Search This Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Warning: If you are in any way sensitive or get your feeling hurt easily or have a hard time understanding sarcasm, you may not want to read this post. 

I don't usually comment on my own blog about other people's post, usually people aren't saying anything that interest me enough to post about someone else's opinion blog. I also am not real big on commenting on things that I have no direct knowledge of, my personal thought is that when people start spouting their opinions about things they don't know about they just look stupid to me. The title of this post is 'FBW', I know you're wondering what the hey does that mean it's an acronym for a nemesis among some black woman it's the Fat Black Woman. I commented on a recent blog that I love and frequent that I believe and still do and have seen in real life, that some of the issues that black women have regarding weight are not just because we are really fond of twinkies and pork skins. Hell, I'm fond of twinkies and pork skins but I'm not obese. In fact, I've never been obese. I've never dieted in my life. As a child and teenager I was always skinny as I got older my metabolism slowed and I gained some weight but never more than an extra 25 lbs or so. I'm exercising again to try to lose some weight gained while Matt and I looked longingly into each other's eyes and totally forgot to exercise. But I have never in my life had to deal with the issues of being the fat kid, fat teenager, or fat adult. I've never had 50, 75, or 100 extra lbs or more weighing my body down. As I look around at the black women I know and see in my everyday life I am not blind to the fact that as a group of women we are carrying some extra weight, literally and figuratively.

When I commented that some black women have mental issues that have or are contributing to their obesity. Well I was called out of touch, coddler, delusional, and such and I'm putting it nicely. Oh goodness Eugenia, why can't you see that all these fat black women in the United States are fat because they won't buy a pair of tennis shoes, eat better and exercise their just fat and lazy. It seems I wasn't cruel enough and I let my compassion show and was giving fat black women an excuse, how dare I do that. Now if people really knew me and really there's no real way to know me from these few posts I give, but if you knew me the one thing you would know is I'm no coddler, I'm no excuse maker, I don't hold dicks while people figure out how pee, most of the time I'm tough and believe in tough love. I am not an advocate of delusion and I'd never tell a fat woman that she's thick, I believe in positive reinforcement but that's not positive reinforcement it's a goddamned lie. Now I'm not saying that every black woman with a weight issue is mentally insane, not at all. To tell the truth I don't know how many people who are severely overweight or obese have mental conditions because really most people don't ask that question and among black people we are notorious for not acknowledging and getting help for mental illness. So my thought is that many fat black women are not aware if they have a mental health issue or not, which means they certainly aren't seeking treatment for it. There is a wonderful book by Rosalynn Carter, President Jimmy Carter's wife called Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis I watched her on The Colbert Report talk about it a few months ago, 1 in 4 Americans has an undiagnosed mental health issue. That's a lot of people and I'm quite sure that a large number of those people are African Americans. What does this have to do with the fat black woman? Well everything and nothing. I know there are plenty of black women who are overweight because they love to eat and don't love to exercise but I'm also pretty sure there are some who are using food as a way to self-medicate. Black women in this country do have it tough, we are the least married, most out of wedlock children, highest rate of AIDS and HIV, we work, we go to school, we get called the most unattractive women on earth and we're fat. Many people in this country with mental health issues self-medicate it's just a way to cope, especially in a place where mental health is just not a priority for the health system. So people do it themselves, they work to much, they take drugs, they drink, they gamble, they shop too much, and they over-eat. Now it's okay too feel bad for the alcoholic, drug addict, the gambler, even the shopoholic but it's just not cool to feel bad for fat people. It seems it's not even cool to acknowledge that some of these fat black women may even have a mental health issue. You know I believe health is physical as well as mental and for the people that may be self-medicating, taking care of their mental health can also help them take care of their physical health. I certainly don't think having mental health condition is an excuse to stay fat, if you know you have one and are using food to medicate you need to get some help. I certainly don't think every fat black woman is a mental case. But the one thing I do have experience with in this arena is that I've suffered from a mental health issue. In a previous blog called Sometimes...People Really Do Need Therapy I talk a little about my own struggle with depression, anxiety and panic and how therapy helped me overcome. But before I overcame it, I didn't know what was going on and to help myself I medicated myself with food and drinking. It wasn't until I got the help I needed after almost a year and left my ex-husband that I got back on track. But I'm thinking if I hadn't gotten the help I needed I probably would have been 2 tons of fun and damn alcoholic right now. Thank God, I wasn't so prideful that I didn't get the help I needed. But I know there are many fat black women, whose family are telling them nothing is wrong, they need to pray more (yes you can pray but we also need to use the resources that God put on this earth to help people, therapy is a blessing) or just eat some more, this good peach cobbler will make you feel better.

I'd love for fat black women to be more motivated about getting their weight down and their health in order but I know not all of them will do that. I hate the results of obesity on black women, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint problems, and diabetes type 2 which I know sucks cause I have type 1. I know they won't all be inspired whether they are lazy or crazy to get themselves together. And being obese is not twofold for every woman, some people are just unmotivated but for those who need some therapy they should get it and their mental health issues should be acknowledged and not pushed under the rug. If we're going to discuss the issue of fat black women, let's not just do the surface easy crap. I know black women who have had the gastric bypass surgery and have lost tons of weight and look great and have now traded in one addiction, food, for another, alcohol, drugs, shopping. Addiction is addiction. I'm not real sure why some black women have decided that it's too much to acknowledge that this may have two sides and to get the fat black women of America losing weight we can touch on both. I want women to be healthy, more than I want to be right or brag about how skinny and great I am.  But you know that's just me, it sucks to care about fat black women.


  1. I don't think that you should take what people were saying on that other website personally (re: being called coddler, delusion, etc). I think people are up in arms because they are really at a loss for what to do. Obesity in the Black community is a growing issue and one that cannot be ignored. Yes, it is important to acknowledge all the factors that cause one to be obese (i.e. mental health issues), but now that that has been said, I really think it's time to find concrete ways to increase the levels of healthy activities that obese Black women can engage in to facilitate weight loss. Your compassion is admirable- it's great that you are spreading the word about mental illness in the Black community (seen as taboo) through sharing your experiences. Now it's time to find ways to combat the issue of obesity.

  2. Oneika, I'm not taking the comments personal as I said I can be a sarcastic ass, I've said that before. But I don't know why saying that SOME, not all fat black women may be suffering from a mental health condition that is contributing to their being fat. I just acknowledged it and all of sudden, I'm labeled 'coddler'. I don't think people don't have personal responsibility in their health and welfare. You do, I took responsibility for mine. Thank God live in Washington state because the health benefits I got here enabled me to do it. But if I was still living in Texas that wouldn't have happened. Even if the big healthcare thing in Washington with President Obama, mental health is not a part of that, it won't take effect in whole till 2014. I'm not writing this to say ignore the issue of fat black women and I'm also doing this to tell them 'here's another moon pie, you'll be okay'. Obesity cannot be ignore but you know what neither can the mental health component for some black women. I want to combat this issue too on both fronts. My mom is overweight, my mom is not mentally ill. But she lost 70 lbs and peaked, now she's had knee surgery, about to have another one and my mom is eating healthy and exercising to decrease her weight. She's having her other knee done soon and then she's off and back up to lose more weight. I'm proud of my mom and she shares what she did with other women. I share what I do with other women and what works for me. I support them, I exercise with them and congratulate them when they lose weight. We're not mentally ill, at least some of us aren't LOL. But we're fine but just because we're all fine doesn't mean that every black women who's overweight is just unmotivated. If we're gonna do it, if we're gonna combat it, we need to do both or some people are gonna stay obese. And that sucks. I know people are frustrated, but do what you can, inspire the people you can inspire. I know I can't motivate all black women to lose weight but I can't do everything but I can do something. And I admire what the blogger I speak on does but I think we can go further, that's all.

    O, I'm not mad at you. I know you're frustrated it frustrates me. Specifically the type 2 diabetic thing, it just makes me so mad b/c what I wouldn't do to be able to just exercise 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day and get rid of my type 1 diabetes. I'd do it in a heartbeat and I have no earthly idea why anyone would want to risk getting this shit disease. It's one of reasons I watch my weight. Believe me if anyone tells me they are risk of diabetes type 2 b/c of being overweight I'm on their ass like T on Texas. Yes it frustrates me that black people and black women in the U.S. are running around here like being fat is cool, it's not, that's delusional. But trying to reach folks both ways is all I'm advocating. Will that happen, I don't know no one cares about mental health in this country. We'll all be skinny and crazy before you know it LOL.

  3. And thank you for the compliment about my advocating for mental health help for people, no matter what's it for. I'm just so blessed because here in Washington you can get help and insurance will pay, if you don't have insurance you can find it on a sliding scale, and we can get insurance from the state. But that is certainly not true everywhere in the U.S. and I'm thinking particularly in southern states. I'm glad I didn't grow up in a family that said that therapy was for white people and understood that if I needed help, they'd support me when I sought it.

  4. black people are the least likely to get therapy and often times the most in need of it. I watch Heavy on A&E, so far there haven't been any black women, but what i've noticed with them all was that they had unconfronted things plaguing them and once they got therapy and taught how to better eat/exercise, they were dropping 200+ lbs! Most had unresolved abuse or abandonment issues, and I know for a FACT that lots of black women go through that yet won't ever look that beast in the face and get rid of the issues. Do we have fattening bad for us foods that help get the problem up there? yes, but for those who are 300 lbs and whatnot, there's something more than a love of brownies going on. I'm chubby because i love things that are bad for me, I have no childhood turmoil or abandonment issues which is why I didn't need to eat myself into a happy coma like some of these women. I know what I need to do to get rid of it, wish that they would confront their issues and get rid of it (and toxic people that cause them to over indulge) too. If you get to the point of feeling that you have no worth (which is often present if you have been abused) then why would you care enough to keep your health up?

  5. Vonnie, everytime I've watched 'Heavy' I've noticed that too. That people are dealing with some serious issues, that they used food to try and combat. There is a show on OWN that deals with people combating food addiction. And yes, I don't see anyone on Heavy who's just really in love with food. And most people have dieted or been dieting all their lives and it don't work. And yes, we all don't struggle with other issues along with our weight but it's more than obvious some of us, probably a lot of us do.

    I must say I'm struck by your comment, 'If you get to the point of feeling that you have no worth (which is often present if you have been abused) then why would you care enough to keep your health up?' That's deep, is some of the overwhelming mistreatment of bw by the black community in the U.S. done this to some bw, who don't know how or don't have the resources to figure out how to cope. Are we know self-destructive, almost trying for slow suicide. It's much to think about.

    I'm sorry with all the issues bw are having as group in the U.S. just losing weight, teaching some manners and trying to find a rainbeau man is not going to solve that. It's just deeper than to me. I'm not a therapist and I'm not saying all bw should get one or need one. But for those who do, we need get over the shame and get some help.