For over three years, I have been writing this weekly column, and it’s time to say goodbye. Your support, encouragement and inspiration have been nothing short of a blessing and I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a voice for you when it comes to weight loss through healthy living.

Each week, my goal has been to educate, motivate and provide you with the ins and outs that frame the truth when it comes to nutrition, fitness and the evolution of personal well being. I feel I accomplished this goal and, as a result of the feedback I have received by people from all over Ventura County, mission accomplished.

Black history month

Because this is my last column, I’d like to take this time to acknowledge Black History Month, which is February. There is no better place to do it than in the VC Reporter.

I say this because the VC Reporter is a community newspaper and it serves as a leading source for what I call “keeping it real.” I say this because, unfortunately, many of the local radio stations have given little if any attention to the significance of Black History Month in our community. And unless I was out of town, which has not been the case for February, little if anything has been said about the significance of Black History Month.

America’s history

Black History is America’s history and I’d like the community to take a moment to acknowledge the history of African Americans. From the time William Tucker, the first African child born in America on Jan. 3, 1624, to the moment when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, to 1964, when Sidney Poitier became the first black to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for Lillies, the history of African Americans is nothing short of inspirational.

This year, I am more aware of the contributions made by African Americans because I was featured and acknowledged in Aetna’s 2007 African American History Calendar. Reading through this calendar has touched me deeply as each day sheds light on past moments of importance and accomplishments of African Americans who struggled for equality and freedom. If it wasn’t for their persistence and the many great people who felt oppression needed to be abolished, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to write this column.

Other minorities

I am fully aware that African Americans continue to face racism, but I also know we are not alone. The struggle may not include being whipped in pubic or treated like a fourth-class citizen, but challenges continue. Not solely for African Americans, but for Mexicans, Asians, homosexuals, women and others who don’t fit what many of the decision makers believe is acceptable in their warped way of thinking.

No color lines

When it comes to “healthy living” however, there are no color lines. Regardless of your genetic makeup, being healthy in a world that is faced with global warming and poor nutrition and exercise habits is no easy task. Nonetheless, by sharing knowledge and breaking “whole wheat” bread together, we can make the biggest impact not only on the health of our earth but that of our relationships as a whole.

Stay in touch

I want to continue to provide you with weekly messages and answers to your questions. In no way am I done keeping my community informed.

So, log onto my Web site and, as long as you have an active email address, you can receive my free online newsletter. Each week, I share recipes, nutrition and exercise tips, motivational strategies, positive stories and recommended products. I do this because I believe that we are one people, one race and that, by helping each other, we help the world.

Be well and share the health.