The champ is here and she’s telling Black women to master their health in order to unlock their healthiest, best lives! 

“We’re taking care of everyone else, and a lot of times we come last. Sometimes it’s hard for us to slow down and take care of the things we know we’re supposed to do. I always try to remind people that if you care about your loved ones and want to take care of them, you’ve definitely got to take care of yourself first,” Laila Ali told Essence

PHOTO: Well+Good

The former boxing champion, who clearly has her father’s (the incomparable Muhammad Ali) fighting spirit, is an advocate for self-care and admits “me-time” has to be scheduled or it could get overlooked. 

“One thing that I do regularly is make sure I go get my mani/pedi and massage every two weeks. I take time to meditate, workout and plan my meals for the week to make sure I’m getting the nutrition that I need. Those are a few things that I do, and I would encourage others to incorporate them into their daily lives as well.”

It’s a cliche saying but in cases like this, the little things really do make a world of difference and for Ali, these are just a few things that help her align her life. She also put extra emphasis on nutrition because in her eyes, “If you’re not eating right, then you don’t have the proper nutrition that you body and your brain needs to fully function at your best.”

The mother of two also addressed how fear is a barrier found in many women’s lives; Ali wants women, especially Black women, to eliminate fear from their life’s equation. 

“I recognize that there is fear — fear of the unknown or fear of getting out of your comfort zones — just generally negative thoughts. In any area of your life it’s the only way that you’ll get stronger, or get better. Whoever you look up to, or put on a pedestal, know that they have fears too. They just learned how to push past it. Recognize that the fear is there, and actually push through — be strategic and methodical about it. Take the leap.”

There was a time Ali had to push past her own fear to accomplish a task at hand. In 2007, shortly after retiring from boxing, she was invited to be a competitor on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) and she graciously accepted. 

PHOTO: Parade

“… it was a fun opportunity for me to show a different side of myself, although it taught me how to take on a challenge that I was uncomfortable with and push past my fears.”

Ali pushed right past her uncertainties into third place on the dance show! But something else helped her move out of her comfort zone as well: 

“I like to win when I go into things. Being an undefeated boxer with 21 knockouts, I really wanted to do well. I kept my eyes on the prize and I went all the way to the finals. It was a fun experience for me.”

Embracing her winning attitude helped her get far in her career, on DWTS and in life. Currently, she is hoping to bring that spirit to someone else with the What’s Next sweepstakes which will allow a lucky fan (and a guest) of DWTS an opportunity to attend a 2019 live taping of the show in LA! 

“We’re always trying to encourage people to embrace what’s next in life, whether it’s becoming a parent, or getting older, changing careers and just going into it with a positive outlook. That’s why the whole idea really resonated with me.”

Positivity! A major key on the road to living one’s best life! 

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