoy their southern food but make better choices, shoot i love catfish, greens, sweet potatoe pie, but there are healthier ways to prepare all of this, and cut out the fast food, alot of people make the excuse that its cheapier and easier, but i buy all organic from whole foods for all my meals and maybe eat out 2x a week and its still much cheaper than eating fast food all the time, some of my friends eat out practically every meal and spend way more than i do on food, and what is quicker than making a sandwich there are easy at home meals, i think these are excuses and just another form of self hatred and giving in to the norm in our community, and even my family looks at me sometimes like i'm being uppity with my lifestyle, i dont think i'm better but i am healthier, at least my daddy gets it he raised me to not be addicted to sweets and to eat vegetable, i cant even drink soda cause he never gave it to me

  10. #10
    Nina is offline no longer a registered user
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    I have a close relative battling weight-induced diabetes and it is really sad; it doesn't just affect that one person and my cousins (her children) and the rest of the family suffers right along with her.

    It irks me when examples of *an* overweight person who works out, eats right and *may be* healthy, or some skinny person with high cholesterol who dropped dead from a heart attack, is thrown into the mix.

    Exceptions - like the above - don't disprove the rule and every credible medical stat shows unhealthy foods, large amounts of unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyles, and being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, certain types of cancer etc. more often than not!

    It irks me more because - of all the things we don't really have direct control over - this is something an individual can control... and our struggle is praying, hoping and helping my TÃ*tÃ* realize her own power!

    Starving one's self to fit some unhealthy/unnatural 'skinny' mold is just as dangerous as stuffing one's face to find comfort!

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