All Articles Tagged "weight gain"
Many of us put on a little extra weight during the winter months and the holiday season can be especially fattening for a lot of us. As you gather round the dinner table for some turkey, stuffing and libations with family and loved ones, here are some tips to avoid packing on the pounds.
Eat Before Celebrating
Not eating breakfast or lunch in order to save your appetite for the main event is a rookie mistake. In addition to breakfast being the most important meal of the day, waiting until the late afternoon or evening will no doubt lead to binge eating. So instead of having just a sliver of sweet potato pie, you end up eating three hearty chunks topped with whipped cream. And a scoop of ice cream on the side.
I would be lying if I said that I’m 100 percent comfortable with my weight these days. While my size isn’t something that keeps me from putting on a bikini or has me ashamed, I know that I’m far from the weight that I was when I left college. The food that was available to me once I got out of school and was working late hours to make my dreams come true (I was picking up fast food to eat late at night) has helped me gain weight that I’m still trying to find a consistent gym schedule to get rid of. The pounds are in my thighs, around my stomach and in my arms (though it’s not that noticeable because I’m tall). I’ve been able to lose a good amount of weight only to turn around and put it back on with the stresses of life. Like many other women working on their weight, it’s a battle for me.
My boyfriend hasn’t necessarily made a big deal out of this. If anything, he just wants me to be healthy and will furrow his brows at me for bringing McDonald’s and Chinese food into his home–though he rarely has food in his fridge. But after surprising me by buying me a J. Crew dress that I couldn’t fit, we had to have a very uncomfortable conversation.
In the past, for surprise gift-giving moments, my boyfriend had asked me what size I was. That question was tough enough to answer because my tops, even my boobs, can fit in a medium or a large when it comes to shirts. But my bottom? I have to try on things to make sure they fit. I told him that I was a large, told him to never buy me pants or a skirt and hoped that that would be enough. However, when the J. Crew dress didn’t fit, imagine my sheer horror when he asked me how much I weighed.
I turned up my face and responded with, “WHY? Why do you care?” In turn, he responded with this:
“I was just wondering. I just thought that’s something we should be able to know about each other as people in a relationship.”
Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t push me about the issue once I said that such information wasn’t his business, but it got me thinking. A part of me knows that my own insecurities with my weight are the main reason why I wouldn’t be comfortable with sharing my actual digits with him, and that’s part of the reason why I need to get back in the gym and get my life together. But then another part of me wonders, why would that information matter to a significant other? If I was going through a What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? type of thing where my weight was affecting what I could do and those around me and was starting to make me look completely different, then yes, that information would be useful to share. But I also feel that if I tell him such information, it will become a mental block that will make him too worried about my size, what I’m doing about it and what goes into my mouth.
Just this morning I was watching “Divorce Court” and it was one of those “Before the Vows” episodes. The couple looking for Judge Lynn Toler’s advice on whether or not they were ready for marriage were plagued by two things: the fact that they didn’t have a lot of time to spend together because of his schedule, and the fact that he was always in her ear about her weight. The young man said that while he loves “thick women,” his fiancée was getting a little “too thick.” Such comments were putting a rift in their relationship. And while this man only seemed to have eyes for his lady, Judge Toler couldn’t ignore the fact that he put a damper on his statements of admiration for her with yet another comment about her size: “I love her…no matter how big she gets, I love her and I want to be with her.”
And remember when Boris Kodjoe had so much to say about excessive weight gain and it being a good excuse for your partner to step out on you? Talk about pressure…
So I wonder, can weight be a distraction in a relationship? Is your relationship negatively impacted once your man knows anything about your actual weight and size? I’m sure it all depends on the man, the state of the relationship and how you looked when the relationship started (I’ve been around the same weight since we met, but I’m larger than he thinks…). But if you ask me, some information isn’t necessary for your man to know.
For now, I’m going to continue trying to eat better and take advantage of my two gym memberships to get back to a size that I’M happy with, and he’s welcome to come along with me for that ride. But the numbers aren’t as important to share in my opinion, because I’m not trying to be defined by or only looked at as those three numbers. Either way, my weight is something I have to deal with and get down–not him.
Once again science has given me an excuse for my behavior. Thank you science! We already know that losing and gaining weight has a lot to do with who you are and how you act; mainly because of how it affects your diet and exercise habits. So, your personality can cause weight gain, but does it work the other way around? Can gaining weight actually change your personality? Seems like a no brainer. You pack on the pounds, you lose your confidence and likely want to spend less time in public situations (likely, not always). But in a study published by Psychological Science, researchers found that there’s a specific personality trait that people who gain weight develop. Not only does the weight gain change your dress size, it also changes your temperament, making you more impulsive and likely to give in to temptation (raises hand).
The study examined data of almost 2,000 subjects that included their weight along with their character traits over a span of about ten years. They found that people who experienced at least a ten percent weight gain also gained more impulsiveness. At the surface, it’s a classic chicken and egg type of thing. Both of which sound very good right now. What came first — the weight gain that led to the impulsiveness or the impulsiveness that led to weight gain? But it goes a little deeper than that.
Before having children I hadn’t yet broken 100 lbs. but could — and did — eat whatever I wanted, and lots of it (I know, I hate me too). During my first pregnancy, I gained nearly 60 lbs., keeping the mindset that I could eat whatever I wanted and give in to every temptation, but this time it was, you know, “for the baby.” It was easy for me to snap back though. With baby number two, I maintained the same impulsiveness that I’d always had, gained the same amount of weight, but struggled to lose it all. I kept on about 30 lbs., and for every pound I didn’t lose, I gained more of the “I’m already overweight, so I might as well eat what I want,” mentality. So, “I’ll have that plate of pasta” turned to, “I’ll have that plate of pasta. Matter of fact, make it two.” Which almost always led to three. Babies number three and four– same weight gain, same problem, more pasta.
My baby-making days have long been over, but unfortunately, the one thing I’ve lost is my ability to “snap back.” I’ve held on to a lot of that weight, thus making myself more impulsive by hanging on to that same mentality that I might as well eat what I want if I’m going to be overweight.
The only things I haven’t been impulsive about– diet and exercise. Still waiting on science to give me an excuse for that one; although even without a degree in the sciences I’m pretty sure you can just chalk that up to laziness. Oh well….
Hey ladies (in my Beastie Boys voice)! Can you relate? Did gaining weight make you more impulsive when it comes to food?
When celebrity women gain a few pounds, they immediately find themselves under the critical eye of the paparazzi fat police. But these celebrity men have been gaining so much under-the-radar weight that you’ll have trouble recognizing some of them.
According to new research, Paula Deen’s famous Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding might be laced with a secret ingredient, which might be also helping you to pack on the pounds: racism.
The research, which was conducted by investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, has found that black women, who frequently experienced racism also had a higher risk of obesity than their less disenfranchised and oppressed counterparts.The findings, which currently appear online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, are based on data from a previous study, which survey 59,000 African-American women under the age of 40, over a course of 12-years about various lifestyle factors including height, weight and experiences of racism.
According to MedicalXpress, participants were asked in 1997 and again in 2009 to rate the frequency of “everyday”racism, including experiences like receiving poorer service in restaurants and stores, and if they had been treated unfairly because of their race on the job, in housing or by the police. Researchers found that women, who rated high frequencies of everyday racism in both 1997 and 2009 were 69 percent more likely to become obese compared to those black women, who rated low levels of racism.
According to statistics from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, black women on average have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to any other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women, or about 80 percent, are overweight or obese. Another recent study suggests one of the reasons behind the obesity disparities in black women is that, on average, must work harder to lose the same amount of weight than their white counterparts (seven pounds to one to be exact).
However this is the first time a study has tied racism to weight. According to research, racism does offer other health disadvantages including stress, depression, high blood pressure, cancer and even the common cold. According to this article in The Root, two recent Emory University studies show a connection between the stress from experiencing racism and high child mortality rates as well as learning disabilities among African-American children born prematurely. And according to this 2009 article in USA Today, the findings for one study, which first appeared in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that fifth-graders, who feel they’ve been mistreated because of their skin color are much more likely to have symptoms of mental disorders, especially depression.
Granted, the white man didn’t tell you to eat the whole dish of that Krispy Kreme bread pudding. However Paula Deen did invent it so…IN all seriousness, it is not unlikely to assume that racism can play a role in your weight. Stress eating is real. And so are food deserts and racial disparities in diagnosis, treatment and follow up of patients. Plus racism effects other aspects of your life including economically and socially, so why not your heath, in particular your weight?
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.