1. Who is Jada Smith?
Occupation: Boxing Management and Trainer
Education: Merritt Community College
Major: NASM Certified/B.S. Exercise Science
Motto: “Health is wealth!”
Unknown facts: “I am a brain aneurysm survivor, and I’m expecting my second child at nearly 40 years old and after 21 years since my first child.”
Fitness start: “I have always been an athlete starting with playing basketball and running track in school.
“As an adult, and after growing up in Oakland, I was lost. I became an exotic dancer and continued once I moved to Houston. However, after attending the Metamorphosis Conference in 2007, I was inspired to become a trainer. That conference saved my life, and I came out of the entertainment industry and entered the fitness industry.
“I picked up boxing after living in Las Vegas for a time. I learned boxing, ran a gym, and taught youth group classes. The curriculum included disciple, meditation and learning to control the emotions. So many kids are fighting in school and don’t even know why. Through meditation, they learn to become more present and are able to control their emotions.
“Working with my nephew, Devin Haney, was especially enjoyable. He is now a world champion and we’re all so proud.”
“I even started a free boxing camp at the George Foreman Youth Center in Houston. Except for this year, due to COVID, I have been able to administer the camp through donations. The kids, ages 7 to 18, receive meals, boxing training, and other empowerment training.”
Fitness goal: “My top fitness goals are to maintain flexibility and overall conditioning, including being able to run three miles without stopping. I also want to keep my waistline at 26 inches, after the baby, that is, and keep my body fat at 15 percent. Maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul is important to me.”
Fitness advice: “My advice for anyone starting a fitness journey is to start slow and light. Try to avoid doing too much at first and getting overwhelmed. It’s easy to give up if you do. I’ve had clients who tell me they’ve started juicing, yoga, running, weights, have totally changed their diet and more, all at once. Then, the next month, they aren’t doing any of those things. The main thing is to be consistent and to make slow lifestyle changes.”
2. Nutrition: Burn more than you eat.
“I eat clean. Even if I’m at a birthday party and cake is being served, I may have a slice, but feel guilty and try to work it off immediately. It’s important to burn more calories than you eat.
“For breakfast I eat healthy carbohydrates such as a multigrain bagel along with fruit and turkey bacon. My typical dinner is a protein such as chicken or seafood with vegetables, a starch like brown rice or sweet potatoes. I snack on fruit, nuts, protein bars and smoothies. And, of course, I drink plenty of water – at least a half-gallon daily. The water helps to keep my skin healthy and release toxins through sweating.
“I don’t crave sweets, but I will sometimes mix granola with melted dark chocolate and refrigerate it to make a crunchy bar-type dessert.”
3. Physical: The key to anything is consistency.
“What good is it to be rich and not be able to enjoy it because you’re not healthy? That’s why I say, ‘Health is wealth.’
“I work out three days per week to maintain. If I feel I need to lose weight, I will do two-a-days. I enjoy boxing for cardio and heavy weightlifting to build muscle tone.
“Cardio and nutrition are the most important to me. Cardio is important for the circulatory system, heart health and blood flow. It’s possible to have a great looking body, and still suffer from high blood pressure. It’s more important to work on the heart muscle first, not looking good.
“The Black community is coming around to fitness, but there’s so much more work to be done to encourage exercise. The attitude toward fitness by some in our community saddens me. I’ve experienced that some parents will have a salad for themselves but take the kids to McDonald’s.
“Some people have told me that healthy food is too expensive. Or they’ll provide the excuse that they don’t want to sweat out their hair. Others choose having a fancy car over spending the money on a personal trainer. A lot of people don’t start taking better care of themselves until they are suffering from a disease.
“Even pregnant, I am still working out and training others. I haven’t had morning sickness, or low energy. I attribute that to a healthy diet and exercise.”
4. Mental: Don’t be in a rush for anything.
“To maintain mental fitness, I love meditation and getting close to water.
“During a trip to Egypt a couple of years ago, I learned a lot of things about the moon and sun and how reflection can change your own atmosphere. The sun provides vitamin D. When there is a lack of sunshine or exposure to the sun, people experience sadness and depression. I also learned a lot from the images in the tombs. I noticed the order and structure in the images. It gave me a different view of the universe.
“I learned to meditate while in Egypt. I now meditate three to four times per day. It helps me to focus, regain balance and stay on track.”
5. Spiritual: Can’t be too holy.
“I always say, ‘You can’t be too holy.’ By that, I mean the beauty is in balance and authenticity.
“I enjoy participating in prayer groups and bible studies such as @hopeoverhurt with @wendijturner. In addition to praying together and getting grounded, the group also helps people with basic needs, including help with filling out the PPP loan documents, for example.”
“Everyday, I thank God for life. In 2017, I started vomiting and passed out while at a friend’s home. When I came to after being in a coma for two days, the doctor explained to me that I had had a brain aneurysm. It was hard to understand, because I had no pre-existing illnesses, no headaches, I ate well, exercised, didn’t drink or do illicit drugs.
“The doctor told me that 68 percent of the people with aneurysms die before even getting into the ambulance. Of those who do make it to the hospital, many never recover and die. The doctor attributed my survival to my high level of fitness. But that wasn’t all. The doctor asked me, ‘What kind of God do you serve?’
“After two months, I was back. But, during that time in the hospital, I had to work on my vision, speaking and walking. I began my own physical therapy although the hospital staff was against it. I had my exercise bands and was trying to get myself up to walk before they recommended it. I even had healthy food brought in for me. The doctor said he had never seen that kind of recovery in the 30 years of his practice.
“I believe God spared me for a purpose. From an exotic dancer and surviving an aneurysm to saving people’s lives through fitness, my life now has purpose.”