On March 17, 2012, I was driving home from work. I stopped at ‘In and Out Burger’ (a popular SoCal burger chain) and had a grilled cheese sandwich, fries and a strawberry milkshake. Then, I drove across the street and had two buttermilk donuts. I was at an emotional low, after a very turbulent 3 1/2 years, I had gotten up to 222lbs and 38% body fat. After this “meal”, something stirred inside of me to move. So, the same night, I walked 15 minutes on the treadmill, because that’s all I could do. But, I went back the day after and walked again. I ended up walking on the treadmill everyday for 30 days. I had lost 10 lbs in a month and felt great. However, there was still something inside of me telling me to move. So, I increased my intensity with my workouts and by October of 2012 I was down 40lbs. All the while I had one goal in mind – to be a bodybuilder.
In November of 2012, I hired ‘Fit Diva’ Dawn Rae to work with me. Dawn taught me things about my body that I didn’t know before and together we worked on my plan to compete in a bikini competition.
On October 13, 2013, I achieved that goal and ended up with a first place trophy. My life has been forever changed and I am so thankful that I listened to that voice inside of me telling me to move. I now know that my purpose is not to sit around and lead a boring life…it is to have fun, be excited and experience adventures. They say to never post anything online that you wouldn’t want on the front page news one day. I am very proud of myself right now and am posting these to hopefully inspire other people to live their dreams out loud. It’s a great feeling to be led by the spirit.
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.