Recently I took a long hard look at myself and was not too happy with what I saw. I wish I could blame it on being at home due to COVID-19, but alas, I cannot. It is not just my Pepsi addiction or love of French fries; it is a combination of many things. Not enough reading. Way too much TV and less exercise. OK, I’ll be honest – no exercise. Breaking my habit of intentionally reading my devotions makes my soul restless. As a black woman of a certain age, I must become mindful and intentional about how I take care of myself. Being more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease and high-blood pressure means that not only must I change my diet, but exercise is essential. Committing myself to a healthy mind, body and soul is necessary.
In order for each of us to be healthy, we must have the right tools. Those tools include access and education. For each of us to be healthy, we must intentionally change our “bad” habits and create new, healthier habits. It is not something we can do on our own. That is why this issue of ColorsVA, focuses on health and wellness. The health of individuals affects the health of our community. As a part of our on-going equity series, we look at our healthcare systems in the region and how needs are being addressed. We introduce you again to how one man and his family’s legacy in healthcare has a lasting impact for black people in Roanoke. When we think about healthy living, two women in Roanoke have turned their own journey to wellness into thriving businesses focused on inspiring and helping you reach your healthy potential. If you think racial identity does not affect your mental wellness, then reading part two of one woman’s journey might change your mind. Finding the strength and courage to not let a chronic disease define one’s life is a story we can all learn from. Health and wellness can be achieved with selfcare and good rest. In this issue, you will receive tips on how to accomplish both.
I must remind myself that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and the path to a healthier me requires commitment, a plan and patience. Rome also wasn’t built by just one person. It took a community of folks. Together, let us commit to a healthy community. Share with me your health journey as we work to be accountable for one another.