Growing up as a little girl, I can remember my mom spending a lot of time straightening my hair. She would go through the process of washing and pressing it, then she would section it out into some nice, pretty ponytails and I would head outside to play. On my way out the door she would yell, “Don’t sweat your hair out!,” a phrase most black women heard growing up.
What my mom meant was I shouldn’t go outside and get all sweaty, because that would reverse all the work she had just done. Any moisture on my hair would result in it becoming puffy and curly again. Many women grow up with the mentality of avoiding any type of sweat for fear of messing up their hair. Some even go as far as avoiding exercise in the name of beauty.
Black women have the type of hair that requires a lot of maintenance, and if time and money are spent in the beauty salon getting it styled and straightened, most aren’t likely to hit the gym and allow sweat to ruin it. Unfortunately, when this happens, health suffers. Some may think avoiding workouts to keep their hair intact isn’t a big deal, but the issue is serious.
In fact, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin made an appearance at the recent Bonner Brothers International Hair Show in Atlanta, an annual show that features around 60,000 hair stylists. Dr. Benjamin, who is an African-American woman, wants to make sure black women know that a hairstyle shouldn’t keep you out of the gym.
This week we caught up with Carla Triplett, a contestant from Biggest Loser‘s season 7, during her stay at Biggest Loser Resort in Utah. When her season started just shy of two years ago, Carla weighed in as the heaviest woman in the show’s history at 379 pounds. By finale, she had lost a total of 128 pounds, most of that was on her own due to some unfortunate game play that didn’t give her too much time at the ranch.
Today, Carla is still working hard to live her fitter, healthier life, but admits to us that “I fell off the wagon.” While she has never stopped her daily workout regimen, a busy schedule has put her in a position where she finds herself relying on more fast-food than she’d like. While anyone can fall off the wagon, she says you can always get back up… and she’s right! Carla credits her fitness regimen with helping her maintain her weight, not gain, and says that the time at Biggest Loser Resort is helping her to get back on track with the food.
Watch our interview with Carla now as she talks about maximizing the benefits of Biggest Loser Resort, how she plans to make a healthier Thanksgiving this year, and her approach to loving yourself and your body.
With four votes against them, the Silver Team was eliminated from the Biggest Loser Ranch. Carla and Joelle may have been sent packing to their homes in Michigan, but both are in it for the long haul and ready to make some amazing changes.
Carla and Joelle were not able to attend the interview together, but you can hear them separately below.