All Articles Tagged "obesity"
In the words of Michael Jackson as the scarecrow in The Wiz: “You can’t win.”
Ain’t that the truth, though?
After reading about the Playboy model who taped a fellow gym-goer naked to share her disdain for the woman’s body on Snapchat, all I could think about was that song. Lord knows we have this very peculiar habit of shaming obese individuals, and then still giving them crap when they make an attempt to shed the pounds.
In case you missed the story, Playboy’s 2015 Playmate of the Year, Dani Mathers, landed in some hot water (and possible legal trouble) after the 29-year-old Snapchatted the body of a woman undressed in the locker room shower. The caption, to accompany the video and the image of Mathers’s shocked face? “If I can’t see unsee this then you can’t either.”
What she hoped would incur laughs and co-signs has since cost Mathers her gym membership. Oh, and her job. To make matters all the more serious, the gym where this invasion of privacy took place called the LAPD on Mathers. According to the Washington Post, she is facing the possibility of being charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. If that happens, she could end up with a fine, or worse, jail time. Six months to be exact.
And while we all could continue to go ham sandwich on Mathers for doing something very disrespectful and damaging to an innocent, unsuspecting woman, some of us also need to take responsibility for our own fat-shaming hijinks. Whether we do it outright or don’t even realize it, the statements and actions we hurl at the expense of larger men and women are all pretty damaging.
For instance, the way we can’t appreciate a story about Gabourey Sidibe, whether it’s about her career or an outfit she wore, without people feeling it necessary to harp on her size and say, almost seven years later, that she still needs to lose weight.
Or the ways in which we put conditions on who is allowed to be overweight. That includes saying that if you haven’t had a baby recently (emphasis on recently, as in, if your baby is less than a year or two old) or you’re not sick, you should be ashamed of yourself because my tax dollars are going toward people like you.
How we do the most when it comes to the accomplishments and style choices of larger people. If they get through some tough moves in a fitness class, they get attention for keeping up or get ignored completely because of the assumption that they won’t keep up. Or if someone bigger wears a revealing ensemble, it’s an “I see you!” spectacle.
The way that we try and pretend we’re health experts when we tell overweight people that they need to do better for the sake of living longer and happier, not knowing anything about the state of their health or their contentment. Because who could be happy when they’re big, right?
And the way we equate beauty with being smaller, telling an overweight person that they’re “cute for a big ___.”
All of that is cringe-worthy. But what’s even worse is the idea that after tormenting some people into the gym to lose weight, folks, like Mathers, make them feel as though they still don’t belong. As though their weight is something to mock despite their attempts to do something about it. As though working out to take care of themselves is subjecting others to the sorest of sights. It’s all yet another reminder that people really don’t give a sh-t about the health and happiness of overweight people. They just want to mock someone because they are so pressed to feel important or superior in any way possible. And that often has a lot to do with people’s own self-confidence and happiness levels.
Because, if we’re being honest, why would a Playmate of the Year who tightens and tones up to showcase her body, and who had her body reaffirmed on a national stage, be so bothered by another woman trying to take care of her own?
Why did this woman assume that the heavy-set Black woman in her yoga class was “judging,” “resenting” and “stereotyping” her “skinny white body” when she struggled through some moves?
And why does someone confident or working to be confident in their own skin, offend other people so damn much?
Because people are fighting their own inner battles and looking to jump on any person who can make them feel better about themselves.
With all that being said, I hope the woman videotaped comes forward and sues Mathers. Not just because of the fact that she grossly invaded the woman’s privacy, but to do so as a warning for people, in general, who are so worried about what other people do with their bodies. You don’t need to cheer an overweight person on in the gym for killing it, nor do you need to shame them for showing up. But what you do need to do is worry about yourself and the vessel God gave you.
I spend a good bulk of my day reading blogs and writing for them, and every now and then, I’ll drop by the comment section to see what everyone thought and what the tone of the conversation is like. For one story in particular, pertaining to the pros and cons of being in an interracial relationship, I was amused by a comment that read, “Black women have a hard time finding men because y’all are overweight and out of shape.” I thought this was ironic since it was written by a Black woman, but she expressed that women who are skinny can basically get any man they want while the sisters on the hefty side have slim pickings. It was a comment clearly meant to troll, but it got me thinking.
Unless you’re superficial, I had never known weight to be a factor in determining whether or not someone was worthy of love unless there’s morbid obesity involved, and even then, there can still be someone for everyone. I thought about my own self and the extra weight that I currently carry. I thought about all that I have to offer as a person and as a woman and hoped that my thickness wouldn’t dissuade someone from pursuing me. With that in mind, I decided to gain a broader perspective on this way of thinking by asking a few people if weight was a factor in whether or not they decided to pursue someone.
“No, it isn’t a factor,” said one man. “But how they carry themselves, I do think that matters.” Carrying themselves, of course, wasn’t in reference to a person’s actual weight, but rather, their natural presentation. Is this person confident? Do they grapple with an overwhelming self-esteem issue that makes them a downer to be around? Do they not know how to dress for their body type? These are the things that mattered to this particular person, not a woman’s size.
“No, I don’t think her weight would make her undateable,” another man stated. “If she expressed that it was a problem for her then we could work out together.” In this particular individual’s case, he expressed that a healthy lifestyle is important to him and he would hope that a future partner valued good health as well. However, if it was something that affected her day to day and the way she felt about herself, then he would want to see a real effort made to turn things around.
One participant felt that if your heart is leading you in a person’s direction, why question it with superficial thoughts about weight?
“That depends on you. If it’s that big of a deal then don’t, but if it isn’t and it’s something you can look past then I say go for it if the person makes you happy. You should always want to be healthy and if the person isn’t, then lend them a helping hand, but don’t discredit them.”
There were a few people who stated that they were raised to believe that in their particular culture, weight can be viewed as a symbol of wealth. Still, they acknowledged that western views have shifted that perception and have set a different standard that the skinnier, the better. However, they choose not to pay attention to such unelightened guidelines of beauty.
But a few individuals felt that it is important for the lifestyle of your partner to merge well with your own, and that played a role in their stance.
“Honestly, I couldn’t date someone who is overweight and unhealthy because that isn’t my lifestyle,” a man said.
In the end, what makes someone dateable is completely relative to a person’s own lifestyle choices and preferences. A majority of the responses that I received seemed to entail more so of a worry about the mental effects of being overweight (confidence, self-esteem, habits) than the actual physical state of the person they would be pursuing. So, in summation of all the answers I received, no, the size of an individual doesn’t make them undateable, but how they feel about themselves does.
The Biggest Loser Being Investigated By Police After Claims Of Contestants Using Drugs To Lose Weight
We told you recently via a great piece by the New York Times that many contestants on The Biggest Loser who dropped a ridiculous amount of weight during their short stints on the show struggled to keep that weight off. Many often gained a large amount of weight back, or even surpassed their original hefty size. The man who studied certain former contestants for six years, Kevin Hall, Ph.D., blamed it on both a slowed metabolism that made it harder to burn calories, and a dip in leptin, which made people’s cravings for food much stronger.
That story, which got people talking, ended up being the beginning of lots of interesting things being revealed about the show and what the contestants go through. Just last month a Season 2 contestant came out and said that contestants were encouraged to take “amphetamines, water pills, diuretics,” and throw up to help lose the weight.
“I vomited every single day,” Suzanne Mendonca told the New York Post about her time on The Biggest Loser. “[Trainer] Bob Harper tells people to throw up: ‘Good,’ he says. ‘You’ll lose more calories.'”
With those allegations coming out about the possible use of drugs, an investigation is now being done into the show. According to Us Weekly, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has set their sights on The Biggest Loser‘s King Gillette Ranch in California.
“We are conducting an inquiry into some of the allegations of wrongdoing that occurred some time in the past,” said Lt. James Royal to the publication this week. He stated that the investigation began in May after police were informed of the “unsubstantiated allegations of illegal narcotics use in the past on the set of the television reality show.”
However, those associated with the show, including producers, former contestants and trainer Bob Harper, who has directly been called out, are refuting the allegations against them, stating that the well-being of contestants has always been a priority and no drugs would ever be given to them.
“These allegations are absolutely false and are also in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness,” Harper said in a statement to Us. “Safety is paramount in my training regimen.”
The Biggest Loser definitely has received a lot of criticism lately, but the show has always been a lightning rod for it. Many have been against the show’s competitive weight-loss angle, which has been seen as dangerous and not conducive to teaching individuals how to lose the weight, change their eating habits and sustain such changes for the long term. And people also have felt that the show pushes contestants too hard by restricting their food intake and making them work out for hours in the gym every day for upwards of six hours, which could weaken the heart muscles. With The Biggest Loser now being hit by allegations of having contestants use drugs to see results, one can’t help but wonder what impact it will all have on the future of the program. If nothing comes from the investigation, you can be sure that somebody is getting sued…
If there’s anything you’ve been wanting to get off of your chest but didn’t know how to, a few painkillers will definitely help you do so. Just ask actress and singer Amber Riley.
The former Glee star had some dental work done recently, and while she was feeling the buzz from her medicine, relaxing in her loungewear sans makeup, she decided to address people who had been making comments about her size on her social media pages. For all those showing faux concern about her weight, through her Instagram page she made it clear that she doesn’t want nor need you to care so much about her business–including her body.
“Why does me being fat offend so many people? Is it because I’m confident, and I’m fly, and I’m sexy? Do my thighs, offend? Does my stomach, offend? Does my big juicy ass, offend? Why? Why? Let my big ass live! I let y’all live! I love all colors, shapes and sizes. So, just so you know, when you come on here, and you call me fat, it’s not an insult, dummy. My a– is fat. And the fellas love it. And so do I. So eat it!”
But her clapback for her haters is no surprise. Back in 2010, when Glee was was all of the rage, Riley told People that while there are some things she works on changing, and that “I’ve gone up and down” in terms of her weight, she loved her body.
“I love my breasts, my face, my butt,” she told the magazine. “Most importantly, “I love myself.”
Check out what Riley had to say below and share your thoughts:
According to a recent survey published in the June issue of the journal Body Image, the way we see our bodies could play a part in the success of our relationships. I’m sure most of us had an inkling that our insecurities could have a major impact on our romantic connections with people. There’s always a possibility that an individual wouldn’t feel like they’re enough for their partner or would rely too heavily on them if they don’t like the way they look or feel. Plus, there is that whole saying that nobody can love you if you don’t love yourself, or, can’t nobody love you for you, or “love yourself, girl!” Or something like that. Work with me, people.
But truly, I don’t think we realize the ways individuals display their self-doubt aside from jealousy when it comes to the things we do in our relationships. In the study, which was executed through an online survey posted both on NBCNews.com and Today.com websites, researchers surveyed 12,176 people between the ages of 18 and 65 about the way they feel about their physical appearance, and the type of behavior they exhibit in their relationships. What researchers found was that very few people, men, and women alike were “very to extremely dissatisfied” when it came to their looks, with men clocking in at six percent and women at nine. But as was pointed out, “feeling very to extremely dissatisfied” with weight was a more prevalent issue, with men coming in at 15 percent and women at 20 percent. It was those with a higher body mass who stated that they were more dissatisfied with their appearance and weight. Therefore, they displayed more unstable, neurotic behavior in their relationships, said they had fearful and preoccupied attachment styles and spent quite a few hours in front of the TV. On the contrary, only one-fourth of men and women said they felt “extremely satisfied” with their appearance (28 and 26 percent) and weight (24 and 20 percent). But those people were more open, conscientious and had bigger personalities, causing them to be more secure in relationships, have a higher level of self-esteem and be more content with their life, in general. As researchers summarized, “These findings highlight the high prevalence of body dissatisfaction and the factors linked to dissatisfaction among U.S. adults.” In laymen’s terms, as it turns out, our bodies are playing quite the role in our overall happiness, not just in our romantic relationships and encounters.
In a press release, lead author of the study, David Frederick said that “Body dissatisfaction and anxious attachment styles can lead to an out-of-control spiral and fuel each other. People who are less confident in their appearance become more fearful that their partner will leave, which further fuels their worries about their appearance.”
Basically, it’s a dark hole. So, if you’re less than pleased with the way you look, it’s going to hamper your romantic connections. Without coming to this realization and working to turn such negative feelings around, many of us are setting ourselves up for more hurt and pain as we go from partner to partner.
I kept it hush, but I did it. I didn’t tell many people, because I knew certain circles of friends wouldn’t understand. Others would have jokes. Even women, would suggest I was less than a man. But, quiet as kept…I did it on the low-low. Last year, I spent over six months as a vegetarian.
Through the years, I have lightly explored bouts as a veggie head, primarily for weight loss. However, as I have moved forward in life, I have found that this life as a part-time vegetarian actually works for me. I am at my lightest weight in years. I managed to crank out a half marathon last year and I am far more active than ever. Granted, this is a different time in my life and good health is a priority over all. So, perhaps I could get similar results eating more meat. I just didn’t.
However, what is more important is that I take the kid on this journey with me. Here I will outline my reasons for doing so and perhaps you will ponder it more. These reasons are not that of a doctor so please consult one or a nutritionist when really delving deep into vegetarianism.
1. General Good Health.
I know I’m not a doctor, but I don’t have to be to know this: vegetables are good for you. Duh! Generally, we just don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. There is a general practice that I have in my house, there have to be at least 2-3 brightly colored items on our plate at night, if we happen to have meat. You can get any nutrition from vegetables that you can get from meat. This is one of the mistakes I made earlier in my exploration, but last year I got help getting my total diet together.
2. Instill Good Health
I know this sounds like the first one, but it’s not. I intend to fully instill the proper way to eat to my daughter now so that she keeps that forever in life. What I mean is that it’s not good enough to just put it on the plate. You have to explain to them why eating veggies is important to their lives. I share with her the dramatic health ailments that some of my friends and associates have had in their 30’s and 40’s. It may not be solely meat related, but it certainly is junk and lifestyle related. I let her know, if she starts and maintains this healthy life, she can have a great quality of life. Once, upon a time, I thought Hamburger Helper was a good, home-cooked meal. My parent didn’t feed me garbage growing up. I just didn’t know.
3. Meat – Gotta Rethink It
I realize now one of the reasons I ate meat a lot of the time. It just got me full and kept me full for a longer time. Also, you could get meat for shockingly cheap prices – that $2 for two cheeseburger deal was the bomb! And I was broke. There is another side to this and it lies in high cholesterol levels, hormone-injected meat, antibiotics, other toxins and no fiber whatsoever. Meat actually contains more pesticides than fruits and vegetables, one study said. Also, meat simply stays in the system far too long. It takes a lot of energy to process. A year and a half ago, ate a giant jalapeño burger in New York City and the ‘itis was so bad, I called it a day. It was the last time I ate beef. My daughter has cheerfully joined me on this journey. Her mother recently told me that she goes to her home and even shares some of the things we cook at my house.
One of my favorite rappers, KRS-One planted the earliest seeds of vegetarianism. Shout out to him and his song “Beef” from 1990.
4. Vegetables and Fruits Taste Great
I stopped having junk food in the house. I openly admit, I don’t have the will power and neither does my daughter. I recently tried to have cookies in the house as the occasional treat for her. I looked up there high in the cabinet and saw there were way less cookies than before. She had been sneak-eating! I left her the following note for when she goes for another stealing session!
Huxtable quips aside, I have learned that vegetables taste really good and even better when you add the proper spices. Add some legumes, quinoa, brown rice or fresh-cut potatoes and you won’t have any issue have a fulfilling meal. I admit, it takes a bit more time and planning, but it is well worth it. I don’t want to discount fruits – I love them way more than fruits.
5. I Want To Stay Around
My daughter and I have a great time together and I’d like to keep it that way. I am the product of a father that left the Earth in his mid-40’s. I am acutely aware of my mortality at all times and my health as well. It is my intention to say around, strong and healthy as long as I can – primarily for my daughter. Heck, I want to stay around for myself too, but I just know that it is necessary to help guide your children even when they are grown. She’s do the same for her kids and so on and so on. This has to be a movement.
I just finished a month as a vegan. Let me tell you…that was not easy for me at all. Its like vegetarianism on steroids! However, I will continue to delve deeper into living healthy, as we all should do. Right now, I am a mere pseudo, part-time vegetarian that is weighing out the options. After my month of veganism, I had some great hot wings during the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight. I’m back now though. For me, its not necessarily about rigid vegetarianism. It is about sharing the full breadth of options to my daughter. The food our kids ingest is very different that the food of old even the fruits and veggies. (About 70% of all that stuff is genetically modified!) It just isn’t good enough to ignore the obesity rates in kids, which is about 1 in 3 here in America. Understand, this is a war over mind and body. It doesn’t sound pleasant, but it will be when you’re child is running the same way at 40 when she/he was 14. Now, that’s a vision for the future.
Childhood obesity and its rate in the United States has been discussed time and time again, as more and more kids are being diagnosed with the disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems While in the recent years the steadily increasing rate has leveled off, it’s still a major issue because over one-third of kids diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2012.
In an effort to combat obesity head on, schools across the country have been implementing and issuing weight “report cards.” This program was actually launched in New York City public schools nearly a decade ago. According to New York City’s local CBS news station, “the report cards list the child’s body mass index (BMI) along with a designation ranging from underweight to obese.”
However, a new study by the National Academy of Sciences found the policy doesn’t present an outcome of weight loss. Amy Ellen Schwartz, a Syracuse University professor, and her team studied four year’s worth of data and found those labeled “overweight” or “obese” generally did not go on to lose weight. “In fact, some students — especially girls — gained weight,” WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
As a 24-year-old who remembers my younger years quite vividly, I would hate to not only have to keep up with grades but my weight at school. Honestly, there’s nothing encouraging about these weight report cards for kids to lose weight or be healthy at the very least. So, once a child receives the report card that labels them as underweight, overweight, healthy weight, what happens? Are they just left to deal with it themselves or does the school continue to nurture their education of living and eating healthy?
In school, I learned best about being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight through my health and physical education classes. Sure, many things can be taught at school, but somethings are better left at home — especially when it comes to judging a child’s weight. There’s enough pressure to fit in and find friends and find yourself, so I could only imagine the added stress a weight report card causes most students.
Instead of reporting on weight, school’s should implement environmental strategies to make healthy eating and active living a part of daily lesson plans. Maybe start a classroom garden? Try special potluck lunch where kids have to bring their favorite healthy food? How about the program try out Fitbits that the students use throughout the day to be consicous about making sure they are active throughout the day? While that may take more coins than the school system is willing to put out, there’s got to be more intelligent ways to address obesity in school than a report card.
Am I right or wrong y’all? Apparently, there are nearly 19 states that have instituted the report cards. Has your child received one? If so, how do you feel about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Lindsey M. Adams Talks Life After Losing 140 Pounds, Skin-Removal Surgery, And Seeking Emotional Healing
Before vs. After. #skintight was a story based on my life of removing #excessskin. Over 20 lb of skin were removed in 9 procedures. Today I am 6 weeks post op. The show and I worked really hard on renewing tightness to my thighs, with a specialist who preformed an aggressive revision not aired. This is Just the start with no exercise or muscle definition until healed. #BreakingtheBondageofOBESITY #weightLoss #health #fitspo #fitfam #instafit #myweightlossjourney #beforeandafter #weightlossjourney #looseskin #skinremoval #excessskin #TLC #RealityTv
If you tuned into last night’s episode of Skin Tight, you finally had the chance to see Lindsey M. Adams’s story play out.
We’ve been chatting with the 29-year-old Chicagoan about her health and fitness journey since the beginning of the week (part I, II and III here), but we really had no idea what she went through to get rid of the skin that 140 pounds lost left behind. It wasn’t easy for Adams, as she went through quite a few surgeries, including having work done on her stomach, breasts, thighs, back and arms, going under anesthesia three times. We literally watched as pieces of Adams were removed and placed on a table, dumped in a clear bin. It looked painful, and it was. As Adams told me during our last chat yesterday evening, when she looked at the scars soon after the procedures, she was horrified by what she saw.
“I really thought I was duped [laughs],” Adams said. “I did! I had an entire cut up abdomen and back and I was like, ‘No way! I look crazy!’ I couldn’t see, as you can see now, how it smoothed out and how the pleating and darkness went away. But at the time, I put a lot of expectations into it, too.”
She continued, “You have this expectation of what you are going to look like, but you may not look like that right away. After surgery you’re huge. You’re blown up, you’re full of fluid, and you may gain some weight because you’re sedentary. You have to wait for the inflammation to go down. You have to wait until you can go back in the gym and rebuild your muscle tone. So it takes a whole year, at a minimum, to really see the results. So in the beginning, I felt duped. I felt like somebody chopped me up and that it was a cruel joke.”
Adams not only felt duped, but we watched as she gained 40 pounds back and dealt with depression while going through recovery.
“I was stuck, secluded, by myself in a cocoon. I couldn’t do anything for myself,” Adams said. “The depression was because I had to deal with a completely secluded, sedentary lifestyle. And that was what I had broken free of. I go to the gym, I’m active, I meal prep, I ride my bike around Chicago, I go to events, I go to church. All of that was gone. Everything that was your positive self-affirmation, the things you do that make you who you are, they were gone. All of it at one time. And then your body is different. You have to think: my nipples were in a different place. My vagina is literally in a different place. Your whole body is different. They redid my thighs; they also cut open my buttocks, my hips, and my groin. So you have to deal with a brand new body, really.”
Thankfully, Adams is doing much better these days. She worked hard to fight her feelings of sadness and doubt, and also provided herself with the post-operative care she needed to completely heal. She’s back in the gym working on toning up, preparing to get into women’s lifting groups and to take part in triathlon competitions in the near future. When she looks at pictures of her body before the surgery and looks at her body now, she can’t help but feel like she’s come a long way.
“I feel really happy,” Adams said. “And that may seem very stereotypical but that’s the honest truth. When you live your life as a morbidly obese person, you can be a fighter, you can be talented, you can have a cute face and you can be stylish, but happiness is very hard to find living in an obese world. Especially because of all the taunting and the teasing, the relationships. You really are facing challenge after challenge after challenge because of the way you feel about your weight and the way other people look at you because of your weight. So when I look at my body now, I definitely feel happier, which is important. And I definitely feel fullness, which is important, too.”
But what about how Adams feels about herself on the inside? She definitely has come a long way but has no problem being honest about the fact that she still has a lot of work to do to gain some inner peace. To find the emotional healing. And to forgive herself for the way she allowed people to treat her when she was obese.
“There’s a lot of emotional healing people need to do from being obese,” Adams said. “I really do still need to work on breaking the bondage of obesity from the inside. Because right now I’ve lost the weight and that gave me a great frame, so people are like, ‘You’re fit! You’re beautiful! You’re great!’ But I have to separate my value from how I look. Because I’ve gained more value now that I look better because I fought for it. But I still have a lot of pain from the decisions I made and the things I allowed to happen to me because of my weight. Especially in relationships with men.
So I need to heal from a lot of physical abuse I went through, emotional abuse I went through because I let people treat me any way because if they showed me attention, and I was overweight, I thought that was the best thing ever. So I need to do a lot of emotional healing from my old way of thinking.”
She continued, “There was a quote from my Facebook page from 2009. I started my journey in 2011. I had this quote that ‘Lust is better than love when done the right way.’ Lust. Like, a guy would see you and if you had big breasts or he liked the color of your skin, or you’re just someone he can get sex from, that’s better than love if done the right way. I really thought that! I thought having a little bit of something was better than having enough value to wait for something great.”
Adams said it’s that type of mentality, not just in dating but life in general, that held her back for so long, and it’s what holds other people back from losing the weight. Doing so truly is a fight for one’s life–and happiness.
“That’s also why people don’t lose weight. They’re like, ‘If I can just get the weave, get some nice clothes, and a date, I’ll be good.’ It’s not worth it to them, two and a half or three years to lose the weight. People aren’t willing to put in the work because they don’t think they’re worth it. It’s like, in love, it is worth it to wait and say no to the wrong guys and stay single. Same thing with health. The work you put in and the time and years to lose weight is worth more than just dressing up obesity. Don’t dress up obesity, because it’s going to kill you. And trust me, it’s harder being obese than it is to lose weight.”
So, in the end, despite all the work, Adams has been able to gain a lot from all she’s gone through. One specific thing she’s thankful for?
“I think I missed out on the freedom in my body,” Adams said. “The revelation I got while I was on Skin Tight when I couldn’t move, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t use the restroom on my own, was that, Lindsey, this was what was going to happen if you hadn’t taken the opportunity to save your life through weight loss. So when I get to the gym, I feel like I literally haven’t had freedom in my body for so long. Because obese kids don’t feel comfortable in their body. Jumping up and down and waving if you’re in a little program at school, you don’t do it because you feel insecure about your body. So when I’m in the gym, I’m exploring a part of my being that I never had before. My arms, my legs, my chest, my back, my glutes. I’ve never exercised and used and enjoyed them like most kids do. Kids run around like crazy. But obese kids who are insecure, they lose that. So that’s why I love exercise now. I’m finally Lindsey, and I lost so much of her for so long.”
It’s time for Part III of Lindsey M. Adams’s weight loss story (Part I and II here). With any substantial weight loss, you know there is going to be loose skin. For Adams, it was a lot of loose skin, so much that it became something of a dark secret she tried to hide. While she would smile in people’s faces and tell them about all the incredible progress she’d made (again, she’s lost 140 pounds), she battled with personal shame. A shame due to the fact that not only was the skin a sight she didn’t want to see, but also because she was still filled with a lot of hurt and pain from many years of being obese. I could go back and forth and try to lead you into all of her thought-provoking statements about the skin you see above, but I don’t want to take away from the powerful message. So here’s what Lindsey M. Adams had to say about the hit her newfound confidence took when she had to look at her loose skin in the mirror every day. She explains the differences between the way she looked at her body at that time and the way she looks at that loose skin now. In her own words:
When I looked at it then, I was naive. I kept thinking that it was fat. Fat rolls like I’d always had. I kept thinking, “It’s going to go away.” Then one I realized it didn’t go away, I really just didn’t talk about it. For me, I’m an inspirational speaker and I’m a naturally positive person and I just couldn’t really figure out a positive way to spin it at the time. I really couldn’t because there was nothing I could do about it and I really hated it. So I didn’t really feel like going into detail about it. Like I said before, at that time I had about 350 videos on YouTube when I finished my weight loss journey. And I have one skin video. Other than the ones I just recently posted talking about the show, I have one video. It doesn’t show the skin.
So it wasn’t until Skin Tight that I could really mention the skin because it’s another form of shame. I was speaking, I won a state business competition in Chicago, people were excited for me. I had been obese my whole life so I didn’t realize how popular weight loss was. I didn’t know people were obsessed with weight loss. So it was a personal shame. Even my mentor didn’t really understand. She would say, “Who is seeing you naked? Nobody but you.” So when you asked me what I wanted to be free from in my health journey, it’s a lot of shame and emotional trauma. Because with my breasts down to my belly button and my arms sagging and I can’t even wear a short swimsuit, it was hard. I had been a plus-sized fashion blogger for years. But all these great crop-top swimsuits couldn’t be a reality for me. Even the plus-size bloggers who were just big, their skin was tight, so they could wear stuff I couldn’t. So here I am in between getting rid of the morbidly obese girl, but looking like a distorted girl.
I felt so much personal shame so I didn’t feel secure when I was speaking. But my voice has gotten a lot stronger and I can’t wait for more videos and speaking engagements. Because before I would just regurgitate information I had learned during my speeches. But now, because I went through such a hard experience, now I really have a voice. Before I was telling people something, now I’m sharing with you my life. And that’s the difference between loose skin me and now in that I’m totally being real with you. I was real before because that was truthful information but I was just telling a story and information. Because of my personal shame I didn’t feel what people expected me to feel. And I didn’t feel like all the compliments that people gave me–I couldn’t even receive them because I was hurt. I think I was actually kind of mad, really, now that I think about it. Everybody was so happy for me but nobody really knew what I looked like and understood how I felt. Just like when I was obese.
People would say, “Lindsey, you’re so stylish, so great, so positive.” That’s how they treated me when I was obese. No one thought my weight affected me because I was so put together. Same thing for when I lost the weight. Everybody thought I was good and that I had made it. People were doing stories about me, but nobody really understood what I was going through because of the skin.
You can check out what Adams looks like after having all the skin removed on the premiere of her Skin Tight episode tonight at 10/9C on TLC (Don’t worry about what your TV guide says about My 600-lb Life at 10, it’s really Skin Tight). And tomorrow, we’ll follow up with Adams about life after the show, how it changed the way she sees herself for the better, and what’s next on her health and fitness journey. Again, check out her social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and her website to stay tuned into her story.
Video blogger and health advocate Lindsey M. Adams is approaching 30 with a new lease on life. She has an entirely different mindset and a whole new body. A body that she will show off on this Wednesday’s episode of the new TLC show Skin Tight, which is about people having cosmetic surgery to rid themselves of loose skin after major and natural weight loss. But before she steps out and shows off the work done by a team of surgeons to pull her skin tight and tough, you should know her backstory, and the five years of work she’s put in to change her mind, body, and soul on her own. To lose her addiction to large portions of food, to lose her insecurities, her doubts, and a whopping 140 pounds.
It started back in 2011 when she was 25. The Chicagoan had been overweight for as long as she could remember. It was the norm for her.
“I grew up with obesity on my maternal and fraternal side,” Adams said. “I was overweight by the time I was seven; I was morbidly obese by the time I was 14. The first time I was accountable for my weight, which is the way I started losing the weight with my accountability partner, I was 307, but I had been much bigger before and never got on the scale. So I think my max was a little bit over 320 pounds, which I was most of my teenage years and all of my adult years.”
It was something she had learned to be somewhat comfortable with.
“I had been overweight all my life, but I had never really actively tried to lose the weight because my mom always affirmed me as far as making me have enough tenacity and personality and style that I kind of moved through life well as a morbidly obese young adult and adult.”
But then, one day, the woman who would eventually become her mentor in her weight-loss journey asked her something no one ever had. She asked Adams how she felt about being overweight. A light went off in Adams’s head. She ended up unloading a lot of the pain, the struggle, the feelings that she’d been holding inside.
“People had either taunted me or teased me, or ridiculed me, but no one actually asked me how I felt about being overweight. And that’s why I was able to take my whole life and express my feelings of living in an obese person’s body, and that helped her help me, and we started the journey together for two and a half years to lose the weight.”
But it wasn’t one of those The Biggest Loser movements to shed the weight. She wasn’t off at warp speed trying to drop up to 10 pounds a week. As Adams put it, “I focused on one pound at a time for 30 months” until she lost 140 pounds.
She started off slow. In the beginning, her mentor encouraged her to walk around the local outdoor track three days a week. Adams lost 25 pounds after consistently walking in July, August, September and October of 2011. She walked and walked and walked.
“She’d offered to sign me up for a gym, but I was like, ‘No. Until I can prove to myself that I’m serious about this, I’ll stick to this,'” Adams said. “So walking outside for free was what I did. And then in October 2011, I joined LA Fitness, and I started doing group fitness classes.”
Adams faced a whole new challenge. Putting herself out there in a way that she had avoided for so long because of her body. She didn’t feel free in her frame growing up, so she was insecure about jumping around as a larger woman. But she had to recognize that what she was trying to do was bigger than what was going on in her head. So she started standing in the front of her classes, introducing herself to her instructors. She was happily getting advice from other gym-goers.
“You need help. That’s what people need to recognize,” Adams said. “When someone can finally openly address that they have a weight problem and it’s life or death and meant to kill you and that that’s what obesity is and really will do, it’s important. I had to always ask for help. I didn’t just show up and blend in. I would go to the front of the class to the right side. Introduce myself to instructors. If I saw a girl with a really beautiful physique, I would ask her for tips and information. And I did a slew of other things from 2011 until I reached my goal weight in 2014.”
Adams also had to work on her mentality when it came to what she put in her body. She had to make herself a “healthy and fit person who cares about nutrition.” Believe it and say it, because as she put it, “Your mind is a computer.”
“What you put in is what you put out,” Adams said. “And I was reading in my scriptures about prophesizing and in the scripture, the power of the tongue. Yes, diet and exercise is so important, but you have to change your mind. Yes, you may want this and this and this, but if you know you’re a healthy and fit person, you’re not going to grab a big bag of Doritos.”
Adams did a lot of spiritual work and participated in cognitive-behavior programs to change things up.
“You may grab for some sweet potato chips if you’re having cravings, but it doesn’t even cross my mind to eat like a giant piece of cake or go to McDonald’s or eat a big ole piece of meat with a big ole piece of bread anymore. It conflicts with who I am. It doesn’t go with me. You have to do something long enough and strong enough to change your will. It takes time. I’ve been doing this for five years, and that’s a very small amount of time to cover 30 years.”
And that’s why Adams has continued hard to practice self-control, meal prep, and track her diet. She’s even become a gym rat. And all that has paid off when it comes to her body and her way of thinking. But why then did Adams struggle to share her journey with people? Her goals? And why did it become even harder for her to talk about the fact that while the weight was coming off, the skin that it was wrapped around wasn’t?
We’ll discuss that part of Adams’s story tomorrow, in Part II. That will lead up to her big reveal on TLC Skin Tight this Wednesday. In the meantime, you can follow her story on her website and social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram. Get inspired to get healthy!