USA Weekend ran an article about the 5’10, full figured, Cover Girl singer-actress-comedienne. Having seen the beauty in a few films convinced me that she was the real deal, a nobody who became a somebody. Latifah’s star was finally launched when she received an Oscar nomination for her role as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago. She was cast alongside Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones who walked away with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Latifah, a young 41 (from my perspective, anyway), is comfortable in her own skin. ” ‘I accept that I’m me…I don’t have a choice! From the time I really accepted myself, everything got brighter. People were attracted to me for me.’ “ I don’t think I’d find her as charming, if she were a complainer. I like her because she’s a striking woman, cut from a different mold, who’s funny, can laugh at herself, but still takes herself seriously…and is nobody’s fool.
My admiration for her jumped a few notches since learning that Latifah is also disciplined when it comes to taking care of her physical, and mental, well-being.
” ‘The first thing [I do] is to get on the treadmill for a mile,’ says Latifah, who has used a personal trainer for years. ‘Then it could be circuit training. Sometimes we’ll walk 3 or 4 miles outside, come in and do strength training. Sometimes it’s just yoga. Yoga’s great for calming your mind, loosening up, stretching and strengthening. And allowing you to feel pain and move through it. All things you need in life.’ “
Latifah is not without sin. Her favorite? Mac and cheese. “I know what to eat and what not to eat. But I just like doing what I want, you know? I’m rebellious like that!’ “ I also like that about her…a streak of the rebel.
With her signature, hearty laugh, Latifah confirms that her secret to a healthy body is…doing cardio…eating smaller potions…lots of water…no food 3 hours before bedtime…and lots of exercise. I’m also grateful that she has no use for plastic surgery. ” ‘What do you need to Botox your face for at age 25? Really? If you’re doing that at 25, what are you going to do at 50?’ “ Latifah only subscribed to having breast reduction surgery in 2003 to alleviate back pain. I can relate to that. Back pain, I mean. Not big boobs.
In Latifah’s own words…
Queenly tips for living the good life
Break bad habits: Latifah started smoking at 14 and has ‘fought against it my whole life.’ She has quit ‘several times,’ sometimes for years, only to light up again. Her mantra? ‘Be honest. Be aware. And absolutely try again. Don’t beat yourself up.’
Attract love: ‘You have to not seek it. You have to be it. Love yourself first. It will come to you naturally. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to be needy. Be open. And don’t judge the package it comes in.’
Do what you love: ‘If you’re passionate about it and it’s realistic, then you have to do it. Why wait? As long as you are breathing, you’ve got a chance to do something different.’
Embrace your age: Getting older is ‘a blessing. It means you’re still alive.’
Be realistic: ‘You gotta be honest with yourself, No. 1. If you like to eat sweets at night, then you’ve got to prepare for it. You have to plan. Instead of eating the whole thing, just eat some of it.’
Give back: ‘So many people need help. Sponsor a child instead of giving a gift, or donate to an organization on someone’s behalf. Or take your [old] clothes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. When you give, you can’t imagine how it’s going to come back to you. It always does.’
I think I’ll be following some womanly advice throughout this next year…
…and all the years thereafter…