With alarming statistics such as “About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese” and “African American women are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than white women,” there is no wonder why some of us choose to lose weight.
It doesn’t really matter what your catalytic moment was, but it prompts you to evaluate everything you’ve been doing and attempt to change it. You begin to look up clean and lean recipes to cook instead of eating out as much. You incorporate regular workouts into your daily schedule, possibly forgoing 45 minutes of Twitter or another idle activities. You research everything related to your new journey and embark upon it excitedly.
And once you’ve started to get a good groove going, this likely happens:
A family member guilts you into eating food they’ve prepared.
And knowing them, this food is heavy on fats, calories, and cholesterol. But they’ve made it quite apparent that they’ve slaved in the kitchen and you are extremely disrespectful if you don’t eat any or at least take a “decent” portion.
A friend or family members tries to make you feel insecure about how you look.
They might say you’ve gotten “too skinny” as if they’re the ones that can really judge the appropriate size of an individual. Also, “there was nothing wrong with you before” can be viewed as a backhanded compliment. It assumes that you don’t know your body and that you’ve wasted your time by putting effort into this recent change. Losing weight simply wasn’t necessary.
They might try to call your weight loss journey an obsession.
Yes, having some personal accountability is among the same ranks as a boy-crazed teenage girl and Ted Bundy. Instead of applauding your dedication towards a better life, they try to demean your progress by making you seem like a crazed addict.
Your loved ones might turn your progress into a means to victimize them.
You might have shared similar lifestyles with your homegirls and cousins and nem. If all of you are around the same size and you start to lose weight, then that would obviously make them feel a certain way. You are essentially their mirror, so your changes might read as a subliminal dis. If this is something they’ve been battling internally, you essentially just slapped them in the face.
Someone might suggest that your weight loss isn’t altruistic but selfishly and shallowly motivated.
IE “Who you trying to look cute for?” or “Who you trying to look like?” So they’re assuming that you can’t want to positively change yourself for yourself, but you’re trying to get #chose or emulate someone you’ll never be. They think you’re trying to please people that don’t matter. This normally is followed up with “if they don’t like you for who you are…” You know what it is.
Though we’d like to think they mean well, these comments can be damaging to someone who is venturing out on a new, life-altering process. Being committed to a better and healthier life requires supportive people that will encourage you, not sabotage your weight loss journey.
If you find yourself surrounded by people are cancerous to your goals, find alternate ways to interact with them but don’t forget the big picture. You want to lose weight; do it no matter what. Good luck!