It is vitally important that we adopt an attitude that seeks to eradicate the epidemic of obesity in our communities. It has been researched that 38.1 percent of African American men and 54.2 percent of African American women from the age of 20 and over are obese. The statistics also state that 37.6 percent of African American men and 44.4 percent of African American women from the age of 20 and over suffer from hypertension, which could be a result of being obese.
The numbers do not lie, and in the case of obesity, they should not be ignored. We owe it to ourselves to live the best life that we possibly can. Our quality of life is not only important to us, but it is also important to the people that love us. If you see yourself in the statistics, do not get discouraged; determine within yourself that you are going to do better. Know that you are not alone in the journey. Know that there have been many that have ceased to be a statistic.
Mrs. Beth Ann Jones, of Savannah, Georgia, was one that decided that she was no longer going to be hindered by something that she had control of. Beth made a declaration that she was going to make a change for the better. Here is the interview conducted with Beth: Q. How much did you weigh and what inspired you to lose the weight? A. I weighed 242 pounds after giving birth to my daughter; I remained that weight for 20 years. Did I mention that I am 5’1”? I realized that I needed to lose weight when just about everyone in my family passed away. My grandfather, father, and mother all died within 18 months of each other due to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The final straw was when my oldest brother died from complications of being overweight. Q. What obstacles didMsgt Jamal Barrow[/caption] bold”> you encounter? A. Time and money were my biggest obstacles. It was easy for me to decide that I did not have time to exercise or that I did not have the money to eat healthy meals. Both of those thoughts were incorrect. I began going to the gym at 5:00am before work. I also researched healthy recipes that were good for the entire family and tasted good also. Q. How did you feel after losing the weight? Was there a sense of accomplishment? A. I feel as if I can do anything! At 49, I am in the best shape of my life! I have inspired others to take control of their life and health, and that is a fabulous feeling. I feel that I am living the life that God intended for me to live. Q. What advice would you give to encourage someone to lose weight? A. If someone wants to get in better shape and live a healthier lifestyle, the first step is for them to realize that they are worth the time and effort that it will take to make it happen. We often everyone and everything ahead of ourselves, but we have to realize that we are important also. Giving ourselves an hour to 90 minutes a day of exercise will add years to our lives. We are worth that! Beth has lost 72 pounds so far and has maintained her weight for well over two years. She intends to lose an additional 20 pounds to reach her goal. Beth is an inspiring person who teaches Zumba classes in the Savannah area and participates in a local running group. Beth’s results are not unrealistic, they can be done. See a “new you” today and begin a journey that is well worth the taking.