Added: Miki Girardi - Date: 01.01.2022 18:53 - Views: 42498 - Clicks: 9391
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on thiswe may earn a small commission. I have an unhealthy obsession with mirrors. It started when I was a teenager taking dance classes at first one, then two, then three different studios.
Ballet, tap, jazz, modern, acrobatics — I did it all. But somewhere around the age of 14, I began to take it more seriously and see it as a possible career — a future where I could combine my love for the performing arts with my love for writing. By 18, I decided I wanted to major in dance and English so I could write and choreograph musicals. But I had a secret.
I was purging to keep my weight down ahead of every major performance, audition, or anytime the scale crept up higher than my liking. Rejection compounded the pressure I felt as a dancer. I binged when I craved sweets and junk food, or anytime, really, because I also liked to eat. Mealtime is a time that makes me and my stomach happy.
When I finally started college, I auditioned for the dance program at my university twice. I was rejected twice. At 19, I accepted the fact that dance was something I could not make a living doing, no matter how much I loved it. I settled for dancing with an on-campus extracurricular company and switched my academic focus to journalism and creative writing.
By releasing the pressure I put on myself to excel at dance, I was able to release some of my unhealthy habits, too. Soon after I started undergraduate school, I stopped my cycle of binging and purging. I went to the gym when I felt like it, going through cycles of working out heavily to not wanting to work out at all. More than a decade later, these are still my habits, for better or worse. My relationship with my health, fitness, and overall wellness is complicated and messy.
Recently, when I was in a Looking for a fit woman phase, I followed along to live Baptiste yoga podcast classes because, free and got my fitness in that way either with an electric heater running in my bedroom, or outside in the heat and humidity at the height of Florida summers. Still, I am motivated by the mirrormy vanity, staring at my reflection and praying I see what I like in my body. I want to keep my stomach as flat as possible but even there I give myself some grace. This body of mine has produced life and will do so again soon.
It has taken a long time for me to get to this place of acceptance. To look at the on the scale and be kind of OK with it.
In the world of fitness, wellness, and beauty, the ideal is lithe and white — adjectives that will never describe me or many other Black women. This overextension compounds our stress, which is a factor in weight gain. This is why groups like Black Girls Run exist. The organization was founded in in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the Black community, especially among Black women. They intrinsically understand the unique fitness and wellness challenges of their audience, reach out to us, and love on us anyway.
In a time when women have lost the most in terms of position and footing in the workforce and overall economy, fitness may not be top of mind for many of us Black women right now 4. But when it is — when it becomes a priority for you, and for me, again — there are spaces curated just for us.
As for me, one day likely after baby two makes her arrival in the world I will find a way to return to my mat and take care of myself physically. Until then, I remain encouraged because I know Black girls runBlack girls walk, Black girls hike, Black girls bike, Black girls swim, Black girls skate, Black girls dance, Black girls practice yoga, and so much more.
Nikesha Elise Williams is a two-time Emmy award winning news producer and award winning author. Nikesha lives in Jacksonville, Florida, but you can always find her online at contact newwrites. What happens when you separate a movement from its roots?
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What Fit Looks Like: A Black Woman's Journey