This may come as a shock to some of you but I decided to reveal a secret. I debated for a while whether or not to share this with our Chaldean News readers but I decided it’s been hidden long enough.
I am overweight.
I can hear the gasps now. Yes, I have struggled with a weight problem my entire adult life. Those who have known me for years will remember that I was slightly “chubby” as a child. In comparison to my sister Stephanie, whose ribcage could be seen anytime she wore a bathing suit, I looked more like a “shariktha” (baby cow) as my father endearingly referred to me.
Oh, it is not shocking? You noticed that yourself over the years, have you? So, I joke. It is more of a bit of sarcasm on my part that often creeps up when I think of my younger years and all the ridiculous comments I have heard about being overweight or about being a little bit of a shariktha.
“You are so pretty; do you know you need to lose weight?” Or, “Oh my gosh you got so fat.” In my head I wanted to say, “No sh_ _ Sherlock, I don’t own a scale or mirror at home. I wouldn’t have known if you did not tell me.” Of course, that is not how I responded. Instead, I was polite, nodded my head and smiled.
All of us have vices. It’s how we deal with stress or fill the emotional holes. Some smoke, gamble, gossip, lie, do drugs, shop, are addicted to porn or sex, are workaholics, exerciseaholics, are power hungry, money hungry, publicity hogs and the list goes on.
For me, I am a stress eater — always have been. Over the years, I have turned to prayer and meditation to cope with my stress but unlike other vices, you cannot cover up being overweight like you can cover up being a gambler or an alcoholic. I can’t lose 50 pounds before a party like an alcoholic can sober up for a big night out. Other vices are easily hidden. I carry mine on my sleeve almost like a badge of honor.
In reality, I am not alone. Many of us live with the battle of the bulge.
In this issue, we bring you a cover story of other people who have found their own solutions to their weight issues. Most of this issue is focused on health and wellness.
It is also no secret that as we age, our bodies weaken and we are more predisposed to illness and disease. Surprisingly and thankfully, I do not have all the other health issues that come with a weight issue such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I am pretty healthy. At the same time, with age, I do not have the same energy I had in my 20s.
I realized that our weight and some of our addictive behaviors have a lot to do with how we approach the problem. If we can change our minds, we can change our bodies.
One thing I have learned about the weight issue is that we can learn so much from others. I read health magazine and fitness publications much more today than ever before. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty by spending money on a gym membership. I use it with my husband and daughter often. We have turned exercise and swimming into a fun family activity.
Instead of focusing on the negative, we look to the positive. I don’t look at the number of pounds I need to lose, I look at it as I want to feel better and be healthier. I am more aware of the quality and quantity of food and I don’t focus on the calories.
Education is vital. I used to be a health reporter at WJR along with being a general assignment reporter, talk show host and producer. In fact, I used to host a show called “Secrets to Good Health.” I gathered so much useful information from the experts I was able to interview.
Just as there is plenty of food to consume, there is a plateful of tips, suggestions and advice on how to live a healthy life. There are experts for just about every disease in the world. Whether you struggle with a weight issue or another very common health problem in the community — Cohn’s and colitis — there is a wealth of wisdom and facts about the disease.
We do not have to live in the dark about any health problem. Turn the page; open your mind, eyes, heart and soul and you can get the skinny on just about everything.