Gospel music group The Pace Sisters are surely an anointed music family. But they are also a family that struggles with issues of obesity. Six of the seven sisters joined Iyanla Vanzant for the latest episode of “Iyanla, Fix My Life,” which airs on OWN this Saturday, May 18 at 9 p.m. Vanzant says the sisters weight challenges reflected other issues.
“What I did experience both with the Pace sisters and with some of the work that I’ve done is when you hace a very religious history, food is the only thing that is unrestricted,” Vanzant told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “It’s also a symbol of love. Somebody loves you, they want to nurture you, the first thing they do is feed you. We explore a litte bit about that. We also explore the family history that contributes to weighing these sisters down. Not so much their weight, but what is weighing them down.”
Vanzant says that obesity is often the product of unresolved issues and that is true for the Pace sisters. Obesity is a significant issue not just in their households, butt in the African-American community overall. And it’s deadly. One of the seven Pace sisters was unable to participate in the show as she was hospitalized by a stroke before the broadcast.
“We also explore the family history that contributes to weighing these sisters down,” Vanzant says of the episode. “Not so much their weight, but what is weighing them down. And then when they eat the food, what is it holding in place? What is it holding down? If you can’t go to the movies and you can’t wear pants and you can’t iisten to secular music and you can’t go to the club, but you can eat all the food you want [this is what can happen].”
Vanzant’s family intervention has proven to be a breakthrough for the group. Since the show, Vanzant says the sisters have bonded together to help each other lose the weight.
“Once we looked at the issues, there’s no reason anymore to stuff those issues and stuff those fears.”
As for rapper DMX, who was unhappy with his portrayal on a recent “Iyanla, Fix My Life,” broadcast, Vanzant says that his threatened lawsuit has not yet materialized. But the show may have created a breakthrough, not for DMX, but for his oldest son, Xavier, who appeared on the show with him.
“Very often, we go in thinkkng we’re working with one person and we get the breakthrough for somebody else. That’s not the first time that has happened. So really it was about his son. With all of the guests, it’s their choice and I think once they get in and realize this is not just reality TV and you’re getting some publicity and exposure, when they’re sititng face to face with me, they say ‘Oh wait a minute. Hold on.'” (Laughs).