“How many middle-aged white women fear their husbands will find them less attractive if their weight drops to less than 200 pounds?”
“…there’s a church, a liquor store and a dialysis center on every corner in black Memphis.”
“…it’s estimated that the total cost of America’s obesity epidemic could reach almost $1 trillion by 2030 if we keep on doing what we have been doing.”
I couldn’t stop reading Alice Randall’s brilliantly honest piece, “Black Women and Fat,” in today’s New York Times op-ed pages. Not because, quite honestly, I read I didn’t already know. Last year, I created Fit! Live! Win! because I am passionate about helping people live fit healthy lives (and, yes, because I think there’s a viable business opportunity in doing so). And as a black man, I am well aware of the health disparities that make, in my opinion, obesity the No. 1 killer of African Americans in the United States.
I couldn’t stop reading because of the Vanderbilt University writer-at-large’s brutal honesty. Her clear, stark words. Her siren-call to black women nationwide.
“The billions that we are spending to treat diabetes is money that we don’t have for education reform or retirement benefits…”
“My goal is to be the last fat black woman in my family. “
“I call on every black woman for whom it is appropriate to commit to getting under 200 pounds or to losing the 10 percent of our body weight that often results in a 50 percent reduction in diabetes risk.”
“We have to change.”
Randall has taken the first step, committing to a life of exercise (Zumba, treadmill, yoga and more) and better eating (“My quick breakfast is a roasted sweet potato, no butter, or Greek yogurt with six almonds. That’s soul food, Nashville 2012.”)
Forget the cultural bull we often hold onto as an excuse.
We have to change.
Starting tomorrow. Sisters, are you in? if so, follow my blogfor regular fitness and nutrition advice. If you’re in the Birmingham, AL area, join us on July 28 at Fit Fair ’12 at The Bridge, located at 100 Lexington St. It’s a one-day interactive event featuring fitness and weight-traning classes, healthy-cooking demonstrations, wellness seminars, motivational speakers and sports competitions (bowling and three-on-three basketball tournaments.)
If you belong to a church, ask church leaders to subscribe to The Temple, an e-newsletter offering fitness and nutrition advice that is distributed through churches. You may do so by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.