An Staffer Takes the High Road to Wellness With Dr. Ian's Help

When I approached about my desire to write more about health in our communities and the Hip-Hop generation, I had you all in my heart, but my own reflection in the mirror. Yes, I’m gorgeous, 35, but don’t look a day over 30, and the mother of a teenager who often gets mistaken for my sister. But I’m just on the other side of “thick,” and while I have had my ample, apple bottom eyed by many a rapper, I feel too heavy and uncomfortable in my weight for my own good.

Wellness is not just about weight, looks, or clothing sizes. A sedentary lifestyle can cause DVT, the blood clot that killed Heavy D, or heart disease as suffered by Erick Sermon, which caused him to have a heart attack at the youthful age of 42. Hip-Hop has plenty of big men, of whom we are accepting. I mean, we have all seen Rick Ross with his shirt off. However, the road to true wellness is a healthy lifestyle. One that consists of regular exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, and limiting one’s intake of alcohol. Health, after all, is wealth.

When discussed with my colleagues, Dr. Ian Smith’s name was the first to be mentioned as a resource. If he could help Jackee Harry lose 39 pounds, Bizarre of D12 drop 31 pounds, and Young MC, the winner of Season 3, drop 38 pounds, I figure he can definitely help me drop 35 pounds. So, with the help of a copy of The Extreme Fat Smash Diet, I step into "Celebrity Fit Club, The Home Edition."


The first thing to remember when starting any weight loss regimen is to see your doctor. If you are able, visit a physician and have a full physical done to make sure that any sudden changes to your diet will not jeopardize your health. After my physical, where I was given a clean bill of health, excluding the fact that I need to lose weight, I visited the next most important person on my list, my hairstylist.

For many Black women, the battle of what to do with our hair while at the same time exercising for health is an unending one. It wasn’t a problem for many years, because I wore locks, but since I cut them, and began to style my hair in various ways, I was concerned about how to get a good workout while at the same time looking presentable at my day job as a college-level writing instructor. I settled on a curly, natural looking sew-in weave that requires minimal maintenance. Next, the food.

I have a love affair with food. I love to eat, and not a small amount of food either. I love the big portions at my favorite Cuban restaurant; I love the unnaturally large servings at my soul food spot. I love vegetables, too, especially if they have been simmering in smoked meat for so long that the nutrients cook out. I have terrible eating habits. Add to that, I’m a journalist and am regularly invited to special events where the food and alcohol are often free; I then add calories with sweet drinks, sliders, and wings.

So can Dr. Ian help even a seemingly hopeless case like me? Well, that remains to be seen. I am going to do my best to stick to the plan and will update you on my progress. Meanwhile, read the interview I did with Dr. Ian, and for more information on how to create your weight loss program visit