Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Confession Tuesday

In light of Body Image Week being hosted by a variety of teen book review bloggers, I confess that I have been a closet eater for years. Since I was a little girl I'd sneak and hide food. I'd wait until no one was around to get snacks or make extra meals. Why I thought I was actually hiding makes little sense since it was clear by my size that I enjoyed eating. I've never quite broken the habit but I have had success, sometimes I've been more successful than at other improving my dietary habits.

As an adult, I don't want to be thin. As an African American woman, our body image is different from the rail thin white models we're all bombarded with. Still, for a long time I desperately wanted that brick house body. We like to joke our men like a little meat on the bone, but nobody needs to carry an excess of thirty pounds which is clinically classified as obese. I actually was an amateur bodybuilder for a few years. (Yes, I competed and actually placed respectably). Anyhoo, my current challenge is to take off the ten plus pounds I packed on during my early morning runs to Checkers during my midnight shift. I got into a quite damaging habit. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (the tight pants alone wasn't enough to motivate me to stop) and I was instantly depressed.

Being older and coming from a family plagued with short life spans often curtailed by disease and poor dietary habits, I know my body can't take this weight. Fortunately, I've got more than vanity pressing me. So, I'm off for a walk shortly and when I come home, my guy will encourage me. Still, I'd really like to get to a place where I stop overeating. However, in order to stop overeating I'd also have to learn how to better cope with stress and disappointments. To read more about Body Image Week visit My Favorite Author.

To read more confessions, check in with January.


z said...

Good for you, Susan! I've been struggling to lose weight, too, knowing it doesn't feel good (that belly shake, the rolls behind my waist) plus obesity runs in my family and with it, diabetes...all my life, my mother has been on a diet and now is part of OA; took me a while to accept that food really is an addiction for her, and NOT dealing with the underlying emotional stuff keeps her afraid of food, and makes me reach for cake way too often...so let's agree to take good care of ourselves, outlive and honor our ancestors, and set a better example for the girls in our lives. Thanks for sharing xo z

susan said...


I'm there. Diabetes runs in my family as well. I've lost two aunts to the disease.

Obesity is a rampant among the young women I work with and those who I'm particularly close with, I try to encourage them to address their weight. I know they have a lot else going on, but their health matters, too. A few meetings ago, I suggested to the peer facilitator to look for healthier snacks. We have changed the food and there were no complaints. We do still serve some junk, but they also reach for the good stuff and that is moving us in the right direction.

Summer said...

Good luck. I'm right there with you. Been going to Mickey D's a little too often. But why do they make it so good? Congrats on the bodybulding stuff! That's really cool.

susan said...

Hi Summer, thanks. The older I get the less forgiving the body. I'm ready to take this off.

The bodybuilding life was a lot of fun. I only competed for a short time and was not the least impressed with those who abused drugs or the body. I do have great respect for those who are truly committed to good health and fitness.

January said...

Good luck making this lifestyle change. It's important to take care of your mind, body, and spirit, as you know.

Thanks for confessing!

Shalonda said...

Good for you!

I am always excited to hear people making changes to better their health.

I must admit, I am awful when it comes to taking care of myself. I eat way too much junk food. I was always extremely thin and tried to gain weight, but the wrong way, and I've not been able to break the nasty habit of eating fast food and sweets.

Luckily, I'm getting married soon, so I have a goal to get healthy by eating my fruits and veggies and exercising on a regular basis.

Best wishes to you!

susan said...

Thanks January and Shalonda for the encouragement.

Lisa Drafall said...

Thanks for your honesty.

anthonynorth said...

I never had any problem with my weight until I reached 40, then I started ballooning. I eventually sorted it out by changing from 3 meals a day to 5 small meals. Same food, but distributed differently, ariving at the point where you never feel full and never feel hungry. The weight fell off, and I've now eaten like this for years.

AD said...

i had a problem which my boss sorta solved with a unique diet plan the other week.
by God's grace and my willpower i think i m getting there.

happy Sunday!


Granny Smith said...

I once had a very stressful job and my stress reducer was to come home and eat several sandwiches before supper. I gained 50 pounds before a friend asked me "What does it feel like to be really fat?". At that point I looked at myself in the mirror and started on diet and exercise that took me down to my wedding weight - not model thin but able to wear becoming clothes again.

Good post! And congratulations on your avoidance of dangerous obesity.

Tumblewords: said...

Good luck! An admirable goal.

Larraine said...

I understand completely. That's why I finally had weight loss surgery. You might want to check out my other blog: http://bariatricnewlife.blogspot.com/

It seems drastic, but it's not. It's not a quick cure for obesity. You have to eat the right things. Some people react to different foods after surgery. I can eat a limited amount of sugar. Anything too greasy, though, will literally make me sick. You also eat more slowly. It's worked well for me. I've lost 79 lbs. I'll never be model thin. That's okay. If you can "beat" obesity by diet and exercise, more power to you. Some people have been able to do that. For me, it worked for a while. However, as I got closer and closer to goal weight, I had to constantly cut the calories and was always hungry. Good luck in your quest.

Dee Martin said...

This issue is such a struggle for us all - women especially. I have managed to lose 34 pounds since the beginning of November and it has been from making changes in what and how much I eat and walking. I've added to the exercise a bit. I'm NOT young anymore and there have been health issues and those issues also run in my family. It took my getting to a place in my head where losing weight and feeling better physically became more important than the hamburger or cheesecake. I wish you all the luck - hang in there. Feeling good is so worth it.

floreta said...

i don't think i ever told you yet but i love your new-ish layout :)

this is a great topic.. of course all women struggle with body image.. i think 4 in 5 women are unhappy with their body. myself included :P
so it's silly to compare to other women cos chances are they have their own insecurities too.
but the DIET is the big thing, i think more than exercise, that determines your weight.. you really are what you eat.

Anonymous said...

what i'm lovin' about your blog is that you're SO real!

susan said...

Hi Mayra, well, to say I'm stoked that you came by doesn't get it. Should I admit I squealed, too? lol Ah, the older I get the more real I seem to get. It's easier to be real. Anyhoo, glad you like it here.

Of course, I'm coming to check out your site now. I admit I don't know the update on your new book.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting.