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KinkyCurlyCoilyMe’s Jenell B. Stewart Talks Natural Hair & Weight Loss

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Jenell B. Stewart is the founder and editor of the award-winning site KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com. Jenell is truly growing into a household name in the natural hair community, but has also inspired so many women by sharing her health journey. We caught up with Jenell to learn more about her story, her tips on achieving healthy natural hair, and how she is inspiring other women in their health and hair journeys as well!

Hello everyone! I’m a New York City mom of two. I have a very super supportive husband who absolutely doesn’t mind that natural hair consumes most of my life as well as half of the house…I launched back in 2010 as a blog initially to track my natural hair journey. And then in 2012, I re-launched KinkyCurlyCoilyMe as an online natural hair magazine to not only feature my hair journey, but to be a reference, a resource and a place where women who were embarking on their natural hair journey could come and seek support, advice and education.

Through my work with Kinkycurlycoilyme.com, I have been very successful on social media with over 100,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel with over 500 videos as 300,000 fans on my associated Kinkycurlycoilyme.com Facebook Fan Page. And with over about 40,000 something on Instagram, I have been able to create a network of different platforms for women to come and get support.

Living a healthy lifestyle is incredibly import to Jenell. We asked her what sparked her journey to better health after taking on the journey of returning to her naturally-textured tresses.

I have always struggled with my weight from a very young girl. My mother and my father are both from Liberia, Africa. And coming up, I was allowed to eat pretty much anything I wanted. There was no restriction. My mom explained to me that when we were living in Africa, food was scarce and resources were not easily attainable. Then when she moved to the U.S. and had children, she did not ever want me to feel as though I was not able to have enough food. And with that, she allowed me to just eat.

In college, I got up to about 215 pounds and at that point, I really just wanted to get my weight under control. I had many friends who didn’t eat as much as I did when we were together and who were a lot of more active than I was. Even if they were on a sports team, they were still actively going to the gym and doing a lot of things that I wasn’t doing, and I started to notice a correlation. I am eating excessively, I am not working out and I am getting bigger. And so, because I just knew that obesity was something that ran in my family, I really wanted to get my weight under control, so it was then when I lost most of my weight. I actually took advantage of some resources online. I also started going to the gym with some friends and I started eating better. I was 216 pounds my sophomore year and I got down to the 150 by the following year.

Social media has enabled Jenell to share her gifts and her journey on a large scale.

[It] has been a big part of my life, so when I started sharing bits and pieces of what I was doing, people started inquiring and asking more questions. And the more people asked, the more I wanted to give. I have been like that with my hair, with my beauty and it just circled into my weight loss, Social media has allowed me to share everything I can and motivate people to do it and inspire.

For many women, rocking their natural hair has empowered them to take control of their hair without the fear of sweating it out. But we asked Jenell if it is it truly easier to reach health and fitness goals with natural hair or in fact more work?

Having natural hair and going to the gym [may] or [may not] be a problem. On one hand, I don’t have to worry about sweating out my perm because obviously that’s not a factor anymore but depending on how you want to wear your hair, you still do have to worry about sweating it out. Like, if I decide to wear my signature style, which is a twist-out, going the gym and having a soaking wet head does not allow for me to be great when I leave the gym. So, I still have to make a conscious effort to understand that there is going to be some consequence.

I know of a lot of women who are very unhappy with the results of working out with their nautral hair. But let’s not stay out of the gym just because you don’t want to ruin your hair style. That is something that should be less of a factor than you are making it.

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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.

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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.

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Podcast

Episode 5: The REAL Bow – Dr. Rainbow Barris

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

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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!

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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.

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