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#FitCouple Gari and Nicole Scott



fit couple, charlotte, family, fitness, marriage

Gari and Nicole Scott of Charlotte, NC, are going through the journey of life as a fit couple. Gari, a former collegiate and NFL drafted athlete, and wife Nicole, are both personal trainers at the couples’ in-home training studio they call the “body shop,” Get to know more about the couple and how love, family and fitness shape their lives! 

How did you meet and end up becoming Mr. & Mrs. Scott?

My wife [Nicole] and I were introduced through mutual friends. She was living in North Carolina and I was living in Virginia. Prior to physically meeting we took part in a 40-day devotional called Purpose Driven Life. We read a chapter a day and agreed to meet in person on the 40th day. On day 40, I flew to Charlotte, NC where I met my now wife, her entire family and friends. We knew instantly that we were meant to be together and married just a few short weeks later!

Tell us about your personal training and what services you provide.

I have been a fitness trainer for nearly 10 years. In addition to providing physical education and support to my clients, I also provide mentorship to a number of young children and adults. I would describe my style as a healthy balance of creative, fun and challenging. I like to focus on a holistic style of training where my clients develop not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.

What are your training methods?

For starters, I like to build a solid foundation when it comes to correct form and technique. I like to educate my clients in helping them to understand why they do certain exercises/movements and how it can benefit them and the goals they are trying to achieve.

As a former college and professional football player, how have those experiences shaped the way you train?

As a former three-sport athlete (basketball, football and track), I am able to pull from all of my own training experiences in addition to my certifications and continuing education, to provide a number of training options that will suite each individual client’s specific needs. As a former Division-1 and NFL drafted player, my experience has equipped me with the understanding of what it takes not only physically to reach a goal, but the mental and emotional demands as well. I have learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to have the discipline to do something daily to work towards that goal. This applies to any goal in life!


You share tons of videos on social media training your clients as well as training yourselves. What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of a training in a home gym? Do you train anywhere else?

I love sharing what I do with my clients on social media. For my clients, it has become a daily journal for them to not only track their progress but it is also rewarding to see themselves progress over time, seeing themselves do things they didn’t believe they were ever capable of. I have also found that by sharing videos of myself and clients via social media, it helps to encourage and inspire others to become active and physically fit themselves.

I love training from home. Outside of the convenience of my work space being in my home, I am my own boss, I have no overhead, I set my rates and benefit 100% from each paid session. Although I started in a traditional gym setting, for which I am grateful for that experience, I love being in control of my own work space and income. One of the biggest benefits for me being my own boss is that I make my own schedule which allows me to be available for my family when needed.

The only slight disadvantage is that unlike a traditional gym where clients are already coming to the gym, you have to hustle to get your own clients. You have to be your own billboard. I am very conscientious of conducting myself in an extremely professional manner because each session is a reflection of me and my work. The overall success of my business is based on client referrals. I believe referrals are the greatest compliment!

What are each of your favorite healthy meals and indulgences you can’t live without?

Overall we eat healthy meals as a family. We like to teach our children the importance of being balanced, so we try not to be too fanatical. My wife was a Vegan for almost three years and easts mostly that way now occasionally having meat every now and then. I like to eat clean, with lots of lean protein, vegetables and complex carbs. My favorite healthy indulgence in my wife’s chocolate smoothie! She blends frozen bananas, peanut butter, hemp seeds and chocolate almond milk. It almost tastes too good to be healthy!

What are some of your favorite things to do and/or places to go on date nights?

My wife and I have a lot of common interests and as long as were together we always have fun! We enjoy going to the movies, traveling, being outside with the kids and also playing cards. We have even been known to spend our date nights in the gym!

How have your health journeys strengthened your bond?

When my wife and I met, she was into running but not weight lifting. I introduced her to resistance training and the rest is history lol! She has now become my favorite workout partner. Encouraging and supporting each other helps to develop a special bond, trust and intimacy that is healthy for any marriage. We have definitely found a common passion in fitness.


As active parents, what impact has your dedication to fitness had on your children?

Aside from the aesthetics of being physically fit, we both agree that our overall goal for being active is to be healthy examples to our children, to live long healthy lives and to avoid many complications that come from a sedentary lifestyle as one ages.

Our children see us being physically active as individuals, as a couple and as a family. Setting this example for them has encouraged them to see fitness and exercise as something that’s fun and a part of living a healthy balanced life instead of a chore.



Where can people find out more about you?

My Instagram is GSCOTT8685 and my wife’s is FITWITHNIK.

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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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Greenleaf Star Deborah Joy Winans Talks About Overcoming Self-Doubt and Achieving Self-Love



Greenleaf, Deborah Joy Winans, OWN
Photo: OWN

It’s hard to find a black family who didn’t grow up listening to the legendary Winans family, or at least know someone who did. From Bebe and CeCe, to Marvin, to Vickie, the Winans family has an annointing! But not everyone in the Winans family has chosen to make a primary career out of singing. 34-year-old Deborah Joy knew in her spirit she wanted to become an actress. The pursuit of her true passion paid off, as she was seen by Oprah at a workshop, and offered the opportunity to play Charity Greenleaf. Ironically, Charity is a singer!

Black Fitness Today caught up with Winans to discuss her success as an actress living her dream, and how she has overcome colorism and struggles with body positivity, to truly love herself and who she has been called to be. We know that wellness starts from within, and a healthy body is meaningless without a healthy mind and spirit.

Winans says she’s living her dreams thanks to her big breakthrough to starring as Charity Greenleaf on OWN’s hit drama series, Greenleaf. She credits her family as being a dynamic support system, as they constantly cheered her on as she worked towards her dream.

Even though her family was very supportive, Winans says she still dealt with a lot of self-confidence issues as a black woman with a darker complexion. Winans noticed a difference in the way she was treated in high school when events and activities came around that required a date. Winans says women with a lighter complexion would get more attention and she even recalls asking her dad, “Is it because I’m dark?”

Black womens’ battle with complexion is nothing new. We have all been culturally conditioned to view lighter skin as a the standard-bearer for beauty. It is refreshing to see the shifts in beauty and what our culture views as acceptable.

“I had to learn to see myself the way God saw me.”

When it came to career goals and dreams, Winans always knew she wanted to be an actress, even though she grew up in a singing family. Daughter to Carvin Winans, Deborah grew up amongst chart-topping hits and albums across her family, but has said she did not grow up singing.

“I always knew what I wanted to do, but I never saw anyone who looked like me in film.”

Despite not getting attention from her peers as a teen, Winans realized one day she had to be a role-model for darker girls, especially those who didn’t get the same love and support from their family as she did.

Winans acknowledges Oprah Winfrey as a beacon during her childhood.  And today, she says the black representation in television and film is, “absolutely amazing!”

“If [Oprah] can pursue her dreams like this, certainly at some point, somebody will see me too.”

Winans pursued theater in school and after completing her Master’s program, she knew she’d done all the work necessary to move forward in her acting career. But that is when self-doubt started to hit. After hearing so many “no’s,” Winans began to wonder if acting was truly the career path she should be pursuing. Winans thanks her husband, attorney and community activist, Terrence Williams, for being the motivation she needed. After meeting Williams, Winans says she still didn’t have an agent, and hadn’t really booked anything.

Deborah Joy Winans, OWN, Greenleaf

Photo: YouTube

Still questioning God and wondering when her moment was coming, Winans recalls Williams sharing advice, “you have to be open and you have to be ready.” Months later, Winans was doing a family workshop production in NYC. Oprah attended, saw Winans performing, and pitched her to the network for the role of Charity.

“I knew I had done the work, it’s just a matter of being able to have an opportunity.”

She credits her support system for believing in her more than she even believed in herself. While currently prepping for Season 3, Winans notes how balance is more important than ever. With a full time schedule with Greenleaf and having a family life as well, Deborah Joy says it’s all about making “day-to-day decisions.”

Whether its deciding what time she needs to wake up to make sure her home is taken care of before heading to work, or simply deciding what to eat while on set, Winans says you have to constantly choose what’s best for you.

After being nominated for Best New Artist at the Stellar Awards, Winans is currently trying to figure out if singing will be one of the next steps in her future. She did however, have a single on the Greenleaf soundtrack, The Master’s Calling, that shot to the top 20 on the Gospel Billboard chart. Along with constantly writing, it’s safe to say, Deborah Joy Winans will have a busy 2018!

“When you recognize who you are in God and who you belong to, you know that there is nothing that is for you, that you won’t get.”

Follow Deborah Joy Winans at, @deborahjoywinans – Instagram and @deborahjwinans – Twitter to stay in the loop with what she’s up to next!

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American Bobsledder Aja Evans Looks to Bring Home Gold at the Winter Olympics



aja evans, winter olympics,
Photo: Sports Illustrated

Bobsledding might be the sport to watch in this winter’s Olympic Games. We’re seeing more representation and more awareness of the sport. It has been nearly two decades since Vonetta Flowers became the first African-American bobsledder to bring home a Gold Medal in 2002. In 2017, we found out that Nigeria would have a bobsledding team of black girl magic competing for the first time ever, which brought even more excitement about representation in the sport. But did you know that we’ve got an African-American woman from Chicago representing TEAM USA? 29-year-old Aja Evans will be competing in the Olympics for the SECOND time, after winning a Bronze medal in 2014.

Evans is using her platform to encourage more participation from people of color in on-ice sports. Her story was also recently featured in Procter and Gamble’s Love Over Bias campaign who spotlight athletes who found their deepest encouragement from their mothers.

“I saw that I could be a symbol of power and resilience and strength for others,” Evans says, “and I wanted to own that. … It was a powerful realization to understand I was standing for so much more. I was representing where I’m from. I was representing African-American women all across the world…In this city and the areas I grew up in, so many kids are closed-minded and they don’t think there’s any more to life outside of where they are,” she says. “But I’m living proof that there is. When I talk to kids, I want them to see my (Olympic) medal and to understand I accomplished these things because I refused to let anyone tell me I couldn’t.”

We are already inspired by Evans and will be cheering her on! The 2018 Winter Games in South Korea begin February 7th on NBC, but catch the opening ceremony on February 9th.

Read more about Aja Evans and her journey as an elite athlete here.

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Hollywood Stylist and Former WAGS LA Star Ashley North Talks Healthy Living

The Fashion Maven Dishes Juggling Motherhood, Career, and Personal Fitness In Style



ashley north, black fitness today, home decor, celebrity stylist
Photo credit: Shannon Laurine

Black Fitness Today got a chance to catch up with fashion maven & stylist to some of Hollywood’s most dapper actors, Ashley North. Ashley, formerly of E! Network’s WAGS LA and fiancé to one of the toughest players in the NFL (Dashon Goldson), shares her workout regimen and how she juggles both worlds of motherhood and staying fit for the fashion!

As a busy mom, how do you incorporate fitness into your daily regimen?

It’s hard, but I have to do it!!!  My girls are so active and in order to keep up I have to be in shape!!! (laughs)

Why is fitness an important part of your life? How does it help you?

Fitness is important, I mean I’m a fashion girl at heart and to look good and feel good I have to work out. It helps me with feeling strong inside out, there no better feeling than being fearless and knowing your body’s capabilities and strengths.

Tell us about your workouts! What are your favorite exercises and why?

I do some classes at my gym but mainly circuit training with my trainer, every session we focus on something new and it keep me on toes and most importantly it makes my workouts fun! My favorite workout… is anything that has to do with ABS!!! I’m trying to get bikini ready and keeping my tummy tight is so major.

Since your fiancé is NFL Pro baller, Dashon Goldson, do you all enjoy any workouts together? (Share Detail)

LOL (Laughs) Honestly Dashon is such a professional I can’t hang with him in gym. He will try to work out with me but he gets intense and I just can’t keep up! We have a membership at the same gym and he’s so encouraging and really tries to help me but there’s no competing with a pro baller.

How does your diet impact your fit family?

I really try to stay as healthy as possible and try to create innovative ways for the girls to enjoy eating heathy, but my fiancé is Jamaican so it’s tough! His mom taught me some amazing recipes and I always incorporate a veggie with our meals. For snacks, we eats lots of fruits and I’m always down for a good smoothie or protein shake.

ashley north, celebrity stylist, black fitness today

Photo credit: Shannon Laurine

How do you make sure your family stays fit and healthy?

Our oldest stays in sports, she’s very active, basketball, soccer you name it she’s in it. We maintain our workouts, Dashon trains every morning so he’s GOALS for us all. With him being an athlete it makes it easier for us to stay on track.

What’s on your workout playlist?

Anything rachet I LOVE IT!!! (laughs)

What is your gym bag?

Uhmmm, this is a good question… bottled water, towel, misted water, a hair tie, and an oversized hoodie for sure!!

What your favorite way to cool down from an intense workout session?

Honestly, I literally lay on the floor and pass out. I push myself, so when it’s over I collapse. But I’m good at listening to my body and a good protein shake to help with muscle recovery.

Tips for mothers juggling family and work?

Find the time for yourself. I’ve noticed I feel most confident when I feel fit and look good in my clothes. When I’m working out that’s MY time to really focus on ME (we all need that). So, finding the time to do something for yourself is KEY!

What is your favorite gym outfit? Favorite fitness clothing brand?

Right now, I’m loving CARBON38, they have really cool fit/leisure wear and everything is high-waisted and really on trend. The materials are luxe and I’m a complete fan of this brand.

For more on Ashley follow her on Instagram @ashleynorthstyle!

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today




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