“Insecure” star Issa Rae covers the April 2019 issue of Women’s Health magazine photographed by Ben Watts.
On the “new money weight” she gained after finding success with her YouTube Web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl: “When the Web series started, I was very, very broke. Then more opportunities began to come. I was gaining New Money Weight. When you get a new job, you’re like, ‘I can afford to eat at restaurants all the time!’ That adds up in weight.”
On when weight began to mess with her self-esteem: “Time to work out is so limited, but when I first started seeing myself on TV, I was like, ‘I gotta make time.’”
On daily exercise not coming naturally: “I was a big excuse person when it came to exercising and eating right. I’d have spurts of trying to work out and be good. Then once I fell off, I’d be like, ‘Well, there’s always next year. Let me make it my New Year’s revolution.’ But even then, I would still be eating wrong while exercising vigorously.”
On the routine that gets her out of bed at 4:55 a.m.: “I exercise for, like, an hour each day. My neighborhood has a bunch of hills. Then I alternate between walking and jogging. I hate jogging – you’re going in circles, but I recognize that it helps.”
On accidentally discovering how exercise helps her mental well-being: “You know those earbuds that you put in your ears? I was running, and one fell. It was dark outside and I couldn’t find it. So I was just forced to be alone with my thoughts, and I was like, ‘Oh, I need to do this more often.’ Those moments are the most creative. I think finding those moments while also nurturing your body is important.”
On one major tenet of her work ethic that helps with upcoming projects, including a limited-run HBO series, The Dolls: “Find a good team. Find a good team. It matters…It’s enabled me not to lose my mind.”
[Photo Credit: Ben Watts/Women’s Health Magazine]