Boxing champion Laila Ali spoke with EBONY about her new YouTube series ‘Around the Clock’ which focuses on motherhood and marriage with other celebrity moms including Ali Landry and Kendra Wilkinson.
The series which is part of the Everyday Health Channel has touched on a myriad of topics including how to maintain intimacy in marriage after having a baby and everyday issues such as how to keep your children occupied on a long car ride. Check out Laila’s take on motherhood, fitness, and family and what we can expect in upcoming episodes:
EBONY: I've watched all of episodes of your show 'Around the Clock' and I've found them refreshingly honest. How did you become interested in participating in the show with the other mothers featured?
Laila: It was a natural fit. I love engaging in conversation with other moms because we can relate to one another and we swap valuable insight and information.
EBONY: Like I said, I think it's the level of honesty in the shows that make them stand out. Particularly the episodes about intimacy in a marriage generally and after you have a baby. You mentioned in the episode about celebrity kids needing privacy that you are a very private person, do you ever feel nervous that the topics discussed are too personal for you to talk about in public?
Laila: I'm private in the sense that I like my personal space and only want people in the parts of my business that I choose to share. Anything I feel is too personal to share publicly, I keep to myself.
EBONY: Are there any topics that are off limits for you on the show?
Laila: I have not come across any yet! But there are topics that I may not be that opinionated about because of lack of interest. But hopefully we won't come across many of those topics. If we do, I'm sure the producers won't put me in the rotation. Lol!
EBONY: I think that by being so open a lot of women even if they aren't married can relate; What is your ultimate goal for the shows?
Laila: I would like our shows to be entertaining, informative and inspiring! All women, moms or not, need a few minutes out of the day where we can connect. ‘Around the Clock’ is a great place to do it.
EBONY: Is one of the goals for the star moms to open up so that other women can relate and get sage advice about what motherhood and marriage in order to get a sense of what it might really like and how to make the most of it?
Laila: That would be great! But even if just to get a few laughs is a good stress reliever!
EBONY: How do you balance 'mommy life' and staying so fit?
Laila: There is so much that I can say but that would be another article. To put it simply, we all need to make fitness and health a priority and a lifestyle. Eating properly and exercising regularly is key. We need to stay in tune with our bodies. When something does not feel right, instead of ignoring it or taking a pill, do some research and figure out how to fix the problem instead of masking it. We must respect our body by listening to the signs it gives us. That is the only way to get in balance and reach optimal health.
EBONY: Do you make time for exercise even when you are balancing career and family and what tips do you have for women in this area? Is your daily workout you put on your schedule or is it something that you just do naturally because you have a background as a professional athlete?
Laila: I do my best to workout 5 days a week. There are times when I can only get in 3 days a week because I am traveling or just need rest due to a hectic schedule. But working out is always a priority and if I fall off due to my schedule, it is not long before I get back on track. People who are fit are the same as anyone else. The only difference is their level of commitment. If looking good and being fit was easy, everyone would do it! Most people don't want to put in the work or make the sacrifices needed in order to be fit.
I recommend that beginners set realistic short term and long term goals and take it day by day. Have a plan, be disciplined and stick to it!
EBONY: I loved the episode where you talk about the back story of when your father changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammad Ali. It got me thinking about that idea of what is in a name. You grew up as the daughter of one of the most famous men in history; Was it every difficult to deal with people seeing you first as Muhammad Ali's daughter and as your own person second?
Laila: I have always had a strong sense of self so I have never focused on how people see me. I am so proud to be his daughter that I don't mind people making the connection. Muhammad Ali being my father compliments who I am, it doesn't make me who am.
EBONY: Has the way people perceived you changed over the course of your adult years as you transitioned from boxing champion in your own right to working wife and mother?
Laila: I think I have definitely established my own identity. Most people appreciate who I am and what I bring to the table. The fact that my dad is "The Greatest" is just icing on the cake! At least that's how I see it.
EBONY: Does it ever bother you at all that at times the focus is on your physical beauty as opposed to all of the things you have accomplished in your life?
Laila: I don't get caught up in my own hype. I feel that that fact that I was a fighter makes me seem prettier than I actually am because people don't expect a "fighter" to be attractive. There are lots of pretty girls out there…but none that can knock you out!
EBONY: What are your future goals with "Around the Clock?" Are there any upcoming juicy topics that we can look forward to?
Laila: Oh, we have lots more to come. We are just getting started. There is not much that we will be holding back!