My name is Linda and about six years ago I was not happy with who I had become. My mother passed away in 2000 I was angry because she left me here.  I ate everything in sight from Little Debbie Snack cakes to bags and bags of M & M’s.  I didn’t care who called me out my name the only thing I cared about was eating.  I had a so called friend or so I thought she would insult me and i would sit there and laugh even though it hurt me the most.  As long as I ate and laughed at the jokes I accepted what people did to me.  I was in school and I had a professor ask me if I was a gay because I am over 40 and i wasn’t married.  It hurt and yes I felt so empty.  My mother would often say to me when you get tired you will do something about you and I did.  Even though I was over weight I took Yoga 3 days a week and a dance class 2 days a week.  I was at my heaviest at 263lbs I didn’t have a trainer.  While in college I had the yoga professors look at me as if I was something foreign and yes there were insults so I went to the very back of the class.  See even though I was over weight I was a dancer all through my youth but never had the money to follow my dreams.  I was still limber enough to do every move that was presented to me.  The professors would look at me as if how can she accomplish this as large as I was.  I come from very meager beginnings but I managed to get to where i am right now, through God, meditation and your inspirational photos.  Thank you!  Here is my before Picture and an after picture.  I still have work to do but it is no longer a struggle for me and now I pass by Little Debbie and smile….. My before picture and my after picture!!!



What is your story?  Share your inspirational fitness story to us here at BWDWO! Your story could inspire dozens!

Email Jontae Shepherd at Jontae@bwdwo.com with your story and photo(s). Please put “Fitness Story” in the subject area.


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One of the biggest questions African American women have in regards to working out. How to tame our HAIR!!! We understand getting fit and have a fresh do are typically very hard. We have researched a few tips to help our lovely BWDWO ladies along the way.


  1. Use a dry shampoo. Prior to working out spray your scalp with a dry shampoo. This will help keep your scalp sweat from frizzing up your lovely tresses.
  2. Wrap your hair. Use a silk wrap to keep your hair taut and in place. After you have completed your workout wait until you have cooled down to unwrap your hair.
  3. If you are bold enough, workout in your rollers! Yep, rollers have enough pressure to keep your roots and ends from frizzing up.
  4. If you have a fresh do it is now a great time to strength train. Strength training allows you a great workout and you will lower your risk of sweating around your hairline.
  5. If you prefer straight hair, try a Brazilian blow out. Although they can be pricey, around $200, a Brazilian blowout is a keratin treatment that will leave your hair silky straight for about 3 months!


So those are our tips and tricks! Don’t let you your “do” hinder your workout progress! And just in case you haven’t thought about it, give natural hair a try. Not only are natural coils awesome but they are gym friendly!

Take care BWDWO Sisters