888-8 hours of sleep, 8 glasses of water a day, and 8 miles of walking a week is Alice Randall’s approach to being healthy and taking control of her weight. BGR! caught up with Alice Randall, author of Ada’s Rules and writer of the NY Times article, Black Women and Fat.
BGR: What inspired you to write Black Women and Fat?
Alice: I was once struggling with my own weight and being successful, I had a lot of compassion for women who also struggle with their weight. I wanted to come forward with a truth.
BGR: Why do you think being an overweight, black woman is becoming a political and cultural issue?
Alice: It’s always been a cultural and political issue. Many of us as enslaved Africans had the idea that our bodies are owned. Our bodies are beautiful.
BGR: Where do you see the obesity trend in black women in the next 20 years?
Alice: I absolutely think that we are “find-a-way think-a-way” people. It’s going to be a problem that we are going to solve. We are going to learn to love our bodies while also holding on to our fitness. And we are going to situate our bodies in good health in community and passion.
BGR: What do you think is the hardest thing to overcome when dealing with obesity?
Alice: For me, it’s been trying to get enough sleep. It’s been difficult to get the right amount of it.
BGR: What was it like writing a novel (Ada’s Rules) that related to so many women who want to become healthier and at the same time, keep a normal lifestyle?
Alice: It’s been wonderful trying to write something real sexy and funny. I enjoyed Ada. She was so many women that I knew, loved, and admired.
BGR: What was the final curtain call that pushed you to start exercising and drinking more water?
Alice: It was a lot of things and I have an article in Essence Magazine where I talk about them. One thing was when I began to wonder what kind of role model I was.
BGR: How do you inspire those in your family to live healthy lifestyles?
Alice: We walk together, cook together, and cheer other on. We put everything out on the table and hold ourselves responsible for working out and taking care of our bodies.
BGR: How are you able to fit in exercising and taking care of your body with such a busy schedule?
Alice: Oh it’s crazy. Sometimes I have meetings while I’m on the treadmill at the same time. I try to fit exercising in anyway that I can. During a conference in Florida, I got up at 4am to walk with a group at 5am. And it doesn’t take any more time to eat healthy than it does to eat to unhealthy.
BGR: What words of encouragement would you give black women who are convinced that being overweight is okay?
Alice: Love ourselves just as we are, but also be aware that there are strong correlations in health risks and being overweight. Consider it out of love, not fear. Let’s consider a new adventure.
Black Girls RUN! thanks Alice for taking the time out to chat with us about the weight issue in our black women and what we can do to overcome it.