I’d Rather Be Fat….

Sometimes I am truly dumbfounded by the things people allow to fly out of their mouths and what they will post on the internet, from the incredibly obtuse to the blatantly ignorant. This, falls somewhere in the middle…I guess.

Ernestine Shepherd

A friend posted this picture of Mrs. Ernestine Shepherd on his Facebook page. “Ernie”, as she is called by those who know her, is a 75 year old female body builder who looks FANTASTIC! Given her slim frame, she is not bulky, masculine looking, nor hard like the majority of her female counterparts in the sport. She is, however, toned, well defined, and above all else, an inspiration to every African American woman whose goal is to get in shape.

According to the CDC, 51% of non-Hispanic Black women, age 20 years or older are obese. Non-Hispanic Black females aged 2-19 – 24% are obese. These statistics are both staggering and frightening. [Source]

Over half of my sisters are obese and run the increased risk of the following health conditions:

  • Coronary heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers, such as endometrial, breast, and colon cancer
  • High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
  • Liver and gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Degeneration of cartilage and underlying bone within a joint (osteoarthritis)
  • Reproductive health complications such as infertility
  • Mental health conditions

So when you say “I would rather stay fat than to look like that.” what I interpret that to mean is:

  • I would rather have high blood pressure and suffer a stroke…
  • I would rather have Type 2 diabetes, rely on insulin, and end up blind and in renal failure…
  • I would rather have cancer…

…than to be physically fit and healthy.

And that…is just profoundly sad.


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