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DRJ: First, let’s stop saying the words big boned and thick to describe African-American women. Let’s start by saying we are fearfully and wonderfully made and we “can do all things through Christ who strengths us.” I don’t care what shape, size, color, age, or nationality you are; it’s important to be healthy. Full figure, skinny Minnie, big buns, curvy hips, tank thighs, it does not matter what you call it, take care of your body or you won’t be around to take care of others.

We have a health epidemic in Black communities and we must act now! My grandmother use to say if you take one step, the good Lord will take two.

Faith without works is dead.

First lady Michelle Obama says, “Let’s Move.” Whatever you want to call it, just do it.

NO: African-American women have long been known for their spirituality. Is that why you combined faith, food, and fitness?

DRJ: If we trust in God for everything else in our life, why won’t we trust in Him regarding our physical being? Most of us have tried diets, gadgets, and crazy programs. The one thing missing was God. By combining your faith, fitness, and healthy foods, you sow good seeds, you reap healthy returns.

Losing weight is not just physical, it’s spiritual. There are no short cuts and it’s not easy. Believe in your faith and be obedient in your actions so you can be faithfully fit and fabulous!

NO: Finally, what is your secret to staying fit? What advice can you give to other women who resolved to lose weight in 2013 and are trying to stay on track?

DRJ: I’m physically active daily and enjoy walking, swimming, golfing, dancing, hiking etc. I practice good nutrition. I treat myself once or twice a week. I have daily devotion every morning with prayer and meditation. I have used challenges, obstacles, and pains in my life to push me in to my greater purpose and calling in life. I have learned to decrease self and increase God. I serve with honor and humility.

Staying fit, having a loving heart, and a giving spirit allows me to help people around the world not just look good and feel good but to be good and do good. “To whom much is given much is required.”

The problem is not just sometimes starting but sticking to it.

Remember, God can’t bless what you don’t do.

Ask him for the grace to change. You have to want to change more then you want to stay the same. If you have started with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight or become healthier here are a few tips to keep you going:

1.  Decrease processed foods, increase natural foods.

2.  Drink plenty of water (8 or more glasses daily).

3.  Practice moderation. If you can’t see the bottom of the plate, you have too much. Use a salad plate, eat slower, snack on fruit and veggies, no seconds, and don’t pick up the saltshaker.

4.  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Get rid of negative self talks, stinking thinking, and lose the bad attitude.

5. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on track that day. Don’t blow the whole day, week, or month because of one mistake. It’s temporary and it shall pass the moment you call on Him to help you move forward. Call on him to push you away from the table when you are full. Call on him to get your butt up to workout after you hit the snooze button. Call on him when you don’t think you can walk another mile or stay on the StairMaster 5 more minutes.

This awakening, being a “Witness to Fitness,” is about you, it’s about me, and we are in this together. Now woman up, and do it not just for yourself, but also for your children and your family. Get pumped up, powered, and prayed up!

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