Health and Fitness

“Extreme Weight Loss” Episode Highlights Black Women’s Deep Denial About Obesity


Chantell, at 327 pounds

If you got a chance to catch ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss” on Tuesday, then you got to meet the intelligent, beautiful, bubbly, ambitious and morbidly obese Chantell. At only 25 years-old, she weighed in at 327 pounds. But according to her family, she looks “just fine.” This, coming from a family plagued with diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.

Chantell’s mother, who is only 16 years younger, was always first to discourage her from shedding the fat. Here’s what we hear her say: “What you need to go to the gym for? As long as you’re not too-too out of breath then you’re okay.”

“It’s almost abnormal to eat healthy in my family,” said Chantell.

What. The. Cuss. I can’t.

The second-biggest detractor was her boyfriend, who was adamant that he didn’t want her to lose her “butt and breasts.” Yeah dude, because a big ass and tits are WAAAAY more important than reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Thankfully, his insecurity revealed itself and the relationship ended. I guess he only felt better about himself when Chantell felt bad about herself. Good riddance. I have no pity for people who stand in the way of someone else’s dreams or personal growth. These individuals are toxic and Raid should develop a formula to keep these undesireables at bay.

An eye into dysfunction…

Chantell always had to sacrifice and rescue her family. Grown women way older than her are abnormally dependent upon her to “save” them. At one point in the show, Chantell stands up to the mother and tells her that for the year that is trying to lose the weight, she will focus on HERSELF FIRST. Her mother, had the NERVE to grimace.  When her mother realized Chantell was going to go back to finish college courtesy of ABC, her mother cried. She said, “Chantell will get to do things that I didn’t get to do,” and I wonder if the mother was crying more for herself. No wonder so many black women are digging their own graves with a fork and spoon–they carry too much, and are expected to mule themselves for people who deem their progress as a person threat to their own comfort.

It’s one thing is YOU don’t want to change. It’s an entire other thing to sabotage the desire that another person has to live healthfully and be successful. The fact that it is coming from a mother is even more disturbing and infuriating, and sadly, not uncommon.

The GREAT News…

Chantell showed tremendous determination. Despite all the challenges, obstacles, and folks standing in her sunshine, it was delightful to see Chantell’s body and attitude change. As she lost the distorting weight, you could really see her beauty come through. What is more, she just got a whole life re-write with a chance to be her BEST self.  I loved how even when she had setbacks and didn’t meet her fitness goals, she perservered. It’s what I always say (and get my teeth kicked in for) is that if we shed the debilitating “fat sack” that we envelope ourselves in, the beauty and confidence is impossible to ignore.


Chantell “After” at 185 pounds

So GLAD “Exteme Weight Loss” is bringing to the forefront that 4 out of five black women are overweight. Time for us to get our head’s out of the sand. The denial simply MUST cease. The trainer was very candid about how it was a certainty that she would lose her life to heart disease, stroke, or complications from diabetes, and thank goodness, Chantell took that seriously.

Check of the video on where Chantell is up to since she shed half her weight…

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