Although my body was now athletic and trim, in my mind I was still overweight, and this was the cause of tremendous insecurity. Consequently, when I returned to Chicago after graduation, the crabs in my bucket, made up of family, friends and neighbors, had a field day. People I’d grown up with and been around all of my life called me a traitor. They claimed that I’d forsaken my South-Side identity for North-Side snobbery. I was driving a new Honda Accord, and I remember thinking, “It’s not a Mercedes.” But to them, it was fancy, and that meant I no longer belonged. They could no longer identify with me, and that made them feel vulnerable — all because I’d lost weight, earned a college degree and bought a brand new car that wasn’t a “beater,” and — worst of all — I lived downtown!
Well, once again, unconsciously, I yielded to my bucket of crabs and believed what they said. I had no place masquerading as an attractive, smart and fit young woman. Within a few years, the weight came back, pound by pound, until I weighed more than I ever had in my entire life. I made the “fat banana” of my high school days look like Olive Oyl. Darn crabs and silly me for letting them control my personal power.