Black Women’s Health and Fitness
Since this is a topic that I was recently talking to a friend about and one that Tracy mentioned would be a future blog topic I decided I’d add my two cents to the topic:
I was in the gym last week and a friend of mine who is a personal trainer (and a stripper but that’s another story) said in his experience white women are more inclined to address a weight problem before it becomes a real problem. His exact words were:
A white woman will but on 5 pounds freak out, go to the gym and mess around and lose 10lbs. Black women will put on 5, 10, 30, 40 pounds and then say ‘Girl I need to do something about this.’
So the lessons are as follows:
1. Address Problems Early
When you see that your weight is a problem, deal with it EARLY don’t wait until you’ve gone from a size 8 to a size 14 before you address the issues at hand. Being Proactive is much better (and easier) then being Reactive.
2. Ask For Help
Lesson number 2 comes from a 2003 study that was published in the journal ‘Ethnicity and Disease.’ It states that:
A recent study has revealed that overweight or obese white women are more inclined to ask for dieting help than their African-American counterparts.
This is an important point to take note of. The article about the study further notes that:
We found that African-American women did not differ from Caucasians in terms of concerns about body shape and weight. But white women were more likely to be influenced by those concerns to seek help,” said lead author Dr. Rachel Annunziato, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
So what we learn is that for whatever reason Black women aren’t motivated by body image in the same way their white counterparts are and this lack of motivation (even though the concern is there) prevents Black women from seeking help regarding their weight.
The articles offer some suggestions why this may be the case from cultural factors to women being the primary caregivers of everyone but themselves.
3. It’s About Health Not Looks
My personal trainer friend also noted that for whatever reason White women are more inclined to invest in their health in a way that Black women do not. He elaborated that black women will invest in things to make them look nice (clothes, hair, nails, etc.) but won’t invest in the things that will make them healthy.
Now I’m not saying my personal trainer friend’s word is the end all be all on the topic but much of what he says is backed up by other sources such as the article ‘Black Women Confuse Beauty With Health’ which touches on the issue of black women striving to look good instead of being healthy.
Health and Beauty are not synonymous and Black women need to learn and understand the difference if they want to be successful in having a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Just some things to think about this post 3-day weekend morning.
Today is a new Day. What are you waiting for?