Staying Fit-Finding the right gym

Staying Fit..

It’s all in your head

The majority of gym goers experience apprehension for one reason or another. In one study, nearly 65% of women admit to avoiding the gym due to anxiety or fear of being judged. Some people are better at hiding it, and other people have been able to move on from their insecurities. However, the same study found that you’re about twice as likely to feel like you’re being judged, than you are to actually be judged.

Chances are: unless someone is making a point of making you uncomfortable, they aren’t judging you at all. You could actually be their source of motivation!

Remember why you’re going to the gym, and write down your goals.

Whether you’re trying to get in better shape for a specific event or making a dedicated effort to take control of your health, write down your “why”. Avoiding illness? Class reunion coming up? Wedding? Making sure you’re healthy enough to be there for your loved ones? What is your Big Why?

Whatever the reason, write it down and put your “why” somewhere you can see it regularly.

Then, set SMART goals and refer to them regularly. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

This is a proven system that you can apply to almost any aspect of your life. You can find a fitness-specific template here, or get creative and make your own. Make sure you have short-term and long-term goals.

Reminding yourself why you need to go to the gym and having set goals and timelines will keep you focused. You’ll be less likely to talk yourself out of the gym if you remember why you need to go.

Getting in shape..

Find the right gym

Unless you live in a very rural or isolated area, chances are you have several gym options to choose from. Price, hours of operation, and location will all play a role in your decision – but those shouldn’t be the only factors. Some gyms cater to hardcore fitness enthusiasts, while others specifically target the average Joe. There are even female-only gyms!

Make an appointment for a tour of the facility. Try to go during the time of day you expect to be exercising to get an idea of how many people will be there. Do they offer a free consultation or a trial membership for free? If so, take advantage of it to familiarize yourself with the equipment and personnel.

A gym’s culture and atmosphere can vary a lot from location to location and even by the time of day. You’ll just need to do some research to get started.

For more tips on choosing the right gym, give this article a quick read.

Get a workout buddy

There is strength in numbers! Having a workout partner increases your odds of success in SO MANY ways! First of all, you’re less likely to bail on a workout if you’re meeting someone. Secondly, unless you’re at vastly different fitness levels, you’re both going to be struggling together.

Chances are that you know someone who is in the same spot as you are, fitness-wise. If not, ask the gym manager if anyone is looking for a workout buddy. Make a commitment to each other and yourselves to hold each other accountable. You’ll feel more comfortable when you’re not alone, and you can cheer each other on.

Another great place to find a workout buddy and make friends is in the exercise classes offered by your gym.

Don’t go to the gym without a plan

When you fail to plan, plan to fail. If you walk into the gym without a plan of action, you’ll probably spend most of your time there deciding what to do than actually working out. This will only make you feel more self-conscious.

Use a workout journal, an app on your phone, or download a template from the internet. Find a plan that is realistic, but challenging given your current level of fitness. Some gyms even have mobile apps specific to their equipment and locations.

Article by Ajima Jackson

Lupita Nyong’o vs Alicia Keys: Black Beauty Standard


What is beauty? Many say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore anyone can come up with their own definition of beauty.  I can agree with that to a certain extent. We all have our own personal like and dislikes.  But in a male dominated society the beauty of a woman is very important.  There are many good looking men in the world but it only carries you so far as a man.  But for women their beauty can open many doors for them.  A man is usually judged by his financial status.  It’s ultimately about what is his income and can he be a provider.  There are many women who have college degrees and make a lot of money nowadays.  But for the most part women are still judged by their beauty.  Their beauty is seen as social capital.  Not only is our society dominated by men…but also dominated by Europeans.  This makes things doubly hard for black/African women.  The woman in the picture above is actress Lupita Nyong’o.  Over the last few years she has taken Hollywood by storm. Lupita is an African woman.  She was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya.  She has been praised for her acting ability most notably the film 12 Years a Slave.  Which he won an Academy award for.  But she has also been praised for her beauty.  When I first saw her in an interview back in 2013 I thought she was a stunning beauty.  She had a beautiful smile,full lips and smooth dark chocolate skin. She has a very asymmetrical face. Her beauty seems almost otherworldly.  I was somewhat surprised that the media was giving her so much praise.  The white media rarely gives praise to a black woman with her skin tone and features. I haven’t seen this since maybe Lauryn Hill. Lauryn was a close second by the way.  I almost picked her for this post. But it was praise that was well deserved.  Although I find her gorgeous there are far more light skinned/biracial women that get more praise in the media.


Which brings me to singer/actress Alicia Keys.  Many black men I’ve talked to say that Alicia Keys is a beautiful woman. She’s not a bad looking woman at all.  But I’ve heard people say that she is a great representation of a beautiful black woman. This is a serious problem in the black community.  The problem is that Alicia Keys is biracial/mixed. She has a  white mother. The issue is really not about Alicia Keys.  I’m just using her as an example.  It’s more about what she represents. And I’ve heard other people say that actresses like Paula Patton,Halle Berry,Stacey Dash,Zendaya Coleman,Zoe Kravitz,Tracee Ellis Ross,Thandie Newton and Carmen Ejogo ..described as beautiful black women.  Even though they are all biracial women. This is the problem with the black beauty standard. And this is what needs to change. We have to be honest about this.

This video by Youtuber Chrissie explains the problem of biracial women getting so much shine.  Many of them get offended and upset when this reality is pointed out.  The reality is that a women like Alicia Keys should not be the representative of black beauty.  Every race and ethnic group has it’s own standard.  Whites have a standard and Asians have their standard.  When a woman is part Chinese and part African,the Chinese  do not accept that woman as their standard of beauty.  They will say she’s mixed race and in most cases most Asians don’t accept them as Asian at all.  So why is it so different with black people? Why do black people so willingly accept biracial women as OUR standard of beauty?


As far as an African standard of beauty I would choose Lupita. Some of you may disagree with me.  I know there are thousands of African woman I could choose from.  I have featured many of them here on my blog.  But Lupita is an easy choice considering she is in the spotlight at the moment.  I think the one-drop rule has brainwashed millions of black people.  We think anything that is lighter skinned and light eyes is a better representation of blackness.  A watered down version is better than what we really look like.  There are millions of dark skinned and brown skinned black women who never make it big in the acting or modeling world.  And the few that do are not seen as “classic beauties”.  They are always seen as the “exotic other”.  Much the same way many whites in Hollywood look at Lupita.  But I really don’t care what racist whites think.  I’m more concerned about what we think and how we feel about each other.  We can no longer let the pseudoscience of the one drop rule over us anymore. We should be able to create our own standard of beauty.  We should not let another group of people dictate to us what should be considered attractive.


It’s okay if people disagree with me.  But who would you choose?  Name three women you think would be a good representation of black beauty. They can be actresses,models,singers etc.  What is African beauty? What should black beauty look like? What women would represent it the best?