Charity Lynette is trying to help people live a healthier lifestyle one shopping cart at a time.
The Flatbush-based fitness trainer founded Curvy Chick Fitness after losing more than 125 pounds. In addition to training clients, working as a sales associate at JackRabbit and getting gigs as a plus-size model, her latest project is the series “What’s In Your Basket?,” which shows people how to trade frozen or processed foods for fresher ingredients at the grocery store. It’s set to air on Roku, AppleTV, kweliTV and Nu TV networks in January.
amNewYork spoke with Lynette, 31, about her series and approach to fitness.
How did the show come about?
I’m always walking around the city in workout clothes. I will be at corner stores, the 7-Eleven, grocery stores, and random people would approach me — “What are you going to get to eat? You look like you work out — is this healthy?” Men, women, it’s crazy. [My promotion company] said, “You should have a show. Obviously people are asking you because they need help, they have questions.” It was like a joke, but we said, let’s try to shoot something. We put the promo up on social networking and people loved it.
What’s your approach on the show?
For me, it’s just about being realistic and being relatable. If you see me, I’m obviously not skinny, I’m obviously not fat — for the most part, I look like a normal black girl. I feel like I’m more realistic, and I feel like our community doesn’t have that to look up to, to show them examples and have someone real and not someone who’s a 5’2”, 110-pound trainer telling you how to eat and what to do. I like to teach people it’s about balance and being a healthier you — it’s not starving yourself and never eating past a certain time and never eating ice cream. That’s not life.
What do you recommend for people?
I want to give people alternatives — sometimes I feel people don’t know their options. And then just buying stuff in bulk, especially people with families. If you’ve got four kids, certainly there are things you aren’t going to be able to buy. But there’s a way to do it. I do have girls say to me, “Healthy food costs too much.” Meanwhile I look at her hair and she’s got a good amount of bundles. You’ve got $400 sitting on your head, you’re wearing Jordans — healthy food costs too much? That’s an excuse.
What are you currently buying for yourself?
I haven’t been eating meat. . . . I’m definitely going more out of my way to check out more vegetable options. I get bored making the same stuff.
The holidays can be a tough time with overindulging. What’s your approach?
Let’s be real, food is good, and at the holidays for whatever reason it’s extra good. What I do for myself is, before I’m going to a party, I try to snack on good things so when I get there, it’s not like I haven’t eaten all day and I’m like, give me all the bread, give me all the pie. When you eat out of desperation and hunger, you don’t care. I try to have a small salad. That’s very, very helpful. Number two is I try not to skip my workouts. Those are the two big things that I try to do.