I cried when I went running at Weequaic Park in Newark a few weeks ago because I saw so many sisters running and totally serious about getting in shape. Fuck hair and sweat stains, they had weight belts, gloves and those trash bag suits getting their work out on.
A couple of weeks later, I almost cried in front of my super-athletic sister when I completed 4 miles in 34 minutes. That was a miracle because I only could go about 2 miles for the longest. And on Saturday I ran 7 miles, oh yes, triathlon get ready.
I’ve been busting my tail getting back in shape and have been telling my colleagues that losing weight and getting shape have become my second job. And right now I’m working over time.
This brings the issue of black women getting it in shape.
Coming to the East, especially when I was in Atlanta, it kind of disturbed me when I saw so many out-of-shape sisters putting more stock in their ass(ets) than their bulging midsections. Then I went to Brick City and noticed that the metro chicks had too many bricks were coming out the front of their pants like a sagging potato sack.
But this is not just the East. I spoke to a mother of two yesterday from Los Angeles who told me her 12-year-old son is overweight, has high colesterol, and has about 2 hard bowel movements a week. In fact, her whole family is full of shit because they don’t eat vegetables. When we started talking about eating habits, she admitted to not serving her children vegetables for a couple of years.
I almost lost hope with my sisters until I saw them working it on out like the local fitness phenom, Anowa Adjah, who also goes by the name, “The 200 lb. Nigerian Powerhouse.” Shit she’s even my hero as I struggle in these yoga classes trying to get rusted joints to open up.
When I was in Nigeria so many years ago, I heard a wife tell her husband, “If I am not happy, no one in this house is happy,” and that just about sums up our community. Black women gotta get happier and I know that being in shape plays a great part. (Below is a picture of Anowa Adjah)
I agree with my biological, bombshell-of-an-athletic sister when she says that working out has a high level of vanity that women, especially black women need to embrace. I gotta admit, I’m popping it a little more now that I’m getting this cellulite under control, finally.
But also working out for me has been revelational in terms of offering suggestions to friends who deal with fibroids like I do.
I have about three friends who have gotten hysterectomies under the age of 35 due to fibroids. Others suffer even after getting them removed. Fibroids have been called the black woman’s disease because we disproportionately have them.
Here are a list of things that do help women deal with fibroids and are effective. The biggest suggestion is listen to your body, as I have been listening to mine, moans and groans and all of that.
Bellydancing. The first time I took bellydancing, my abs hurt for 3 days and for a week I had these huge bowel movements that ripped my arse. Disgusting, but true. I almost ripped myself because the movements of bellydance massaged my compacted colon and stimulated muscles that had not been excercised in a while. Plus, I learned ways to control and tighten my vagina muscles that have given me a skill that I do say makes me quite talented. (video is of Naimah, a bellydancer from the organization Bellydancers of Color)
Yoga. Not all yoga is the same, trust me. I’ve been bored and I’ve been beat up, but right now I swear by hot yoga, or the correct term, Bikram Yoga.
Bikram is a form of practice is done in about 105 degrees and the shit is intense. The first time I did it I almost threw up and shat on myself. I had to run out of the room and didn’t do it for about 5 more years. I got the guts to do it seveal months ago and I am hooked. Now I know it’s about the instructor. Plus I took about 12 non-hot yoga classes before I did Bikram. It totally works the womb. (picture below is of Kali Alexander of Lotus on the Nile)
But if hot Yoga isn’t for you, and it isn’t for many people, I totally suggest you get into Yoga. I have a 42-year-old friend who is a size 0 after three babies AND she starting having children at 33-years-old. This is someone who used to be a “D” cup. She has made fitness her religion, and yoga has become her lifestyle bible because that is all she does. No weights, marathon runs, or crash diets. Just yoga and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
Though there are those who are figuring out how to work it on out, there are sisters who have claimed their right to be fit.
Bravo. I’m right here. Toast to our bodies with this smoothie.