Singer. Actress. Activist. These days, Michelle Williams is living a very busy, but still fabulous life. Michelle is best known as one-third of one of the world’s best-selling female groups, Destiny’s Child. Starting her career as a background singer for R& B singer Monica, she joined Destiny’s Child in 2000, replacing LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson.
After Destiny’s Child split up, Williams went solo and released her No. 1 gospel album, Heart to Yours, which became the top gospel album of 2002 with 200,000 albums solo.
In addition to being a successful singer (with her fourth album set to be released in 2011), she also has found success in television and on Broadway. Currently, she stars as Lena Summer in the David E. Talbert stage play, “What My Husband Doesn’t Know,” in addition to spearheading a new autism campaign after revealing her godson suffers from the developmental disorder.
BlackDoctor.org recently caught up with Michelle to find out what she’s doing to balance all of the new and exciting things going on in her life.
BDO: So, how are you these days?
MW: I’m doing so well, thanks! There’s so much going on these days, but I feel blessed!
BDO: Which then begs the question…how do you stay relaxed with such a busy life!
MW: It’s not easy. At all! But, in addition to just trying to be healthy in general. But sometimes, I just get so overwhelmed that I like to treat myself to spa visits.
BDO: What are some of the particular things you do to stay healthy?
MW: Well, when you travel a lot, you can be really susceptible to colds, so I make sure to take Emergen C every day, along with drinking a lot of water. People are always so surprised to hear this, but I also try to not go out unless I’m absolutely committed to something.
BDO: Do you work out?
MW: I do! Can you believe I even work out in my dressing room, sometimes?
BDO: What exercises do you do?
MW: I do lunges and squats and all that. For upper body I do things like shoulder presses. I also do the Insanity workout…that thing is intense!
BDO: What’s your personal mantra when it comes to being healthy?
MW: Just start now to be more conscious of what you’re doing and taking better care of yourself. Go to the doctor, ask questions, get fit, go to the spa and pamper yourself…there are no excuses!
BDO: Okay. I understand health is important to you, and this includes healthy eating, right?part in your being a healthy person?
MW: Absolutely! I try to eat right, and I generally eat six small meals a day.
BDO: Any room for dessert?
MW: I do try to be good, but I love pound cake!
BDO: Does your family history play a part in your being a healthy person?
MW: Definitely. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family. My dad actually has controlled diabetes. My great aunt died from colon cancer. So part of my wanting to be a healthier person comes from all of this. I think it’s so important for people to understand the importance of talking with your family about relatives’ health histories. You need to know!
BDO: April is National Autism Awareness Month, and I know that autism is a topic that’s very important to you.
MW: Yes! As you probably already know, my godson was recently diagnosed with autism, and he’s inspired me to want to do what I can to raise awareness of what more needs to be done to help people deal with this disorder. I’m currently a spokesperson for the Training, Education & Research Institute (TERI), which helps children and adults with autism and learning disabilities.
BDO: Why this particular organization?
MW: It’s just such a great place, and a great group! It's a 30-year-old, internationally recognized non-profit center for people with with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. They believe that every individual with autism and other developmental disabilities has the right to lead a valued, meaningful, and fulfilling life of uncompromised quality in their community. I got a chance to meet some of the residents first hand in the home... then I found out that they’re trying to build a 20-acre facility that will have an equestrian centre, aquatics, arts and crafts facility and theatre and I was just blown away. You can donate and you can also go there and see what’s going on at the facility. The organization is really hands-on. They are really trying to find innovative ways for people to live their lives.
BDO: Do you support autism research as well?
MW: When you have autism or a development disability, of course you appreciate research, and the ultimate goal is to try and find a cure or preventative measures. I’m not saying that we don’t need research, of course, but we need to focus on ways to live with it right now, too. My godson has autism now, so he and his family need some tools to live now, while a cure is still being researched.
To learn more about autism, and TERI, and make donations, please visit their website at www.TERIinc.org.
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