Laila Ali's Knockout Advice For Black Women In Pursuit Of Living Their Best (Healthy) Lives

TJ Maxx

Laila Ali wants you to be methodical about taking care of yourself...no excuses.
Kimberly Wilson Nov, 02, 2018

There’s very little that the “Greatest” can’t do.

After following in her father’s footsteps, Laila Ali mastered boxing and became an undefeated champion. Not to mention, the wife and mother is a bestselling author, and oversees a healthy lifestyle and cooking brand. Did we mention she also killed it on Season 4 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars?

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Now, she’s encouraging other Black women to take control of their health to live their best, most healthy life. Why is that? Besides the obvious, Black women need to make their health and wellbeing a top priority. According to Ali, “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.”

Her secret? Putting herself first. “I like to schedule time for myself, because otherwise it just won’t happen,” shares Ali. A secret that many of us truly have yet to master. But between juggling her family life, and her successful career, it’s become a necessity.

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“One thing that I do regularly is make sure I go get my mani/pedi and massage every two weeks,” she continued. “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.”

Ali continues, “I’m passionate about encouraging others to live their best life, and I truly believe that a lot of that comes from nutrition. 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.”

But everyone isn’t as fearless as the world champion, who shares the same DNA as Muhammad Ali. But Ali wants Black women to shake that fear in order to, “I recognize that there is fear — fear of the unknown or fear of getting out of your comfort zones — just generally negative thoughts,” she says. “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.”

And Ali even had to take her own advice. Before competing on DWTS Laila nearly walked away from the opportunity. With no previous dancing experience, the idea of the show was terrifying. Of course, Laila did exceptionally well and finished the competition in third place. She learned to conquer fears, never settle and eventually roll with the punches — and she’s determined to inspire others to do the same. The reason? Ali explains, “I did DWTS right after I retired from boxing, so 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.”

She continues, “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.”

Ali enjoyed the experience so much so, that she’s on the road promoting the “What’s Next” sweepstakes for fans to enter to win a trip to LA along with a guest to attend a live taping of Dancing With The Stars in the spring of 2019. Ali shares, “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.” Fans can enter to win the sweepstakes at www.WinWhatsNext.com.