25 Jun 2013
- Written by Dr. Timothy Moore
Four out of five African-American women have a problem with being obese and each year that number seems to increase. This is an epidemic that must be reversed.
I talked with a woman recently about her weight problem and her struggle to lose the pounds. She had tried every type of diet and weight loss program on the market, but none of them helped her lose the weight. So, instead, she decided to accept the fact that she would never return to her former self, when she was more than 50 pounds lighter.
An integral part of the household, too many African-American women busy themselves around the house and care for the children without regard for themselves. Sedentary lifestyles are associated with weight gain.
Another factor is that stress and constant worry may cause anxiety and emotional trauma. When this happens, the impulse to overeat becomes acute. In many cases, the overeater may not choose the healthiest food.
I work with African-American women quite often, and many of them resist changing their diet to improve their health. I'm not harping on African-American women – if that's what you think. In my opinion, women in general may resist a diet change – even if it means they're likely to lose weight in the process.
Whether the woman is a housewife, corporate professional, single, laborer or student, there are pressures in life that may become burdensome and lead to unwise decisions regarding health. Fancy diets and fads will never work if women continue to gorge on pizza, fried chicken, Chinese food, burgers, fried pies and microwave dinners. This unhealthy mix contributes to the obesity rate.
I'm sure no one wants to be overweight. However, women in particular don't always fare well in relationships and marriages when they have a weight problem. Here's my position: women with low self-esteem are often subjected to domestic abuse – whether it's emotional, verbal or psychological.
Although a person's low self-esteem or unflattering opinion of herself/himself often leads to overeating and weight gain, it should not lead to constant badgering, stares and nasty remarks. But it does. People can be insensitive, mean and unfeeling.
So if you're overweight or obese and have a hard time losing the weight, don't despair. Here's what you can do instead: eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and try to be a little more active. That means you'll have to get up and move your body.
Moving your body will make all the difference in the world. You'll feel a lot better and start losing weight if you just walk three days a week for 30 minutes. Light aerobics will work too. Then you can start stretching, bending, rotating your torso and swinging your arms to further loosen up your body. Exercising is the key to good health, but do it gradually. But don't forget to eat nutritious meals.
If you're sincere about losing weight, take control of your life and put together a plan. It doesn't matter if you're an African-American woman or not, there are grave consequences to overeating and being obese. It's just that too many African-American women have more than enough on their plate to deal with.