If You Have a Weight Problem, Face It by Okori Wadsworth

Let’s be real here. That is what TSF is about. Right now, someone you know has a weight problem. They might not admit it. They might even get hostile when you bring it up.

And you know what? Someone else you know probably coddles that same person. Tells them it’s okay to live the life EXACTLY the way they’re living it. That diabetes and high blood pressure and hypertension are OK because you’re enjoying yourself aren’t you?

Eat more fast food.

Full disclosure: I was once 400 pounds. I was big, fat, and on the direct road to kidney failure. I looked in the mirror one day and decided I had enough. I cut down to 275 and the cut is still ongoing.

Let’s be real: our best and brightest, the youth of this country, are being cut down by a scourge we still have time to stop. Our parents could have stopped it but didn’t. It’s now up to me, and to you, and to everyone else who has a relative or a close friend who has a weight problem.

The first way to solve it: be blunt. Tell them you’re concerned about their health. Tell them you want to help.

Next…be a partner. Don’t just tell them they’re fat. If they do not know how to cook anything but fried chicken teach them how to cook better healthier foods. If they want to exercise but do not know how go to the gym with them. Teach them how to lift weights, use the treadmill, and eat right.

Incidentally, and this is only if the person you are dealing with is a woman, let her know that strength training doesn’t make you less feminine-looking, it makes you more feminine-looking.

And 3: Don’t let their surroundings be an excuse. This is the hardest one. So many of the young people with weight problems get fooled into thinking that because you live in the projects or a rough neighborhood that you can’t be in shape. Not true. Simply false. Even the scummiest bodega sells water. Drink that instead of soda. Go to the supermarket and buy their fruits and vegetables. As far as exercise goes…take the stairs to your house instead of the elevator. Do pull-ups on the street lights after dark like I started doing.

Bottom Line: we can turn this around. We can turn ourselves from a people of Bruce Bruce’s and Mo’Nique’s to a nation of Barack and Michelle Obamas. Let’s get that done.

19 Responses to “If You Have a Weight Problem, Face It by Okori Wadsworth”

  1. Okori says:

    Woot! Thank you for posting this Mizz. It’s a scourge on the black community and on all communities. it never gets addressed here.

  2. Mizzo says:

    No problem bruh. Didn’t want to post it over the weekend. People do need to see this. Thanks for the piece. Good work.

  3. Great piece man, I’m battling with my middle now, I’m 5’9″ around 210 but the bulk is in my middle. The walking/running has helped. My question is can I do the exercises to strengthen my core now or when I’m satisfied with my middle?

  4. Okori says:

    now. It’s better to do the exercises now and do cardio to get your Usher-style six-pack on.

    (Okori, your workout adviser, I guess.)

  5. Okori says:

    Ok Kool. Put me down on the Masthead and I’m straight.

    Oh and TBR: for it to really work do all your ab exercises with weight. in fact, if you add strength training to your regime, you’ll discover you will make great gains in getting the 6-pack as well as everything else looking detailed.

  6. Okori says:

    no prob. and I would normally say something about how I’m sorry about calling out Bruce Bruce but I’m not. Him, and his sloppy-ass cousin Whitlock, are a big reason for our troubles.

  7. Miranda says:

    I gotta admit, I grew up in the south, small town Alabama, all occassions centered around food. I’ve tried the cooking vegetables healthy thing, baking instead of frying….my taste buds simply prefer the unhealthier versions. Heck, I just ate some baked fish…but it really doesn’t compare to the deep fried catfish my daddy cooked over the 4th. I tried eating collard greens cooked with smoked turkey…..but cousin Sarah’s version with the fatback really sets it off. I know I know….but no matter what my brain says, my taste buds say “screw that”. Its a darn good thing I cant cook like them anyway so its not like I can eat like that everyday. But 15 years ago I figured it was be 300 pounds or exercise diligently. I’m 5’5 and 150 (well 155 since the 4th….4 days in Alabama is an automatic 5 pounds as soon as you cross the border). I run 5 miles on the treadmill about 4 or 5 times a week and need to get back to weight training, but I’m too lazy at the moment. I need some motivation.

  8. Okori says:

    Miranda: motivation is wherever you find it.

  9. Okori says:

    oh and Miranda: e-mail me. I can get you some really good recipes. My family is from Chicago. We know how to throw down in the kitchen.

  10. sankofa says:

    Good look out Okori

    As adults to be an example for our children, we have to be an example. So making physical fitness a part of your daily regime is important.


    Don’t get down on your self. Dr. Laila O’Afrika said it best that “We are all emotional eaters”.

    The memories of your family cooking is an example of that. Once you can control your emotion around eating certain things you are on the road.

    Okori again:

    400 lbs? Big ups, that’s a serious journey back man.

  11. Okori says:

    thanks Sankofa. it took a lot of work, and a lot of taunts from family members when I ate salad instead of collard greens. drank water instead of lemonade.

    but the main thing is….. we have to remind everyone that being physically fit is a good thing. It’s summertime man. who wants to be staying in the house all day?

  12. Patrick says:

    My weight has needed to get under control as well, when you had mentioned the possibility of kidney failure, I thought about my own personal experiences with kidney stones.

    At one time, my weight had approached 290 and a relative had a stroke, so it motivated me to lose weight. I have lost 20+ pounds, but my weight still fluctuate between 260 to 270. Now I am 6’4 in height, but I probably need to lose another 20 to 30 more pounds.

    I am trying to change my diet as well, because it has contributed to me developing kidney stones at least once a year. I currently have one that is approximately 6.8 mm. And the pain of the kidney stones has contributed to my high blood pressure.

    Oh yeah, I try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and add in some cranberry juice as well…

  13. sankofa says:

    One of the most interesting and inspirational things I’ve seen is the sight of elderly Caucasian men and women, not so elderly men and women and women only groups, creating walking clubs. (forget about running clubs, just walking is a task for a car obsessed society)

    If each of us get at least one or two associates/family members/or even strangers to form up a once/twice/three times per day walking group for 30-60 minutes, the return would be phenominal.

    Coupled this with the attempt at changing the way you eat, would soon make you the envy of your peers.

    I think this post will and shoould start the family on some serious introspection. Again ashe for this!

  14. Okori says:

    Patrick: all you need to do is keep on keeping on and add some strength training to your plan when you feel ready. It will help you burn calories and drop weight.

    I’ll ask Mizz tonight if I can be TSF’s health and fitness correspondent.

  15. Miranda says:

    Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day was the easiest way for me to maintain the weight I WANT to be at…..I’ve gotten WAY off that and it took me forever before to get too it. I swear, sodas are addictive, I dont care what anyone says. They’re the worst thing since lard.

  16. Okori says:

    As the brand new Health and Fitness correspondent for TSF let me say that the best way to do this is something most people won’t tell you to do. Go around the corner to your local corner store and get a 32-oz bottle of Vitamin Water. Drink that first bottle and rinse it out with hot soapy water. fill it up with water and drink while going through the course of your day. That should help.

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