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From Football to Fitness: Celebrity Trainer and Fitness Minister Jay Jones



“A mental transformation leads to a conscious restoration and finally a physical activation of your most successful self.” This motto, created by Fitness Minister and Certified Peak Performance Coach Jay Jones is all about changing your mindset to overcome any obstacle you face. Jones knows all about what it means to overcome obstacles to achieve his best self. As a standout high school quarterback, Jones’ dream of playing at the next level was cut short when he broke his neck during a game. His passion and his identity rested in football and his newest challenge was to re-create himself. Rehab not only renewed his body, but his spirit, through fitness. Now, Jones uses this new passion to change lives physically, mentally and spiritually.

BFT: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jay Jones: Well, I am originally Savannah, Georgia. I played football from about the age of six. But at 17, I broke my neck during a game. I was a relatively good football player and any relatively good football player probably dreams about becoming a professional athlete. When I broke my neck, that dream was shattered and I kind of had to regroup and re-create the same excitement again that I had on the football field elsewhere. So I started acting and I carried that into college [Morehouse College], which was wonderful because I was able to gather a lot of information and education in regards to you know not only scholastic but as far as the importance of the role of the black man in society. So God has a tremendous way of doing what he has to do to get us where he designed us to be.

BFT: How did you go from the catastrophic event of breaking your neck to creating a career in fitness?

Jay Jones: After I got hurt I had to rehabilitate. They took some bones out of both my hips and they fused them with the broken bone in my neck. During the healing process I had to learn to walk all over again and I was introduced to the physioballs, resistance bands and things like that which I still use to this very day with my training practice. So, it really gave me a great understanding of the human body and a much greater passion for taking care of myself.

As I got older and I met my wife, we moved to California from New York where we were worked in theater, which was primarily where we made a living but she wanted to transition into film and TV so we moved to California in 2005. I just really didn’t transition well so I started consistently working out at the YMCA in North Hollywood, California. As I worked out other people kind of saw my training methods and they asked questions and ultimately this serendipitously happened that the YMCA was hiring personal trainers. It was crazy because I’d never ever in my life entertained even going into that field but all along in my life’s path I’d been sort of groomed and set up to be right where I was. So, needless to say I applied for the job, got the job and I went on to be certified through NESTA and started a career.

BFT: Let’s talk about your motto: “A mental transformation leads to a conscious restoration and finally a physical activation of your most successful self.” Can you explain the meaning?

Jay Jones: It’s somewhat of a mouth full but it’s designed to be. My wife and I thought about this for a while but the foundation of it all is a mental transformation. The Bible [Romans 12:2] says “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” so the mental transformation is the foundation of any change. You have to change the way you think. And when you change the way you think, it will lead to a physical activation because once your mind gets right and your consciousness is restored then you’re able to do something physically about your circumstances and situations, whatever they may be. You become aware of what you need to do, what you need to eat and what you need to do in life to maximize your most successful self.

Hit the next page to learn about the mental obstacles Jay had to overcome during his physical rehabilitation, and what it’s like watching his wife on popular shows like Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong and ABCs How To Get Away With Murder!

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Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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Recap: 2018 Finding Ashley Stewart Event

Watch our recap of the 2018 Finding Ashley Stewart Finale Pink Carpet at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn, New York.



Photo: Finding Ashley Stewart

The 2nd annual Finding Ashley Stewart Contest searched around the U.S. in search of a diva who personifies Ashley Stewart and everything she stands for: kindness, resilience, confidence, community and fashion! In the video below, Finding Ashley Stewart host and comedian Loni Love, 2018 Miss Ashley Stewart winner Tiffany Gosa-Flamer, journalist and author Soledad O’Brien, DJ Kid Capri, actress Andrea Rachel-Parker, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Peter Thomas, Essence Editor-at-Large Mikki Taylor and Naughty by Nature all talk with BFT contributor Ryen Watkins about the importance of this competition and how Ashley Stewart is immersing themselves into the communities that support the brand.

Video: Ryen Watkins
@ryenwatkins (IG)

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Episode 5: The REAL Bow – Dr. Rainbow Barris

On ‘Black-ish’ Success, Marriage, Motherhood and Living Healthy Her Way!



Rainbow Barris, Blackish, Kenya Barris, Rainbow Barris book, podcast

We had the great pleasure to chat with The REAL Bow – Dr. Rainbow Barris for episode 5! Click on the link in this article to listen! And, read on to see more info on your chance to enter to win a copy of her brand new book!

podcast, rainbow barris

In this episode, we get right into our interview with Dr. Rainbow Barris, who is the inspiration behind the character Rainbow Johnson on ABCs hit show ‘Black-ish’ and author of Keeping Up With the Johnson’s – Bow’s Guide to Black-ish Parenting. It’s hard enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle period – let alone as wife of director and writer Kenya Barris, being a medical doctor and raising six children! But Barris has found what works for her and wants to encourage other women balancing family and career to find what works uniquely for them! Plus, we talk about the show, Mr. & Mrs. Barris’ recent $1 million donation to Clark Atlanta University, and what life is like for her now. Don’t miss this!

Beginning Friday, June 29th – you’ll be able to enter to win a copy of Barris’ book! Stay tuned to our website, and Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Episode 4: Leah Uko – Journalist on Fox 11 Los Angeles + Bodybuilder

Los Angeles area native Leah Uko is back home working as a nightside reporter, as seen on Fox 11 Los Angeles. But she’s also a bodybuilder preparing to step on stage again this fall. Learn more about her journey, why she loves to bear arms on camera, and why discipline and journaling keep her motivated and determined to reach her goals.



leah uko, los angeles, fox 11

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