June 5 Radio Show – “Weight of The Nation”

June 4, 2012

Tomorrow night I discuss the obesity epidemic, including the HBO documentary “Weight of The Nation”, and the NYTimes editorial debates on weight and Black women.  My interest in this is not just as the topic du jour. I am about 30 pounds over my ideal weight for my height. As the saying goes, sometimes I “carry it well”.

Sometimes.

Some days I feel great. Nothing can stop me. I am “That Girl”, on top of the world. Other days a photo of myself makes me cringe. Even the best fitting outfit looks like a mumu on days like that.  Now that menopause is setting in, the insecurity increases.  I look heavy, therefore unattractive.

Watching “Weight of the Nation” segment on obesity’s stigma hit home for me. While not as heavy as some of the interviewees, the struggle and emotions are the same.  However, the one thing I never did was fad diets. Instinct told me they wouldn’t work. And it has come to pass that no physician in their right mind would recommend any of those diets. PhenPen–the original magic pill, magically killed a few people, then magically disappeared from the shelves as a result.

The only true way to lose weight is to watch what we put in our mouths, and how we move our bodies. Yes, diet (not fad diets) and excercise.  Cooking at home instead of take out every night. Getting off the train a stop or so away and walking the extra blocks.  Walking the dog (if you have one). Play catch with your kids–it’ll get them moving too. Hell, even using Wii is better than nothing at all.

Weight is an industry: Food plans, pills, shakes, fake food(that is delivered to your house for the amount you could buy your own fresh groceries), gym memberships, and let’s not forget excercise videos. Yes I owned the TaeBo set back in the day–who didn’t? Plus size clothing (for men and women) costs more than “regular” sizes.

But the true high cost is in health care: if you have a condition, more doctor visits, prescriptions to fill, and if one qualifies for bariatric surgery, that’s one hell of a cost.  And let’s not forget the emotional cost.

The teasing, ostricizing,nasty looks and nasty remarks will drive you crazy or make you perpetually angry.  Been there. Put up with a lot of it until high school. I had a hot figure  back then, so never got teased. By my mid thirties–forget it. I hit my highest weight (225),. Had full on hypertension, knee pain, lousy periods, you name it, I had it. Stress eating almost did me in.

Almost. That year was the first time I hopped on the excercise wagon–my TaeBo season. The weight came off. Fine for a year, then fell off. Changed jobs, lost job, lost weight. My doctor was estatic, my refrigerator wasn’t thrilled.

New job, new career, stress eating returned. Hopped back on the wagon again to win a contest–I needed the money for a new computer. A co-worker trained me–and I managed to get under 200 for the first time in years. Kept it off for a year. Then the job took over, lost my apartment, lost my hair, boyfriend got on my last nerve asking about having kids when he knew damn well I can’t have any–stress eating again. Not only was I off the wagon, I was running in the opposite direction.  Went to the doctor, and the scale said 218.

Over the course of the next few years, left the boyfriend, left the apartment, cut off what was left of my hair, and eventually left the job. I did not want to see 225 again.

Thankfully I am in a place where stress eating is over.  My stress is good stress, it’s “I’m busy and I’m cool with it”.  By March I was back at 209. It felt good for a bit, but after watching the documentary it felt like time to challenge myself again.

Then came *****. This person will be anonymous because they were kind enough to hook me up with an online food journal.

I posted my goal, and what I’m eating every day. Then I started posting my activity. Not necessarily gym workouts, anything I did–gardening, lifting groceries, walking through the park…

Then the little dot on my graph started to move. I could look back and see what I’ve done. I’m diggin’ it. Still not ready to hop on a scale, but this is the coolest way to see progress. Today was the first “gym” workout–cardio and a little weight training. Why? ‘Cause I needed something to log on my chart. Can’t let my graph sit still. 😀

We’ll also discuss “fat acceptance”. There is one thing about that I have an issue with: when someone who clearly cannot fit into a bus or subway seat forces their way in just on principle. If you can’t fit, don’t sit.  If I see an open spot, but know my hips won’t fit, I just keep standing. Why make yourself and others uncomfortable?

Also, there are claims that weight and health aren’t related. When a 9 year old is 100 pounds and has diabetes, sorry, they’re related.

But I’ll discuss more tomorrow night. Join me! Here is the link:

“Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?”

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