Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Week One - And A Weigh We Go!

Hi All!

Well, this is the first week of the big pay off - I mean diet and exercise plan! So far, things have gone good.

...Except for Aunt Flo visiting and putting a monkey wrench in the whole damn thing! Just what I need right now...cramps and bloating to go along with the hunger pains and caffeine withdrawal!

But ya know, I'm making it! Monday was an absolute gag!! I decided that I was going to workout in some shape or form on my lunch hour. I figured that I could walk or exercise for a half hour and eat the for the other. For me, the plan was a bit of a stretch, considering a usual lunch for me consisted of:

1. Getting with my girlfriends at lunch, going to our favorite greasy spoon and ordering the special. The special was one of those three course meals consisting of cheesy, fatty soup, some greasy meat( always deep fried in batter) and something that once was probably some healthy vegetables drowned in cheese and/or butter. MMM MMM. The only workout we got was with our mouths from eating and gossiping. When we got back to work, I would take the elevator - TO GO UP ONE FLOOR! My second favorite lunch time pastime was

2. Napping! Yep, I would take the van, drive over to the local park (after getting a Burger meal somewhere), eat my lunch, then let back the seat and go into dream land! When it was cold out, I would put a comforter and a pillow in the back seat! I know God loves me, cuz no one has tried to murder me yet!

So anyhoo, I decide that Monday is the first day of the rest of my life bla bla cash bla bla.... and I set out to my destiny....

First, I decided that I would start packing my own low carb lunches and save some bucks. I would also need some snacks, and diet drink and my low carb chocolate shake to help stave off any hunger pains I might have at work. OK got that if I am going to go walking, I have to have a change of clothes, my tennies, socks, a towel to freshen up with, oh - let me take some fresh underwear in case I really get down with the sweatin', 'course got to have the bra to match, any and everything that kills odor on the body, and last but not least, all my hair products and three curling irons so I can redo my hair!

There!! That was easy!! Girls, I walked out of my house with FOUR bags, packed to the hilt, two grocery bags with food and my purse!! And I still forgot stuff!

But I didn't get frustrated and give up - I trudged on...I figured that I was getting a good workout by carrying all of this stuff. Hey a calorie burned is a calorie burned!

So lunchtime arrives, and I go run to the restroom to change, grab my lunch and head over to the park. Now, I don't know where you all are, but around here, we are going thru a semi-heat wave....Either that or semi flash flooding...(what's next on God's Wrath's list? Locusts? y'all better get right!)

It was a little warm - but yours truly walked around the perimeter (read: the places where someone can see me getting attacked) of the park. Twice. I think that it was about 2 miles total. It could have been a nice pleasant walk, except for the fifty thousand chiggers that bit me! I think one got a taste and went back and told the rest "Hey guys, soul food today! Ooooooh, fat, salt and sugar all in one!" But, again, I persevered.....I like that word, am I spelling it right?

I eat my lunch in my air conditioned van, get back to work, freshen up, change clothes.......AND CONTINUE TO SWEAT FOR THE NEXT HOUR! I didn't know what the hell was going on, sweat was dripping from my hair, down my neck. I had to keep toweling off, people probably thought I was in the first stages of cardiac arrest. I was more worried about how my hair and makeup looked. See, I am the first person you see when you walk into our office, and since every man that walks in could be a potential millionaire husband, I got to look good!!! The waterworks finally stopped, so I did a quick touchup with the makeup, moussed the living hell out of my do and persevered!! (love that word!!)

I have to say, after all the chigger welts went down, I did feel a bit better that afternoon...I had a little more energy and I could focus better - no afternoon slump.

Today, I took some of my co workers to help stave off the muggers - I mean to share my newfound love for walking in the heat. People, that is the way to go! We spent so much time laffing that the walk was over in no time..I plan on going at least 3 times a week! I CAN DO IT!! the exercise part down and the diet is going sooo well. As I stated before, and will explain in more detail in another chapter, I have chosen to do the Atkins diet. Being a diabetic, this diet was the best for me cuz it cuts out everything I LOVE....I mean everything that is bad for me (sugar, excessive carbs, caffeine) and replaces it with low carb goodies that I can live with. So , instead of my usual breakfast of a Mountain Dew and a Snickers, I have eggs and bacon, cheese, butter and low carb juice mix. Snacks consist of Pork Rinds (yes pork rinds!) cream cheese dip, and veggies, and dinner is usually fish or steak and a big salad !

So far ladies, I have lost (drum roll please!!) Two Pounds!! Yay! I hardly recognize myself, I'm getting so thin.....well ok , I am less fat ;). But celebrate the small things in life, and soon you will get a big check!

OK Q&A time!! Someone on the comments of my first post asked me what was the difference between being Thick and being Fat. Ladies, get your pens and paper out....

(Note: This is a phrase that I will be using alot these next few months. What this really means is for you to shade over the phase with your mouse, right click, choose 'copy', and paste to a word document. If any of this is new or confusing to you, I would like to say WELCOME TO 2007 - TECHNOLOGY GOOD!!)

Anyhoo, back to the question. Let's get all Jesse Jackson with the answer shall we? Here we go:

Remember : Thick is a state of mind
Fat is what's on your behind!

Thank you! I have copyrighted that, so if I start seeing t-shirts, I'm coming after you!

Well, time for me to do my crunches - the pork rinds that is - and head off to bed! Thanks for the love and support and you will always have mine! YOU CAN DO IT!


p.s. I can hear all of you already - how you eatin all that and trying to lose weight? The secret will be revealed next time!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Welcome a New Guest Blogger: Dee

Hi All,

There will be a new blogger joining the Sweet Potato Pie family. Her name is DeAnna or just 'Dee' for short. Here is a little more about her from an e-mail she sent me:

My name is DeAnna aka "Dee money the flyest honey" aka "Dee" if you want to keep it simple:) and I live in the DC area. Mental and physical fitness, health, beauty, fashion, and self empowerment are my passions. I’m a 25 year old golfer, flag football player, runner, personal trainer, and self-help and history junkie, and a lover of my people!!!

I have always maintained the position that black women are beauty-full. Just absolutely marvelous!! I hate that we aren’t told those things by society and within our own culture enough and that we don’t realize how great we truly are. This leads us down so many horrible paths, from man sharing, to depression. However, I do believe that the majority us are doing the thing and we just have to reach each uplift one another.

It’s really my wish to help black women empower themselves through physical fitness. What many of us fail to realize, is that when one is strong, exercising regularly, and eating healthily, we feel better; mentally and physically. The result is a confidence that moves throughout other aspects of life and it’s wonderful. I realize this email could get long, but I love this subject. Who is more beautiful that black woman? Really?

Let's welcome Dee and I can't wait for her first post!

Today is a new day. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Magical Mystery Weight Loss Tour!! C'mon along!

Hello All!!

First, I would like to thank Miz T.S. for allowing me to use her wonderful blog!! Sisters helping sisters, that's the way it should be!!

Second, please allow me to introduce myself! My name is Tracy, and I have decided to take that big step....again...but this time I'm serious...again. I am a 41 year old, single professional woman who loves life and all it has to offer, especially in the Chinese buffet line. I have decided to lose the extra poundage and take control of my health. After so many years of being a "thick" sista, I am ready to shed this extra weight and do things that I have not done in years....

like look down and see my feet....
go braless without getting arrested and/or scaring small children...
walk thru the junior section in department stores and not be accused of shoplifting....
go up a flight of stairs without having 911 on my cellphone speedial....
date a man with a job....(you would not believe how many no ambition-having jerks there are out there!!) (Oh wait, if you are linking from Evia's blog, yes you do!)

So anywho, I want to lose this weight and I started looking for the proper motivation to get this thing kickstarted. See, I have reverse bulimia. When normal bulimics look in the mirror, they see an overweight person, a distorted view of what they really are.

When I look in the mirror, especially after the nails are polished, makeup applied, and the hair is "did", I think that I am the most gorgeous, sexiest thing to put on a pair of draws! When I figure out how to post pictures on this thing, I'm sure that you will agree with me...

Yep, I look great, until I see the family reunion or work outing photos....then I am screaming at some poor innocent soul ("You need to quit playing with Photoshop!! My ass is not that big!")for showing me the truth. Unfortunately, the pics were not motivation enough. Neither was growing out of my clothes. I love shopping, so I just bought bigger sizes (damn you Lane Bryant!). Not even getting diabetes last year phased me. I take pills to control my sugar and I manage to keep it pretty level. But diabetes is a silent killer, and the more I play around with it, the more I am shortening my life span. So I had to find something that was going to make me go for it and stick to it!

Well, just my luck, our local hospital has a yearly weight loss contest. Participants form a team of five, pay and entry fee and weigh in. You have a total of five months to lose weight and the team that loses the most weight wins the entry fee money from all of the teams! Last year, the prize money of $10,000.00 was split between two teams - that's $5000.00 a team, $1000.00 a team member. This year the pot is even bigger. All of a sudden, I feel like jogging! Eating is sooo overrated!! I e-mailed the idea to some folks at work, thinking that I would have to beg to get four more team members. Turns out that everyone loved the idea (they are greedy too!) and we ended up with four teams!
To make it fair, we drew names to form our teams! I tell ya, that day all of the fat folks in the office were feeling the love! Every one wanted to pull the big butts, because we can lose the most weight. People were praying to get us! This made up for prom night for most of us!

Alas, luck was on my side that day. Along with myself weighing in at 244 and 1/2 of a 1/4 lbs, I pulled most of the pleasantly plump (read: big, fat) members! Our team name? Tons of Fun!
We officially weighed in on Friday, and now we are all rarin' to go!! I am so blessed to be with a team of people that are so fun and motivated..We are gonna do it guys!!! WOOHOO!

So, I would like to share this journey to fitness with all of you!! We are going to have a great time together !! In addition to reading about how I almost killed someone for bringing donuts in on the day of the contest, I will be sharing diet tips ( I chose Atkins ), fabulous recipes, inspirational stories, and, on some days I will be telling you just how much dieting and exercising can suck!

But I will always tell you, as I tell myself and my team members, not to give up. Keep going, people succeed at this all the time. Let's for once be the "after"s in this weight loss game.

Please note: I am this blog's cheerleader! Your happiness counselor! I will do my best to keep you motivated and full of hope for the days to come! THERE WILL BE NO CRYING ON THIS BLOG!! Darlings, I have been to several of these wonderful sites for black women - bravo to all of you! But ladies...gyaad!...I kinda think some of us like suffering and crying! Every overweight woman, especially black women, has some issue to deal with. Well, here, we are going to deal with it and MOOOOOVE ON!

Had a bad relationship? Forgive that insensitive jerk, forgive the stank that had his baby and MOOOOVE ON!

Daddy issues? Go to him, tell him you forgive him and love him and WORK THAT GUILT THANG!! (you laffing, but I haven't paid my own car payment in two years! Hi Dad!)

Another thing ladies....Miz T has made a really great blog /forum for us. It amazes me when I go to other sites and read their posts and comments. One negative comment will generate fifty thousand comments, complete with death threats and more than a few "yo mama"s.
But come to a site that has, oh, something that might help you deal with life's daily stresses and what do we get?


or one comment that's like:
"Hi ! Nice site! Um, do you have a link to the "We Hate BlackMen" posts?"

Now, come on y'all!!! Show some love! If you like this post, tell a friend, then they will tell two friends, and so on and so on....

So if you liked this post, and TS's post, please come and join me on my five month journey to some serious cash......I mean to fitness.....nah hell with it, I meant cash....

I will try to blog at least two times a week with my progress, and my "before" pics are coming soon! Glad to know all of you! I CAN DO IT!! YOU CAN TOO!!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Sorry for the Slow Posting

School starts Monday and I've been running around trying to make sure everything is in order. I love being at an HBCU but my people know they can make things ten times harder then they need to be. SMH.

Anywho things should be back to normal next week. My schedule is set and I'll be able to post more frequently and in a timely manner.

Keep fit and Stay Health!

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shout Out to Evia and a New Blogger Joins Sweet Potato Pie

First I'd like to give a grand ol' Thank You to Evia over at First she linked to me from her site when I was just starting out and then she just recently gave me a shout out in one of her posts! Thanx! I know a lot of you found my blog from her blog so I am ever so grateful for her and all of your support!

Secondly I'd like to say YEAAAA! We have a new blogger who will be on board soon. I hope you all find her as fun and entertaining as I do. Below you'll find excerpts from the e-mail she sent me and you can see why I'm so excited about adding her to Sweet Potato Pie:

My name is Tracy Scott and I have just signed up for a weight loss contest with a team of 4 others - I am the captain!

I would like to keep a blog journal of my and my team members progress, along with daily thoughts, ups and downs of the weight loss game, pics, and of course lots of laffs!

The contest starts this Friday, I weigh in then. We are then weighed once a month until the contest ends on Jan 4th. Two teams will win - the team that loses the most weight and the team that loses the highest percentage of weight. The two teams will split a pot of so far almost $16,000.00 $8000.00 divided by 5equals a cool $1700.00 for me and my team members if we win at one of the categories! So, screw the health benefits, get thin for the cash!! ;)

I think that we have a great chance of winning, seeing as we are all big butts! I myself tip the scales at 245 and I am not the biggest one! Realistically, I could probably take off at the minimum 50 lbs, but I am really ready to do what it takes - in a healthy wayof course - the win this thing.. My team members are also gung ho, and we are planning outings, and pledge drives for charity (who can do the most push ups,dance a thons, and walk a thons) to help us take the extra pounds off..

So let's welcome Tracy. Her first post should be up this Sunday. Let's do all we can to cheer her on and support her in her weight loss efforts and of cours to WIN THAT CONTEST! LOL.

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Books on African-American Weight Loss, Health and Fitness


I went looking for books that dealt with weight loss, health and fitness specifically for African-American women. I didn't find much and the best of what I found is in the sidebar. Now mind you I HAVE NOT READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS so I am NOT making any recommendations.

However if any of you have read some or all of these books or think they will in the future and wouldn't mind writing a review for the blog send it to me at

A few of the more interesting titles are:

Happy Reading!

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekly Reminder

The purpose of this blog is to act as a community for Black women trying to lose weight, get healthy and just ultimately live the most fulfilling life possible. In order for that to happen there needs to be...well...a community. lol.

So other voices are needed who are willing to share their goals, triumphs, failures, worries or just to flat out whine about how exercising sucks (yeah I said sucks).

So if you have something to share, tips, results or you're just looking to vent, hit me up at and you can be a guest blogger. You don't just have to comment in the comments.

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Barriers to Weight Loss: What's Your Motivation?

So what motivates you?

This is an important question that you need to seriously think about and answer. Really. Everyone wants to lose weight but not everyone wants to do what it takes to lose weight. And that's the key between those who lose the weight and keep it off and those who never start or who gain the weight back.

So I ask again: What motivates you?

My motivation is vanity. Yeah I know that may be bad but it's true. I like being able to wear little black dresses and stilettos. I like being able to fit into my skinny jeans. I like believing I look good when I walk out the door and having others think so as well. LOL.

So that's my motivation. What's yours?

Today is a new day. So what are you waiting for?

Exercise Log: Summer Blues

It's been hot. Really HOT. One day it was almost 5:30 in the evening and it was 98 degrees outside. 98 DEGREES! Sheesh. Last Friday was 100 degrees, without the heat index. SMH.

Anywho this heat is wrecking havoc on my workout. I usually get up in the mornings and go for a jog. But because I'm a bit of an insomniac and because it gets hotter much faster in the mornings, I haven't been able to run in the mornings.

Also, my school's gym is closed for the rest of the summer until school starts up again at the end of the month. But hey, even if it was open I wouldn't make it there because it's too hot to walk (I don't drive) there. I guess I could take the bus. But who wants to wait on the bus?

So now I try to jog or wog as I like to call it (walking + jogging = wogging) in the evenings around seven. However, because I haven't been able to sleep lately I'm usually knocked out taking a late nap only to wake back up to go to bed late to start the cycle all over again. Sigh.

Thank goodness I work from home 'cause I don't know what I'd do. But I am a little paranoid that I'm putting back on the weight that I lost. Sigh. I'll be glad when school starts and the gym is back open and I can get back on my regular exercise schedule.

Oh and here's praying for an early cold snap.

Today is new day. So what are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Articles

Hi Everyone!

I've been posting articles in the sidebar that deal with Black women and weight. There are some real gems there. Of particular interest are:

1. (2000) Should Sisters Pump Iron? - weight-training for African American women

2. (2005) Black women confuse beauty with health

3. (2006) Yes, you can lose those pounds and inches

So if you have some time, take a minute or two and read through some of the articles. I'll be posting soon on some of the issues and recommendations raised in the various articles. Happy Reading!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Barriers to Weight Loss: Hair

Alright ladies. Let's talk hair. In studies that are done about what's preventing AA women from working out, hair often comes up.

From the Baylor College of Medicine:

Most of the women who participated in the study reported that managing their hair made exercising a challenge.

From: Cutural Factors Keep Some Black Women Away From The Gym

Also, to get black women to exercise and adopt healthful lifestyles, you must take hair and appearance into consideration, Railey says.

"If a woman spends hours in a (salon) chair and spends $60, she’s out of the gym for at least two days,” Railey says.

So as you can see hair is a problem. A Big problem. My take on this is this: If it comes down between a a nice hairdo and heart disease/diabetes/cancer/hypertension and a slew of other illnesses. Which would you choose? That should be a no-brainer. But apparently it's not.

I'm a black woman so I understand how a lot of BW's confidence is tied up in their hair (and a myriad of other things) but at the end of the day your hairstyle shouldn't dictate your health.

The way I see it there are only 2 options to the hair dilemma. Option 1:

The Wrap

When I had hair (I'm currently a member of what I like to call: The Happy, Nappy, Natural and Free, Club) I used to wrap it before I went to the gym and slapped a scarf on it. Any Black woman worth her salt knows a well executed wrap can secure salon style straightness with minimal effort.

What wrapping your hair also does is prevent a lot of the excess moisture (read sweat) from wreaking havoc on your do. I know that for many Black women the worst thing that can happen is to have their freshly relaxed hair "turn" and those edges not be a s straight as they were when they left the hairdresser.

Wraps help to cut down on the "turning" and once you're ready to leave the gym if you have somewhere to go, comb out the wrap, apply a light bump with a curling iron or flat iron (optional) and you're good to go. Just as fly as when you left the salon.

Now obviously if you're working our regularly and you sweat profusely you will need to up how many times a week you wash your hair. Once a week to twice a week (three times a week is pushing it with relaxed hair 'cause it dries out so easily) should do the trick and be prepared to wrap it again.

If that sounds like it is too much work for you then there's Option 2:

Go Natural

Yeah I said it. Go natural. Black women are the only women on the planet who are told that there is a problem with their hair being in its natural state. White women may dye their hair (we do it too) but the texture of their hair remains the same.

To sistahs I say: Get out of bondage. Stop letting your hair rule you and wear (and love) the hair that God gave you.

With natural hair the issues Black women have with their hair and the gym disappear. Natural hair is wash and go hair. As a kid I used to envy White women and other non-black women for their wash and go/less labor intensive hair. It took me to get older to realize that I had wash and go hair too; it's just when you chemically alter our hair it doesn't do what it is naturally supposed to do.

I've been natural before. I had a min-afro for awhile and then at my mother's insistence I relaxed it. Then after a bad chemical burn that took out part of my hair and countless breakages and dryness I said, "Enough is a enough," and chopped it all off.

So now I have a very low boys haircut. And when I say low, I mean low. There are men running around with more hair on their heads then I have.

And here's a secret: Men LOVE it. Black men ladies. I get complimented on my hair ALL of the time. Young black men. Old black men. Rich, poor. Professional, blue collar. Compliments all of the time.

When I first cut it I was worried that I was completely ruining my dating life. I just KNEW brothers weren't going to pay me any mind. Big butt aside I didn't have any hair and all you hear (and see) is how a black man wants a woman with long flowing hair, whether it's hers or not.

Here's the other secret. The other thing I learned from this year of no hair: Men like women. Period. If they think you're hot then it doesn't really matter what's going on with your hair as long as it's neat and looks nice on you.

Oh and the bonus for those of you who want to date inter-racially: White men love it. I mean you'd think I was Halle Berry or something with the way they react. LOL.

My point is that you shouldn't let your hair determine you health. AND whether or not a man likes your hair isn't important, even though I know appearing attractive to the opposite sex is important to just about everybody.

While I'm trying to start a weight revolution maybe it's time we start a hair one to. It's time to stop ladies. Stop letting you hair rule you and time for you to rule your hair. Take back your life.

Today is a new day. So what are you waiting for?

A Note From a Reader and AA Women's Ability to Lose Weight

First I got this nice note in my e-mail the other day:

Here is a link to a 66yo sister who is in great shape – has no health problems, is on no meds, and is a personal trainer! Her profile can be found on the site at

She is a friend on mine and an incredible woman. And she has coached me through losing 35 lbs this year! Thought information on what can be done and accomplished no matter what are ages is would be inspiring for your blog.

Here is a picture of the 66 year old sister, Joy. She is in EXCELLENT shape AND a PERSONAL TRAINER at 66!

This e-mail and accompanying picture brings me right into what today's post is about:

Black Women CAN and DO Lose Weight

I know some of you may read this and think,

"Yeah. Of course we do. That's not news."

Well for some sisters it is. In many of the studies that I will be linking to over the next few days there is often the sentiment,

"This is the body God wants me to have."

As if being overweight/obese is ordained by Jesus himself.

Still not convinced? Well here in an article from a recent study that was looking at Black women's ability to lose weight:

African-American women can win battle of the bulge

HOUSTON -- (June 29, 2007) -- Despite their disproportionate obesity rate, African- American women can lose weight and keep it off once they overcome cultural barriers, according to a focus group study conducted at Baylor College of Medicine and Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston.

Results are presented in the July print edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine and are available online.

Thirty-seven black women who lost weight and kept it off or who lost weight and regained it participated in focus groups about their weight loss experiences for the study. According to data gathered by the Center for Disease Control in 2002, 82 percent of African-American women over the age of 40 are overweight or obese compared to the national average of 64 percent.

The focus group results have been developed into a survey about weight loss for African Americans. Individuals who complete the survey can become part of the African-American Weight Control Registry funded by the National Institutes of Health. The national registry is seeking over 1,500 African-American participants.

"Because of social norms and African-American culture, there tends to be greater tolerance with a heavier weight; however, African Americans can and do lose weight. The women in our focus groups who kept off the weight lost an average of 60 pounds," said first author Dr. Ann Barnes, assistant professor of medicine at BCM and general medicine practitioner at Ben Taub General Hospital, part of the Harris County Hospital District.

To continue reading the article just click on the link in the sidebar. The purpose of linking to this article and posting the e-mail is to show that winning the "Battle of the Bulge" is not impossible or only for non-black women.

We CAN DO THIS and SUCCEED. I didn't say it would be easy but then again what in life ever is. You have to stay dedicated, focused and be willing to work hard. So, as I like to say:

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Weight, Dating and Self-confidence

When it comes to dating, weight always seems to be an issue, especially for us Black women who come a little heftier then most (even many of us who are considered "skinny"). So what is an overweight sister to do if she's looking for love?

Well, first I'd like to say that I've never had a problem attracting men. Even with the 30lb weight gain. I'm not saying that to brag, but just to give you a perspective of where I'm coming from as I write this, not as as insider but from someone on the outside looking in.

Of the women I know, particularly the ones who are very overweight or outright obese, there are two groups: The one's who have exciting and fulfilling dating lives and those who never have a date, let alone a man, and are often complaining about that fact.

To me these groups have two very distinct outlooks on their weight and how that fits in with their social lives:

Group A: Believes they are a catch regardless of their size. They may want to lose weight but they don't let it stop them from enjoying themselves or the men who may ask them out. They're fun and outgoing and don't spend a lot of time talking about their weight or their desire to lose weight. They have high self-confidence and it shows. They recognize that their weight and their self-esteem aren't inextricably tied. They like men and men like them. Some are just dating, some are in steady, happy, fulfilling relationships, others are happily married.

Group B: Is convinced that their weight is the reason they can't find or don't have a man. They just know that if they lose the weight Mr. Right will show up. They see their weight as a personal failure, a very public personal failure and they figure everyone else does too. You often hear them say things like, "my fat butt..." this or "No one wants my big behind.." that. For them their weight is directly tied to their sense of self worth and it shows. So often, they don't have a man, aren't dating and it really doesn't seem like men want them.

Here's the deal:

Your weight and your self-confidence are NOT inextricably tied.

Yes, it can be difficult to meet people if you are very overweight but lets be real here: In a country where roughly 65% of the adult population is classified as overweight or obese, if fat folk weren't meeting, dating and marrying then NO ONE would be meeting, dating and marrying!

The point of this post is to say: If you feel like your weight is hindering your love life then by all means LOSE THE WEIGHT!!!! But don't put your life on hold until you do. Get out there. Have fun. Meet people. Who knows, you may find Mr. Right when you're at your heaviest and if he loves you then I don't see any reason why he wouldn't love you when you're a size 6 (or whatever your ideal weight/size is).

Today is a new day. So, what are you waiting for?

About the Blog

I've been vetting articles to add to the sidebar. I want this blog to operate as a source for information on Black women and health but I don't want to just blog about all of the problems that come from being overweight/obese, not just because that's not my expertise and their are sites that do it better ( but because this blog's focus is to do something about the problem not just talk about it.

And to be perfectly honest, I'm sure we've all heard by now how Black women are at a higher risk for just about everything and how much of that risk is directly related to out heavier bodies. If that was motivation enough for us to lose weight we wouldn't be in the situation we are in now.

This blog is as much a journey about my own weight loss, health and eating issues as much as it is a source for other Black women to get practical advice on health and fitness issues, so you will see me posting logs and journals that chronicle my own weight loss/health progress and I encourage you to do the same. Just shoot me an e-mail at to get started.

Also if their are any topics you'd like to see covered just let know and I'll get on it. This is your blog as much as it is mine.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More on Emotional Eating

So I was searching the web for some practical solutions to emotional eating but kept coming up short. So I thought well, I can offer what (little) advice I have on how to deal with the problem.

1. Run. LOL. Or simply put find some other way to channel whatever energy you have that you'd rather put into a pint of Haagen-Das, a bag of oreos or whatever you favorite comfort food is.

I used to be a really angry person for a lot of different reasons. Eating was one way to deal with that anger, sex was another (that's another conversation) but EXERCISE was the best. Nothing mellowed me out faster then doing 20-30 minutes on the treadmill or punching a heavy bag or running. The idea was to exhaust myself so that I wouldn't have time to worry or stress about what upset me.

2. Bargain with yourself. Like I said in the last post I made a deal with myself. Eat all of the good stuff (fruit, veggies, whole grains, etc.) during the day and then ice cream is my reward. And let me stress to you how much I Luuuuuvvvv ice cream.

3. Wait it out. What I mean about this is that if you find that you're craving something to eat but know you're not really hungry give it 10-15 minutes before you indulge and most importantly go do something else. Call a friend, hit up a blog (preferably this one:-) ), clean something...whatever it takes to let the craving past.

That' s all I have for now but if you have other suggestions feel free to post them. This is a subject I will come back to a lot 'cause I suspect that many of us are eating for reasons that have nothing to with hunger and for us to lose and keep the weight off it is something we will have to understand and work on.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Emotional Eating

My name is T.S. Johnson and I am an emotional eater.


Seriously, I eat for many reasons that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with hunger.

I eat because I am sad, lonely, bored, depressed, angry, horny (yeah I said it) and for a host of other reasons that have nothing to do with satisfying a biological need. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I have conquered this issue and that's why I'm currently losing weight but I'd be lying.

I don't have any good answers for it. For me my emotional eating is usually not a problem. Since I turned 18 I have worked out regularly. So worst case scenario I wouldn't lose any weight but I wouldn't gain any either.

The problem would come when I wouldn't be exercising as often or as hard as I should be then I would gain weight. Lots of it. This is basically what happened after I had my daughter. I was 130lbs right after and within a year I was 160lbs. SMH.

While I still passed what I call the "jeans test" ( I still looked good in a pair of jeans and plenty of people let me know it. LOL) I went form a size 4 to a size 10 and just thought I was the size of a cow. And much of the weight stemmed from a mix of depression, frustrations, stress and much more sedentary lifestyle then I was use to.

So what do I do now? Well I still eat for various non-hunger reasons but I made a deal with myself that if I eat most of the right things during the day (fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc.) then I can indulge in a little ice cream.

I also decided I wouldn't have any guilt about what I was eating anymore. If I had a bad day and indulged a little more then I should have then I'd say okay and I'd do better the next day. My system isn't perfect but it works for me.

So my question for those of you who fall in the emotional eating category is: what do you do? What are your strategies for dealing with it? What are the reasons behind why you eat?

For those of you who read this and are thinking, "I have no idea what she is talking about it. I just don't get it," feel free to play armchair psychiatrist and offer your insight.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Fat the Other Four Letter Word

As I write you will see that I regularly use the word Fat. I recognize that it is considered insensitive to some and downright cruel and totally inappropriate to others but I'm going to use it anyway and here's why:

1. It's not pleasant. We (Black women) have devised so many ways to describe our weight problem (big boned, full figured, thick) that it makes it sound like there is no problem at all. Sometimes you have to call something what it is if you really want to get to the meat of things.

2. When I was putting on weight my mother said:

"You're getting fat."

She didn't say,

"You're getting overweight."

She didn't say,

"You're getting thick."

She said,

"You're getting Fat"


That hurt. I didn't like it. And I decided to do something about it. So yes, I recognize it can be offensive. And no I am not completely insensitive to that fact. And yes I will be using the terms overweight and obese because they are clinical terms and there are times when they are appropriate. But sometimes you gotta call it what it is. As my mama likes to say,

"Sometimes you just need to call a spade a spade."

Hello World!

Welcome to Sweet Potato Pie! The idea is for this blog to be a community for African American women who are looking to improve their physical health in particular and their lives in general. I encourage everyone to check out BET’s 50 Million Pounds Challenge. While I’m not a big fan of BET this is something they got right. It’s a call to action for the African American community to get up and drop that weight we’re carrying around.

I joined back in July and recently joined a group The Jacksonville Divas and am currently the leader in weight loss with 8lbs lost. Woo Hoo! It’s just a fun way to track your weight loss, join a group of people who are doing the same thing and learn great information and tips on health and fitness and just ways to begin taking steps to better your physical (and by extension mental) health.

This blog will operate as a group blog. So if you are interested in posting and not just commenting just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll add you to the blog. The idea is for this to be an active community, where people are doing, not just reading. So your stories, your triumphs (and failures), your pictures and tips are needed and wanted. This is your blog as much as it is mine. And I look forward to your insight and participation.

Once again Welcome to Sweet Potato Pie and I hope this journey is as fulfilling and productive for you as I am hoping it will be for me.

t.s. johnson