“I tell women, healthy is the new sexy,” Verna Laboy, health educator for Columbia/Boone County, MO public health and human services declared. Laboy runs the Live Well By Faith program. Since heading up this program, she herself has lost 40 pounds and lowered her A1C to a healthy level by diet and exercise.
She is an advocate for how health needs to be woven into our everyday lives. Through various classes and programs, she helps women learn how to change their lives by incorporating ways to cook, eat, exercise, garden and live healthier.
“I have to be authentic from inside out,” Laboy explained. “People have to see that what I’m teaching is really working for me. I’m taking the medicine that I’m spoon feeding others. I don’t want to just put makeup on and feel good. I really want to be good at the cellular level.”
Her goal is for women to begin to take a stand for their own health. “You have to be a little selfish. You have to learn that you are worth fighting for. In this day and age when health insurance isn’t all it used to be, we need to do things differently. We have to give our minds, bodies and souls an opportunity to heal. We don’t have to live our lives traumatized and on a roller coaster. We can say enough is enough.”
The fact that individuals are now living longer is another reason we should be especially concerned about our health, Laboy went on to explain. “Who wants to live a long life in a nursing facility or having to pay anyone to do anything for you because you can’t? I want to be able to get out and do yard work, plant flowers and enjoy my garden and go for walks.”
She said as a grandmother herself, “that means I need to do stretching, exercising, strength conditioning because I’m not 18 anymore. I don’t want to be limited in mobility because I’m eating a bunch of junk and destroying my organs.”
God cares about our bodies, Laboy added. “Our bodies are His temple. We cannot carry the mantle of the assignment on our lives if we are sick. There are foods we eat in this country that are banned in other countries. Not everything we eat that tastes good to us is good for us. It’s time for us to open up to the information that will save our lives and the legacy we are leaving our families.”
Obstacles to the health journey are everywhere, she went on to say. One obstacle is cultural foods and foods others in our homes want to eat. Another is the increased health issues in the African American community with diabetes being three times as high in that population. However, she feels one of the biggest obstacle to eating healthy is “feeling alone while doing it, especially when you have never really taken a stand for yourself before.
“It is very lonely, to be quite honest, unless you become a part of a community,” she added. “That’s where Live Well by Faith is strong. We are building a community of like-minded individuals where we are coaching one another. They are using new language and they are talking about their health.”
All too often those with healthy living or weight issues use food as an emotional support. This is another reason to have a community where individuals encourage and support each other.
To listen to episode 25 of Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast, go here: https://teresashieldsparker.com/episode-25-verna-laboy-healthy-is-the-new-sexy
For those interested in joining an online healthy living teaching and support community, Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy is open now. For more information, go here: https://TeresaShieldsParker.com/overcomers-christian-weight-loss-academy/