Laila Ali may be a health guru, but eating right doesn’t come easy to the boxing champion and mom of two. Ali recently told BET that she has to work extra hard to keep in shape because she comes from a family of soulful eaters.
“I’m naturally a big girl so I had to work hard to lose weight because my family is big boned. A lot of times women will say, ‘You look good,’ but they don’t know how much more work it takes.”
The former boxer adds that it was especially hard to lose weight after her second child was born. Instead of attempting to lose the weight alone, Laila challenged her Facebook followers to diet and exercise with her in an effort to shed pounds. “I did a Facebook challenge to women. I was like, ” ‘Hey, I’m always talking about losing weight and what you need to do and now I need to do it too. So who wants to do it with me?’ I wanted to take that challenge to the people, let them see the weight come off and encourage them. I gave the information, tools and encouragement that they needed. I’m still not where I want to be. I’d love to be my fighting weight. But, for me, that’s just not realistic. I was working out three times a day to be that size, but working out was my job. I don’t have that type of time or commitment anymore. That’s 15 to 20 pounds lighter than I am now and I’m a 165 pounds. It’s just about accepting a realistic version of yourself and striving to be better. I like to eat, so…”
Laila also gave insight into her decision to star on NBC’s new reality competition series Stars Earn Stripes, which airs Mondays at 9pm/8c on NBC. “I don’t have any regrets. It’s just that I’m a mom, I have young kids, so it was kind of scary doing the things I was doing.”
Laila and husband Curtis Conway parent five children in all, though the couple only have two children together.