i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Overweight and Overhelmed: A Perspective

the last time I went to visit my primary care physician I was struggling with anxiety, insecurity and self-pity. when the nurse asked me to step on the scale and weigh myself I wanted to run home and eat some buffalo wings and french fries. why? because I knew I'd gained weight during the holidays and didn't want to face the reality of my growing stomach...

physically, i felt bloated. emotionally, i was disappointed with myself for lacking discipline and over indulging in foods i'd worked hard to steadfastly remove from my regular diet. spiritually, i'd lost the motivation to engage god with my ongoing dilemma, as it relates to my sense of undesirability.

even though i don't celebrate holidays, i attended a spiritual gathering in brooklyn. the first thing i noticed were two long tables of food: chicken, turkey, lasagna, ziti, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, spinach, mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce, salad and candied yams. the assortment of cakes, cookies and pies helped me empathize with the winner of the biggest loser.   

my mind and my body were now in spiritual warfare. i have a weight problem: i can't wait to eat. i tried to embody james dean, but i was in deep shit. my relationship with food is co-dependent - like me and mrs. jones, we got a thing going on, and we both know that its wrong, but its much too strong, to let it go now. 

i proceeded to eat like there was no tomorrow. i rationalized my extra full plate because i was told people were still bringing in dishes and there would be more than enough to go around. i was also encouraged to take a plate home, which i did. its hard for me to say no to free food. it was on and popping.

damn. i quickly reverted back to my old ways. i was ordering fried foods on the down-low. i was buying ice cream, on sale, and devouring it at three o'clock in the morning. i was drinking soda, again. the compulsion was driving my sanity away. i would look in the mirror and pretend someone else was there. i stopped going to the gym and blamed my apathy on the weather. damn... 

before I got on the scale, i asked the nurse to keep in mind the brand new timberlands i sported would add three to five pounds to my weight. she was pleasant, yet seemed more concerned with doing her job and not getting involved with my bulging waistline - and need to be right.

the scale read 202 pounds. omg. i wanted a second opinion, but realized i was being weighed, not prepped for surgery. last summer, when i peaked at 207, my doctor told me to lose 15 pounds, and I did. my weight tends to fluctuate 10-15 pounds every few months or so. and, it's easier to take it off than keep it off.

i began to reminisce how i felt when my doctor, obviously stunned, looked into her computer screen, and realized the 15 pounds she asked me to lose was my latest accomplishment. she proudly gave me a high five and praised me for healthy living. i want that feeling back. or, as nene on the real housewives of atlanta says, "i want my happy back." 

this week, i decided to re-commit myself to healthy living. for the next five days, i will only eat one salad. i bought mixed nuts to snack on. but let me confess my obsession with chocolate. almost every night i eat a large cadbury roast almond with milk chocolate bar. this will continue during my five day rehab. ideally, chocolate with 60% cacao is healthier, but fuck it, i want what i want when i want it.

and in that order :-)

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