Monday, September 24, 2007
Sleeker Sisters - Lets Get It!
This past Saturday I was walking through the city and couldn't help but notice an over abundance of African-American women who were visibly (if not medically) overweight. I can recall a conversation from just a few short years ago that I engaged in with a group of women who were gorgeous and who came in a range of sizes from round to petite. We were talking about body image and what they think other people, specifically men, find attractive about them. In addition to their fearless attitudes and the confidence that they exuded, most of them said that men like "the thickness", specifically their hips, legs and of course, the booty (something most black women were blessed or cursed with, depending on which black woman you ask). In a conversation that I had with a guy friend he mentioned that sometimes we (black women) take it too far with that whole "thick thing". He said he preferred a woman who was toned and fit...the kind of woman who works out at the gym regularly and isn't afraid to sweat a little. His response may suprise a ton of women but his sentiments echo that of many males of all backgrounds who appreciate a woman that takes care of herself.
Tons of African-American Chicas were raised in households where their mothers or female role models had a regular beauty/shopping/cooking/entertaining regimen, but weren't raised to have a steady fitness routine. I can't lie and say that I was raised in a family that was big on working out. I used to wake up to homemade biscuits, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns...the works. And dinner...don't even get me started. I've always been an active person ( I danced for several years and even did a stint with a professional Chicago Hip-Hop Troupe for a year) but I never really incorporated fitness into my normal weekly routine or even cared about doing an extra lunge or a sit-up here or there; that was up until my Mother and God Mother were both diagnosed with breast cancer and then diabetes. Their diagnosis was a wake up call for me to take better care of myself and to do some regular "preventative maintenance" to reduce my risks for developing any of those horrible diseases that affected my family and are killing black women. I must admit, I see a lot of our sisters confused and thinking that they have one of those coveted "thick" figures when in reality they've crossed the line between curvy and overweight. We can be some delusional habitual line steppers! I'm personally a HUGE fan of curves. I love mine and wouldn't change them for the world. However, I won't be bamboozled into thinking I will lose one bit of my beauty by toning up here and building a little muscle there. Excuse my frankness but many of us Chicas with the curvy bottoms can maintain that round brown by doing a few squats or lunges daily. We can make sure that we're turning heads and rocking the heck out of our favorite "Little Black Dress" by grabbing a couple 5 pound dumbbells and doing some curls. These aren't things that take anything away from our naturally bountiful figures; they are simply small measures that can be taken to make sure we are at our best!
I forget where I heard the quote, "Don't waste the pretty.", but it is a phrase that I live by. Every Chica in her 20's and 30's is in the "prime time" of her life. These are the days that we should be enjoying life and not being limited by any extra baggage.
Although we have many strides to make in educating black women about taking better care of our beautiful bods, there are some of us who have responded to the wake up call and are taking control of their bodies and making the choice to live a healthier life. Make no mistake, not all of us are destined to be ultra skinny - I'm not advocating that. To that point we aren't all destined to be "big boned" "hefty" or any of those other words and phrases meant to make excuses for not taking care of ourselves. Chicas, we are all beautiful princesses and queens. When need to take a look at some of our habits and ask ourselves, "Is this how royalty lives/looks/eats/ etc.?". If you answer yes, then by all means, shoot me an email and be the ChicaGoGetter.com health correspondent! If you know you honestly need to make a couple of small lifestyle changes (I know I do), stay with us Chica! As a part of our mission to speak to all of you who are truly living a GoGetter lifestyle, The ChicaGoGetter Team has decided to make a concerted effort to bring you fitness,well being and health information weekly in our Sleeker Sisters post. We will bring you health tips, useful websites, fitness class info and recipes to help you live up to your healthy potential. We truly want to help be our sister's (and brother's keepers) and this is just our small way to raise consciousness and to spark a hint of positive change in the way you live your life. On top of that there is nothing better than seeing a woman confident in her body, her spirit and her walk. Also, check out the instructional Hip-Hop work out clip below, it's only 10 minutes long and is a fun way to raise your heart rate a few notches! Look out for the weekly Sleeker Sisters posts!
RD- Creator/Chief Chica