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Let’s talk about ... how life events can influence weight gain and obesity.

Let me introduce myself. I am a 64-year-old, hardworking, Southernish, Black woman. By day, I work for WYPR, the NPR news station in Baltimore. At all other times, I am a woman on a mission to eradicate obesity amongst Black women – obesity, a disease which is linked to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, irritability, alcohol or substance abuse, chronic sleep deprivation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease,stroke, reduced immunity, and a number of other maladies.

For over 40 years, I was a yo yo dieter, stress eater, emotional overeater, experiential eater, and morbidly obese, for most of my life. I grew up on fried chicken, fried fish, fried corn, rice and gravy, cornbread and collard greens, biscuits, and pound cake – sometimes all in the same meal. I tried everything to lose weight, even surgery, but I always gained the weight back, and then some. On the outside, I was all smiles all the time, but deep inside, underneath all the extra weight, I yearned for a body I could be proud of. Shamefully, I am not alone. Four out of five African American women are either overweight or obese, struggling with this life robbing disease that silently, secretly, yet publicly steals your pride, prosperity, power, freedom, peace, confidence, and joy. In 2019, I discovered the secret that freed me to step into my rightful body. I created Brand New beliefs about hunger which led to Brand New behaviors around food and eating— and ultimately a BRAND-NEW body and more importantly, a BRAND-NEW purpose in life. Today, I am a food addict in recovery on a mission, not just to wear cuter clothes – which was my original intention, but to raise our collective consciousness around why we eat what we eat. Now I look better, live better and feel better than I did at 24, 34, 44 or 54! Now I use writing-for-healing and storytelling to teach high performing, overstressed, overwhelmed, overweight Black women – and anyone else who is ready – how to make the necessary mental shifts to lose weight and keep it off for good.