All Articles Tagged "overeating"
By Christie Mims
You are sitting at your desk, buried under work, and you are exhausted. So you reach for a can of soda, or a leftover cupcake from the company lunch, and eat it mindlessly as you click through your email.
As you get dressed the next day, you zip up your pants and think to yourself “Oh nooooo…my job is making me fat!”
Sure, you can argue about long work hours, loads of stress, no time to finish your New Year’s Resolution to lose weight (remember that?). You can easily just blame your job.
We’ve all been there, trying to finish up a project before the next meeting and eating whatever is leftover in the break room for lunch. Or coming home exhausted and surviving on a diet of caffeine instead of sleep. You aren’t alone in feeling like your job is (literally!) a weight around your neck.
But the truth is that your job has nothing to do with it.
Your job isn’t grabbing a cupcake and shoving it in your mouth (for a long time, I was convinced my job was purposely buying cake…you know, just to mess with me!), it isn’t skipping workouts and making you chose a burger over a salad at lunch.
Read more on YourTango.com.
About two months ago I was watching an episode of “Chelsea Settles” on MTV.com. I can’t remember exactly what happened that episode; but at its conclusion, I looked over at my sister and said in all seriousness, “I love Chelsea. Like for real, I love her.”And I don’t think I was being overly dramatic; as I’ve been known to do, I genuinely mean it.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Chelsea Settles,” you know the show is something like a coming of age story. Chelsea, a recent college grad from Uniontown, Pennsylvania, decides to move to L.A. to pursue a career in fashion. If you’ve never seen the show you might wonder why her story is worthy of a reality show. Good question. Unlike most college grads, at the start of her show, Chelsea weighed 325 pounds. (Which she carried rather well.) Looking at her, fully dressed, I never would have guessed Chelsea weighed that much. But when she revealed her stomach to be measured, it was painfully clear that the scale was not lying.
As you might suspect, her weight was a big hindrance. It literally affected every interaction in her life. When she met someone, she worried that they would judge her because of her weight. If she went out and things didn’t go as planned, she assumed it was because of her weight. And I’m convinced she stayed (or is still) in a lackluster relationship because she was scared that no one else would accept her and her weight.
[There was this brotha on the show who was finer than her current boyfriend, showed genuine interest in her--who she also liked; but she would not give him the time of day. Maybe I should commend her loyalty; but if I had a boyfriend who cheated on me in the past, I don't think I would be inclined to go so super hard for him when I could upgrade. But that's a story for another day.]
For better or worse, America is a country obsessed with weight loss. (Especially at this time of the year. Including this one, we’ve featured three stories on weight loss, just today.) So it’s no surprise that Chelsea would garner a lot of attention. But Chelsea’s story is more than just losing weight. It is about body image, self confidence, opening yourself up to new opportunities and getting rid of the baggage.
While some of Chelsea’s baggage was physical, we all can relate to carrying around literal or figurative weight we should have put down a long time ago. (See Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady.”) Chelsea’s story is universal. That’s why it is so inspiring to watch her shed pounds and baggage throughout the course of her show. We saw Chelsea learn to trust people, get a job in the image conscious fashion industry, excel at that job, speak up for herself and most importantly identify what events in her life caused her to gain the weight in the first place. We watched her shrink in size and grow as a woman all at the same time.
I couldn’t be happier for her…or so I thought, until I saw a picture of her in a recent interview with Us Weekly.
Chelsea told the magazine since she’s started working out and eating healthily, only when she’s hungry, she’s lost 116 pounds. Can a sista get a hand clap? Wow! Chelsea’s story is inspiration for all of us. Her weight loss journey can show anyone, of any size, that when you address your issues and work toward moving past them, you’ll be able to conquer seemingly insurmountable odds.
You gotta love this girl for that.
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Just a couple months ago, when I was hanging out with my mans and his girl – smarting from a big war between my girlfriend and me. We were waiting on her to get ready to go see 9th Wonder spin, and while we waited we sat down to “Patrice O’Neal: Elephant in the Room” on Netflix stream.
The Shyte was hilarious. I didn’t want to move. O’Neal was aiiiiight on “The Roast of Charlie Sheen”, but I hadn’t been so enthralled by a stand-up comedy since I saw Katt Williams’ Cincinnati show about seven years ago.
After watching O’Neal’s show, all I thought was, “I’m absolutely following this cat’s career from now on.”
Alas, it wasn’t to be. Following his November 29th death after complications following a stroke a month prior, “Elephant in the Living Room” seems oddly prescient, considering he speaks a lot about his illness and the potential death that could come of it.
Now when I look at O’Neal during that stand-up, I see a man sadly headed down a physical road of doom that so many black men have and will continue to endure.
It burns me to see so many black folks in Chicago and Detroit (the “fat” cities in which I reside) find some level of comfort or apathy in being obese or woefully out of shape. Our cultural mindset skews toward an affinity for “bigness” in the sense that some extra weight is simply a by-product of being black.
No. Perhaps you can be somewhat meaty and still healthy – the BMI is not so much the issue as is what’s going on under the hood. Diabetes, which O’Neal was inflicted with, is an entirely manageable, treatable disease. Eating in general is often an addiction, and sweets are even more insidious. But we owe it to ourselves to understand that food is an addiction and that every addiction can be overcome given the right steps. Just a few years ago I saw myself headed down his path: I was far from morbidly obese, but I ate what I wanted, when I wanted and I was pretty thick-ums.
When I lost my job, I turned my anguish and defeat into an excuse to work out everyday. I lost a good 20-plus pounds and knew I’d never, ever go back. Simply put, I’d like to hang around for my unborn kids, be able to throw around a ball – any ball – with them and grow old without tubes running out the side of my butt at age 55 because I didn’t take care of myself.
Another issue black men have is an inherent mistrust of doctors. We tend to think they’re all out to either sell us something we don’t need and can’t pay for, or even more dubiously, make us sick when we weren’t already. My best answer to this is to find a (consciously) black doctor that recognizes your concerns and will do well to be cool with your issues.
I don’t need to spend an entire column preaching to you all about the skewed health factors that affect black folks – especially black men. But think about O’Neal, how he went at an all-too-young age of 41 and what it means to stick around for a while. It’s hard to control stress all the time and it’s nearly impossible to control what the Fawk the police will do at any given moment…but what you can control is what you put in your body.