Many African-Americans with serious mental illness fail to engage in evidence-based programs that positively affect weight management. We examined how having a weight-related physical illness correlated with self-efficacy, recovery, and quality of life by contrasting illnesses with symptoms that are obviously perceived (e.g., sleep apnea and pain related to weight) versus those that are not (e.g., hypertension). African-Americans with serious mental illness who were overweight (body mass index ≥25) completed the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire, Recovery Assessment Scale, and Quality of Life Scale in this study assessing the impact of a program on weight and health. Silent weight-related physical disorders were not found to correlate with quality of life, recovery, or weight self-efficacy. Differences in recovery were found in people with versus without sleep apnea and weight-related pain. Findings suggest future directions for affirming approaches to promote engagement among African-Americans with serious mental illness in weight management programs.