Is Your Thick Fit? Fitness Expert Laticia “Action” Jackson Helps Black Women ‘Change The Norm’
Is Your Thick Fit? Fitness Expert Laticia “Action” Jackson Wants Black Women To Change The Norm
Tired of playing the size game? Ready to learn the tools necessary to eat, feel and look your best from the inside out? Health and fitness expert Laticia “Action” Jackson shares the key to achieving optimal health – no matter your size – with her new book, Changing the Norm: A Woman’s Guide to Eating, Looking and Feeling Her Best.
With the term “thick” rapidly being accepted as embracing a few extra pounds, Jackson cautions Black women to put aside the images portrayed to us in our homes, communities, as well as mass media and take control of their well-being. Recently, BlackDoctor.org had the opportunity to catch up with the 2008 Fitness Olympian, who stressed the urgency of making time for ourselves.
“One of the things I really try to encourage women is I don’t care if you only get 20 minutes – doing something for yourself each day is important,” said Jackson.
When asked about the inspiration behind her latest book Jackson replied: “I’ve been in this field for 16 years. As a professional athlete, I’m usually the only Black woman inside my circle and one thing I noticed is, that while there’s an overabundance of health, fitness and nutrition books available for today’s consumer, the health and wellness market really wasn’t paying attention to African American women and the challenges we face when trying to shed extra pounds, proper nutrition, and fitness.”
As health fanatics know far too well, obesity has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and many forms of cancer. “If you look at the health disparity of African American women, we are literally dying,” Jackson stressed. “The data is alarming. According to the CDC, 4 out of 5 African American women are obese. So, I just said you know what? I’m going to take the next six months and write a book that’s just for us.”
Naturally, our chat with Jackson opened the door to several questions. For highlights from our Q&A, keep scrolling.
BlackDoctor.org: What would you like to be the biggest takeaway from your latest volume?
Jackson: “I think that the title of the book really implies it. I think that just because our culture looks the way that it does – that it has to be our norm. Just because your mother had diabetes and your grandmother had diabetes, don’t mean that you have to follow suit. We have the power to change the things we don’t like.”
“Here’s what I think. When I look at our culture, and I look at African-American women, [I like to observe] there are times when I’m just out and about and I see women who have no genetic relation, yet their bodies are predisposed to carry fat in their midsection, hips and backside. While it’s true genetics plays a role in us developing diseases, at the same we have the power to prevent that. That’s where the title Changing the Norm comes in. If that [acceptance] has become out norm, we need to change it.”
BlackDoctor.org: Where do you think many people are sabotaging themselves when trying to make a change and live a healthy life?
Jackson: “I think cultural influences have a huge impact on how one approaches weight loss. Let’s look at the word “normal” for a minute. If you were raised in a culture where the mother was overweight and heavy and the children were overweight and heavy, no one looks at that as there’s something wrong with this picture. It becomes their norm which then makes you desensitized to it.”
“Take for instance the words we use to describe our bodies today. I can’t emphasize enough to women that the word “thick” is not a medical term. That is a cultural term that has really – in my belief – negatively impacted out health. Because if being “thick” is a good thing, I’m not consciously aware of when I am gaining weight.”
“It’s very scary, because we’re not thick, we’re morbidly obese.”