People often wonder why I cover the minefield that is black women and obesity.
It stems from experience, watching my mother and half-sister eat, and eat, and eat themselves literally to the brink of death. I’ve lived my life modeling for myself and others the exact opposite of what I witnessed, because I saw how the effects of bad eating habits–diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, aching joints and proclivity to cancer–was something I was going to try and prevent.
I’m writing today because I just learned that my half-sister has terminal liver cancer. They give her three months to live.
My sister has always been defiant about her eating habits despite our father constantly lecturing her. She told me once that she knew everyone thought she needs to take a good look at her weight, but continued to abuse her body because it was a culinary “fuck you.” Nobody would make her adjust what went into her mouth. It was about control and a way to stick it to my father. My sister deeply resented my father’s lectures about how she was wasting her life
So now, she’s experiencing the consequences of how her thought process only served to hurt her. If that weren’t enough, she indoctrinated my niece to adopt the same poor eating habits, and she is also about 150 pounds overweight.
It’s so hard seeing my sister in this condition. The last time I saw her, after her first surgery to repair the damage of her obesity, and she just looked at me and cried. She knew. She knows.
But now, it’s too late.
So guess what? I’m going to KEEP talking about how obesity and horrible eating habits are killing us, whether folks who want to claim I’m fat shaming or not.