Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Overcoming My Fear of Becoming A Zumba Instructor

Janice with Jani Roberts ZUMBA Basic Level 1 Instructor Training October 13 2011
Janice with Jani Roberts ZUMBA Basic Level 1 Instructor Training October 13 2011

Jani Roberts asks participants to share their weight loss success stories. The lady to the far right lost 185 lbs.
Jani Roberts asks participants to share their weight loss success stories. The lady to the far right lost 185 lbs.

SCW Fitness Education Midwest Mania ZUMBA Basic Skills Level 1 Instructor Training with Jani Roberts and Tony Witt Thursday October 13 2011
SCW Fitness Education Midwest Mania ZUMBA Basic Skills Level 1 Instructor Training with Jani Roberts and Tony Witt Thursday October 13 2011

My ZUMBA journey began in 2010 when I started taking Zumba classes at KS Wholistic Training & Development Center .  E'a Williams of Be Fit TriWellness and Tasha Maya Gibson inspired me to become a ZUMBA Instructor.

I became certified at SCW Fitness Education Midwest Mania ZUMBA Basic Skills Level 1 Instructor Training with Jani Roberts and Tony Witt on Thursday October 13, 2011. The training was held at the Hyatt Regency Rosemont as part of a fitness conference with hundreds of participants. I was a flight attendant who had traveled quite a bit that year professionally and personally. So I was not in the best of health. Anyway, I injured my shoulder and lower back doing a ZUMBA moves after receiving my certification. My body was structurally weak from working as a flight attendant with all the standing and pulling luggage. Flying and the forces of gravity are very hard of the body. I allowed my certification to lapse and never really taught a class despite my love for ZUMBA dancing.

This has been an incomplete in my life since 2011. One of those goals I never achieved but talked about for past four years. I had taken ZUMBA dance off and on over the past four years always wishing in the back of mind that I had become an instructor. I don't know what stopped me other than myself and negative self-talk.

My daughter moved back to Chicago and decided that as a bonding ritual we would go to ZUMBA dance on Saturdays on KS Wholistic Training & Development at 10338 South Western Avenue in the Beverly Area of Chicago. I love this place. It has some of the best ZUMBA Instructors with great music and dance moves they way sistas like to move. 

I didn't realize it but my psychologist daughter secretly counseled me with this  ZUMBA bonding ritual idea. She helped me overcome my roadblocks to becoming a ZUMBA instructor. She realized that ZUMBA dance is something that I really love.  I am very passionate about it. I just had an aha moment that within one year of her moving back to Chicago I am now ZUMBA Certified Instructor. She accomplished her mission of helping her Mom to overcome her roadblock. I am so grateful for her. Sometimes the parent needs help from their children. It's okay. We all need help sometimes.

Now I am overcoming my fear of leading the ZUMBA class. It is a different experience to be in the front of room leading a group of people. It was unsettling for me at first to see people move when I move. Now I just turn on the music and start having fun. I don't have to be perfect. My routine doesn't have to be perfect. I just share with the class that I am overcoming a fear. I let them know that I am new to teaching ZUMBA. The instructors and class participants have been very supportive. Then I go home listen to music and practice the routines. I can only get better. I can only improve. There is no where to go but up. I just have to stay in action. It will come. Right now I am just doing the Warm-Up of a class but I know that I will learn to teach a one hour class. It will happen with practice and just getting out there. Doing it!

If you have been thinking about becoming a ZUMBA Instructor, I encourage you to sign today.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Selfie with ZUMBA Jeanna Bostic
Selfie with ZUMBA Jeanna Bostic
ZUMBA Instructors Certified with Jenna Bostic
ZUMBA Instructors Certified by Jenna Bostic
Jenna Bostic teaches choreography to Zumba Students
Jenna Bostic teaches choreography to Zumba Students

ZUMBA Instructor Training is day of classroom teaching and learning dance moves. A group of ten plus Zumbalites from KS Wholistic 10338 South Western Avenue Chicago  and Trinity United Church of (Christ TUCC Chicago) organized by Tanya Hines signed up for the Basic Training 1 June 27 2015 training at Edward Health & Fitness Center in Woodbridge. We are so  grateful to Tanya for creating the South Side Sisters and getting a group discount for the training.

ZUMBA Jenna Bostic emailed in advance our ZUMBA Basic Level 1 Training Manual and advice on what to bring to class.

My Tips for what to bring to Zumba Basic Level 1 Training Class:

Eat Healthy

I recommend a sandwich or salad. Some members of class went out for lunch and ordered fried chicken. They were sleepy after lunch because of the greasy meal they had consumed. They were nodding in class.

Bring healthy snacks like fruit, energy bars, protein bars, protein shakes, energy drinks, a gallon of filtered water

Bring a towel, flip flops, deodorant, toiletries and change of clothes for the afternoon class

Bring a sweatshirt to keep your body warm after the 1 hour ZUMBA masterclass

Bring cash to buy the latest ZUMBA wear during the class

Be Prepared to have FUN!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kale Greens Carrot Apple Smoothie

Today I am drinking three of these Green Smoothies to cleanse my colon and bring my stomach back down. This past week I binged on Matt's Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin and Raspberry Fig Bars so this is my way of getting my body back on track.

Kale Greens Carrot Apple Smoothie


Raw Kale Greens

Organic Carrots



Nutri Bullet

Add a handful of fresh Kale Greens to Nutri Bullet Cup, a handful of carrots, one half apple then fill with water to the max line and blend. Drink immediately to receive the benefit of the vitamins.

Please like and share this video.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Nubian Fitness Goddess Mama's Weightloss Journey

Janice's Weightloss Progress May 2014 to February 2015
Janice's Weightloss Progress May 2014 to February 2015

My travel lifestyle as a flight attendant impacted my health negatively. My colon expanded from all

the take offs and landings. Every time I would take off in the air, my colon would expand and

whenever I would land my colon would contract. This caused my intestines to become packed with

waste and made it difficult for me to eliminate. In May 2014, I stopped working as a flight attendant

because I was unable to move my bowels. My stomach looked as if it was 7 months pregnant.

I began working out 5 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week for three months just to get my bowels to

move. The photo above of me showing my "sugar roll" belly was taken in June 2014.

On December 30, 2014 I was told that I had cervical cancer, it was quite an unpleasant New Year's

surprise. Most people were making New Year's Resolution, however I was forced to change my

eating habits to a vegan lifestyle. I went into survival mode. There are various cancer deaths in my

family. I lost my mother to second hand smoking cancer, one aunt to cervical cancer, and

grandmother to breast cancer. I had one other aunt die to cancer as well, but I don't remember

what type. I am not ready to give up my life to cancer.

I overcame fear and remained positive. God placed the right people in my life to help with my

healing. One of my daughter's gave me a visit to King Spa and Sauna for a Christmas present. It is a

wellness retreat that has over 30 hot and cold healing rock saunas. The biggest help was the

V Steam Herb Woodworm Sitz Bath which is known to prevent uterine cancer. My daughter and I

and I had an one hour and a half treatment by God's divine plan. We were visiting with three of my

daughter's friends who sitz baths were not working properly. The treatment is normally 30 minutes

but we received an additional hour because we were waiting for my daughter's friends. After the sitz

bath we spent time in the various sauna rooms, detoxifying and healing our bodies.

Janice Working Out
Janice Working Out 

Another factor which helped cure me from cancer was my employment at L.A. Fitness as Personal

Trainer Fitness Assessment Counselor that gave me access to a spa and whirlpool. I continued to

detoxify my body. I also began working with a personal trainer who encouraged me to eat organic

fruits and vegetables and change to a vegan lifestyle. My working out with Personal Trainer Lance 

Dillon of Truth Fitness 2020 led to a 17 pound weight and building lean muscle mass during the

month of January.

Being employed at L.A. Fitness has helped change me into a fitness person as I now workout about

6 days a week. My job as a Personal Trainer Fitness Assessment Counselor requires that I workout

with clients about 3 to 4 times a day in addition to my regular workout routine. A health and fitness

lifestyle has changed my travel lifestyle. Although I have hung up my wings as a flight attendant, I

decided to combine passion to travel with health and fitness by creating Black Girls Fitness 

Getaways. Please comment by sharing your weightloss journey and  your dream wellness getaway


Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 5 of the No Junk Food Challenge: How to Manage Your Cravings

The holiday season can be very stressful, which makes it more tempting to reach for that slice of cake or go for those cookies. But if you've made it to day 6, you're stronger than you think. Below are just a few tips to help you get through day 16 and then day 21!

  • Take it day by day. Don't focus on the 21 days or the entire time you want to remove junk food from your life. Take it meal by meal, choice by choice and then reset your goal. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was a healthy body!
  • Take note of how you feel when you don't have junk food in your body. You should have less headache's, fatigue, etc.
  • Don't feel defeated if you slip-up. Ladies often think one mistake gives them a pass to eat whatever they want for the rest of the day. Pick up your losses, move on and stay strong for the next meal.
  • Get your full night's rest. If you sleep less than 6 hours, you're more likely to crave bad carbs and sweets.
  • Remove the temptation. If you have a stash of cookies in your kitchen closet. Give them to that coworker who can afford to eat a cookie or two and not worry about gaining a pound. They'll think you're extra nice and you'll feel in control.
  • Focus on your sudden craving and its source. Are you stressed? Anxious? Focus on the actual issue before you reach for that cookie or cupcakes.
Tell us: How are you controlling your cravings for junk food during the challenge?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 4 of the No Junk Food Challenge: Staying Strong During the Holiday Party Season!

The 4th rule of the No Junk Food Challenge says no cookies or biscuits. Yikes! With the dozens of holiday parties on our schedule, this one will surely be hard to maintain for 21 days.

 Holiday parties bring lots of cookies, biscuits, and other naughty treats that can add up quickly! In fact, Marie Claire magazine has counted the typical holiday meal below as 800 calories!

Two glasses of wine.
Two pigs in a blanket (or similar foods, such as mini tacos or small sliders without the bun),
Three shrimp with a tablespoon of cocktail sauce (or citrus-based tartar).
Two tablespoons of hummus with unlimited vegetables.
One fried hors d'oeuvre.
A small sweet treat (such as a brownie square or tartlet)

You'd have to do quite a bit of working out in a day to burn that off. Probably about 60 minutes of jogging, depending on your weight.

Don't stress! Here are some tips on how to fight the cookie and other food temptations during the holiday party season:

  • Eat a full and healthy meal right before you head to the party.
  • Use a small plate and fill it up at the veggie tray.
  • Don't go for seconds!
  • Be the "talk" of the party--conversate with your friends and you'll soon be too distracted to visit the dessert table.
  • Be the photographer. Taking pics will keep your hands and your brain busy.

Tell us: These are just a few quick tips to help you get ready for the party season. What tips do you use to keep your weight in control during the holiday season?

Day 3: No Junk Food Challenge & The Secret Sabatoge of Candy

Most of you are going strong with the No Junk Food Challenge! We're on Day 3 and I want to help us get through one of the most tricky parts of this challenge--no candy.

Candy. It's everywhere. In the office, at the doctor's office, at your friend's house. It's easily accessible and in most cases small enough that we think "one can't hurt". But then one turns into 10! Think 10 is harmless? According to LiveStrong, one piece of hard butterscotch candy has just 21 calories, with 10 of them equaling over 200 calories!  To burn that off you'd have to do 60 minutes of walking, 30 minutes of jogging on the treadmill, or 35 minutes of a dance class. 10 pieces of butterscotch does not seem like it's worth any of those sweat-inducing workouts. I'd rather burn 200 calories to get me closer to my goal, not damage control!

Limiting our candy intake is especially important for African American women. Candy comes packed with refined carbs. Refined carbs can lead to diabetes. 1 in 4 African American women over 55 years of age has diabetes.You may not be over 55 years of age, but just think, many of those women 55+ may have been able to prevent their diabetes diagnosis if they watched what they ate during their younger years.

Tell us: How do you handle your sweet tooth in a healthy way?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 2: No Junk Food Challenge

If you like us on Facebook, you know about the No Junk Food Challenge we've started yesterday! As we work through the 21 days of no junk food, we will provide friendly tips, advice, and motivation to keep you going strong!

In case you haven't seen it and you're interested in joining us, here's the challenge deets you need to know:

Super hard? Yes? Crazy idea during the holiday season? Absolutely! Impossible? Of course not. It's only 21 days.With the busy holiday season, 21 days will fly by in a snap.

The first rule says "no chocolate". So, we wanted to provide you with some altneratives to help you keep the chocolate away:
  • Fruit: A great alternative when you're having a craving for sweets.
  • Carob: Sweeter than chocolate and much better for you. It does not have the caffeine, cholesterol, oxalic acid, and theobromine that chocolate contains.(Source:
  • Cocoa Powder: It's a healthy ingredient that you can mix in with cottage cheese for a sweet and healthy snack. You can also sip some hot cocoa on a cold winter day. (Source: LiveStrong)

 Tell us: What will you do to stay away from chocolate for 21 days?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spice Up Your Workout

Hey Goddesses! You may have noticed we haven't posted in awhile. We've both been busy with work, school, and of course, our workouts. You're probably in the same boat--going through the day-to-day routine. I don't know about you, but the day-to-day thing can kinda get a little boring for me! So when I can, I like to mix it up and have a lil' fun with my fitness.

That's me, on the right!
Recently, I decided to try a fun activity that you don't find in your average gym or dance studio...burlesque! Think feather boa's, gloves, heels, and a lot of hip action and you get the idea. No worries, no clothing was removed, it was all PG! It turned out to be a fun, low-intense workout with the chance to mix and mingle with my friends (without gasping for air).

In the spirit of my recent sexy workout, I decided to share some other sexy & fit options that you can try at home or at a local dance studio.

Of course, this wouldn't be a blog post about sexy workouts with the mention of pole dancing! Believe it or not it's a great calorie burner. You can find pole dancing studios across the world! Living or traveling to Australia? Check out our friends at Pole Fetish (Yup, we have readers in Australia--Cheers, mates!) Shy? Try a DVD at home.

Maybe you can't get into the pole dancing thing. No worries, you can still get your sexy on with a few dance-focused workouts. Try exotic dancing with Flirty Girl Fitness or workout like your a Pussycat Doll!

Sometimes, working out doesn't have to be about getting super sweaty and sore. You can still reap the benefits of physical activity, especially if you mix things up!
Tell us in the comments below: How do you spice up your workout routine? Have you tried any of the workouts mentioned in this post? Tell us about it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Finding our Namaste

Ladies, it's National Yoga Month, so we have to pay homage to the spiritual and health benefits of the historic practice of yoga. It's a workout that should be an equal priority to cardio and weightlifting, but many of us don't put it on the top of our lists. Why? Perhaps there is a lack of access or focus on the benefits of yoga. With it being "Back to Health" season, now is the time to revisit our thoughts on yoga and how we can incorporate it into our workout regime.

Yoga benefits include:
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased flexibility
  • Proper balance
  • Cleaning our blood of waste material
  • loosen muscles and joints that are ignored in our day-to-day lives
I personally prefer a class called BodyFlow. It's a mix of yoga, pilaties, and tai chi! It's choreographed to nice relaxing music and ends with a few minutes for mediation. It's the perfect way to start a Sunday morning before heading into the work week!

Access to yoga is now easier than ever! You can go to a class at your local gym, buy a DVD, or use your cable programming right in the comfort of your living room.

I challenge each of you to try a Yoga class at least once this month in honor of National Yoga Month. If you already practice yoga, I challenge you to invite a friend to join you to spread the namaste!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back-to-Health Season

The vacations, the barbeques, the family reunions--the events that gave us the green light to take it easy with our healthy eating and fitness habits we've been working on since New Years Day. It's time to say goodbye to those events. It's time to step it up! Now is the time to take a step back and reassess what's working or not working for your healthy lifestyle goals. Do you need to change up your diet? Mix up your workout? And what about your healthy needs, like a visit to the doctor?

To help, we've created a "back-to-health" checklist to not only get you back on track, but on the right track:
  • Schedule a full check-up with your physician. The best way to see how much progress (or lack thereof) is to get an official check-up from your doctor. Not sure which screening you'll need? Use this interactive guide provided by the Office of Women's Health.
  • Clean out your kitchen. It's time to say goodbye to those summer treats filled with sodium or high on sugar. We suggest planning your meals ahead and only keeping stock of the foods you need for a specific week to avoid eating any trigger foods or binging on non-nutrient essentials. Check out these handy tips from SHAPE on how to plan your healthy-filled week.
  • Mix up your moves. Consider signing up with a personal trainer for one-time consultation to create a new work out routine. You can also explore non-traditional workouts like boot camp meet-up groups or DVD programs including Insanity or any of Jillian Micheal's programs.

We've just given a few things you can do to reset your workout before the holiday season hits. What have you done to focus on your healthy goals? Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rock Your Motivation

Lately, I've been on a "motivation kick" with my workouts. Ever since winning a year membership with LA Boxing in Rockville (more on that in a future post!), I've been inspired to push myself farther than I ever have before. Sometimes, I hear the doubts, the "I can't", "There is no way in hell", "That's for skinny-fit girls, not me" thoughts popping in my head. But then I'd look in the mirror and I'd see my t-shirt sending me positive vibes. Yup, my t-shirt! Many weight loss experts say getting new workout clothes is a great motivation to get into the gym, now imagine taking the inspiration up a notch with the inspiration literally on your t-shirt! Plus, as a BodyPump instructor, I think it's a great way to give my members a motivation kick without having to talk too much (sometimes less is more).

Here's a shirt that I bought from Ruffles with Love.
If you can't see it, it says "I don't sweat, I sparkle"! It totally fits my personality and it makes me want to sweat hard when I work out! I've decided that I'm going to reward myself with future "motivation t-shirts" for every 5 lbs that I lose. Here's my "to-get list"...



If you could make your own motivational t-shirts, what would they say? Tell us in the comments below!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

FU@K MY HAIR: I'm Gonna Workout!

No, this is not other post about Gabby Douglass. However, I think that the Douglass incident suggests we need to have a broader discussion about Black Women, Hair, and Health.

We have all read the blog posts, news articles, etc. about how some Black women avoid Exercise because they don’t want to mess up their hair. It’s amazing to me that even with the Natural Hair Movement and the DIY movement many women are still allowing their to be a barrier to exercise. It may be because there are still too few resources on managing Black hair and Exercise. I get that hair is a complex issue for us. But at some point we have to stop discussing this problem and do something about it.  You know the stats we have the highest rates of Obesity. 4  out of 5 of us are overweight or obese. It is completely unacceptable that we let our hair contribute to these numbers. We have to do better, we have to choose our Health over our Hair.
 In my own personal hair and exercise journey, I eventually reached a point at which I said “F my Hair.”  I chose exercise and a healthy lifestyle over my hair. I lost 40 lbs after making this commitment. I came up with a game plan that allowed me to workout out 5 days a week. I wore my hair in ponytails during the week. On the weekends I washed and straightened it. The best thing about saying “F my Hair” is that I learned how to do my own hair. Before making this commitment I never washed my own hair I relied completely on a hairstylist. I recently decided to transition to natural hair and I have found it even easier to manage my hair (it’s much more versatile).  Let me be clear when I say F my Hair, I do not mean that it is not possible to find a hairstyle that is professional and cute. You just have to think outside the box and be willing to try something new. You can find a style that works for you.  Part of this process is accepting that your beauty is not determined by your hair.

So I encourage you to free yourself and find a hairstyle that allows you to exercise. You can get braids, go natural, wear ponytails, a weave. I know many of you reading this have already found a solution that works so please share your story. We have responsibility to help each other. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gabby Douglas Hair - Viewpoint of a Happy Nappy

Janice Temple in Paris, France with my "relaxed hair style

As a flight attendant, I miss a lot of news and on purpose. I try to stay away from negativity, however I just had to stop to try understand this. Why is there a controversy about Gabby Douglas and her hair?

Janice Temple as a newborn with "good hair placenta" as they say

The first time someone posted it on facebook, I ignored it. Now a few days later everybody and their mama are writing articles trying to explain black hair. It is amazing the value of this controversy. Apparently to brands, it is worth $90 million dollars. Incredible!

Janice Temple in Rome, Italy with ex-hubby Big Mike (wearing relaxed hair)

First of all, I want to send greetings and positive love to Gabby Douglas. You are a beautiful dark chocolate sister with an accomplishment of Gold Medals. We are proud of you, that you are African American child of God. Kudos to you, Gabby Douglas. You are special and unique. God turned this embarrassing moment of black self-hatred into an opportunity for dialogue about a taboo subject for Black women into a historic financial abundance for you.

Janice Temple the hair model age 18 "fried, dyed and laid to the side"

Now I wish to share my story of my journey to freedom from what black women think about my hair.
I was born and raised in a beauty salon, as my mother was a cosmetologist. She would press my hair until about age 5 years when she gave  me a perm. My hair was half way down my back. The women in the salon would come and watch my mother do my hair. They reasoned that if my mother could grow my hair that long that she could grow their hair that length too. So the women lined up to get their done by my mother, I was the child hair model.

Janice Robinson wearing an "Afro" for the third time

Shirley Temple was a popular child actress during the time that I was growing up. Everyone loved her singing, dancing, and her beautiful curly blonde hair. As child, I wanted to be Shirley Temple particularly since my last name is Temple. I identified so strongly with that blonde, blue-eyed child star. My parents were furious when I asked them if I could have blonde hair and blue eyes. This foolish child desire made my mother cry and father scream at me. I was having an identity crisis and my parents could not cope with it.

My Cosmetologist Mother who dyed her hair blonde in the late 80's and wore blue contact lenses

This happened during the 1960"s Black Panthers and Dr. Martin Luther King's civil rights movement. This was also the era of  Johnson & Johnson Products explosion in the Black Hair Care Market with Relaxers and accompanying products. The money was very good during the 1960's as women began to rush into beauty salons to get their hair permed and conditioned. My mother made a very good living from making African American women feel beautiful and growing their hair.

Janice Robinson wearing twists
I have often wondered about the myth of the tall, blonde, haired beauty.

Janice Robinson with hair blow-dryed straight in Istanbul

The issue of Gabby Douglas' hair runs deep into the White standard of beauty. This standard of beauty is cultivated in Black Salons with the discussion and brainwashing of a Black woman's locks. It is goes something like this, "Girl what would want me to  do with them naps? We can't have you running around all over town looking like this". These were conversations that I heard regularly while being in  my mother's salon from age 3 to age 24 years when I left to live in Paris, France. The hairstylists would talk about the women's insecurities their "naps", and their "kitchens" to increase their sales. Black women trust their stylist, their beauty maker with ultimate confidence. If they have a good stylist, they give them their ultimate trust.  I never heard anyone in a beauty salon disagree with stylist about having their hair called "nappy" or "kinky".

Janice Robinson passport photo with short kinky twists

There was this phrase during my teen years to describe processing Black hair - "fried, dyed and laid to the side." Well I have worn my hair "fried, dyed and laid to the side". When I was about 12 years old Beverly Johnson and Naomi Sims wigs became popular. My sister and I had plenty of hair, because it was the latest fashion we had wore wiglets and "I Dream of Jeannine"  ponytails in the summer heat. I detested wearing those wig pieces which made my scalp hot, itchy and sweaty. About age 15 to 16 years old, my mother dyed my hair red, brown, and added gold highlights ( not all at the same time).

Janice Temple with Blonde Locs

Then a little after my 16th birthday, I became curious about what my natural hair looked and felt like. I started asking my mother about another way to wear my hair, because at that point I had done everything possible to my hair except to wear it naturally. I begged her to cut it off into an afro. We argued about several times. One day I won and I forced her into cutting my long relaxed hair off in front of her clients. She was in tears as she cut my locks off. Her friends and clients were furious with me. They turned on me with a vengeance. They berated me. "How could you do this to your mother?" "You look like a boy."  "You look like you are twelve years old." Those women tore my self-esteem down. They made me conform to wearing a relaxer. They made me feel so ugly for wearing an afro. They truly damaged my psyche. I was struggling to find my self and my concept of beauty. I had grown weary of being the hair model and the hair, growing, moneymaker. Whatever, my mother told me to do with my hair, I did it. I was not expected to think or have an opinion.

Janice Temple with relaxed hair

So I was forced to conform to the status quo of wearing my hair in a relaxed manner and do hair shows until I left for Paris, France at age 24 years old. My mother gave me a bon voyage party and invited all of her customers plus friends and family. They gave me money plus tons of gifts. It was an incredible outpouring of love to my mother as sent her oldest daughter off to Europe.

Janice Robinson in Istanbul with blow-dryed hair

As I packed my international luggage, I had one suitcase for  my clothes and another suitcase for my hair products and tools. My hair suitcase included salon size products of relaxers, conditioners, setting lotions, blow dry conditioner, scissors, curling irons, rollers, steam rollers, hair twists, combs, detangling combs, boar brushes, portable hair dryer, and blow dryers. It was amazing I moved to Paris with a beauty salon in my suitcase. My values and priorities were all about keeping my hair looking good. I am sure I had to pay overcharge to check those beauty items on Sabena Airlines to Brussels. It didn't matter the cost, I was fully indoctrinated into the straight  hair beauty concept.

Janice Robinson with braid extensions
While in Paris, I met my ex-husband who was an international basketball player for Stade Francais, the Paris basketball team. We raised our family in France, Belgium, Venezuela, Argentina and Turkey. As we journeyed from country to country it became cumbersome to  carry  and pack a beauty salon in a suitcase.  Besides I had babies to raise, my priorities shifted from my hair to my family. I didn't have the time to spend doing my hair. I also began to admire the hairstyles of my African sisters. My desire to wear my natural hair returned with my travels.

Janice Robinson with twists

In Paris, one day I found myself homesick. I decided to to go the African beauty salons near Sacre Coeur. I walked from one salon to another until I settled on a salon where four African sister were braiding the hair of one woman. I sat in that salon until nightfall, not speaking word, just watching them do hair. It is funny the things you miss when you live overseas. I had wanted to get away from my mother's beauty salon, but when I was homesick I found comfort sitting in a salon all day. Isn't that weird?

Janice Temple with twisted locs

My "Aha" moment regarding my hair happened while I was living in Istanbul with my ex-husband and my first two children. One day I went to Akbank to make a deposit and the teller looked at my daughter Cendrine's hair which was in braids. Then she looked at my relaxed hair. She asked "Niye"? That means "why". She was asking me why did I perm my hair. Then she pointed to my daughter's hair. She said, "Cok Guzel" which means very good. The Turkish bank teller told me that my daughter had good hair, that natural hair was good.  My pscyhe and self-esteem awakened by those three simple Turkish words from that young Turkish bank teller. If only she knew, how much of an impact that she had one me.

Janice Temple with twisted locs

After we left Turkey, we moved to Argentina where I went into a salon to have my hair cut into an afro. it was the first time I wore my hair in a natural since age 16 years old. I was finally liberated. There were no old women to chastise me into conforming. The wonderful thing about living and traveling the world is self-discovery. Travel teaches you about yourself.

Janice Temple with twisted locs dyed blonde at the tips

Every since that moment in Turkey, I have been a trendsetter in my hairstyles on my own terms. I have worn an afro, twists, cornrolls, natural hair straight blow dry, and now locks. I have created my own beauty. I am trendsetter with my hairstyles. I know who I am. I know what image I wish to portray. I am proud of my natural, curly, kinky, nappy hair.

Janice Temple with twists (second to left)

Gabby Douglas you are an international citizen of the world now. You are a trendsetter. The women who tried to make you conform to their standard of beauty will now conform to your standard of beauty. God has lifted you above them and their condescending conversations. Those women do not know who they are. If they were comfortable with their beauty, they would not have attacked your beauty.

Janice Temple with twisted locs

Gabby Douglas know that whatever hairstyle you wear that millions of little girls will want to be you. They will want to wear their hair like yours. So Gabby be proud of your beautiful dark chocolate skin and your beautiful hair. Do not allow others to define you. For God has uplifted you and set you apart, you are blessed to be a role model.

Photo courtesy of "Gabby Douglas is presented with the first box of Corn Flakes."

Gabby Douglas just do you!

Guest Blogger and Mama of Nubian Fitness Goddess

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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Root: Focus on Obesity

Today I attended the Root's Focus On Obesity Conference in D.C. We discussed the challenges that the Black Community faces in terms of Health and Wellness. As I am sure you all know our community is in crisis with 60 % of Black folks overweight or obese. It is great to see the doing something to help our community.  This conference was a part of the Root's Black Fit and Healthy series. It was very inspiring to hear from the panelists: Mayor Ron Dellums; former Trenton, N.J. Mayor Douglas Palmer; President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Outreach Director Lauren Darensbourg; Black Women's Health Imperative President Eleanor Hinton Hoytt; health writer Sheree Crute. They discussed topics ranging from healthier community planning to strategies for narrowing health disparities.

Attending this conference really reminded me of how important it is that we each do our part. So what are you doing to make a transformation???  Also we have to encourage each other to engage in healthy behaviors. So invite your friends, sister, mom next time you go to your favorite workout class.

Oh and they provided a yummy and healthy Breakfast and Lunch (see below).