It’s crazy to think that last year, Nicole Ari Parker gained 30 pounds because she says she was more worried about sweating out her perm while working out than hitting the gym and staying fit. When I first read that I was surprised, but I have to admit there have been some times where I’ve skipped a work-out (or two) for the same reason because sometimes just wrapping up your hair doesn’t cut it. Nicole says she was way more worried about her hair looking fly than her body looking fit, only working out 20 minutes a day and thinking that was enough. She eventually put her vanity to the side, changed up her routine, and says that she now has the solution to a problem that has plagued many black women when it comes to beauty and working out: ‘Save Your Do Gymwrap,’ a head wrap that pulls out sweat and moisture from the scalp without messing up your hair. In a recent interview with ESPN, she dished on her new invention and why it was so important for her to get back in the gym:
On Putting Her Hair Before Her Body
“I would have pancakes. I’d take my kids to school. I’d have lunch. I’d have pasta and mashed potatoes with butter for dinner and a glass of wine and I’m not doing anything. Maybe 20 minutes on the treadmill.
“But my hair was tight.”
On Working Out With the Gymwrap
“[With the head wrap] I went through 45 minutes of intense boot camp with multiple circuit training, indoors and outdoors,” said Parker, who went through 17 prototypes before settling on the final version. “I washed it. I dried it. I threw it on the floor. I really tried to find a way to make it perfect.”
On Juggling Life, Fashion, & Working Out
“I’m just going by the patterns I see and the patterns I see are we, as women, just want to put our best self forward all the time. Between the kids, the jobs and everything, no matter what color you are, cardio is probably not on the top of your list. You think you need the newest shoe and the newest outfit. We forget exercising is free. We forget it only takes a little bit every day.”
Every time Nicole hits the gym, she sports a ‘Black Women Work Out Too’ t-shirt that hopefully inspires other ladies to think about their bodies, especially when there are studies out there saying that by 2020 up to 70% of black women will be obese. Daaaannnng.
Her husband Boris Kodjoe is equally passionate about urging women to get back in the gym and living a healthier lifestyle. Last August, he dropped some statistics on obesity on twitter and started a trending topic #FatExcuses