If you're familiar with any Baltimore Club music then you may have heard the infamous mix "watch out for the big girls" chanted over and over and over and over (you get the point) again. Go to any hoodrat club and you'd see a crew of thickish women backing it up and waving their hands proudly confirming their "big girl" status. That song was, and probably still is, the Big Girls' anthem in Baltimore and is also the reason why i wake up at 6am to knock out some cardio and strength training.
I cant recall ever having a problem with my weight. I was always a littler taller (5'7) and carried my weight well. Proportioned, with a hourglass figure, I had a normal BMI, toned muscle definition and thickness (thanks to hooking school and eating biscuits :giggle:). It wasn't until I had my son, that my weight reached : ahem: _60+ lbs. Okay, I was morbidly obese. Sue me. After I had my son, i dropped over 70-80 lbs in about 3 months thanks to a failed relationship and depression. Got my swagger back and then... lbs crept back on from health issues! That was fun. I was back in the 200's looking a fat ass mess and I was not happy with myself. I went out to a club with some of my homegirls and walked past these dudes that said "daaaammmm,watch out for the big girls". I looked at him but convinced myself that he wasn't talking to us. We weren't BIG- we were just thick. I was in denial and didn't realize how much weight I had gained until i saw a picture of myself last fall and I had to step back and ask "whoa, who the fuck is that?!?". I took myself off the meds late November and have been on the grind ever since... dropping a total of 57 +/- lbs.
Anyway, my homeboy and I was having a conversation a week or two ago about me working out to lose the extra lbs I had gained. He made a comment that almost set me off.
I think it's cool that you work out because most black women choose not to since its cool to be fat and all.
My homeboy went on to make a point that women- black women in particular- were the most unhealthy creatures on the planet mainly because obesity had become socially acceptable. He blamed it on genetics, laziness and being a product of their environment going on to say that" if Ashley Stewart didn't make skinny clothes for fat broads, there wouldn't be any chicks over a size 14; they would adapt and make sure they had something to wear to work. Right or wrong, Khak? Folks done made it too easy to be obese."
:insert blank stare:
He further went on to say "there's exceptions like you, Khaki. Ya know, you had medical reasons and all but there are chicks that take that Monique shit too far- eating what they want and calling skinny bitches evil just so they feel better about that 6 wing and fry combo they're about to inhale. Just another reason why I will probably end up with Sui Lee or Becky. It's too expensive to marry a fat ass Laquisha!".
I wanted to choke him and call him a cunt but I couldn't. As much as I wanted to debate with him I couldn't. He was right- well, sort of. I don't think that it's easy being overweight and i don't think I was the exception. Shit, i remember being out of breath walking up the steps and going to 5011 stores just to find something that looked decent on a bigger me. I also remember not doing the 30 minutes of cardio that my doctor suggested I do. I cant speak for someone that has went through a lifetime of weight struggles but I can imagine that being laughed at, judged, ridiculed and stared at whenever you're at a restaurant does not make life easier.
Now, on the other hand... I thought about the women that I see on a daily basis- most overweight- most proud or pretending to be proud of their chunkiness. I thought about an episode I saw on Dr Phil discussing Anti/Pro Fat organizations. The Pro-Fat group were celebrating being overweight and while they didn't discourage exercise and healthy eating habits, they also didn't encourage it either. The Anti-Fat group, consisting of Jillian Micheal's and two unknown folks, went on to criticize the other side and had websites ridiculing overweight people. One guy was a personal trainer and used insults and military style training to get his clients in shape often yelling shit like "Go head and quit you fat slob!!!". I thought about the white women at my job that were all thin and went walking on lunch breaks and the black women that sent out early emails "Popeyes or KFC?".
Was he right? Is being unhealthy and overweight 'in" in the black community? I needed another opinion so I asked a close friend of mine and she responded:
Well, no one wants to be a fat ass Khak. It's like this- if you don't have the motivation to change or that's all you see, it's almost like you have to embrace it. You end up conforming and adapting to what you see and who you are. It's not "cool" -it just is what it is.
I understand all points from both my female friend and male friend. I have noticed that most, if not all, of my black female friends are either overweight, unhealthy or getting close to it. I understand that a lot of them are not happy about their weight but also make the choice to not do anything about it. There are few that encourage my new found healthy eating and exercise habits while others make negative comments such as "you're gonna start looking like a white girl" or roll their eyes at me counting calories. I am no way near skinny but I am pretty damn close to my ultimate goal and I take pride in knowing that I am extending my life by eating better and exercising.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that being overweight in the black community has become acceptable and celebrated?
thinking of putting before and after pics but... eh.