During 2009, my best friend encouraged me to get involved with social media; she wanted me to join Facebook so finally I did. I did not want to reveal personal information, so I found a fitness page and talked about my morning workouts. There were other women talking about the same thing and we began to encourage each other. Two years later, Sisters in Fitness and Health was born. The Founding members of SIFH communicated via Facebook for over a year, before finally meeting for the first time, in 2012. As we sailed together to the Bahamas, the SISTERHOOD was solidified.
I felt a need to build a sisterhood, SIFH, but that need had nothing to do with being an only child, and everything to do with women needing to look after each other. As women, we should know how to treat each other with respect, consideration and love. However, many of us do not love ourselves, so how are we then expected to love someone else? Sisterhood means, I am going to do whatever I can to help you, and then implore you to do the same for someone else.
Additionally, the SIFH sisterhood focuses on self-love and reminding each other that putting yourself first is critical to a healthy life. We subscribe to the airplane rule; put your mask on first and then help the person next to you. You come before children, parents and spouse. The reason being, without your emotional and physical wellness you cannot be of meaningful assistance to anyone.
Now, let me get back to fitness. I wanted to help women get fit. I became alarmed; no I was mortified, at the obesity rates in the US the highest rate in the African American community. So, I began giving diet and personal training advice online. I organized weekly conference calls and learned so much from these women. For example, I had zero experience with emotional eating, so I researched this and so many other things about nutrition and my findings are too numerous to detail in this article. Then one day, the light of understanding came on for me and I understood why women could not stay motivated and on a sound nutrition plan and why they were emotionally eating. I found there to be two reasons, the first was because emotionally they were sad, depressed and just not coping with matters in their lives very well and the second was that the food and diet industry had made a total mess of things. I feel there is a wealth of misinformation and practices pertaining to food and dieting. So I climbed down from my fitness wagon and began thinking of how SIFH could address these issues, we developed our Guiding Principles: Getting Fit: Mind, Body and Spirit.
As the CEO and founder of SIFH I am turning some of the attention of SIFH to addressing Depression and Mental Disorders. We want to discuss and erase the stigma associated with Depression. Women and men are carrying many burdens to include juggling careers and family, single parenthood and being caretakers of many. Oftentimes people are harboring the guilt of a painful childhood, involved in bad relationships and many other situations simply too numerous to name. This is leading to depression, mental disorders, obesity, stress related disorders and heart disease. It’s time we turn the light on and discuss these matters. Too many are suffering in silence.
SIFH will provide the platform for women and men to announce they have this problem and provide the pathway for them to get the care they need to ensure a rich and positive life. It is possible to live fully and manage depression but when it’s not acceptable to society to say one is depressed this creates an added layer of darkness and denial. SIFH wants to change this and help people get the help they need greatly and are entitled to and let them return to being a full and healthy contributor to their families and communities.
So what is SIFH most proud of?? Everything!! In 2013 we produced the SIFH Calendar, “The Many Faces of Fitness and Health,” which was at home in the US as well as in Afghanistan, London and beautiful South Africa and Ghana. Throughout the year I was told by those that saw the calendar that they found it to be so inspiring. I told these people, “that was its exact purpose, to INSPIRE!” Our 2014 Calendar is shipping now and our theme this year is, “Let’s Go Back to the Beginning.” This theme is what the present generation calls a, “THROWBACK.” Throwback is a reversion to earlier ancestral characteristics. Let’s revert to the ways of the past, food and mankind in its most natural form. Let’s run away from processed, chemical ridden foods and return to foods grown fresh and picked from our own gardens when possible. It promotes spending more time in nature, appreciating the outdoors and allowing the spirit to feel free.
And… that is SIFH and how and why it was built.
What’s next for you!:
Sign Up on the SIFH website for:
- SIFH Membership
- SIFH Quarterly Newsletter
- SIFH Walking Groups
SIFH Calendar of Events:
- SIFH Quarterly Radio Show (guest of best-selling author and Blog Talk Radio Show Host Carolyn Brent; www.blogtalkradio.com)
- SIFH in the Spotlight and Nationwide Model Search for the 2015 Calendar
- SIFH Depression and Pain Conference Calls and Therapy Sessions
- SIFH Wellness Retreat
I would like to thank you for this opportunity to tell you about SIFH. We welcome you to join us as we venture towards a wonderfully fit and healthy future.