By Nay's Way / www.divinecaroline.com
I knew it was coming. The day would come when my mother’s words would come back to haunt me.
I was an athlete. I played at least three sports (not sure if you’d count Cheerleading as a sport, but let’s add it). I ate like someone who played at least three sports. After-school runs to McDonald’s for a Quarter Pounder with cheese Value Meal (large) with a chocolate shake and a side of six piece Chicken McNuggets was not uncommon for me. And that was my snack! For the average, non-sport person, that’s over 1,500 calories (1,955 to be exact). But I was not the average, non-sport person. I played sports. I’d burn that off in no time.
And I did.
As I got older, I graduated to a school that had no sports program. Before this hiccup, I’d played sports long enough that my body kept a rhythm of high metabolism. It remembered to burn whatever fat I’d stored at the rate I maintained during my athletic days. Perhaps it was this illusion that kept me on the fast track to gorging on any fast food restaurant I saw. I could have whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however much I wanted. I played sports.
I played sports.
Eventually, my body caught up to my brain. Gone were the days of running suicides in the gym, the endless practice sessions after school. My life of extracurricular activity was over. With no sports programs, I had no reason to burn an insane amount of calories. My regiment dwindled from active to sedentary but, in my mind, I was still playing sports. That was the only place I was playing them, too.
I had no one to tell me what to eat and how to eat. I was still making stops to the local fast food joints, and still coming home to full, home-cooked meals of fried foods, and just about anything you could smother or drench in gravies and sauces. Imagine my surprise when my seventeen-year-old body tipped over 170 pounds. I’d never seen the scale reach so high. Not with me on it.
I come from a family of big-boned women. Big-boned women who are black, hail from the South, and love their sauces and gravies and fried things.