Big Girls Workout Too!

Photo by Tevin Stinson

Big Girls Workout Too!
October 11
05:00 2017

Last weekend, local author and motivational speaker India Reaves and nearly two dozen women started on their personal journeys to a healthier mind, body and spirit when she launched her one-of-a-kind workout program, “Big Girls Workout Too!”.

Since losing her mother and father to heart attacks at a young age Reaves, who is also a teacher at Parkland IB Magnet School, has been determined to lead a healthier lifestyle than her parents did. Reaves said although she had two wonderful parents, like most African American households they didn’t always eat as healthy as they should and most don’t exercise regularly.

As a result, blacks have a greater rate of fatal and non-fatal strokes as well as heart disease.  Reaves said she made the decision to help other women lead healthier lives a year ago when she started going to the gym every morning at 5:30.  She said although it was hard she was determined to live.

“People ask me all the time what’s my weight goal or my pants size but I tell them living is the goal,” said Reaves. “My mom passed at 42 I’m celebrating big for 43. My dad passed away at 45 I’m celebrating big for 46. That’s the goal.”

“This is my worship. What better way to praise the Lord than taking care of the temple that he gave you? I want us all to live long healthy lives. This is more than a workout plan.”

Reaves said when she asked some of her friends why they didn’t like going to the gym, many said they were intimidated.

“It’s an intimidation thing. Not from anyone intimidating them but their perception of what it looks like. Now that I go in there regularly, I see how many people don’t know what they’re doing,” said Reaves. “You have to go in the gym with a plan. So, I wanted to create a place where big girls can come work out comfortable but I wanted it to be more than just a workout.”

To kick-off the first session at Greater Commission Community Church last Saturday morning, Tanesha Hamilton, a certified chef, led a cooking demonstration to teach those in attendance how to make their favorite dishes healthier. Esther Bryant followed Robinson by discussing proper undergarments for women and where to find them. Reaves then led a discussion on keeping a healthy life balance. Local trainer Nichole Raynor wrapped up the day by leading an intense workout session that included everything from jumping jacks and push-ups to planks and burpees.

Those in attendance also had the opportunity to win special prizes, including a free workout session from Nichole and a free meal cooked by Robinson. Zoe’s Kitchen, Fleet Feet Sports, GNC, The Vitamin Shop, and Tropical Smoothie also made donations.

The best part about Big Girls Workout Too! is that everything is free of charge.

“This didn’t cost me anything and you can’t put a price on saving someone’s life because even if they don’t walk away from this program health nuts; there’s a seed being planted,” continued Reaves. “I’m saving lives nobody charged me to save my life.”

During an interview with The Chronicle last week, Reaves said this is only the beginning for Big Girls Workout Too! She said she hopes to start a weekly newsletter to keep participants on their personal journeys. She said the program will also work as a support system.

For more information on “Big Girls Workout Too!”, contact India Reaves at (336) 624-1221 or by email at

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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