What Will it Take for Black Women to Get Healthy?

13 May
What Will it Take for Black Women to Get Healthy?
Lisa2As I approach the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death on May 22, 2006, and the deaths of dozens of Black women near and dear to me over the course of my life, I contemplate this question daily…What will it take for Black Women to Get Healthy?The question deepens in seriousness as I contemplate the disparities that persist between Black women and other women that have now been well documented. Black women are more likely to die from a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, or to be obese in comparison to white women and other women. And women of color generally, regardless of ethnicity, are at greater risk of developing and dying from these conditions in comparison to our white female counterparts. Did I mention HIV & AIDS?We know this on no uncertain terms. Now what? How are we using this information and the experience of burying too many of our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters and friends too early from largely preventable diseases? What will we do now to turn the tide for ourselves while we still have the time?

I will acknowledge that many of us are in good health and have adopted healthy behaviors like exercising regularly, cutting high fat and fried foods from our diet, drinking fewer sodas and more water, buying unprocessed foods and eating more raw fruits and veggies. In seeing this and practicing it myself (with MUCH room for improvement) I believe a new generation of Black women is quietly emerging–a health-centered, health conscious generation of sisters who are breaking the mold, who are getting up, getting out, and getting active in caring for their bodies, their minds, and their spirits. This gives me immense hope.

But more is needed, and change must be consistent over time if it is to aid in shifting us as individuals and as a group from a position of chronic illness and vulnerability to one of total wellness and longevity. I’m tired of reading about the disparities. It’s time to write a new story.

It’s time to overcome our reluctance to giving up old ways of eating, old ways of cooking, and old habits of working ourselves to death while taking little to no time to exercise our bodies. It’s time to stop carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and on our waistlines–and to decide today that our health will be priority number 1. It’s time to stop making excuses.

So I ask you, as I ask myself, what will you do today, tomorrow, and every day moving foward to nurture your health? What will you give up and what will you add on to bring
your life into balance mind, body & spirit? How will you change your behavior
to in such a way that helps you maintain habits that result in good heart health, a healthy weight and fitness level, healthy eating habits, low-stress living, and ultimately, longevity?

What will you do as a Black woman to get healthy for life right now?



2 Responses to “What Will it Take for Black Women to Get Healthy?”

  1. Pamela May 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I too am approaching the 2nd anniversary of my mom’s death due to lung cancer.
    soon after my mom passed I found out I had breast cancer. Three generations of women (me, mom, older sister) struck with cancer. I’m the only one around. It’s so hard for me sometimes, because they are not there.
    But I’m glad to have met you. You are inspiring me to not give up. And I need all the inspiration I can get.
    Thank you for being there for us, even in your time of need, Lisa. I hope that I can only help motivate others the way you have motivated me.

    • sisterspeakonline February 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

      Pam, my blog has been inactive for quite a while, but so happy to see your message today. I pray you are well and so appreciate your message. I understand completely, and know that you will be fine. My mother’s last real words to me were “never stop fighting and don’t ever give up, never”, so I pass those words to you knowing that you have the will to walk this journey and that you will come out on the other side cancer-free, healthy, and empowered to help others through as well. God bless you, friend…

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