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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
It made me go hmmm...
The first two days at my new job are over, and while I couldn't be happier about the position, I'm convinced that I signed up to be the ringmaster for a three ring circus and the moderator for Romper Room. The people who I directly work with seem to be fabulous people--everyone's been helpful and welcoming. Well, except for the uber-ghetto broads; but they're pretty much off in a corner anyway, so no one really hears from them except for the occasional "Ohmygoodnes, noyoudidn't!!" or crazy loud gum pop.

Once I set foot outside of my assigned segment of cubicles, all hell breaks loose however. Never in my life have I seen so much inter-office flirting and f%*#ing, with people just spilling their business all over the place. I witnessed an arguement at lunch between two co workers who are screwing but both cheating on their significant others. Not even two hours later while I was on my vending machine Twizzlers run, I saw the same two outside holding hands all kissy faced. Welcome to Junior High.

But even with all of that going on, I'm still happy to be back at work, and I'm settling into the position pretty well, but that's not what's on my mind right now.

Today, on my way home I saw someone in an ambulance being transported to the hospital or something, but apparently it wasn't an emergency because there were no lights flashing. The angle of the road allowed me to get a quick peek at who was inside and of course I was nosy and looked. Inside was someone who weighed 700 or 800 pounds easily. I looked again at the ambulance and realized that it was one of those special bariatric ambulances.

I can't even lie, when I saw that person inside, my most immediate thought was "you wouldn't be in that position if you didn't put all the fuggin donuts to your mouth". Yeah, I know that wasn't right. However, as I was sitting at the stoplight, I got to thinking something admittedly very stereotypical and shallow...

I've seen the talk show episodes where people have had to literally get cut out of their houses and I've also seen the super gastric bypass shows on The Discovery Channel, etc. One thing I've seen only very rarely on those shows is black people.

It's interesting to me that in general, as a culture we are more accepting of being non-skinny, but there seem to be so few cases of super extra obesity in our race. I mean, a chick with some meat on her bones tends to be the standard of sexy in our community. We've got lots of love for the church ladies, many of whom tend to be bigger than a lil bit, and we can be real quick to tell someone when they're getting too skinny but hardly ever say anything when they get too heavy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that because we don't hear about Ms. Jenkins up the way getting cut out of her house to go have gastric bypass that means it doesn't happen, and I'm in no way saying that we're doing good on the weight scales either (umm, Mrs. Jenkins, say hello to Diabetes and Heart Disease), but hearing about morbid obesity in our community is quite rare.

Have you all noticed the same thing? What are your thoughts?? Get at me in the comments.


Hey there TASHA,

I'm with you. I don't think I've seen or heard too many tales of Black people needing to be cut out and craned away from there homes.

But I have noticed a startling number of our people that seem to completely not give a d@mn about their health. It really amazes me.

I just assume it comes from years and years of making the best from the worst. You know, back during slavery times our people basically got the fattest and poorest quality foods and over time our people learned to master cooking with pork and lard and sugar and all that stuff. And we still do it, but so few of our elders passed down fitness and exercise to our parents and subsequently us.

That being said, I haven't had my azz on a treadmill in a week or so, I think I'd better set aside some time tomorrow!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you on the job issue. I think all jobs are like that. I had to stop myself from flirting with this fine piece of chocolate specimen that was checkin me a few times. Afterwards I had some side-eyes from these hateful women. Don't hate me cuz he wants a piece of this jelly. lmao!

On the obesity issue, I don't understand how people get that damn big in the first place. But god point... I rarely see balck folks who are big like that.

But I do see plenty of us who are big-boned and thick (lol) I can't get away from the fried chicken myself!

Blogger Melting Mama said...

Hi. I found your blog from a Google Alert I have set up for the words "gastric bypass." So, anyways, on TLC the other night - they replayed a show called "I Eat 33,000 Calories A Day." The man featured, was a black man, whom I believe was in the 800+ lb. range... This show was upsetting. I think they took advantage of this guy, who really didn't "get it." :( They made him out to be a freak, and it pissed me off.

Blogger Gunfighter said...

Could it be that because our cultural tendencies towards eating unhealthy foods make us die earlier than others? Before we get to the morbidly obese stages?

I wish I had a cogent answer, Tasha... I really don't know much about the subject. You've given me something to think about.


Blogger Ladynay said...

Someone hit on what I was going to mention about that ate all those calories a day. Our extremely obese folks are out there, we just don't get in the media like our lighter cousins.

Anonymous Sugar said...

Girl, the new job sounds interesting. I'm sure it will make for some great posts in the future! (lol)

Regarding the morbid obesity in our community, I'd have to solidly disagree! (lol) I grew up in the South and I can think of at least 5 people who were tipping the scales at 600 pounds and up. I would also venture a guess that those of us who are morbidly obese are primarily in the South, so they don't get the same exposure as if they were in N.Y. or NJ, but they do exist, and I'd even like to say that we make up the majority of those cases of people who are morbidly obese, just based upon what I've seen and what others I know have told me.

I think that the reason we see white folks on television when they are morbidly obese is because this seems so out of the norm for mainstream America...for a white person to have allowed his or herself to get so large, because they generally eat in a more healthy manner than us.

I think you'd be surprised by how many HUGE people you'd see, who are still mobile, down South if you spent a year of your adult life living there. Utterly shocked.

Plus, remember Dick Gregory, well, you might not, but Dick Gregory was on a mission back in the 1980's to help people, primarily us, who were tipping the scales with ridiculously high numbers.

Blogger Golden Silence said...

It seems like one can't escape ghetto people (work, streets, life) no matter what changes you make. Regardless, glad you're working again.

As for the obesity, I haven't seen any Blacks that bad off (TV or reality) but I've seen some on their way there. Diabetic, partially immobile, very unhealthy. Some of the communities where they're eating junk are the poorer communities, and they don't have the options of getting healthier things like Whole Foods like we do.

Maybe if someone built an affordable store in their neighborhood with healthy choices as opposed to a fried chicken joint or Mickey D's, then these people would have a better chance of living longer and healthier.

Anonymous Sugar said...

Golden Silence, you make a very good point about healthier options being available to us, but a lot of the problem is being sedentary. You don't have to have a Whole Foods around to walk around the block a few times. Most of those sisters down South who are tipping the scale at 3, 4 and 500 pounds don't lift anything but a fork.

It really is a matter of a lack of education about living healthy too though. My mother, who still lives in South Carolina is quick to tell me, "You go to that gym too much!" I just laugh it off, but she's never seen the inside of a gym and doesn't have the desire to do so. I've got about 10-15 pounds to get off before I'm in tip top shape, so not going is not an option, but my mother thinks that working out is ridiculous. (lol)

Blogger Bklyn Diva said...

LOL @ the new job.. seems like you may have some good rant posts from there :)

now you are right.. it's not as publicized in the black community.. I don't remember too many of the folks I know being that huge, BUT I do know we have other issues, as you mentioned and heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst us.. we are just not taking good care of our hearts.

My girlfriend said something to me that I will never forget.. she said everybody in my family has sugar *diabetes* so I know I'm gone get it.. so why not enjoy my life now and eat what I want.. My response.. why not take preventive actions so you don't have to live on a needle for the rest of your life and complications that come with it..

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