Fat and Black: The Issue is Not that Complicated

June 28, 2011  |  


Toccarra Jones is an example of a woman who is thick and fit.

Black culture is one that appreciates full-figured, voluptuous women, also identified as thick. Not to be misconstrued with being overweight or obese, thick is curvy and at least somewhat fit. A thick woman may have a muscular build that leaves her BMI (body mass index) on the cusp of overweight but nowhere near fat or obese.  Big black women are notorious for denying the applicability of the BMI chart and attributing their weight to racial predisposition.

We have to get our minds right. Unless you’re some sort of bodybuilder, five foot four and 150 pounds is too heavy. Even more so than the number, we have to take into account how we look and feel (in respect to how quickly you become short of breath) and stop making excuses for what’s in the mirror. The longer you remain in denial, the fatter you will get and that can lead to a multitude of other things like depression and diabetes. Acceptance comes before change.

While diet and nutrition are very important in terms of losing and maintaining weight, improvement rather than strict regulations should be the focus. Fried chicken, collards, cornbread and macaroni and cheese are perfectly O.K. You just can’t eat like that every day. Balance and moderation are the keys and, as long as you are active, you can eat foods you like.

Activity is the main ingredient in healthy physical being. In spite of being a former college athlete, I’m not fond of distance running or working out. After 15 years of year-round competition I prefer not to sweat my hair out, either. But, health is far too important to be hindered by the superficial. You have to find what works for you and create a system.

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