So… let’s be real. As supportive and encouraging as we can be, here… the outside world? Not so nice. For one reason or another, the world is full of people who insist upon attempting to thwart our efforts to live healthier lives… and, though rather unoriginal, I call these people “haters.”
I was lucky – I surrounded myself with people who loved what I was doing, encouraged it, sacrificed for it (my mother was pretty pissed, at one point in time, about her 2-liters of pop – yes, it is pop – disappearing) and share in my successes – and, at this point in my life, the people around me don’t even question my lifestyle and don’t make snide remarks. It appears, though, that some members of the BGG2WL family aren’t so lucky.
Here, we’ll take a look at five of y’all sharing some instances of sabotage, and how silly some people can truly be:
First-time commenter, here!
I *just* had this convo with my hubby about the, um…cultural unpacking to do. Yesterday, I ran an errand for my LS, who sprained her ankle during a step class. During a meeting, she was asked how she hurt her foot and when she told them, she said she was told, “You know, exercise will kill you.”
Another person told her, “You should just eat and get fat.”
“They said this to your face?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied.
I started working for a vitamin company about ten years ago. It was my job to research vitamins and provide the needed documentation for anything we said about their benefits. As I did more and more research I saw how I needed more vegetables, less meat and more exercise in my life. Many of my overweight, female, African-American co-workers actually started calling me names like skinny minny or less flattering names commenting on my lifestyle change. I felt like I had to defend myself and would often talk about my family’s history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and early deaths. It was almost like being unhealthy and having a disease like the above mentioned illnesses was more acceptable than living longer without medication and doctor visits every month. I started getting into yoga, swimming and bike riding and then the “oreo” jokes came. You know black outside, white inside. I also would walk to the local farmers market on weekends to purchase fresh, local vegetables and fruits, and this also illicited hate filled commentary.
Yesturday I hired a personal trainer and am so excited to get started. But anyway…When i cook healthy(which ive been doing for over a year now) My boyfriend will kinda look at the food and go, “thats some white ppl stuff?” I just tell him no, its food thats gunna save ur life and mine so shut up and eat. He doesnt ask me that too much anymore. He eats it and his blood pressure is down because of it.
If I go to pick up my mom at her (all white) sewing group and we all go out to lunch, I get razzed mercilessly if I don’t order fried something with all the trimmings, polish off the whole plate, and top it off with pie. No wonder the smallest of these ladies outweighs me, literally, by a hundred pounds. Most of them, though, are older ladies who grew up on farms and think a good meal is fried chicken or chicken fried steak or meatloaf, with potatoes and cooked-to-death green beans with bacon, and biscuits and cornbread (because, of course, one starch at a meal is not enough, right?), and dessert, washed down with tooth-imploding sweet tea or Coke. If you don’t put it away like a hired hand they think you’re sick, or putting on airs.
Yes, ma’am; I love the food here but I don’t want to be 250 pounds with bad knees and Type II diabetes. I’ll have the spicy grilled catfish and a side salad. And a take-home box, because I know they’re going to give me two whole catfish fillets and there’s no way I’m finishing all that at one meal.
I’m not afraid of good old Southern cooking but I’m not going to eat it all the time, and I’m not going to eat more of anything than I really want.
Last year for my son’s bday I set up a fajita station. We had grilled chicken or grilled sliced portobellas for the non-meat eaters, peppers & all the usual fajita offerings (lettuce, tomato, etc), fresh grilled corn on the cob, huge salad, fruit kabobs & of course the required cake & ice cream. My aunt complained the WHOLE time about where the fried chicken & macaroni salad was as if that’s the only fare we can serve at a family gathering. It really worked my nerves. Then she says, picking over my food, “I can’t eat this stuff.”
Stuff? What stuff? *sigh* It saddens me to think that for some of us if it isn’t fried, smothered, or cooked to death (string beans) it’s not our kind of food. This logic is ridiculous.
As for exercising this doesn’t seem to be a problem for men of color. They are encouraged to shoot hoops, run track & bike all day. Yet when a woman of color wants to partake in an activity it’s viewed with ulterior motives. She must be “trying to lose weight for the summer”; or she’s “trying to be cute” (or white). Being active is never viewed as wanting to maintain health or simply for enjoyment.
Do you have a “hater” story? What happened? More importantly, how did you handle it?