Category: Lavish Body

Why Simone Manuel’s Olympic Win Is So Important To Me


#Mood. Simone Manuel after her gold medal win in Rio

Last night, 20 year old Simone Manuel became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. She smashed a world record for the 100 meter freestyle, tying with Canadian athlete Penny Oleksiak. Out of all the decorated athletes of color who won during the games, this win touched me the most. I cried.


In May, I began learning to swim for the first time. After running my first marathon, I wanted to try for something bigger, better, and more challenging — the triathlon. But I had no idea how to swim and held a deep rooted fear of drowning. It’s no secret that Black folks shy away from the water. A 2010 study by USA Swimming found that between 60-70% of Black and Hispanic children can’t swim. Scary. Studies show that this lack of knowledge is due to parents not knowing how to swim. My personal belief is that adversity in swimming is post traumatic syndrome of Black folks being shipped and sometimes dumped overboard. And that fear is still stuck in our DNA.

I enrolled my own daughter in swim lessons, so that we could struggle and learn together. Because water would not be something that we would fear anymore. I also joined a triathlon team so that I could face my fears head-on. My coaches, both Black, are an inspiration to me, as well as my teammates, a powerful group of athletic women of color. I needed to be surrounded by women who looked like me to really know that swimming was possible for a woman like me.


The All Women’s Tri Team

On my first open water swim with my triathlon team, I had a panic attack and clung to my coach as we swam in the Long Island Sound. A few days ago, I learned several dives in the deep end of the pool at our YMCA. And I’ve never felt more confident.

I pray that Black men and women become inspired by Ms. Manuel’s win. I hope that they are encouraged to pursue swimming and jump over that debilitating fear of the water. I’m doing it, and I’m going to conquer my goals.


The Hotness: The Perf-ect Paddle Suit

I’ve been spending alot of time in the water lately. This year has been one filled with a bunch of athletic pursuits, and after running my first marathon, and a few more races, my next threshold to cross is the triathlon. Just a tiny problem. I can’t swim. So I’ve been taking lessons, and even joined the local triathlon team to get a feel for what I’m in for with this 3-part race. My tri coach warmed me not spend more than $30 for a swimsuit, so I dutifully picked up a simple black version on sale at Modells. But this morning, this beauty caught me:


How sexy… And supportive…And sexy! (I said it twice!)

Now, I might not wear this for daily practice, but I wouldn’t mind taking it out for a few leisurely swims. Because I wanna be the hottest athlete in the pool.

Perf-ect Paddle Suit, $118, Lululemon

It’s Cutting Season

Check out 5 Black-Owned Fitness Businesses in NYC To Try This Spring

by LAVISH at Mode

Spandex & Tumbleweeds


It’s been awful quiet around here. For the past several months I’ve been focusing on rebuilding my health, training for races, and my first marathon, in Paris (I’ll post on that over on my travel blog). Hence the over-saturation of health-related posts on my Twitter timeline! But in immersing myself in the world of health and fitness, I had forgotten about my love of fashion. No doubt working out has caused me to lose tons of pounds and inches (over 40!) but my weight loss and lifestyle has relegated me to a sea of spandex and running shoes – both out of fear and complete confusion.

A recent glance at my closet had me realizing that I had nothing to wear. All my clothes were just too big, unflattering, or just not my taste anymore. So I’ll be taking the next few weeks to gather some Instagram and Pinterest inspiration, while I find my new style. Nothing like a fresh start.

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Fit Fabulous: Mara Hoffman’s Athletic Line

A delight popped up in my email today. Mara Hoffman just released her new line of Athletic wear, and I am totally here for it. Her signature Southwestern-inspired patterns look so fly on the leggings and sports bras.

bodysuit_pfn_as_a longlegging_vgb_as_a longlegging_vgw_as_a

I’ll probably grab this cape:


And this yoga mat?


I will be doing my asanas on it as soon as next week, Trust.

And if you can’t get enough, here’s more Mara Hoffman!

Lavish Body: Weekday Motivation by Jada


And this is why I must never give up. Because getting older does not mean getting lazy.

Remain committed.



Lavish Body: Kerry Washington Covers Self Magazine

Where is my body today? What do I need today? -Kerry Washington


When working out becomes just a daily chore, sometimes we fail to listen to where our body is at, in a dogged attempt to conquer our fitness goals. Listen to your body, then act accordingly.


Oh, and on that fitness tip, I thought of this little meme from last winter.

A photo posted by Lavish (@lavishchic) on

Lavish Body: Venus Williams for ESPN Magazine

Tennis superstar Venus Williams strikes the perfect pose of health and confidence for the latest issue of ESPN magazine. Pin this to your inspiration board.

Lavish Body: The People’s Bootcamp- for FREE!

Lavish Body Inspiration: A tone, fit back, achieved with planks.
First, there was Yoga to the People, a donation-based class on St Marks Place in NYC offering round-the clock-yoga classes for students, hipsters, fashion elites and yoga-junkies alike. Now there’s The People’s Bootcamp, a bare bones, gritty, pay-as-you wish drop in class that aims to get you fit through pure, hard work, without killing your wallet. The classes “sell out” fast so you have to keep checking the website for availability.
I am personally on my own fitness journey back to my hard-body dancer days, and I’ve hired a personal trainer to help see me through. But you’d better believe that I’ve got my eyes on this workout collective, and will join as soon as there is an opening. I mean, pay what you wish? It doesn’t get much better than that!
To sign up, email

Lavish Body: A Good Dose of Inspiration

With spring here, its a great time for cleaning, renewal, and fresh beginnings. I’ve been doing a whole lot of that around my house, especially as I develop my green thumb by planting my own organic fruits and vegetables. Things are going great so far,  and hopefully I’ll have a healthy harvest this summer and fall.

I called up a trainer friend of mine to help whip me into shape. It’s been quite a while since I threw on my white freak-um dress, and I’ve decided that this will be the year that I throw out the “mommy” excuses and just get it together. So I will, with the help of my trainer, be fit and trim for the Hamptons.

I am going to dedicate this space to all things that inspire me to look, feel, and be my healthiest, and what greater way to gain inspiration, than to look at a good selection of beautiful healthy black women. I’ve already made my personal board, and decided to put this one up on Pinterest, and add to it as I get inspired. I hope you make your own, or follow this one as well. Here’s to bikini bodies!

Follow Lavish Magazine’s board Lavish Body on Pinterest.

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