Home It's All Mental “Weight Loss Is For People With Low Self-Esteem”

“Weight Loss Is For People With Low Self-Esteem”

by Erika Nicole Kendall

I get lots of e-mails from women who either want to share their stories, or just want my thoughts on certain issues and topics.

No more prevalent is this issue of “I didn’t want to lose weight, I don’t neeeeed to lose weight. People who want to lose weight have low self-esteem. Why can’t they just stay the way they are?”

In all seriousness… where did this originate? Real talk – where did this originate?

I keep trying to think back to when I was gaining my weight. In 2009, I wrote:

I couldn’t get past that childish mentality that said “I’m already cute, and I’m already happy and successful. I’own need to lose weight to be hot.” I wish I could grab Young Erika by the shoulders, slap her one good time and say, “This ain’t about being hot to a bunch of idiotic teenagers. This is about not having so much fluid in your legs, your blood can’t circulate properly in about 6 years. This is about being healthy and making sure that you’re around long enough to see your babies have babies. This is about developing and maintaining a lifestyle that nurtures and nourishes the best of you. This is about not spending your life trying to prove your value to a society that doesn’t care anyway. It’s about not letting a dysfunctional society succeed in devaluing you in the first place! It’s about believing in the worth you were given at birth, and ensuring that you’re around for as long as possible to make sure that you can put that worth to USE!”

…and I wonder to myself, is this “weight loss is for people with low self-esteem” meme similar to what I was doing? I mean, I was setting out to use myself as some kind of proof that fat people could kick ass and still be, well, fat… but I wasn’t implying that if I lost weight, it was because I didn’t think I was awesome… or was I? I’m too far, mentally, from this ideology to actually look back on it and identify. I don’t even know that I understand that mentality anymore.

Every time someone brings up this “weight loss is for people who think something’s wrong with them” thing, I am reminded of my own question of why it’s about weight loss at all… why isn’t it about health? If you’re dealing with type 2 diabetes, and saying you don’t neeeeeeeeeed to lose weight because that’s for people who think something’s wrong with them.. you’re doing life wrong.

I’m a scribbler. I always have a pen and paper nearby (or at least a mic and recorder), because I’m always scribbling down things I overhear as they apply to life. My desk, unfortunately, serves as proof. There’s crap everywhere. I say all that to say… I have this quote I scribbled down that I have no idea where it came from, but I think it’s poignant:

“To stop doing something means admitting that you acknowledge that it was doing you harm.”

Read that again:

“To stop doing something means admitting that you acknowledge that it was doing you harm.”

So, taking a look at this line people keep feeding me through the lens of this quote… it means that a woman who says “I don’t want to lose weight because I don’t have low self-esteem” is redirecting attention from the real issue… which is the fact that you don’t want to admit to yourself that you are doing something wrong and need to fix it. It means you’d rather talk about the good than reflect upon the bad. That is the real issue – many of us have egos that couldn’t bear knowing that we caused ourselves to put on this weight (or caused ourselves to develop these problems) with something that we are doing to ourselves, and we are truly the only ones that can fix it.

In fact, that might be why quick fix weight loss schemes never lose their hope for us – we don’t want to be tasked with long-standing proof that what we caused ourselves is going to cause us to struggle to fix it. The quicker and easier the solution, the more we hope it works. And if the price is low enough? We might purchase it before the week is out.

It also makes me think back to Mo’Nique. Yesssss… Mo’Nique. She spent most of her career poking fun at skinny women, reframing the conversation to be less about “why I’m so fat” and making it more about “skinny b-tches.” I didn’t embrace that kind of talk then, and I’m certainly troubled by it now. Don’t get me wrong – Mo’ did a LOT as far as helping women accept who they are, but not only did she forget that all women deserve to feel comfy in their own skin (thin or otherwise, my comfort shouldn’t come at the expense of another woman’s comfort) but she also forgot that “deflecting” – the art of “instead of addressing the question, I’ll change the subject” – is a form of insecurity. It’s even an admission of guilt.

Not only can I address my reasoning for losing weight, I can admit that I was doing it wrong and I had to learn. My ability to do both frees me of my own stigmas about weight and wellness – I don’t judge people because I know how hard it is, especially if you don’t have the right information and resources – and it allows me to disconnect my wellness from my weight. Being thin wasn’t the goal. It was being healthy. The weight loss came during the pursuit of wellness.

My definition of self-esteem? “Self-esteem is defined as a confidence and satisfaction in oneself. A person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. If you were a stock on wall street, it’d literally be how much you think you should sell for.” So… saying that I wanted to lose weight means that I’m doing it because I think I’d be worth more? This is a problem?

Losing weight did improve my worth… but let me be clear. I’m not talking about my looks. I’m talking about my increased ability to run, jump, play… my ability levels are what’s in question, here. Not my looks. I was always sexy.

I’m just sayin’.

I brought up Mo’Nique because I remember this article done on her by Kimberly Garrison that just worked my nerves… it’s long been removed from the Internet, but I did find a copy of it here. (I don’t participate on these forums, just googled the article and this was the only version available.):

Posted on Tue, Sep. 29, 2009

Kimberly Garrison: Sizing up Mo’Nique

MO’NIQUE HAS NEVER been one to do things small.

The Baltimore-born comedian built her stage persona around her ample size and diva-esque demeanor. She wrote a book and called it “Skinny Girls Are Evil: Notes of a Big Girl in a Small-Minded World.” But she’s also made big statements in other ways.

“Skinny Girls” made the New York Times best-seller list. The TV series she starred in, “The Parkers,” ran for five years in the early 2000s and won her four NAACP Image Awards for outstanding actress in a comedy series. As one of “The Queens of Comedy,” she had a hit film, tour and Grammy-nominated album.

She’s appeared in numerous movies, mostly comedies. Now her first major role in a serious film is getting Oscar buzz already, though it won’t be in theaters until November.

Even her recent decision to lose weight had an oversized impact. Fans were outraged, complaining she’d betrayed her big and beautiful base.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column defending Mo’Nique’s decision to lose some weight and improve her health that also drew a lot of reader response, much of it negative.

To set the record straight, I figured I’d go directly to the grand diva herself.

Aside from her weight loss, I was also dying to ask her about her upcoming role in Philadelphian Lee Daniels’ movie “Precious,” based on the riveting novel “Push,” by Sapphire. I had heard through the grapevine that Mo’Nique delivers a stellar performance as the abusive mother of the title character.

Q: You should be excited. And you should be excited about this weight loss. How did you feel when your husband suggested that you do a little slim down?

A: I went though so many emotions. I was embarrassed, my feelings were hurt, I was excited, and I’ve never felt love like that before. It was so nonjudgmental: “Baby, that’s too much, and I want you for a lifetime.”

The “that’s too much” was the embarrassing part. The “I want you for a lifetime” was the love.

“If it hurts your feelings right now, that’s not my intention. But I’ve gotta be honest with you,

you’re 40 years old and you’re 262 pounds.

“How are you going to manage that 10 years from now when you’re 50? If you put on a pound a year then you’ll be 272 pounds at 50.”

When I really thought about that, I said, “Oh my God, I want to be here. I want to enjoy my family. I want to meet my grandchildren.” It was a moment for us. But it has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. And it’s still challenging.

Q: Why is it challenging?

A: Food, baby! I’m a snacker. Chips and things. I like it. I’m not going to lie to you, Kim. I Love food. Me and Doritos, baby!

Q: (Laughter) Yes, I know it’s tough.

A: I still have that battle with myself. Don’t eat this. Eat that. Don’t eat that. Eat this. I still haven’t gotten to that place where I can say, oh no, girl, I don’t want that cake, and just walk away.

Q: Right.

A: I’m still not there yet. For me, I had to make that commitment – I had to get a trainer and get into the gym. That’s really what I had to do. So, Monday through Thursday, I try to really eat clean. Friday is pizza night in my house, and I refuse to deprive myself of pizza night with my husband and my children. Saturday and Sunday, I try to take it easy, but I don’t drive myself crazy.

Q: Have you been able to maintain the 40-pound loss?

A: I started at 262, and right now I am at 224. My goal is to get to 200. I step on the scale and say, “This thing is tripping!”

Q: I understand where you’re coming from. I enjoy food and snacking, too. I was raised that way. But as a trainer, I’m going to be honest with you: Eighty to 90 percent of weight loss is what you’re eating. You can exercise until you are blue in the face, but if you eat more than what you exercise [away], you will not see the pounds drop off. You will be a tighter and more toned person if you strength train. But the weight loss is mainly about diet. People hate to hear that truth. But that’s the way it is.

A: Erica, my trainer, tells me that all the time. She’s like, “Mo’Nique . . .?!” And I say, “I know . . . ” It took me almost two years to get here. I’m not trying to lose weight to get into a dress or an outfit. This is a lifestyle change. I think many of us drive ourselves crazy because we give it a deadline. And, as soon as we get to the deadline, we go back to the old habits.

Q: I think your approach is fantastic. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sort of like a dance – two steps forward, one step back. It’s a constant thing. It’s not a destination; it’s a journey. Now some of your fans have taken offense, saying that you have abandoned them. What are your thoughts about that?

A: Well, you know, Kim, my first thoughts were, I can’t believe people are saying that. I’m abandoning them? If you look at me, I’m still a big woman. I’m 224 pounds. In what society is that considered a small woman?

So I say to my sisters that feel like I’m abandoning them, “No, sis, I want us to be here for as long as we can. I would be abandoning you if I continued to gain the weight, and then you hear on the news that Mo’Nique has suffered from a stroke or Mo’Nique has had a heart attack.”

So by no means have I abandoned anyone. I’m saying y’all, let’s be here for the ride. Besides, my head is too damn big to be a skinny woman. That’s not at all where I’m trying to go. It’s just too big!

Don’t be so quick to jump on that negative bandwagon. “Oh she said big is beautiful, now she’s losing weight.” Big is beautiful. But, big healthy. Let’s be big and healthy beautiful people!

Q: (Uproarious laughter) Girl, you are crazy. On a serious note, do you have any health problems?

A: I was borderline with my [blood] pressure. My doctor is just an incredible sister. She would say things like, “Mo’Nique I want you to take a look at yourself, and if you go past here I’m going to have to put you on some medication.”

Q: How did you feel about that?

A: I said, no, I can’t be on medication for the rest of my life. I can’t take a pill every day. I’m not good with that. I said, I don’t want to be a burden to my family for something I could have prevented.

I quote all of that to say… all of you women who are equating weight with self-esteem (or equating losing weight with “admitting America was right… something was wrong with my fat ass”… or equating weight loss with “I refuse to admit something is wrong with me”)…stop it. Stop focusing on weight loss as a goal and focus on health. Your body… and your loved ones… will thank you for it.

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48 comments

Leslie November 2, 2010 - 12:05 PM

Hey Soror!

I love this article. I think that it takes low self-esteem to not want to take care of yourself. My decision to lose weight was one the best things I ever did for myself. Exercising and eating right requires time and discipline and many times we don’t want to make that sacrifice. I made all of the same excuses as well. “Maybe I am just meant to be fat, so I should just accept it or I don’t like exercising because I don’t want to sweat my hair out.” I have always cooked now I just cook healthier. It feels great to walk a flight of stairs and not be totally out of breath or have to take high blood pressure medication and have swollen feet. I participated in a 5K walk for the first time 2 weeks ago and had a blast! I love the fact that I had to give away my size 20 clothes. I wear a 12 now and my goal is get into an 8! As women, we do so much for others but it is imperative that we love ourselves enough to take care of us.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 1:06 PM

YES!!!!!!!

Shae November 2, 2010 - 12:08 PM

Great post Erika! I love the statement “pursuit of wellness”. I am a post it girl too, I now have a post it, with this statement, in my office… its all about becoming the best healthy me I can be….

BrooklynShoeBabe November 2, 2010 - 12:54 PM

Thank you for this article. I’m about the weight that Mo’Nique is trying to achieve and it is hard because the “bad” foods taste good. I was cruising around with the extra weight trying to be comfortable in my own skin, and feeling depressed because I wasn’t sknny (not for health reasons but for vanity reasons). It wasn’t until the Type 2 diabetes diagnosis earlier this year did I really wake up. Losing weight was no longer about vanity and keeping it was no longer about rebellion to America’s idea of real beauty. This was about health. I’m focusing on health.

The numbers on the scale may move this way or that way, but they’re not the most important numbers to me anymore. It’s the AC1, trigylceride, and liver function numbers. I eat better. I exercise. I sleep better now, and make better food choices because I don’t want to be the half-blind diabetic 50-year-old missing a foot. I want to see everything and wear cute shoes while I’m doing it.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 1:09 PM

YES!!!!!!! Y’all are killing it today!

Thembi November 2, 2010 - 1:17 PM

What strikes me as interesting about this interview, which I remember reading when it came out and realizing that I weighed more than the slimmed down Mo’Nique (a realization that was like a punch in the gut) is that she wants to hold on to still being “big.” As much as she admits that slimming down is important and she wants to hit 200 lbs – not as an interim goal but as a GOAL. Not to get out of the obese range, but to 200 pounds, a weight that no human woman, with few exceptions, should be. That’s weird to me and kind of laced with denial. 200 pounds is not a truly healthy weight and she knows that – it’s damn near 50 lbs overweight for her height. And I’m not wrapped up in recommended weight ranges or BMI for aesthetic reasons but FIFTY extra pounds? Come on. Shes contradicting herself – she really to be healthiER, not ideally healthy.

Why do we want so badly to hold onto a ‘body type’ that we don’t even know we’re destined to have? I don’t even know what I look like in my recommended weight range yet when I share my goal with people they’re genuinely confused about why I’d want to be “skinny.” Maybe it’s the overachiever in me who’s always aiming for great instead of mediocre but no matter how many mini-goals I set I just can’t take my eyes off of the ideal weight range prize!

By the way, I write this at pound 22 of a 100 pound journey, still weighing a scoatch more than Mo does. I’m not to 200 yet and will (attempt to) do a carthwheel when I do, so no shade to Mo’Nique’s achievements. It just pains me that even when we let go of the idea that needing to lose weight means we have low self esteem, we still put ourselves in the ‘big girl’ box when doing so. I’m just so over holding on to being a big girl as part of my identity. It’s not a thing to hold onto!

Erika November 2, 2010 - 1:26 PM

I agree with you, but it’s an EXTREMELY sore spot that I don’t know that I’m ready to bring up. Not a sore-spot with me – I’ve long let go of the “goal weight” thing, and I think it’s an exercise in futility – but with a LOT of women who have settled into this notion that “200lbs is good enough.” Am I willing to really attack that? And can I do so in a healthy fashion without it coming across as fat bashing? It’s hard to talk about some things without being incendiary, y’know? If I’m not sure how to help build you back up, I can’t say that I’m willing to tear you down, so to speak.

Mo’Nique frustrates the HELL out of me, but I find it particularly interesting that in all that “skinny b-tch” bullsh-t she was spitting, all it took was for a man to tell her “that’s too much weight” for her to get serious about losing it. She couldn’t (and didn’t) decide that on her own – her man had to tell her. I feel like the only reason she didn’t keep going was because she wanted to hold onto her “skinny b-tch” brand. How frustrating.

I will say this – it’s not about “big girl” not being “a thing to hold onto,” to me.. it’s MUCH more about “big girl” not being something that is SO important that it gets in the way of our pursuit of better health. It just… ain’t that deep.

Kat August 26, 2012 - 10:27 AM

“Mo’Nique frustrates the HELL out of me, but I find it particularly interesting that in all that “skinny b-tch” bullsh-t she was spitting, all it took was for a man to tell her “that’s too much weight” for her to get serious about losing it. She couldn’t (and didn’t) decide that on her own – her man had to tell her.”

Would it be different in your mind if her motivation was her children saying the exact same words to her? When you say “a man” in the article, it seems like an attempt to downplay…it should have said “her husband”. I think quit a few situations can be seen as disturbing when “husband” is replaced with “a man”. I get it, that choice of words will evoke a certain emotion in the readers but I’m just saying to be fair and maintain credibility, we should call it what it is. I am far from a Monique fan (she is too loud and just…too much). However, does it matter where motivation comes from?

Erika Nicole Kendall August 27, 2012 - 10:10 AM

No. I’ve written countless posts about how problematic external motivation is, to me, and why I think it deserves to be challenged. I could’ve just as easily said “A man, a woman or a child” and it would’ve all meant the same.

At the end of the day, you have to do it for yourself. When your kids are grown and don’t have time to police you every day, and if (heaven forbid) your husband leaves you or winds up with something that overtakes him to the point where he can’t spend his days trying to push you to do what you know you need to do… are you going to stop doing what you need to do?

It DOES matter where motivation comes from because the work is never done. You don’t work out, lose the weight, and then go back to living how you were before [without consequences.] You work out, lose the weight… then KEEP WORKING OUT, and that kind of commitment has to come from within yourself in order to be sustainable.

Sameena December 6, 2012 - 4:00 PM

Love the article as well as your blog. As a women on the journey, losing weight, I as well came up w/ excuses, sayings like, “Im cute in the face but meant to be thick in the waist”, etc. But now @ 32 years old, married 10 years (& counting) and an 8 year old daughter, I think back to when & where my mind was…being bitter @ women who was glorified @ a size 6, fat girls considered gross to look @, fat girls forever being vilified as “just the friend” of the attractive friend etc. I think back, and when I made jokes about skinny women, and felt a certain way…I was YOUNG, IMMATURE, and @ a certain place in my life, that of sadness.
Then as I got older, I was able to look within, to see where my thought process was coming from. Yes, sometimes, having a lot of unhealthy weight is a mirror image of how you feel on the inside. I think Mo’Nique when she was in the realm of ” Skinny Women are Evil” phase, I feel that # 1, they were jokes, as all comedians tell, # 2, She was dealing w/ a lot of self image and pain, # 3, She was much younger, and I feel in a certain place in life of her own personal worth & #4, Yes it took someone (like her husband) to love her more than she loved herself @ the time to realize…Hey I now know my worth, & the lies I was telling myself (abt. skinny women) were just that…Lies.
I say that to say, we are all at different stages in our lives. The point is to recognize, take Action and Grow. It took my husband to tell me to get more healthy. Not be skinny, b/c lets face it, just b/c you’re skinny, doesnt mean healthy, I know a lot of skinny women w/ diabetes, heart attacks, etc. And when you get healthy, the weight loss will come. I just feel that @ that certain time in Mo’Nique’s life, she had a plight to tell us fat women, love up on yourselves, and I think that I (as well as other’s) NEEDED her to tell me that @ my time of 285 lbs., b/c I was always told fat was ugly, even from my own fat/obese mother.
Now as she has grown over the years. As well as us, she’s in a different place now, a healthy one, where shes gaining personal self esteem. I don’t think Mo’Nique’s goal is to be forever 200 lbs. but I think thats 1 of her stepping stones, as I have heard her say before. Like me, I am now 220 pounds even, from 285 and my 1st goal is to be 198, just to say I did it!!! LOL. (even tho my true goal is to be 130 pounds a size 12 for me) But in order for me to get this far, I had to grow and re program my mind. But we all have growth, change and to gain new ideologies on this life called evolution.

Bri November 2, 2010 - 1:30 PM

Nice post, but I don’t get why weight loss writers say not to focus on weight loss so much. Huh? That’s why most of us read your blogs and commend your progress in the first place. Why not call this “A Black Girl’s Guide to Health” then? I think we all know it would be less enticing. I know it’s said that weight loss follows better health… I just believe it can go the other way too. *shrugs*

Erika November 2, 2010 - 1:55 PM

Easy – you cannot achieve weight loss if you are in poor health.. focusing on the health ensures the progress in weight loss. Not only that, but focusing on the weight loss instead of health – for a lot of people – is how they wound up gaining MORE weight in the first place. Putting a priority on health instead of losing the weight means that you develop a system that also allows you to lose the weight and KEEP it off.. thus preventing you from backsliding. That being said, I DON’T think it “can go the other way, too.” And that’s coming from someone who’s been there.

There’s a reason “weight loss writers” are all saying the same thing.

Jogirl April 2, 2013 - 8:46 AM

Love Your Blog! The information and healthy discourse is priceless. Research has indicated that several of the life-threatening diseases and maladies we have plagued ourselves with can be improved and sometimes even reversed by simple losing weight (diabetes type 2, joint pain, sleep apnea, etc.). But, I agree wholeheartedly that for overall health and lasting weight-loss ( especially for those of us coming from the other end of the spectrum) a lifestyle of healthy habits is what works.
We all know that skinny person that subsist on Doritos, beer and a pack of cigarettes each day or that marathon runner that drops dead of a heart attack. So, it’s possible to be thin and unhealthy. Also to this day one of the most beautiful sistahs I ever knew was a plus size woman. So, I don’t buy that you can’t be obese and hot. I do challenge that you can be obese and healthy.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 2, 2013 - 7:26 PM

“…several of the life-threatening diseases and maladies we have plagued ourselves with can be improved and sometimes even reversed by simple losing weight (diabetes type 2, joint pain, sleep apnea, etc.).”

Not quite; it’s not the weight that does it. The same thing that causes long-standing weight loss is the same thing that can reverse the conditions of metabolic syndrome (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) The weight isn’t the cause. It’s a symptom that can be exacerbated or eradicated the same as heart disease, through food.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 2:06 PM

Oh, I just realized what you were implying. My apologies for being dismissive.

And as far as it being “less enticing,” my site is “enticing” in the first place because I put time and effort into sharing my life and how I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved. It is one thing to appreciate and enjoy my progress, but getting my life together in ways that allow me to experience better health is what GOT me that progress.

If all I did was focus on weight loss, then that implies that it’s the weight in and of itself that’s unhealthy. That’s not correct. If all I did was focus on weight loss, then I’d scramble for efforts that would bring me weight loss… and health is still not a part of the equation. I don’t know if you’re new here or what, but the underlying point here is that Black women, by and large, ignore our health and then wonder why so many of us are overweight. That “I believe it can go the other way too” hasn’t worked very well for us thus far… so hold onto that if you want. Me and MINE, over HERE? LOL We’ll happily disagree and enjoy our healthier (and, subsequently, lighter) lives.

Thembi November 2, 2010 - 2:25 PM

Thank you so much Erika! I sometimes feel alone and crazy when I make claims of “not good enough,” and I don’t wanna sound like a heater. It’s taken as self-hatred when “overweight but healthy” is dismissed as ultimately unhealthy. I understand why and I hope that we find a way to break that barrier together.

I think that what makes that healthi-ER weight range hard to address is the nebulous nature of the idea that overweight = unhealthy. It’s just not true. To bring in the most recent comments, this is what Bri is missing. I’ve been overweight my whole life. Practically speaking since the age of six but MY WHOLE LIFE. I have NEVER had a health problem until very recently, and the high blood pressure and high cholesterol is a function of age AND weight, not just weight. Being overweight does not EQUAL unhealthy in and of itself, in reality it inevitably leads to health problems. There is a big difference and this is why fattist’s claims that they hate to see fat people because they see an unhealthy person fall flat, likewise why a focus on HEALTH and not simply on WEIGHT LOSS is key. Focus on weight loss by slurping down cabbage soup for weeks at a time – a lot of weight loss writers (who arent legit) focus on that. That works for a while, to simply lose weight. But you’re doing yourself no favors and sure arent getting healthier. It doesnt work both ways because weighing less does not make you healthier on its own.

And regarding Mo’Nique, it’s no coincidence that her man telling her that she should lose weight is what got her started. I challenge you to find one picture of her from the Oscars without her man standing next to her that wasn’t taken onstage or in the press of just the winners. Every other celebrity steps back and lets photogs catch a shot of just the starlet in her dress. Spend all day online. You won’t find a single one.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 2:40 PM

Beautiful, Thembi. I love it!

I think that’s what’s most annoying about the idea that achieving weight loss leads to achieving health… because you can lose weight through a stupid detox or a restrictive diet, but none of that says ANYTHING about your blood pressure, your diabetes, your goodness knows what else. Again, it feeds into that “skinny = healthy” mentality. Silly… and fruitless. I don’t have a problem with women “wanting” – not necessarily needing, but WANTING – to lose five-ten pounds and looking to me for advice on it. If you can afford to focus on that – meaning, your health is in order and you KNOW that much is true – then we can rock. But women need to know – especially Black women – that our health has to be in tip top shape in order to experience those kinds of results. We just can’t do it otherwise. That’s cheating.

Yowzers @ Mo’Nique – and not trying to be funny or gossipy, but I wonder how that plays into that “open relationship” rumor that was going around. Just… out of curiosity.

Thembi November 2, 2010 - 2:32 PM

Oh I forgot one thing.

I wish that modern medicine would tell me what weight I need to be to avoid developing the health problems that will inevitably come from being overweight, be that 25 lbs over what they say is ideal or 50 lbs. That’s how to address the “good enough” question. So far all I see is this strict absolute that doesnt take body type or exercise habits into account. I know, me again being a brainiac, but since being overweight does not = being unhealthy on its own, and I’m just trying to live a longer life, is it too much to ask?

Erika November 2, 2010 - 2:42 PM

There will never be that number, because those problems can originate in those of us who are underweight. The sheer weight isn’t the problem, so it can’t be used to predict the consequences. Excess fat is a secondary consequence of a larger problem… that problem being poor lifestyle choices.

Focus! LOL!

Bri November 2, 2010 - 2:54 PM

I’m new and found you through a sugar tweet exchange. I wanted to check out your “weight loss” site as I’m looking to shed only a few pounds after a pregnancy, but I see you’re rude and combatitive here too. Not my thing.
Congratulations on your extraordinary WEIGHT LOSS. Good luck to your fans seeking the same. Just know if you used “health” instead of “weight loss” nobody would really care. And that’s just real talk.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 2:59 PM

Thank you for appreciating my weight loss! Just know that it doesn’t come before my HEALTH. I hate that you think I’m “rude” and “combative,” but if you don’t think that you were condescending and deserving of it, then I’m glad you don’t think my site is “your thing.” And THAT is real talk.

I’m sure my readership appreciates sharing how I’ve done what I’ve done, and we’ll keep on doing what we do. Best wishes to ya. 🙂

Melinda November 2, 2010 - 6:03 PM

Erika, you’ve confused me a little here, you say that the focus is on health amd not weight but criticise Monique for setting herself a 200lbs goal? The fact that she’s lost around 60 pounds is amazing and she’s said several times that her goal was to be healthier. So what’s wrong with her aiming for 200lbs when that would still put her in a significantly better position that her previous weight. Do you not believe that you can be healthy at (almost) any size? i.e. 200lbs person may be healthier and fitter than a 145 person.

Erika November 2, 2010 - 6:38 PM

I hear ya. Don’t get me wrong, here – I’m not criticizing her number (as in saying it should be smaller), I’m criticizing the issue of “goal-setting” for a certain number. As in, setting goals that have to do with a number on a scale instead of improved health or quality of life. When I do interviews, asking me “are you where you want to be?” is the most frustrating question because when I say “No,” the question is always “Well, how much more are you trying to lose?” My goals aren’t wrapped up in this “scale” issue, they’re more complex than that because I now have new goals that have nothing to do with weight. I can’t answer that with a “number.” I can answer that with a list of things I want to do, and those goals might actually require that I GAIN weight, you know? How do you respond to “how much more are you trying to lose?” with “I’m actually looking to gain about 6 more lbs!” and not confuse the hell out of an interviewer? LOL!

Not only that, but let’s be real for a minute – say you get your health together, things are running smoothly… and you hit that 50lb point and you still don’t look the way you want to look? It’s disappointing and can be frustrating. That’s the other reason why I call it an exercise in futility. I don’t say you can’t be vain at ALL – I think a little vanity is important – I just think we need to understand the role that proper health plays in the ability to look ones best. Your figure, the quality of your skin, the health of your hair… all of that is affected by your health. Your insides shine through to your outside. Cute makeup does nothing for that. Trust me.

A “smaller number” might put you in a “better” position than her previous weight, but using that “Smaller number” to dictate where and how far you go implies to me that maybe health wasn’t the primary issue in the first place. I’m happy that she’s healthier, I have nothing negative to say about that.

T.R. November 3, 2010 - 5:07 AM

Loved this article and I’ve been saying this for sometime myself. I’ve always felt something not right about Monique’s shtick as you said why put down other women simply because of their size. My personal opinion is that she used the “weight” to pimp those of us who were “big girls” and didn’t see ourselves much in the media or bashed by as you say the fat phobes.

But I digress. Thembi I think what you said was spot on with both your posts. I really don’t have anything to add…LOL go head sister and love that brain.

Erika just a bit of shedding of light on what Ms. Bri is trying to say and not saying it clearly. In regards to both ways. For instance I’ve been overweight most of my life (28 years to be almost exact). I’ve never had any “health” issues or anything but I’ve begun to see some things as I’ve gotten older as one of the posters pointed out. I’m in the process of losing weight. To be honest I’m at the point I want to loose weight because simply I’m sick and tired of being “fat”. Now with that said because I’ve done a “lot of different programs” to loose weight over the years, I’ve decided some things. Mainly I don’t want surgery, I don’t want to be obsessed over food or have to count calories for a life time (though I agree with your calories or intuitive eating article how the counting can eventually lead to the intuitive) and I want a more active life style. Couple that with all that I’d been reading and learning over the last 6 years on reading labels, watching movies like Supersize Me, etc. I realized how I wanted my life to look and it looked healthy. That’s what I want a strong healthy life where I’m eating well, living well, and being the best me I can be. But a big part of what is motivating me is “I’m tired of being fat”. I think (or assuming) that’s what Bri may have meant when she said it can go both ways.

However, I would take Bri to task that that does not work for most people. Meaning I have been doing a lot of research on the topic, I have friends and family who themselves have made certain life style choices (one of whom sent me the link to your site) and I live in CA where eating and being healthy (along with looking “good”) is actually practiced by a lot people (but ironically everywhere I go there are tons of billboards advertising the lapband procedure or gastric bypass). So she may have a point but I don’t think the point would apply to the majority of people which is why your point regarding the focus on health leads to weight loss is key. Because even with all I know I’m still learning a lot from you and adding some new things to my arsenal. So thank you for the love and time you’ve devoted to your site. :O)

Erika November 3, 2010 - 5:26 AM

I feel you, buuuuuuut I think there’s a gigantic difference between saying “weight loss can lead to health” and “a desire to lose weight can lead to better health,” you know? One implies that the desire to lose weight compels a woman toward researching and learning how to change her life. (Hence, your comment!!) The other implies that the weight is the reason WHY the health is questionable, and while that may be so for the woman who’s 100lbs over, that isn’t the case for the woman who’s 10-15lbs over. We said “the weight” not “x amount of weight,” and the language we choose to use is important. I don’t think she was trying to say that at all, especially since she gave herself the opportunity to clarify and chose not to – she chose to try to insult me. Again.

Not only that, but she was helladismissive and insulted me twice. *throws hand* None of that gets any love from me. Besides, you said it yourself – “that does not work for most people.” It’s self-defeating and implies a level of desperation that, for many (not all), would make me uneasy.

I do have to highlight something you said, though:

“Couple that with all that I’d been reading and learning over the last 6 years on reading labels, watching movies like Supersize Me, etc. I realized how I wanted my life to look and it looked healthy.”

That is IMPORTANT. That’s the cornerstone of my entire site! The life you need in order to not only lose the weight and KEEP it off needs to be one where your health is always maintained! It means activity! Nourishment! Stress management and emotional support! These things MATTER, every last one. A woman who “loses the weight” without addressing these very vital issues will, without question, gain the weight BACK. (Hence, the “failure rate of dieters” being somewhere around 90%. They thought it was easy too. Poor them.)

It’s EASY to lose the weight – anyone can do that – but in order to keep it off? You WILL have to come around to the side of the “health fanatics,” because it’s even EASIER to gain it back. Anyone who chooses to not recognize that today will regret it tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.

I mean, if y’all want me to write about grapefruit and cookie diets all day, I can do that… but I’m not responding to any more comments asking me why you “couldn’t keep the weight off.” I’d have to be a cold piece of work then, huh? LOL!

Thank you for the kind words, and the early morning love! 🙂

allhoney July 8, 2012 - 11:25 AM

He-e-ey Erika,

Don’t ever stop what you are doing and what you are sharing. I had worked to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle to support that weight from the time I was 14 years old and lost 46 pounds over a two year period (from 186 lbs-> 140 lbs) until my son was born when I was 36 years old. A few distressing things happened that year. The most distressing was losing a major spiritual support system and all of the friends associated with the organization. The second most distressing thing was learning that my baby daddy was really attached to the idea of living a life which included neither job nor responsibilities for him. Even when he had a job his money never entered the house (and the apartment was in both our names. It wasn’t just mine). He was also verbally and physically abusive. Beginning of weight gain. Even though I gained almost 50 lbs during my pregnancy, I lost over 30 during labor and immediately after delivery. By the time my son was 10 months old I was within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.
But over the years I found solace in food (from the health food store, but still). It took me years to isolate the reason I am still toting all of this armor around. Why do I find it so threatening to actually be 145-150 pounds again? Why am I hiding? You bring these questions to light for others. that’s important because everyone is not as self reflective. Your openness about your journey (which is all of our journeys) lets us see that no, it’s not just us. Everybody goes through these things.

thanks.

Jasmine November 3, 2010 - 10:52 PM

I’m late in the game but I just had to lol at some of the comments. Erika, your post was on point but some of the comments…not so much. Weight loss, like life, is done in stages and if you can’t understand, don’t judge and keep walking. The ‘why’ of weight loss is personal and anyone who shares their journey publicly (Erika or Monique) is open to criticism. Any public blog/interview of weight loss should be used as a guide and BBG2WL is the only online resource that I recommend to my overweight friends that want to be healthy or/and lose weight. I’ve lost more than 100lbs before I found your site and lost another 20lbs once I read many of your post. I think one of the most important aspects of maintaining weight loss is finding something that you enjoy. Thank you for blogging your mistakes and researching better ways to eat and live. You’ve saved me much misery and scale stepping. Sorry you have to deal with folks that don’t understand that your progress/journey is someone else’s inspiration.

Erika November 4, 2010 - 4:30 AM

Thank you, Jasmine, but it’s no thing. I’ve long accepted that people like that don’t acknowledge the connection between health and weight loss – a lot of people don’t get it when they first come here, and that’s okay. It doesn’t change anything for ME: their misinformation doesn’t change the progress and benefits that I’ve enjoyed, their rejection of what I’ve learned to be PROOF doesn’t nullify those facts and their attitudes don’t discourage me from continuing my blog.

If anything, I was WAY more annoyed by the insinuation that my blog was intentionally misleading.. all because she refuses to embrace the fact that health and prolonged weight loss are not a two-way street. All of America agrees with her, and all of America is still 70% overweight… many of them suffering from questionable health. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. She just suffers from bad information overload… and I get that, but a lack of information on her part doesn’t give her the right to insult me or those who think like me… nor does her trashy attitude demand my compliance and politeness. Naw. We’re grown around here. LOL.

But forget all that…. congratulations on 120lbs lost!! I’m happy to know that I’ve been a small part of that!

Johnnie November 21, 2010 - 12:49 PM

Hi! I came across this site via Facebook and I love it. Since I was 14 I have tried to lose weight and twice was on my way to real success but allowed myself to become distracted either by a boyfriend, job loss (couldn’t pay for the weekly WW fees) or pregnancy and have been gaining ever since. I know I need to exercise…now since I’m so heavy it’s difficult now lol! At some point I got so tired of constantly monitoring everything so I said to hell with it but of course now I’m paying for it. I want to do something because I’m tired! I will be visiting this site often and I don’t think you are rude and combative at all, keep doing what you do because I need this! Thank you!

Tiffany December 13, 2010 - 5:22 PM

For some people there self esteem is linked to there weight and for others it isn’t. However, when your self esteem is directly linked to your weight, and the way you look there is a deeper issue that you are surpressing. I am speaking from experience. I grew up in a beauty salon were the focus is looking good. All of the women on my mothers side of the family are overweight or obese this is the same side that had the beauty salon. I said all of that to say this. I realized that when I was smaller I didn’t try as hard or feel as much pressure to dress a certain way or make sure everything else was together. However, once I gained the weight instead of focusing on losing it consistantly. I would just figure out a way to “pretty it up” because I have to make sure that I am pretty right? That is one of the subliminal messages I got as a little girl growing up in that beauty salon. I remember my Grandmother (my best friend) would talk about how she hates to see people with there hair unkemp, but I never heard her say until the last 5-7 years anything about weight and her adult children.

Lauren March 1, 2011 - 3:47 PM

Ok. Im just tired of everyone thinking every big person sits around eating cookies and cakes. Some people are naturally bigger than others. Albeit that is no excuse to be morbidly obese. Black women have naturally large hips, thighs, and butt than non Blacks. I think its fitness and health at what is comfortable to you. I refuse to conform to others standards of beauty. I think we are beautiful at a size 2 or size 16. And we can be healthy at both sizes.

Tiffany July 10, 2011 - 11:47 PM

OMG, I love this article! A friend of mine asked me the other day if she was like the fat people we see on TV and when I answered yes she was so offended! She equated the people on TV with being depressed, and I just equated them to people who were unhealthy and overweight. She felt that by me saying she was like them, that I was questioning her beauty or sexiness. My response was: if you feel sexy and beautiful, nothing I should say should ever be an afront to that….but why when I tell the truth, am I being mean or insensitive. It got me into a conversation with another friend about black women & curves and being “big girls”. While you can be a big girl & be sexy (cause I agree with you, big or small, I will always be sexy), why do we have to hold on to this notion of being thick girls & big girls? Why do we have to always sugar coat our friends feelings and tell them; “you aren’t that big”….”you look good girl, you’re just curvy” and my favorite: “you’re big boned”. People constantly tell me I’m solid or I’m big boned…those aren’t compliments. I look at pictures of me at 212 and I wonder: why didn’t anyone tell me I was that big? When, a few people did tell me, the majority kept telling me I looked nice….we have got to stop telling people that being overweight is ok….it’s not! Being happy with yourself is ok, and loving yourself is great…but somewhere in that love, we have got to get to truly loving ourselves and others and being concerned with our health…not worrying about being skinny or some ideal that someone else has, but being healthy, exercising our bodies and exercising our hearts…eating more fruits and veggies! And we also have to learn to not “hate” on someone else for being thin! My cousin has been tall & thin all her life and people constantly get on her about eating! She eats all the time, she just doesn’t gain weight. But her struggle is to gain, because she wants to be “thick”! I’m so tired of this phrase! I tell her to just be happy with who she is, but she wants to know what it’s like to have extra weight on her….We live in a crazy world, but I feel like everyone just needs to get to healthy & fit….so we can live long, productive lives! And, thanks for posting that article about Mo’nique….(i never like the deflecting jokes either)..but good read

Imir August 26, 2011 - 1:17 PM

I cannot tell you how many women of color I have argued with about this topic. There’s a difference between accepting who you are and making yourself better. There is no empowerment in being overweight. A “phat” ass just makes you a dumb ass when your health is suffering.

Bravo for this post. I’m printing it and making multiple copies of it and the next time a black woman berates me because of one of my dating criteria’s being a woman who works out, I’m going to just hand them this article and keep walking.

Bravo.

Tawana August 26, 2011 - 1:57 PM

Erika, I’ve read through some of your comments and the comments of others on this topic, and I feel that there were some very valid points raised by everyone. In reading the posts on this topic, I’ve learned something very important about myself. I’ve struggled with my weight since childhood, and like many others I’ve tried many of the diets and fads out there without much success. Erika, I absolutely agree that losing weight in itself is not the hard part. It’s adopting and maintaining a lifestyle that embraces good health that’s the hardest (at least in my case anyway). I’ve tried them all – Weight Watchers, Atkins, you name it – and have realized weight loss with them all. However, because I focused more on losing weight instead of the things that might derail my efforts, I’ve gained all the weight I’ve lost back. Then on top of that, I gave birth to two children within a year so I don’t have to tell you what happened afterwards. In terms of my health, I am in a very bad place both emotionally and physically and I need to take action. I’m still trying to figure out what it is that’s holding me back from getting healthy which is why I’ve started to read your website for guidance and advice. Since I’ve been visiting this site, I am happy to say that I’m more open to embracing a healthy lifestyle but I haven’t started down the road yet. But I’m not going to despair just yet. I’m going to keep soul searching and exploring until I get it together.

Stefanie November 4, 2011 - 11:33 AM

Hello,
I have been reading the comments and everyone has their own reasons for losing weight. That’s all well and good. Erika, thank you for taking the time to do what you do with your site. Whether we have reached our goals, started on our joruney, or still getting there, you have provided us with some useful advice. That’s why have plenty of readers (smile). @ Tawana (the most recent poster), I believe you will get there and succeed, I really do! My story is not the exact same as yours; but I feel I relate in regards to be overweight for my of my life, knowing what to do to slim down but that dag um ‘monkey on my back’ won’t get off! So, I’m going to keep moving until that little booger get’s tired of being there! (lol). Keep seeking and what you need will come to you. God bless you.

Erika Nicole Kendall November 4, 2011 - 12:07 PM

🙂

Tawana November 4, 2011 - 2:03 PM

@ Stefanie (the most recent post). Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. Since I posted my last comment, I am happy to say that for the last 30 days I have been walking 3 times per week and I have really begun to pay attention to what I’m eating. I don’t know exactly how much weight I’ve lost because I believe the scale is the devil (lol), but family and friends that I don’t see often are saying that they see a difference which is great. I still have slips ups from time to time, but instead of giving up after I go off course I bring myself back into focus and keep moving. God Bless you and everyone here in their journeys to become healthier.

Kenya January 17, 2012 - 12:31 AM

(sighs) I gotta say & it took me years to finally realize this, is that if there’s ANY insecurity, it will probably in those who are the MOST critical about others and their weight and NOT in those who have acknowledged that they need to lose weight in order to improve their health.

“Oh, Weight loss is for those with low self-esteem.”

“Oh, Fat people are that way cause they have low self-esteem.”

2 opposing points of view I’m familiar with but they have 1 thing in common:

They’re generated by people who have no idea what they’re talking about & love hearing themselves talk.

I did what I could to avoid/ignore these people & I think I became a more confident (and smaller 🙂 ) person for it. How that for irony? – 🙂

J. Wilson January 20, 2012 - 11:43 PM

My mentor often says to me “Losing weight is not about your looks, it’s about being healthy.” However, I have to admit that I don’t like the way that I look. I’m not comfortable. In addition, when I’ve lost weight in the past, I’ve felt uncomfortable with the attention that men were suddenly giving me because I didn’t receive much male attention.
The biggest problem is the negative impact this excess weight has had on my health. I don’t sleep well. I also have joint pain, back pain, chronic fatigue, at one point I was experiencing acid reflux (didn’t know what it was until I had it), difficulty concentrating, depression. I could go on but I’ll stop here. I NO LONGER WANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS. Shucks, I just turned 29 around Thanksgiving.
Although I am intelligent and creative, I’ve doubted my abilities and basically dropped out of my Master’s program (there, I said it) because I felt like a failure. I’ve let this weight take over my life. No more. I’m at the point where I am losing weight for my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. I’m taking the holistic approach baby.

Thanks for the encouraging posts.

Mecha April 16, 2012 - 10:48 AM

I, like Mo-nique was comfortable in my own skin. I’ve always been a curvy full figured diva who had no problems in attracting men. I decided to life-style change when the wagon I was dragging became a bit much for my back and legs when standing too long.

I would encourage each person to do what they need to do for themselves. Your friends and family will support whatever your goals if you are opened to sharing them.

I’m an odd sort in that I don’t want the recognition and praise from others for reducing my clothes size. A change in lifestyle that results in a change in one’s outward appearance is a personal journey. Self-satisfaction is more important.

It feels good to go from sizes 26-28 to 18-20. The goal is 12-14, but how and when I get there is up to me.

Quinnette April 16, 2012 - 1:35 PM

Love the article! I never liked the whole skinny b**ch thing. The problem is comparison and BMI. My doctor told me years ago that those charts came from WASP patients during the depression. My friend used to work hard to get to what the charts said was healthy for her but her collar bones were sticking out and she was nowhere near those numbers. She said “I just want to be normal”, I told her, you are 6 feet tall and where a size 11 shoe, that is not normal. Same for me, my goal weight is 225. I am almost six feet tall and wear a 12 extra wide. I ran 12 miles a day in highschool and still weighed 219. I say all of this to say, I will still be considered fat to a lot of people but it is all about health. I am obese now but still have a better than normal bp and blood work but I am thinking of the future because sure NOW I can move all this around but it will get increasingly harder and I am all about quality of life.

allhoney July 8, 2012 - 11:01 AM

Hi Erika,

I am 55 years old, hypertensive about 16 years, and I currently weigh 210-215 lb. It fluctuates, and it takes super human effort these days to get near 200, and superhuman effort to stay near there. But when I was 40 weeks pregnant (19 years ago), I weighed 195 and my pressure was 104/62 which was the norm back then. In 2007 when I was out of work on an extended sick leave, I weighed 207 and my pressure was a medicated 102/68. It’s almost never that low, even with medication. My pressure went up after my son was born, and I was: stressed about being the only parent who cared enough to take care of him; and, 2. Calcium depleted, which is a precursor to hypertension. It wasn’t so much the weight but the stress of being a single parent plus the calcium loss from being pregnant, and then breast feeding for two years.

My sister in law is in awesome shape. She’s a personal trainer and a body builder, but after her son was born her pressure went up too. She was almost or just over 40 when he was born and his father is no assistance either. Like it said, it’s not just the weight, but the weight does add to the burden.

Oh, in addition, hypertension and some arthritis are all that plague me. My cholesterol numbers are absolutely beautiful and my blood sugar levels are acceptable. I eat very little animal (other than my daily 3 hard boiled eggs for breakfast and turkey or salmon once or twice a week for dinner), and almost no packaged foods. I’m hell on some chocolate though.

Vana August 20, 2012 - 8:36 PM

Weight gain is for people with low self esteem.

Weight loss is the recovery of that self esteem.

Tina January 14, 2013 - 8:29 PM

In high school, I did pageants. I was 140 lbs at 5’11”, and convinced I wasnt winning because of my big butt. At 35 and 240, I finally learned to love my insides, and consequently, my outsides. And I was sexy. Last year, at 256, exhausted every night, feeling the weight in every joint, I decided it was time to get healthy. Ironically, I don’t really see my body differently 50 lbs lighter. The shape is the same, there is just less of everything.

All that to say…I appeared to have plenty of self-esteem, or at least plenty of drive and ambition…I didn’t, really. Saying you have it doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Lee April 1, 2013 - 8:52 PM

PPl have said to me “you dont have self esteem issues, you have a boyfriend, and you’re healthy why are you losing weight?” smh.
When I think about the times when my self esteem was at its ultimate low I was actually a size 12-14. I think back to see the various reasons why my self esteem was so low and how I gained the weight to become a size 24. When I started my journey of being healthy I had already gone through the “ups and downs” of “well i look just fine. I am healthy. i love this and that blah blah blah.” I realized that yes I am healthy right now, but I want to be even more healthy in the future. I have let go of ppl who were sabotaging my personal journey. My self esteem is at a wonderful level. I dont care what the scale says, what ppl can/cant see, or any of the superficial matters either. I feel great. I can fit comfortably into a size 20. I am as happy as I was when I began this journey. I know that with each size I go down I am helping myself as well as creating great ‘habits’ for when I do decide to have some kids. Another great thing is that my mom, my dad, and I are doing it as a family :).

The Mighty Quinn April 6, 2013 - 2:42 AM

I can see where some of this comes from. I have met so many women who hate themselves and never lived until they lost weight. I never cared for Mo’Nique making fun of skinny women because I never liked people making fun of of fat women. I get Mo’s tactic in a world of youaresupposedtohateyourselfbecauseyourfat. Fat is in the eyes of the beholder and I am motivated by the ability to be able to be active and support health at all sizes. I ran 12 miles a day in high school and was still 200lbs but to every one I was still fat(even though I had amenorrhea for a few years). My self esteem came from my family support I received. Although sports slowed down as an adult, I remained an active, fat adult. My motivation to slim down is my future health, I love the quote you posted of Mo’Niques “You do what you HAVE to do so you can do what you WANT to do.” Plus I will start nursing school next year with girls half my age, so I while I will be the old lady, I don’t want to move like one.
I say all of this to say that you can only do you. You cannot assume just because of someone’s weight that they are out of shape and eat crap. I was the woman at work who got the young, skinny girls to eat veggies. I know what is under my hood and it is all better than normal, I just want to keep it that way.

Angela April 24, 2014 - 4:08 PM

Hi Erika,
I just stumbled across your blog on Facebook. I love it! I will make it a daily read. I have just seriously started my weight loss journey. After denial and frustration, I wanted to make a change in my life to be healthier. You are an inspiration to people like me, so thank you for doing what you do!

Anjelicia June 17, 2016 - 11:48 AM

Hi I came across your website yesterday after reading this article I think maybe I should reevualuate my thinking. I am 21 years old 5’2 and 162 pds. Since middle school I have suffered with weight issues. I was an athlete playing basketball and running track but still fat. It wasn’t until I got in to college when the weight seemed to melt off. My sophmore year in college I was the skinniest I’d ever been and I felt great I was very fit and my self esteem was at an all time high. Fastforward to now I’ve gained that weight back and I feel absolutely ugly I’m not comfortable in my body. I am currently on a weightloss journey but I think more so for my self esteem. Going to the doctor she did tell me that my blood pressure was getting to high and I need to watch it but the crazy part is that didn’t motivate me to start my weight loss my self esteem did. The agonizing feeling of not feeling beautiful or seeing women with abs and banging bodies made me take a look at myself. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

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