Black Women Do Work Out

A smiling woman on the treadmill at the gymAfter the birth of her second child, first, Kenyatta Duckworth’s hair started falling out.

“My hair was coming out by the handfuls,” she explains in her blog. “When I washed my hair, I left chunks of hair behind in the sink or bath tub. That was terrifying.”

The hair loss was the first sign of her thyroid disease. The second — significant weight gain. Despite having just lost her pregnancy weight, Duckworth, quickly gained 40 pounds and has struggled to return to her smaller frame of 150 pounds ever since.

Her weight gained has depressed her so much that she avoids going out or taking pictures.

“Being a professional athlete, my husband often gets invited to dinners and nice events, but if I can’t get away with a maxi dress, I am probably not going,” Duckworth says. “I avoid going out and being social as much as possible only going out when I have to.”

But Duckworth, 35, has now found a new eating and workout regimen that gives her hope.

She does this with the help of a new forum of other black women who are also making strides to lose weight and be healthy.

It’s a small stirring going on among black women when it comes to exercising. A tiny tour-de-force of sorts are coming together to try to take control of their health, offering encouragement, advice, and sisterly love to get moving.

Black Women Do Workout is a mission supported by over 128,000 Facebook friends who support each other in getting healthy. And, though it may be not be a watershed event that lowers the bleak health statistics for African American women, founder Crystal Adell believes it’s a start.

“I knew for a fact that there were other women out there who were working out and I got so tired of people telling me ‘I didn’t know black women worked out,” says Adell, a former pharmaceutical manager from Texas. “So, I figured if I turned it around it would make us all feel differently.”

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