Why Black Women are Fat Part 4 – The Thickness! Alex’s Personal Weight Loss Journey
For the last two segments, Whitney and Monisha have discussed their personal tales on growing up being slender and skinny.If you have missed any of the first segments, you can catchup by clicking the links below.
- Why Black Women are Fat Part 1 – Alex’s Take (Brief Overview of the Situation)
- Why Black Women Are Fat, Part 2 – The Skinny Girl Edition
- Why Black Women Are Fat, Part 3: From Skinny to Thick to Skinny to ??? (Monisha’s Take)
After speaking with Monisha, she twisted my arm and asked me to talk more in-depth about my own life as I grew up being thick and everything in between.
Growing up, I have always been on the thick side. I have never been skinny. Never! For me, being skinnier at my private school and in sports was always preferred, while in the hood thickness was acceptable. Muscular and thick girls were always labeled “fast” or “tom boys.” I was the latter one and unfortunately I never appreciated my thickness. I recalled a teacher recommending me me for tap and jazz classes instead of ballet because of my muscular tone. I was not “fit” for ballet.
I never appreciated being thick or having boobs and especially a butt. I was very shy about showing any skin and never wanted to be considered “fast.” I avoided tight clothes and resorted to baggy ones if possible. I used to always be teased growing up because my gym shorts were extremely tight on my butt thus showing my underwear line . Ha!
The above photo shows the smallest I have ever been. I 14 and fresh off a summer track and field team. A white tee, jeans and some kick were a staple item. Yes, that is all my thick hair and I had a perm too. Yikes!
Nothing ever fit my body. Being petite, with a butt, curves and a tiny waist made it almost impossible to find clothes to fit me. The worst was wearing my private school skirts as I would be teased because my skirt would be higher in the back than in the front. I could never borrow my friends’ clothes because they were all smaller than me. I became very confused and my self-esteem was always in conflict as one environment said I should become smaller yet the other said I should flaunt it.
When I was in college, I was finally didn’t care about being skinny anymore. Going to Texas Tech University, I was ready to make myself and I had worked hard to look “rip.” I was at a great weight and very muscular. I gave Serena Williams a run for her money! *3 snaps … I also had a amazing boyfriend at the time, who was very supportive and was one of the critical people in teaching me about nutrition. He was studying to be a nurse so I got my fair share of a nursing education as we dated through college.
However, college life caught up to me along with the daily chicken strips, mashed potatoes, fries and dr. pepper meals. I wasn’t working out anymore with being a full-time student, working 3 jobs and a butt load of stress. I had gained a significant amount of weight and steadily fluctuated between gaining and losing 10 to 15 pounds. I admit, my college boyfriend loved me through out my increase in weight but we did have a difficult discussion about my weight. Although he didn’t have the right words to say “Alex you need to lose the weight and get it together,” he did support me and loved me through it all. It was one of the worst positions to be in for us both. He even helped trained me for any race as he was a ex-cross country runner. (He was a bit to pushy I am not gonna lie lol.)
When I graduated college, I slowly kept those 15 pounds and added more on thanks to more stress, emotional eating, lots of long hours and happy hours, mid-life crisis, traveling and a desk job. Being thick wasn’t so cute anymore as my face became fatter and fatter. Standing 5 feet 2 and half inches, I slowly found myself 1 pound shy of being 200 pounds– the heaviest in my life. The word thick was not thick anymore- it was just simply fat. I still had some curves but not being able to walk up a flight of stairs or a 5k anymore was not sexy nor acceptable by any means. I was fat, depressed, angry and malnourished.
But instead of accepting this, I started to look around me and see I was still smaller than my environment. Everybody else was the same size or had gained weight- it was acceptable. I started to see the health of several people deteriorate thanks to blood pressure medications, obesity, daily fast food intakes, diet pills and much more. It was nothing I could do about it, it was just the way things were. I thought…
One Christmas holiday, I was able to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends Latoya (above). LaToya and I have been friends since elementary. One day while hanging out with her, a lady went on a tangent about how fine and thick she was. She argued that guys loved her “thick” plus size body and she will continue to eat fried chicken and bbq each week no matter what the doctor said. The person who said this had a beautiful face but was close to 300 pounds. I said to myself “Self, if she is thick. You must be skinny!” …..
Like most women, she wasn’t exercising because “she got her hair done every week and wasn’t about to mess it up unless it was due to clubbing or getting some nookie.”- Being real you guys..
Listening to her made me realize my surrounding and how misguided they were. My life was changing before my very eyes and I was just letting it all go away. I suddenly realized I didn’t want to follow the same path and become another number. It was time to do something about this unhealthy weight for once and for all.
As time went along, I dropped back to my “normal” size and have maintained being a healthy size. I am still thick and in the past few years, I have appreciated being made the way God has made me. I know what my trigger points are when it comes to overeating and I also discuss a lot with Richard Mack, veteran fitness trainer, who helped me gain my Serena Williams body back in the days. (I know I lost it!! Argg I will get it back!) I also learned that skinny does not equal healthy. Don’t let those skinny girls who eat McDonald’s every day fool you…
While at times I do wish I could be skinnier like Monisha and Whitney, I know that it’s more important for me the be healthy inside and out than to focus on being skinny. I am comfortable and focused on being physically fit for my triathlons or half-marathon training programs, eating organic and healthy meals, staying away and off all medications but most importantly taking time to recharge and appreciate every day that God has given me.
While I am about 15 pounds from my ideal weight, I am far more healthier than I ever have been in my life. I am focused on losing the weight the correct and healthy way so that I can keep it off and make being healthy a lifestyle. It takes time and it’s a daily journey.
I was not born skinny or slender nor tall, I was born muscular with killer curves and all. (Cue the poem Phenomenal Woman ..Yeah that’s me! LOL ) One thing is for certain, this body is a temple and a vessel. It was never meant nor designed to be fat and out of shape. It was meant to be a blessing for others so that God can work through me to inspire His people. — Okay let me stop.. I am about to start preaching to you all. LOL
In short, I am determined not to be another number in the obesity rating for black woman…. You don’t have to be.
The choice is up to you!