All Articles Tagged "weight gain"
Welcome to our new column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.
Are you overweight? I am not talking about a pant or dress size either – let’s address the emotional baggage we tote around in a fancy designer bag from childhood pain and grown woman crises. The burden from the past and present, coupled with poor eating to numb the pain can put us at risk for many diseases.
Six years ago, I had post-partum depression. I was heavy, carrying 163 pounds on a petite frame while my thighs cried for mercy. My health numbers were scary: LDL for cholesterol was cause for concern; blood pressure was over 140; mental state was weighty; and finances were anemic. I was at risk for heart disease and life arrest.
February is Go Red Month, raising awareness about women and heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the U.S., claiming more lives than all cancers combined. As Black women, we are carrying a load filled with drama – ours and everyone else’s. Stop. It’s killing us. Black women suffer from heart disease at twice the rate of white women. Some of the factors that contribute to this disparity are higher rates of obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and stress. (Click here to learn about the Heart of Style Tour offering complimentary heart health screenings and discussions.)
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, aka The Money Coach, is a personal finance expert, television and radio personality, and the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom. Khalfani-Cox advises her clients not only about finance but also the correlation between finance and weight. “When you are carrying extra weight around it impacts your thoughts and finances. I tell my client the first step in becoming debt free is to get healthy mentally, physically and fiscally,” she says. Basically leave the stuff you can’t control alone and focus on your well-being to get to a healthy status.
The first step to losing “baggage” is acceptance. I had to admit to myself that I had issues and sought out help and counseling. Once I started to get my mind right, I joined the gym. However, the extra weight on the knees was too much for classes, so I started walking. Baby steps. I walked five minutes, then 10 minutes and soon I was at 60 minutes. My mind was flowing again, the cholesterol dropped; blood pressure was 106/69 and re-launched my PR consulting business. Simply taking ownership of my thoughts and dealing with all that baggage empowered me to get fit and healthy.
RESET: There is no miracle cream or magic underpants to help you drop the mental and physical weight overnight. It took you a period of time to pack on the emotional pounds and it will take the same commitment to drop them. Incorporate a healthy lifestyle regimen into your daily routine daily, know your numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index) and your heart will thank you.
Just the other day I went into the doctor for a quick visit. Part of turning 30 this year really got me to the point of thinking that I needed to make my health a priority. My doctor laughed at me and said I was perfectly healthy and not much was going to change in eight months that we needed to worry about unless I felt sick or something was hurting and would not stop. While he explained this to me I was still in a daze because when I first got to the doctor’s office they took my vitals; blood pressure, height and weight.
That’s when I found out that in the past year I had gained 15 or so pounds.
Just a little background, I’m not a big guy at all. In fact, 15 pounds looks good on me. (According to all my female friends…) The problem is that all men know that at some point your metabolism slows down and that’s when, if you’re not careful, you start gaining weight and you can’t stop. I left that doctor’s appointment and did what any other self-respecting Black man would do –I called my mama. She also laughed at me and told me that it wasn’t a big deal at all and I was just getting older. I told her that I wanted to lose it immediately before it became an issue.
However, the question of whether it would affect my dating life or have any impact on my social life, never really crossed into my mind. I’m not a gym rat so I have never been the type to be obsessed with myself aesthetically. I’d much rather live an active lifestyle than spend hours in the gym trying to get washboard abs. I imagine it’s not the same for women because I think their looks matter a lot more in the grand scheme of things. If I had to choose whether I’d be fat or broke, I’d choose fat every time. If a woman had to make that choice, things might get interesting.
That’s not to say that weight hasn’t gotten the best of men in the past. I have had buddies who gained a little too much weight by sitting around drinking and playing video games. They all of sudden didn’t want to go out as much and weren’t really into going on vacations where they might have to be in trunks or something sleeveless. I want to say that the weight bothered them but it was really the fact that they were insecure, and in that case, it could have been anything. To keep it real, ugly and fat dudes who have confidence can still pull any woman they want. A dude can be the second coming of Adonis but if he has no confidence it won’t matter. So yeah, in that case, the weight might have been the issue, but the real source of the problem was insecurity.
So for example, when it was rumored that Rob Kardashian curved a family photo shoot because he felt like he had gained too much weight, it’s not really about his weight. It’s his confidence. I also think that it’s not becoming of a man to tie his confidence to his weight all that much. Of course it’s important and he should be cognizant of the impact that being overweight can have to his overall health but he shouldn’t be thinking that he’s somehow doomed in the dating world. All in all there are other things he should be focused on. Are his affairs in order? Is he ready for a commitment or is he just trying to play the field? Above all else, a man has to ask himself one question every day, “Am I headed up or down?” And like I said, if he ties weight to that question, that’s just a problem in itself.
Is it all those cheeseburgers a boyfriend brings around that makes us gain weight? Or perhaps it’s the singles who are at risk, because of the lonely nights spent with a tub of ice cream? Actually, both are correct. Nobody is totally safe from the ways dating, love and relationships can make us pack on the pounds.
Women wonder if changes to their physical appearance over the course of a relationship affect men and if it’s something men take into consideration. I believe that most men do care, to an extent, about the physical appearance of the women they’re dating and I think every man at some point has tried to envision what their woman would look like in hypothetical scenarios like increased age and weight gain. The question derives from Boris Kodjoe’s recent comments during his press tour regarding women gaining weight in a marriage and the importance of keeping it “sexay.”
As far as my own personal preferences, the topic of weight gain is a nuanced one. For example, if a woman gains weight due to sickness, I’m inclined to ignore it. What that means is I don’t necessarily look at it as her gaining weight, so much as I view it as a byproduct of her sickness. However, if we’re talking about a woman who got into a relationship and simply let herself go, I’m a little less understanding on that point. For me, the difference in perception of a woman’s weight gain is based on the amount of control she has in the situation. I’m far more likely to be sympathetic to my woman if she gains weight in an uncontrollable situation, as opposed to a woman who simply just didn’t give a damn about how she looked.
Men are in interested in what their women will look like in the future, but I tend to believe that’s mostly in the beginning. When we first meet women, things like their personality, wants, hopes, and dreams aren’t what we’re interested in. We, as men, are interested in how she looks because that’s all the information we have at the moment. The more we get to know a woman the more her inner beauty shines, which, in most cases, makes her outer beauty less important. I won’t say men aren’t sneaking looks at the other women in their girlfriends’ family to make sure she has good genes (because every man has at some point been told to look at a woman’s mother for a clue as to how she’ll look in the future) but generally, the more we get to know a woman the less we “see” her and the more we see the real her.
I know it seems shallow to talk about women in this manner. And it can come off a bit sexist and maybe even a tad chauvinistic, but I would be cautious with the amount of judgment shown. Both men and women are shallow — even if they’re not shallow about the same things. Women are attracted to physical (and other) features of a man just like men are attracted to physical features of women. I saw a comment that said a woman gaining a large amount of weight in a short period of time is indicative of a larger problem at hand. It was also said if the man is not willing to help the woman with that problem, he shouldn’t have been married in the first place. I counter that with, if a woman has a major issue and she’s eating to solve her problem instead of working with her husband at the beginning of the issue, maybe she shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. Doesn’t sound that enticing when put in reverse, does it?
Yes, men do pay attention to weight gain and wonder what women will look like in the future. I do believe, however, that once a man has made the decision to commit to a woman and gets to know her inner beauty, the outer beauty becomes less important. Notice I didn’t say “no longer” important, just less important. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to be physically attracted to the person they’re dating but, at the very least, one should focus on finding someone who values the inner beauty just as much as the outer beauty.
For more on RealGoesRight’s opinions on men and women, be sure to check him out with the all-star collective of black men writers over on SingleBlackMale.Org. If you prefer something a bit more direct, feel free to follow him on Twitter at @RealGoesRight and subscribe to his blog at RealGoesRight.Com.
Boris Kodjoe Says Gaining Weight In A Marriage Is Unacceptable: “Part Of The Deal Is You Gotta Keep It Sexay”
We all know Boris Kodjoe has no tolerance for the plus-size lifestyle so it should come as no surprise that when asked about relationship dealbreakers, weight was a major one. During the press junket for “Baggage Claim,” Cocoa Fab’s Cherise Nicole talked to Boris and Derek Luke to ask them what they could and couldn’t tolerate when it comes to women, and when it came to the topic of weight gain, Boris said that was a no go.
“Ok part of the deal is, you got to keep it sexay. Got to keep it Hot. Because it’s easy getting married, but it’s not as easy to stay married. And part of that is, like, I make my wife, my girlfriend. She’s my girlfriend. So, we got to keep it sexay. If we keep it sexay, we keep it right, everything else falls into place.
“What if I gained 200 pounds? And then she’ll look at me like, really? And I couldn’t even blame her if she started looking around. Because I took her off the market, so I have to deliver what the market could possibly deliver for her. So, I gotta take that place. Right? So, I gotta fulfill those things that the market could’ve given her. I’m the market now, so I got to keep it Hot and she has to do the same for me.”
While Boris was on a role with his marriage market talk, Derek Luke was quick to jump in with a more tempered response to weight gain in a relationship, saying:
“That’s part of my character. Part of my character is about commitment. You know what I’m saying? So, even if you doing the humpty dumpty, it’s commitment, cause you know what? The dude could go humpty dumpty! He could go from six pack to one pack, you know what I’m saying? Because in marriage, your body changes.
“I think [Boris] is right, you should put in effort to keep it sexay. But I think if you have missed the effort to keep it sexay, I think that there should be something stronger than your effort to keep it sexay. It should be commitment. That’s why marriages are failing in America and across the world, because there’s no commitment. Because commitment is the key to success. You can go up and down. It’s about where you land. It’s about your commitment. Cause sickness, weight, that’s in your confessions when you get married.”
Now in Boris’s defense, he did say if his wife were to fall ill, his intolerance of her weight would be a different story — and granted the interviewer did propose an egregious amount of weight gain (100 pounds) — but whenever we get into these discussions about something as minor as weight, I always find myself annoyed. I understand going from right and tight to obese is an extreme change, but are there not many more extreme changes one could go through in marriage that aren’t nearly as reversible as weight gain?
What if your spouse was to develop a degenerative disease or be physically scarred in a car accident, would you leave then to find something better in the market? Most times when a person gains serious weight, there are serious reasons behind it and if a man isn’t willing to stick by his woman and help her work through those issues, he probably didn’t need to get married in the first place.
Check out the full dealbreaker discussion in the interview below. What do you think about Boris and Derek’s responses?
Emotional eating can be one of the most disruptive habits to a person’s life. The guilt over losing control, not to mention the worry over the added pounds, drives a lot of emotional eaters to hole up in their homes, cancelling plans and even sometimes missing work. The results can be devastating. But while it only takes a few minutes to make the decision to consume those ten cookies, it also only takes a few minutes to overcome the urge. You just need actions you can take right now to do so.
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.
When I was in high school, there was no way you could have told me that those relationships I fostered within those halls weren’t going to last. When people would say: ”You’re going to forget the friendships you had in high school, but the ones you make in college are going to last,” I was determined to prove them wrong. Well, those people were partially right. I did keep a few of those friendships, I had no problem ending a few, especially one particular friendship over what I felt were unnecessary words.
In high school I was very thin though I never really exercised. However, I was very active. Besides being extremely hyper and constantly bouncing off the walls, I was also in marching band where we would have 2 to 6 hour practices that had us moving and marching for hours. So, I could continue to eat very unhealthily (I’m a burger girl) but still stay thin.
When I got to college, I didn’t engage in physical activity but continued to eat extremely crazy, resulting in massive weight gain (30 pounds in a semester). I rarely came home on breaks, so I didn’t see one of my high school friends for about two or three years. I finally come home and she comes to my door and picks me up to go out to eat. The moment I opened the door, her eyes immediately zoomed in on my stomach. Honestly, I was in partial denial about my weight gain, and was still attempting to pour myself in clothes that I couldn’t fit; therefore looking like an overstuffed burrito. (God, sometimes I’m too honest in these stories. All right, let’s continue with my shame…)
The entire time we’re at the restaurant she’s looking me over and kept uttering comments like: ”I mean, but what happened to you?… You used to be so pretty. I mean… you gained so much weight!” I tried to ignore it but when I was absentmindedly flipping through the menu and reached the desert section and she quickly reached over and turned the menu to the salad section, I got offended. We ate, went to a movie, she dropped me off, and I immediately erased her number from my phone. At that moment, I was too done. Though I was still trying to fit (unsuccessfully) into my old clothes, I knew deep down that I had turned into a “big’um.” I wasn’t ignorant to the fact that the only comfortable item I had to wear was my oversized college hoodie, I was just HOPEFUL that I was being too hard on myself and I didn’t look as bad as I did.
For a very long time I held that grudge. It wasn’t until someone asked me about a year ago why the friendship ended and I began to tell them. The other person I talked to started going in on my ex-friend. That’s when I surprised myself by defending her: ”You know what, yeah, she was bogus for how she went at it, but honestly, I had gained some weight then. Even though she was rude by how she said it, it did make me more conscious about what I ate and it did encourage me to work out more.”
Now, whether we want to admit it or not, humans are very sensitive beings. No matter how much people want to argue with: ”It’s unprofessional to get angry at negative criticism,” we all know that the moment someone goes in you, your natural reaction is to get defensive. But what I’m addressing now is that even during those very rude moments that you can’t avoid, try to find something positive from it to better yourself. People can always use more tact with the way they criticize you, and they’ll never put themselves in your shoes and think: ”Is this a way that I would like to be talked to?” But once you get past the ridiculousness, there might be something in that nugget of insults that you can use to make yourself a better person.
Now, I’m not as thin as I was in high school, but I’m definitely not as fat as I was when I saw my former friend. But whenever I feel very sluggish and don’t want to work out, that conversation encourages me to make healthier decisions in my life. Whether she was trying to help me, I don’t know, but without that conversation I honestly couldn’t start helping myself.
Kendra Koger is on twitter @kkoger.
“I Couldn’t Fit Into Anything. I Was 224 Pounds.” Laura Govan Explains Why She’s Launching An After-Baby Clothing Line
When you think about children’s book authors Laura Govan’s name is certainly not at the top of the list. But you never know what these Basketball Wives will do next. Watch above as Laura explains the inspiration behind her new clothing line, why she’s writing a children’s book and her upcoming wedding.
Why Jessica Simpson? Because God forbid a new mother’s first order of business be to bond with her baby. She has weight to lose and fast!
It’s terrible the amount of pressure placed on celebrity mothers and, by extension, non-celebrity mothers to lose baby weight as quickly as possible as soon as they leave the hospital.
Worse, are the celebrities that face the pressure themselves and then turn around and cover magazines promoting their weight loss as an even prouder moment than birthing a healthy baby.
Even “Queen Bey” has completely fed into this nonsense. She made headlines after telling her fans at a concert that she lost 60 pounds in five months by running on a treadmill and eating lettuce. I hope she was only kidding because that is ridiculous, especially since she is (or was?) breastfeeding.
New mom, actress and author Tia Mowry says that she was encouraged to seek surgery to help her lose her baby weight. At a book signing in DC, she told BellyItchBlog.
“Money was being thrown at me to do surgeries and I said no, ‘I want to do it the right way’ because I know there are moms out there who can relate.
“I lost 5 lbs a month which is what your OB/GYN suggest you to do, I would work out 3 times out of the week because moms, who are working moms, who want to spend time with their baby, don’t have time to be in the gym 2 hours a day.”
And why should they? It’s one thing if a person had a baby a decade ago and is still calling the extra poundage “post-baby weight”, but we really need to give these brand new moms a break.
Studies have shown that most mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight just a year after giving birth. So why glorify someone who has dropped the weight in five weeks as though that is something to be proud of and aspire toward? It’s unrealistic at best and dangerous at worst.
Granted, there are some things that newly pregnant women try to do while expecting to prevent a colossal amount of weight gain and that definitely helps them bounce back quickly. This is how Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr was able to walk in that famous fashion show last year just months after giving birth. However, if a pregnant woman piled on 75 pounds in ten months then it will (and should) take longer than ten weeks to strip it off.
Women have enough body image issues and pressures as it is. It’s not fair that a new mom should be subject to intense scrutiny and cruel insults (like the comments directed toward The Help‘s Bryce Dallas Howard and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) simply because they aren’t working overtime at the gym immediately after pushing a human being out of their uterus.
The expectation to make the weight evaporate seems standard because there aren’t enough celebrities, like Tia Mowry, who say publicly that taking care of their baby and their body is much more important than wriggling into a bikini in record time.
Instead, Jessica Simpson accepting the Weight Watcher’s advertising gig and Beyonce announcing her lettuce diet are prime examples of celebrity moms that insist on being part of the ever-growing problem that is expecting women to be walking around in ever-shrinking bodies and, quite frankly, it’s sad.
Do you think new Hollywood mothers are taking their post-baby weight loss too far?
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink or check out her blog: This Cannot Be My Life
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