Men And Your Weight | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Men And Your Weight

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Y’know, I often wonder just how much of our body issues as women come from men.

Trying to attract men… or trying to keep a man… or trying to please a man.

This isn’t some man-hating thesis… I love my men just as much as the next hetero chick (or gay dude, for that matter) but for crying out loud, I have to set some boundaries in regards to just how much of my life revolves around them.

When I chat with women about fitness, we inevitably have the “boo” conversation.

“Hey… I’m just tryin’ to get a boo.”

“Girl, you’re crazy. I get plenty of boos right now with all this booty and all these thighs!”

Then, you get your skinny minnies joining the conversation and pissing everybody off:

“I just want thicker thighs, but I can’t eat all that cornbread! I’m tired of being called skinny!”

Sure enough, we all leave the conversation a little more angry, a little more tired, and a little more depressed than when we entered.

I see three major issues, here.

Firstly, to the woman losing weight solely to get the man – once you get the man, are you pretty much done caring for and maintaining your body? Are you going to skip the working out and eating properly because you “got your boo?” I mean, really – talk about a bait and switch. We’d be mad as sin if he (or she?) only opened doors and pulled out chairs to make us swoon and once he felt like we were deep enough in love, gave up on that stuff. Find yourself valuable enough to be a person worth pleasing. If you’re at a point where appearance is important, be invested enough in pleasing yourself with your appearance… that you’ll work to maintain it for all time. Not just for now… or until he puts a ring on it. Sure enough, you’ll be forced to adopt healthier choices and everyone will be healthier in the long run.

Secondly, to the woman who believes she doesn’t need to lose weight specifically because all the men are praising her frame. There is nothing worse than a woman who uses outside validation as an excuse for not keeping herself in check. It’s one thing to appreciate outside validation (“Oh, girl, you look great!” or the “Wow, you’re getting small!”), but to use it as the basis and/or grounds for decisions in my personal life? Unacceptable.

It’s bad enough that society tells us, on a daily basis, that the end goal for women is [not a successful career, not a dope loft in a bustling metropolitan city, not even CEO status.. but] a happy family and a man. It’s bad enough that we keep being told “Have babies or your eggs will shrivel up to nothingness and you will be worthless, girl!” Letting men (or any outside factor, for that matter) play such a huge role in how concerned (or unconcerned, for that matter) we are with our overall health is just doing too much.

When I first started out on my own path for weight loss, I had a supportive boyfriend. He wasn’t pushing me in either direction – in fact, I think he knew this was a journey I needed to figure out on my own for me. I needed to stand on my own two feet emotionally. I needed to support myself. I needed to be my own cheerleader first, and allow the support of others to come second. I’m thankful for that, because our relationship didn’t last. I can only imagine where I’d be had he chosen otherwise and I’d relied on him to keep me focused, because heaven knows I wasn’t that emotionally stable when it came to self-care. I just now happen to have the hindsight to appreciate how things worked out for me, and how I developed an ability to spot what I needed (notice all the italicized “I needed”s in this paragraph.) and how important it was to make sure that I had what I needed emotionally. No one takes care of you better than you. Ever.

And speaking of hindsight, now I know that the “support from others” is not only conditional, but temporary. Since you, shrinking down in size, means you might be looking more like them/better than them, they become less and less likely to cheer you on in the future. Just like how I wrote about friendships either helping or hindering our efforts to be healthier, those friends might’ve been keeping you around because [in some sick and twisted way] you made them feel better about not being… like you. Becoming a healthier version of yourself – regardless of whether or not that includes weight loss – not only shines an uncomfortable light on their own habits, but makes people feel competitive. Especially if they saw you as beneath them.

Not saying everyone is like that, but dang if it didn’t happen. Please believe the “Wow, you’re getting small!”s eventually turn into “Wow, you’re too skinny, now! Here, have some more [insert crap], girl. Eat up.” and behind your back? It’s probably “That bitch needs a cookie… or a cheeseburger.”

Now, I get questions like “So are you dating much more now that you’ve lost weight?” and get blank stares when I reply, “I’m not dating at all. I’m too focused on me right now to get to know anyone new.”

“Awww, girl, you’re wasting all that hard work!”

Aw, word? So.. my losing weight, escaping diabetes and hypertension, and changing my habits was… to expand my dating options? I mean, forget the fact that I wanted to make sure that if I needed to protect my child and I, I could. And forget the fact that I wanted to make sure that I’d be around long enough to see my grandchildren graduate college. And even forget the fact that I needed to know that I wasn’t actively contributing to my own demise all for the sake of something stupid like the kind of food I insisted on shoving down my throat.

My hard work was wasting because… I wasn’t dating. Priorities, people.

I’m convinced that there’s a conspiracy out there meant to prevent women from valuing themselves and their own opinions enough to be comfortable with shutting out society. Heaven forbid we be empowered enough to tell someone exactly where they – and their silly opinions – can go.

I think that we can all say that 80% of weight loss is eating properly. I think we can also say that for so many of us, our eating problems come from an emotional place. If there’s an emotional void, why allow someone other than ourselves to fill it? Why allow ourselves to rely on something or someone so flimsy?

Let’s be honest about it: no other person, no outside source of validation – whether you’re seeking that validation or already have that validation – can replace how we feel about ourselves… and if we feel like we need to tune up our habits, tighten up our physiques or eat better? Then we need to believe enough in ourselves, have enough faith in ourselves, and value our own opinions enough to make it happen. It’s as simple as that.

The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.

59 Comments

  1. Benee

    May 24, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    You better speak that truth girl!!!!

    May I also add that it’s not just heterosexual women who go thru it. Women seeking women go through the same thing. But you’re right, the end always seems to be about being coupled up.

    I admit, I’ve never had a problem attracting people. Whether I was 400lbs or 300lbs or wherever in between. But if there is ONE thing a person can say to completely turn me off is “Just don’t lose that ass”. What? WHAT?? I tell people I’m losing weight to be healthy, to live longer, to be able to be more active with my son and all they can say is “Just don’t lose that ass”??

    I am fortunate enough to not have encountered anyone “hating” on my weight loss, but maybe thats because I haven’t lost enough. I cant fathom my friends going there because they’re not stupid like that. What I have encountered is some negativity from women who have had or are planning to have gastric bypass. I think it’s their guilt speaking *shrug*. We all choose our paths. I chose the one that requires hard work, discipline, and dedication. It will work out in the end, but I dont need to get flack from someone who has insecurities about getting the surgery.

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 12:51 PM

      Benee,

      Thanks! I tried to keep the post as gender-neutral as possible because I know I have plenty of LGBTQ visitors, but I slip up every now and again. Thanks for adding a little clarity. :)

      The most annoying thing about “Just don’t lose that booty!” is the fact that with the right workout routine, it’s not hard to BUILD a booty. So, really. When people say things like that to me, I think in my head “You’on know enough about fitness to tell me about my body.” LOL

      Maybe you’re just impervious to the haters. Good place to be. ;)

      • Benee

        June 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        I came back to this post, though it was posted long ago, having gotten to a totally different place. I remember the feeling I had towards weight loss surgery and I tell people about the battle I fought. Now, having had it, I just shake my head. I was right though, we all have our paths.

        I hold myself accountable for my own jealousy. My fear of surgery kept me from getting it even when I knew I wanted it. I projected onto women who had it in the same kinds of ways people project onto me. Now I’m on the other side, but oddly enough, I can still understand where I was coming from back then.

        Its interesting how it all works out. How we change and grow.

        This post, however, is still relevant to the weightloss experience as a whole.

        • Dietter

          July 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

          I agree, it is a personal journey. Ultimately however we choose to make it, it counts that we’re moving forward.

      • Audacity

        August 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        See that’s something I need to add to my workout regiment….”BUILD a booty.” I need to revisit the exercise section. LOL. Love the blog, girl. Keep it coming! :)

      • Phyllis

        April 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        I understand what you mean when someone say just don’t lose that butt, I realy don’t understand what they mean, when that is said to me. I Just lose 100 pounds. And I am told not to lose any more by some of my gym buddies, they say I look great where I am now , and don’t need to lose any more. I don’t understand why they care about how much weight I lose.

  2. Reecie

    May 24, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    very good read.

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 6:25 PM

      Thank ya, Reecie! :)

  3. Joy

    May 24, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!!! Too often, we lose sight of our priorites in the search for a “boo” (cringing as I type that btw). I hope this rings bells and creates “A Ha!” moments for many:)

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 6:24 PM

      Trust me, I cringed, too. LOL! Thanks for commenting. :)

  4. Sibyl

    May 24, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Say it one more time for the cheap seats in the back!
    Some women really do get so wrapped up in having a man (a Boo…lol) in their lives that they forget about the important stuff: THEMSELVES! You are gonna be with you a lot longer than anyone else.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 6:26 PM

      As women, I think we are notorious for putting ourselves sooooooo far last, that we do wind up forgetting about ourselves. It’s what we were taught. I feel like that’s why so many of us “look up” and realize that we’ve packed on some weight.

      I’m glad that we’re on the same page, here! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. Liyah

    May 24, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    This isn’t anything but the truth, especially the part about “support from others.” My sister used to tell me “when you’ve set a goal, don’t tell too many people because once you let the cat out of the bag you will get negativity from EVERY angle known to man.” She was absolutely correct. The bad thing is the negativity usually comes from those closest to you. So I’ve learned to just keep quiet when it comes to certain things.

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 6:27 PM

      YES! And I was kind of ranting at that point, but I thought it made sense to branch out that understanding of “Not everyone has YOUR best interests at heart, so don’t rest your motivation/cheerleading squad on anyone but yourself.” LOL I’m glad you saw what I was trying to say!

  6. Rita

    May 24, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Wow girl, I had this same conversation with a friend of mine yesterday. It’s amazing how some women are so into the “I need a boo” versus ” I’m gonna do me, first and foremost”. Especially at this age..age 25…if I hear one more woman all wrapped up in some man or receiving some man’s attention, I think I’m going to scream.

    Oh and fyi, the basmati stir fry worked out great! Clean eating is becoming so much fun! Lol (just had to throw that in there)

    • Erika

      May 24, 2010 at 6:38 PM

      At age 25, I have so much life to live – if I start taking care of myself now – that I don’t need to be so focused on anyone but my little one and myself. So really, that just makes me sad. We don’t even have high expectations for how much life we have to live anymore… jeez.

      Personally, I plan on looking like I’m 21 until I’m 50, and THEN maybe I’ll accept looking like I’m 28! LOL!

      • Tracy

        August 13, 2011 at 10:17 PM

        25…did you say 25?
        How about 43….shoot, I’m not turning nothing down but my collar!
        I have lost 102 pounds and look younger than my 16 year old!
        I’m training for a half marathon, eating clean and out running my soon-to-be husband. All this to say, I made this lifestyle change for ME, everybody else just benefits from this decsion…lucky them ;)
        GREAT article Erika!

        • KeKe

          September 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

          I luv it! “I made this lifestyle change for ME, everybody else just benefits from this decsion…lucky them”

  7. Kenya

    May 25, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    I think this a great article. I’m going to be real, I started my journey to weight loss because I was with someone who claimed that my weight wasn’t a problem, but would put me down about it every time he got. After I had my son, because I didn’t do right while pregnant I gained so much. Not that I didn’t want to lose it, I just wasn’t as focused until the insults started. Fast forward, after I started feeling comfortable about me and cut the dead weight, I realized that I needed to. It made me feel better, healthier, and I understood the long term importance. I have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, the whole nine. I didn’t want to go down that road. It is a journey and a process but I can truly say that I’m doing it for me. Besides, I aint even worried bout that n word lmao!

  8. msg

    May 30, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    This is a wonderful piece! I found myself getting ‘checked’ on quite a few of the points you make! To be honest, having been struggling with weight my entire life I’ve always assumed that my relationship experiences were the result of being ‘fat’….and for that reason, I called myself feeling the ever present need to loose weight ‘so I could get a man’. At 30, I now realize that the relationship I seek is far more emotionally, physically, and spiritually substantial than that! This journey if weight is so more about me now than it has ever been….thanks for keepin’ it real so I could think!! Go head girl!

    • Erika

      May 30, 2010 at 7:02 PM

      “I now realize that the relationship I seek is far more emotionally, physically, and spiritually substantial than that!”

      Wow, how beautiful is that! I love it!

  9. PrettyGirl

    May 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    I have recently started on my journey to lose weight, and I’ve lost about 30 pounds, and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if the people who I thought were friends were being the most unsupportive. I love your insight and your candor. Obviously, I’ve allowed them to go . . . and I’ve moved on.

    • Erika

      May 30, 2010 at 7:03 PM

      It’s so painful, too, right? Knowing that you HAVE to sever the ties you once relied on? It’s just… the worst, sometimes. Then you realize how much better a move this is for you and you go on your happy way, right? LOL!

  10. tryin

    June 27, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    I want to look good and be healthy for me. I am married but I really couldn’t care less if he finds me attractive or not. Its all about me! I wear my afro proudly and eat right and exercise. Ladies lets all get healthy together!

  11. Rooo

    August 26, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    “Y’know, I often wonder just how much of our body issues as women come from men.”

    A LOT.

    They think they’re entitled to tell us how “thick” we “need” to be (or even how “slim”, if they’re those “aspiring” types of brothas, if you know what I mean, and I think you do).

    And we listen, and tie ourselves into knots if we’re not careful to look out for our health and well-being — both physical and mental — first and foremost, before trying to please them. That’s important, but imo it shouldn’t be *primary*.

  12. Doris D.

    December 2, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    That is so true. I’ve lost friends when I lost weight. Me getting healthy made them feel some sort of way. So they had to go. I can’t have anyone around me who does not have my best interests at heart. This is a great blog and so relevant right now. I’m embarking on my 3rd journey to lose this weight once and for all. I’m now using your planner to help me do that. Good work…you’ve got a fan in me.

  13. tanisha

    December 5, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Thank you so much for this article. I needed to read that this morning. I was overwhelmed by an attack from my friends about my weight and having a man. Such crap. Thank you for putting the truth out there.

  14. Lyn

    December 20, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    I liked the article. However I can relate to the whole wanting to attract a man thing. I was a trained dancer until 24 then I stopped and started gaining weight. I have noticed the changes in prospects with the weight. The types of men attracted to me with the weight on, Im not interested in. The ones I am interested in, dont like overweight women, and thats REALITY. The rest is up to me. I get that it has to be just for me and not for men. I guess men are a ‘perk’. LOL

    • Erika

      December 20, 2010 at 12:50 PM

      Yes, mama.. it is a perk – a very lovely perk – but the question is… does it come first? Of course not! :)

  15. Erin

    January 18, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    This is the most refreshing and insightful website for women (of all races) wanting to lose weight. This article in particular was especially a “home-hitter” for me because I have gotten so wrapped up in wanting to please everyone else, but myself; thinking a man will/could possibly fill a void is ridiculous. I have come to realize that this is something that I have to do for me and how dare I compromise my physical and mental health and integrity to succumb to emotions that run so much deeper than the need for the desire of a man’s attention… it’s about ME! A happier, healthier ME and it’s ok to want that and I THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to create such an incredible site! This is my, “AH-HA”! :)

  16. Ebonie B

    January 20, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    You know, I just love this site, it is even taking me away from the work I need to do, but hey, a girl needs to vent and commune with the sisterhood of women trying to live healthier lives, physically, mentally and spritually. I must confess, I am one of those women who’s focusing some of this energy of losing weight on finding a “boo.” It’s not, however my main focus, but bad enough, it’s a focus. I have come to the realization that no matter how much more weight I lose, the same issues that plagued me before I lost the weight will still plague me when reach my goal. When I look in the mirror, I will always see the fat ugly chick that no one wants, until I get my head and heart right. To tell the truth, it irks the hell out of me that I feel this way. This hhas prompted me to dig deep inside myself and discover who Ebonie is….I am a work in progress and I am dealing with my personal demons and my numerous issues as I work on the body.

    Thank God, I have not encountered any health issues for being over weight, but now that I have lost some pounds, I have realized that my weight was contributing to other physical issues, such as my endometriosis, yet some of the treatments can add weight to you. It’s a vicious cycle but this goes to show me that there are other issues at hand than just landing a “boo.”

  17. sexylocs50s

    February 1, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    I just finished reading this interesting article, so many times i have heard sisters, lose enough weight to get the husband, and then after she gets him she lets herself go. I also heard a sister say she rather have her big butt, and big thighs then to get fit. For a lot of women it is about her boo or a boo. It so sad and one of the reasons we have high rate of obesity. It should be about you and your life, the man someone who should accept you for you. If he truly loves you he will accepted you either just as you are or a new and improve you with a better chance for a great quality of life without certain diseases.
    I enjoyed this article thanks!

  18. Lauren

    March 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    A man who loves you regardless of what the scale says is a real man. My hubby knows that I am a beautiful person inside. I was overweight when I met him, and after having a set of twins and a single baby in the span of 20 months he knows it takes time to bounce back. He doesn’t put me down, he doesn’t tell me lose weight, or stay the same for that matter. He makes me feel appreciated for more than how I look. Which makes me feel better, which makes me want to be the best me I can be. I do not rely on him for confidence though. I know though if he saw me doing things on a regular basis like eating cookies, pies, cakes, fried foods, he would probably say something because he loves me and wants me to be healthy. When you get married you become a team. I don’t want him to leave this earth because of poor health choices and vice versa. But I will say this, there is nothing wrong with a man who loves bigger women, a size 16 is just as lovable as a size 6. Thank you.

  19. Nicole

    April 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    it is funny that you post this now. I met a man at the club and when i found out he was a runner i expressed how I wanted to get back into running. He offered to run with me and we made a date to meet at the local school track. After walking 2 miles we sat and talked. the first thing he says to me that if i keep this up I will have so many men after me and that I could turn down numbers if i wanted to. I was taken back by the statement. I told him I had no problem meeting men and if i wanted to refuse to take a number I could. I also let him know that am not losing weight to get a man and that i am losing weight to get rid of my high blood pressure. He started apologizing profusely. needless to say that was the last time I saw him.

    Then when I told my ex the story he proceeds to tell me that the guy was right. I asked what did he mean. he told me he thinks it was stupid for me to get fat because of a broken heart and that i should be keeping my body in shape to prove to him and other that shouldn’t have left me. Ok now i was confused by this statement. I met my ex while I was fat and he left me for another fat woman so my body shape didn’t have anything to do with keeping him or any man. When I pointed this out, all i got was ” you know what i mean”… um no I don’t

    So your right Erika is is crazy how folks think our priority for a healthier way of life is to get a mate. I am not trying to be healthy because I need a mate. i am getting healthy to get rid of my high blood pressure, to avoid diabetes, ( which runs in my family) and to set a better example for my daughter.

    thank you for this and other posts I love your site and it helps me get through this hard work. :)

  20. chigurl

    May 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I just came across this site and article through Facebook. It caught my eye because I just had this same conversation with a friend about this issue. I am a BIG girl (330 to be exact) and I am on my own journey to eat more healthily (sp) whether I use lots of weight or not.

    I hate to admit it, but I am one of those who feel that my weight has caused men not to be attracted to me. I’m usually only seen as the “sister, counselor, mother” type. While I am don’t base my existence on the acceptance on men and I definitely do not believe in weight loss to catch a man, it would be nice to get some “positive” attention IN SPITE of my size.

    I hope my comment doesn’t come across as strange or sad, because that’s not my intent. I do look forward to reading more of your posts :)

  21. NaturallyAngelic

    June 25, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Wonderful article. I made the decision this year to lose weight FOR ME. I cut out sodas. While I still have a sweet tooth I reach for fruit or bake it fresh (that really makes you think about if you REALLY want a slice of cake that bad). I walk more and am more attentive to what I consume. The other day my BFF who live across the state told me that she can see the loss. She said, “Your stomach is now flatter than your breast”. Considering the face that my stomach used to extend further than my DDs, I took it as the compliment it was meant to be. My next step, join a gym.

  22. Khyla

    July 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Thank you for this post. It really brought up a lot for me emotionally. I am guilty of relying on men and other outside sources to validate how I feel about myself. I am overweight and though I have a really pretty face I have low self esteem. My low self esteem is based on the fact that I do not get attention from the opposite sex anymore (since I’ve been overweight). Being so, I really struggle with trying to lose weight not to be healthy but just to feel more comfortable in the world (and in my skin). I really aspire to be more like you and some of the women commenting on this page but I represent the population of women that are probably too shy to say that this is a painful reality for them too. On a more positive note, I am here (reading your blog) for a reason and I plan to continue to read this positive stuff until it rubs off on me. Thanks for existing!

  23. Stefanie

    August 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    I was that woman who relied on a man for happiness. I also had a few thoughts run across my mind that said “if you were smaller, maybe you would have a man.” I understand that other woman encounter the same issues and I wouldn’t want any one to feel bad about that. We all have our struggles…

    BUT!!!! Praise the LORD for His love that I really began to love MYSELF!!!! It didn’t matter any more if I was dating or not. And, when I look back, I did have men who approached me. But I had other issues that had NOTHING to do with these men.

    And with that, I have a strong desire to take care of myself – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. And I know if I sat around waiting on a man to validate me, well…I’ll be waiting all day!

    Do I want a boo (LOL, that’s a funny word)? Yes, I do want to be married. However, I want my husband to apprecriate me because I love myself and I desire and work to take care of me and my family – not because I look a certain way, ya feel me?

  24. Catherine

    August 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    I’m still young. Still a virgin. No need to rush into anything.
    I know guys that date their type and it goes mostly for size.
    I don’t want a guy that only likes me for what I look like.
    Those are the only things I think about when it comes to this topic.

  25. erin j

    October 16, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    :) i’m really happy i came across this site, i’m a 16 year old high school student and i’ve been trying to lose wait for 4 years now and it has been hard, especially the self supporting part. sometimes its hard trying to encourage myself to exercise and i’m young!! but alot of the things you touched on in this article really hit home. a lot of people don’t understand what goes in to weight loss its not just eating right and working out there’s a mental process as well. but i’m so happy i came across this article atleast i know im not the only one. :)

  26. namaste_sun

    January 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Wow,

    After lauding the value of this blog, I disappointedly come across this post. It saddens me to read yet another online post which opens with “I’m not one to male bash,” and then proceeds to generalize and categorize men and relationships. Although your post did include some qualifiers, I came away from it wanting to scream that there are men, husbands even, who are secure, mindful, honest, and supportive enough to cheer you on, encourage you, shop for and prepare healthy foods and to offer gentle, yet firm reminders of your fitness goals. My husband majored in Exercise Science, yet he was patient after we had our son. However, after nine months, he gave me a reality check and told me to start going for walks and taking better care of myself. Now that I am working on a new fitness goal, he is still patient, firm, supporting, and proud of my progress. Ladies, let’s forgoe the “I don’t need a man….” syndrome and acknowledge that we do and can have someone in our corner.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      January 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      I’d like to think that it’s obvious that there are men out there who are patient and supportive of one’s fitness goals.

      That being said, there are those who are not. There are also those who think that pleasing or appeasing a man should supersede their own individual goals and perspectives about their body. Surely, you can see how that is problematic. Your man is supportive, and I hope you consider and treat him like a blessing. Others aren’t so lucky.

      Some of you need to get a grip. Making a criticizing comment and including “men” in it is not the same as “male bashing.” I love men – I have a phenomenal one in MY corner – but they need to be called to the carpet just as much as women, and defending foolishness doesn’t help people understand their place and how they can better play their position. Your comment isn’t even about what I said – your husband isn’t wrong for encouraging you to take care of yourself. That’s not what I’m saying, here. Him having to tell you to take care of yourself in the first place is the problem – why didn’t you know that already? Are you sure you’re not projecting your guilt elsewhere?

      This isn’t about “I don’t need a man.” This is about “I need to value my opinions about my body more than anyone else’s, I need to be realistic and proactive about my health and I need to not let my decision be painted by whether or not men will want me.” If you’re a dope person, men will want you. For YOU.

      Just because the words “some” or “many” aren’t everywhere doesn’t mean you get to assume “all” or “every,” especially when THOSE words aren’t there, either. You don’t get to overlook those “qualifiers” of which you spoke because you’re so eager to defend the men I’ve already acknowledged exist. You’re barely talking about the post I wrote.

      • Michalet

        April 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        And the crowd roars!!! Well put Erika. (APPLAUSE)!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. lule

    January 6, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I have really taken note of these self focus comments and have made the positive decision to start my journey today. I will keep reading for added inspiration, but most of all you ladies have given me the push I needed. Thanks Ya’ll.

  28. Lisette

    April 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I was eating lunch with several co-workers yesterday, and one of the ladies proceeded to cut her six-inch sub in half (we were all eating six-inch subs and potato chips–I know, I know). When we asked her why, she responded, “Honey, I’m trying to get a boo!” I responded, “Girl, I’m a size 2, and I ain’t got a boo!”

    I will not judge her because I have been there and done that and still do to some degree (made decisions about what I do for/to my body based on getting a man). I did, however, send her a link to this blog because she is way too beautiful and has too much going on for herself to let getting a man determine what she does for/to her body regarding her eating habits.

  29. Alexandrea Ward

    June 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Love it! I was just talking about this the other day with a friend of mine. Going to the gym and working out should be about more than just trying to attract someone. It should be for you. Just like she goes to the gym with makeup on. Why?! I don’t see the point in all that.

  30. Calliope

    June 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    In 2004 I lost 90 pounds in order to get a specific man. When I was going through the process I never rationalized that I was loosing the weight for a certain person… I was just loosing the weight. Well, I got the guy.. and lost him. I should have known that he was not true, because he knew me when I was 260 pounds and never responded to me. But when I lost the weight and became a “dime” (in his opinion) I got all the attention I ever wanted from him. Needless to say it was an extremely emotional abusive relationship that lasted four years, and he ended up leaving me in 2008 when I lost my job and slowly started to put weight back on.

    Now that I am back to 235 pounds I am struggling to loose the weight. I keep asking myself it was so easy the first time… why can’t I get it back? Then I realized my ambition was based on the love of another person (well percieved love), and not for the love of myself. I stuggle with loving myself because I base how good I feel about myself on what the scale says. However, out of all this I have learned several lessons.

  31. Tanisha

    June 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Thank you for your blog Erika. You are an inspiration! I am right about where you started, and I know I have a long (long long) way to go. I found this article interesting, because I often find that men sometimes try to hinder your weight loss. Now, my husband is a wonderful man and a gentleman, but I sometimes think he is purposely trying to sabotage my weight loss efforts. For example, he’ll come home for the day and surprise me with a half-dozen cupcakes. I love cupcakes, and if they’re in the house, I’m bound to eat them. When I ask, “why would you buy these?” (he doesn’t eat them himself) His response, is always “well, I know you like them, so I wanted to do something nice for you.” I don’t know if he’s worried that I’ll lose too much weight – and look different than when I met him, or lose too much weight and become a different person. I don’t think the latter would come true, but the former is a possibility I look forward to! I’m still on the journey to lose weight, regardless of what he does, because I need to for my health and my own desire to be a ‘normal’ size for once in my life. But, what do you do with the man who loves you, supports you, but seemingly doesn’t want you to lose the weight?

    • P.J. Pahygiannis

      August 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Well, I is a gay boy and i is overweight too. I feel like losin the 70 pounds i need to will help me keep my boo. He loves my big booty and sopports me in my weight loss though I cant blame him for lovin my big black booty. What kinda man could resist Erika? How much have you lost Erika cuz lookin at the pics, U LOOKIN FINE GURL AND DONT LET NOBODY PUT U DOWN CUZ IF THEY DO HONEY THEY GON HAVE TO PASS THREW ME !!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Gizzle

    August 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    As someone who has never had a “booty” or “ass” worthy of attention, ladies it will be A-OK if you lose one to get healthy!

    I swear it’s not the end of the world! So if you hear someone say, “Don’t lose that booty” just imagine they’re saying, “Don’t lose that perseverance! Don’t lose that drive! Don’t lose sight of your goal! Don’t lose your life (to unhealthy habits)! or Don’t lose yourself trying to please other people!!”

    Oh and this hits the nail right on the head:

    “I’m convinced that there’s a conspiracy out there meant to prevent women from valuing themselves and their own opinions enough to be comfortable with shutting out society. Heaven forbid we be empowered enough to tell someone exactly where they – and their silly opinions – can go.”

  33. Sherron

    September 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I only have 3 reasons for wanting to lose weight: #1 To be healthy #2 To be here for my daughter and #3 To LOVE what I see when I’m standing in front of my mirror naked (so yes, I want a sexy, fit body!) Getting (& keeping) a man is a natural by-product of losing weight but it’s not my top priority. I’ve been single for 4 years so OF COURSE I want/need a good man in my life BUT the 3 reasons I listed above are MY reasons for losing weight.

  34. christine

    January 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Sighs..Never had the booty or the hips lol. When I moved to the south everyone said eat beans and cornbread. Some even suggested certain positions, that were sure to increase the size of my butt. I will never have big hips or a big butt, and I’m cool with that.

  35. junglebabe

    January 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    yep the big behind is def on the beauty list. seeing as how i can’t grow one without surgery, nothing i can do about that one. i just want the rest of me to be as small as it can be because its less for my body to pack around, get up and down, and the studies that say people who cut calories some live longer.

    i read stories like these and other diet forums and i see women saying they get all kinds of attention from men after they lose weight. some list themselves as sizes i’ve lost from, and my life didn’t change. so i haven’t had a major influx of attention. i did notice a change when i colored my hair white blonde. that is the single thing that made a difference in getting noticed but not in getting asked out for dates. i think the reason is that the standard for white women is concave stomachs, and i still have genetic pear shape outward stomach(s). so if i do get attention from a man i like, then i have to be oh so careful to do exactly what when where how he wants, no matter circumstances, as i so rudely found out from a guy i was madly in love with. so i can’t say that losing quite a bit of weight has magically gotten me men. if i ever meet the stick standard then maybe, but i’ll be 90 by then.

  36. Gail

    April 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I agree with Gizzle. When someone says, “Don’t ever lose that booty” I imagine I’m hearing, “Please, please, please don’t lose that liver, pancreas, gall bladder, colon!” Bootties come and go–major organs don’t.

  37. Ericka

    August 31, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    I’ve read this article along with many of the various comments at different times. I must admit I had the ‘object of my affection’ influencing me during my journey recently. But it’s funny, I didn’t lose the amount of weight he wanted me to in the amount of time he wanted me to lose it and I’m not sad to see him go. I accepted the challenge, not to ‘get’ the man, but just to see what I was made of. I had never been challenged like that AND accepted the challenge. My goal was NOT to get the man in the end, but to be closer to MY weight goal.
    I didn’t think I needed to lose as much weight as he wanted me to lose, but now that I’m within 10 pounds of the goal that was set for me, I’ve actually added an additional 10 to it – FOR ME.
    The ‘goal setter’ is no longer around, but I still have MY goals and I’m still pressing forward. When I saw that I moved out of the ‘severely obese’ category to the ‘obese’ one, that was just the motivation I needed to get to the ‘normal’ category. I am by no means normal in any sense of the word, but I don’t want any negative categories hanging over my head – for my own benefits.

    Now, I’m about to go spend 30 minutes with the only man I can call on whenever I want him and he comes running – Shaun T!

  38. Lisa

    August 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I’ve talked about the weight issue with all the men (white and black) I’ve dated over the years (I’m 58 now). Some said that I was to heavy. Some said that it wasn’t the weight but they wanted me to be healthy, and in the next breath make some nasty comment about a heavy woman on TV or walking down the street. So, I don’t think they really understand or know what they feel/think about their woman’s weight. They probably think they’d be happy if I looked like a super model (but, does he??). They can’t be truthful to me about my weight because they don’t want the wrath of my being hurt or angered by their comments. So, we get horribly mixed and confusing messages from them. So, yea, this is one issue in life where you have to decide on your own, for yourself, what you want and what works best for you in your life. We outgrow some people as we mature and change in life. Don’t be afraid to leave them behind because there are more new, exciting people and things ahead, some of which will help you grow even more and become the person you want to be.

    If he told you he thought you should jump off a bridge and that would get your weight right and make him want you for life, would you jump? We just can’t make major decisions in our lives based on another person’s confusion.

  39. crjscorpio

    August 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I lost 50pds for my health. As soon as I did that, I discovered that I was a diabetic. Talk about someone that was pissed, oh DEAR GOD. Yet, I know that losing that weight has made it more manageable. I don’t need to be taught to eat differently or develop an exercise habit; I already those skills in place.
    However, I do wish that more research went into type 2 diabetics that aren’t overweight. Studies suggest that they die at a larger rate because, since they don’t have the outside appearence (being overweight), doctors don’t look for it.
    Looks wise and attracting a guy, I haven’t noticed a difference. Then again, I am a bit shy.

  40. Connie

    January 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    Beatiful article. I was always a very thin, curvaceous sister in my teens, early twenties and 30s. now I am overweight; still curvy. I have the mind set that I can always get a man (was married; now divorced); but I am not the type that feels that my extra pounds are a hindrance. Mind you, I do notice that I do not get as many looks now. But I am very offended when my cousin or any other woman for that matter says “oh if you lose weight you can get a man”. That is such a turn off. I WANT to lose weight for me; I love looking great and for health reasons as well (I have two sons ages 21 and 16) I want to be around for them. So, once again thank you so much.

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