Meet Alexandra Morbitzer, the founder of Fit Latina and our newest contributor! Alexandra believes that fitness should be about gaining confidence, strength and well-being, not about losing your nalgas! Alexandra launched Fit Latina, a culturally relevant social media platform for Latinas interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, in April and has since inspired countless mujeres to get fit. Join New Latina as we chat with Alexandra about Fit Latina and her plans for the brand in 2013.
What inspired you to start Fit Latina?
I really felt disconnected from the general market messaging [about fitness]. It felt to me that the message was more about, “lose weight”, “lose those last ten pounds”, “be that skinny girl”, and I feel like, as Latinas, we don’t really think like that. We want to keep what curves we have, especially if we don’t have a lot to begin with. It’s really more about being healthy.
One of my biggest concerns is that Latinos are at the top of many preventable health problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancers. A lot of that can change with a healthier lifestyle.
So, I started the Fit Latina platform by following a few people on Twitter and seeing if people would follow me back. Today we have almost 2,000 followers on Twitter and over 1,600 fans on Facebook.
What is your favorite piece of fitness advice for Latinas?
When it comes to fitness, it doesn’t necessarily need to be about getting on the treadmill and running. A huge part of Latino culture is dancing, and that’s great cardio. There are so many different activities that you can try and actually enjoy participating in. Let those activities be your cardio, that way it doesn’t feel like punishment.
What is the most recent fitness trend you’ve tried?
I’m not yet sure if I enjoy it, but I recently tried spinning. I heard that everybody loves it and I like riding bikes, so I tried it. I thought it was going to be a casual bike ride to good music, but it was intense. That instructor was so crazy! But, I do like that feeling of “leaving it all there”, and I definitely got that feeling from spinning. I’m going to go back for round two in order to decide if I love it or not.
Is there anything that you’ve been excited to try?
CrossFit! I like that idea of pushing yourself to go all the way. It’s definitely got a cult following and people who try it see results right away. I also like that it seems to create a sense of community, because I’m one of those people who likes working out with others or having a workout buddy.
How have you balanced staying fit and enjoying your favorite Latin dishes?
I believe in moderation. Do my grandparents think that I should be eating more? Yes. Does my grandmother think that if I want to catch a man I should be a little heavier? Yes. But, when my family offers me food they know that I’m going to try it, I’m going to eat it, but I’m not going to be eating plate after plate of it.
Have you been able to find healthier versions of your favorite Latin dishes? If so, what is your favorite healthy version of a traditional Latin dish?
I’ve been really trying. I think that, traditionally, Latin food really isn’t bad for you. At the base of it, so many of the staples are good for you, like beans, fish and vegetables.
My goal is to find healthier recipes for Latino dishes that maybe aren’t quite right on the authenticity mark, but are very close. For instance, baking an empanada instead of frying it, or cooking a penil in a crock pot.
What are your long-term goals for Fit Latina?
I’m happy with Fit Latina being a social platform for now, but I’ve been thinking about setting up a website for months.
I want it to be a collaborative effort. Even though Fit Latina is my baby,I really want it to be a project by everybody and a project for everybody. If there is a trainer who really wants to do a video on the right way to perform a burpee, then let’s do it! If there is a chef who knows how to make a healthier version of a certain Latin dish, but it tastes just like abuela’s, bring it on! Because I think it gets boring and a little preachy when you hear the same person saying, “Do this. Do it my way.” I really want it to be something where people can be like, OK, this is a community, this is an engaged group. I definitely want it to be a resource for Latinas to find information that they can’t find elsewhere.
Where do you hope for Fit Latina to be by Hispanicize 2013?
The website will be up by then. I want to start adding a lot of multimedia content. I want the site to be engaging. And you know, it’s easier to watch and learn from a video than to read about an exercise. I want the site to have an equal mix of words, pictures and video. Will it all be up by Hispanicize 2013? I’m not sure. But the site will be up with at least a few articles.
It should be up in January. February at the latest.
Want to be a Fit Latina? Join Alexandra every other Wednesday as she shares culturally relevant fitness, health and wellness advice here on New Latina!
Check out Fit Latina on Twitter @FitLatina and on facebook.com/FitLatina.