Black Fitness Today caught up with Braxton Family Values star Trina Braxton to learn more about her life and career, and what motivates her to keep up her healthy habits! The wife, mother, entertainer and businesswoman also told us how she maintains balance in her life, and why awareness and early detection in our community is such an important issue.
BFT: How has having a successful reality TV show with your family changed your life?
TB: We didn’t get to see each other as much because Toni and Tamar live in Los Angeles, Towanda, my mom and I live in Georgia and Traci in Maryland, but since we work together now, we get to see each other a lot more, which is a blessing! But I can’t go to the grocery store without fixing my face first! [laughs] It’s like I can’t just go in my sweats with my hair all over the place! [laughs]
BFT: In Season 2 of Braxton Family Values, we remember watching a couple of health scares with Vincent and Toni. How did these events affect your outlook as far as the importance of individual health and taking care of yourself?
TB: Well first of all, it’s important to have yearly physicals, because sometimes finding out early is the best thing that can happen to you for prevention. Diet is also really important too because we have this billion-dollar diet industry where people are getting diet pills and spending a lot of money on liposuction to look better when sometimes, what it takes is eating some carrots instead of potato chips, but we often don’t want to do that because we look to food for comfort.
BFT: Right! One of the things we emphasize is not sacrificing what you want most for what you want now, so if you want those chips just think about whether it’s going to set you back or if it’s it okay to indulge; you just have to have that discernment. It’s good that you have a proper perspective.
TB: The thing is moderation – everything in moderation; and I didn’t always have that philosophy [laughs] you know because at first I used to indulge in a little bit too much wine [laughs] but now if I do, I’ll have one glass.
BFT: How do you find time to maintain your physique while balancing your career and family? We were just talking about your Michelle Obama-like arms!
TB: Well it’s definitely not easy to maintain. I started something (that I am not necessarily endorsing) but it’s called the ‘8-hour diet’, and it’s not even really a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I fast for 16 hours a day and I only give myself an eight-hour window in which I can eat.
BFT: You know what Trina, we’re doing the same thing! We refer to it as intermittent fasting. We’ll eat our first meal at 1:00 today.
TB: [Laughs] So you guys are doing a 1 to 9?
TB: My window is from 11am-7pm. I get up at about 6:30 in the morning and take care of all my personal things and make sure the kids get off to school, and then I drink my 16oz of water. After that, I get on the elliptical for a mile-and-a-half to two miles depending on what song is on and I go about the rest of my day until about 11 o’clock when it’s time to eat. I started a little late today, I actually started at 11:30 which is good because that means I don’t have to stop eating until 7:30! [laughs].
BFT: Right, every minute counts! [laughs]
BFT: So how do you like the eight-hour diet in comparison to other so-called diets or plans? It seems like the eating window helps you really be in control.
TB: Well, I like the fact that even though it has the word “diet” attached to the end of it, it’s not really a diet. It makes you a little more conscientious about what you are eating. I’m not a “low-carb” person because I’ve tried it before, and it seems like every time I got off of it I got a little bit chunkier afterwards, but I try to get in my power-foods and I make sure I drink plenty of water. I no longer consume all the diet drinks and juices and other sugary drinks. I traded them all for water except for my one glass of wine that I allow myself between 5pm and 7pm.
BFT: We talked earlier about indulging in moderation. For us some of our indulgences might be pizza or something like that. What do you like to occasionally indulge in when you can?
TB: Pasta! Oh..my..gosh, I love pasta. Pasta and a nice glass of Pino Grigio or Merlot! Let me tell you [laughs]. But I had to stop, I had to literally stop eating pasta. I can’t even allow myself a cheat day because if I do, I’m going to revert all the way back and I know that about myself.
BFT: Last year, you and your sister Towanda were a part of Pink in February – a women’s health and wellness event. Can you tell us more about your involvement in this?
TB: Well, it was all about awareness. You know, my grandmother died of breast cancer and my aunt had a double-mastectomy, so that runs very rampant in our family. Awareness alone is really important for us, so we make sure that we always have yearly mammograms and we do our self-testing and that ‘s what the event was about, just creating awareness, self-awareness and early detection.
BFT: So do you think that the African-American community could benefit from early detection with conditions and diseases that affect us like diabetes, cancer and heart disease? Or do you think lifestyle changes are the key?
TB: I think it’s all of the above. As a community we can get a bit lackluster; we might not go to the doctor annually like we need to and sometimes I think we’re afraid of the unknown, but knowing is part of prevention, knowing early can save your life!
BFT: You do a lot of performing, recording and traveling, so how do you relieve the stress that comes along with being an entertainer and a businesswoman?
TB: That’s a difficult one because it depends on what’s going on in my week or my day. Spending time with my children helps me a lot because it allows me put everything into perspective. Everything that I do, I do it for them anyway so if they say “mom, we don’t see you, mom we haven’t seen you in two weeks, what’s going on?” I’ll take a couple days off so I can spend time with my children. I have to let them know that they are first.
BFT: What advice would you give to the Black Fitness Today community on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
TB: I would say to start, you have to put yourself in the right mindset because if you’re not prepared mentally, you’re destined to fail at day one, trust me! I remember when I said I was going to do a two-day detox, but my mind wasn’t ready for it, so I was defeated before I even began. I kept complaining and thinking, “oh, I can’t eat for two days, I can only drink this.” My mind wasn’t right. So when I finally got my mind right and told myself “okay Trina, you’re going to do this because it’s going to jump start your new lifestyle” then I was able to stick to it.
BFT: Right. The mental aspect is most important because your mind is going to give up long before your body does.
TB: Absolutely, because you can talk yourself out of anything.
BFT: What current projects are you working on and how can our audience find out more about you?
TB: My new single Game Time should be out in the next two weeks and my EP Time of My Life should hopefully be out by the end of the summer.
BFT: We’ll be looking forward to that for sure! You’ve got to be excited. Was that a long process for you?
TB: It was a really long process. Whenever you think you’re done, you’re not because you always want to take it to the next level; you always want to make it better. Every time I think I’m done here comes a new song and I’m like oh, I like this one better than this one or oh, we can take this idea and do this.” It’s just been a process because you only have one time to make a mistake.
BFT: We can definitely understand you striving for excellence because your family is so talented and so are you, so take as long as you need!
TB: And make it right because even when people were saying “well, you know Tamar didn’t come out” but she took her time and when she did, BOOM! Look what happened!
To find more about what’s going on in Trina’a world, go to trinabraxton.com.
Check out Braxton Family Values Thursday nights at 9|8c on WE tv! Check out a deleted scene from the show with Trina and her family.