Our bodies are temples which we sometimes sabotage by consuming milkshakes, fried chicken, and processed cheese. Although for a long time this was our reality, it seems that our society is now in an age of holistic enlightenment that understands as a culture that we are what we eat. And what we've been eating is pure bullsh*t.
The black community's inclination toward poverty is headed slowly but surely into degradation and we now understand that many of the illnesses that killed our grandparents could have been avoided by a simple change in diet. Diseases prevalent in the black community like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes have killed many of our loved ones, and Tami Roman understands that she is not immune.
The reality star recently opened up about her ongoing battle with both diabetes and maintaining a positive self-image. She posted on Instagram:
"I didn't lose weight, I lost my willingness to die. DIABETES IS NO JOKE! I Detox, suppress my appetite and make better food choices," she said. "So enjoy yourself laughing, leaving negative comments & calling me a 'crackhead'…but I have two beautiful daughters and I'm gon' live for them by ANY means necessary".
Tami has been transparent in the past about her health struggles despite unfair rumors and scrutiny about her fluctuating weight, but says there was a point where she didn't take her health as seriously. In 2014, she shared with The Jasmine Brand that she had been diagnosed with diabetes after noticing significant weight gain:
"I was literally thinking, 'why am I gaining so much weight? I'm going to have to figure out a way around this.' A year later I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and literally I just start losing weight. You can either go this way or that way. Once I found out, I still didn't really honor the fact that I had it. Even with NV [dietary supplement caplets], I only got to a size 10 or 12."
Tami said that despite her diagnosis, she continued to eat with no regard for her body until she got some advice from an unlikely friend.
"I continued to eat and not really care. It wasn't until I started working on "Extant" and I was talking to Halle, who is also diabetic, and she said "Tami, the truth of the matter is — you either wanna live or you wanna die. You can continue thinking what you think and doing what you're doing, but you're not going to be here long." And that like really hit home for me. So I changed up my whole diet and eating and trying to be healthy and live right, and now people say I'm too skinny [laughs]."
If you choose to take health advice from anyone, you take it from the woman who still looks like a snack at 51.
According to WebMD, black people are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than their non ethnic counterparts. According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health the biggest factor driving this difference is obesity, followed by health disparities and social and economic factors.
These numbers are scary, and leads me to pose the question, If we don't take care of us, who will? As satisfying as unhealthy treats may be, we as black women have to start holding ourselves accountable for our health, simply because we're all we got.
Featured image by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET