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Nicole Chaplin – Having The Heart to Leave the Past Behind



Celebrity trainer, motivator and author, Nicole Chaplin, continues to build a long list of accomplishments. Seen on ABC’s Good Morning America, VH-1, and magazines like Fitness Rx for Women and Oxygen Magazine, Nicole Chaplin, has become a well-known name in the fitness industry. Her path to training and helping others achieve their goals did not come overnight; from struggles with self-esteem, an abusive relationship, to beginning and ending her career at Roc-A-Fella Records. Read our interview with Nicole and hr journey.

Seeing your confidence today, some may find it surprising to learn that your physical features affected your self-esteem early in your life. In your book Yes MAM! you write, “My skin is chocolate, my lips are full and defined, my nose is broad and pronounced, and my natural hair is thick and strong.” How did your uniqueness lead to struggles with self-worth?

I had a hard time with my appearance earlier on in my life. I felt like my features were not embraced. My parents are Jamaican and I was born in Miami. In my home, color didn’t matter but I felt a way at times in my surroundings because I was usually the darkest complexion in every school I went to and I felt like an oddball at times. It put a damper on how I saw exterior beauty and it definitely took time and self awareness to realize that I was made perfect in God’s image.

Taking control of what matters most is something that has helped you keep a “glass is half full” outlook. What do you consider to be most important in your life?

The most important part of my life has to deal with knowing that God and family have my back. If I rely on being peaceful, I always make better decisions; I can not allow negative energy to stop me from loving with a pure heart and passionately.

If muscle is a motivator, what is your strongest muscle?

My heart baby! Owww. Its where your desires begin and where you feel love.

You write about a violent relationship you were involved in and how at one point your were hit with a closed fist. And we know from statistics that being involved in toxic relationships can lead to a vicious cycle of seeking similar relationships in the future. How did you avoid that trap?

I quickly pulled myself together and realized “LOVE” does not hurt, it is not painful. Having a man strike you breaks down a woman’s self worth. It really does something to your self-esteem but through time, inside and outside wounds heal and you realize there is a better way to be loved. I started to appreciate my life and value it and realize no one should harm me and call it love because it’s definitely not.

Let’s talk about your turning point, because at one point after college, you began working for Damon Dash at Roc-A-Fella Records, but you wanted more. What was it that you were missing?

I enjoyed the music industry a great deal, especially working with Kanye West. When Damon and Jay went there separate ways I knew in my gut it was time for me to find another avenue. I was having a blast – literally every single day but I wanted to be engaged in a career where I was changing lives in terms of health and I knew I could use my passion for working out somehow.

How did overcome the fear of leaving a budding career in the music industry to pursue your dream in fitness?

I used my heart as my motivation because its where I get excited about what I am doing. I started to read more and more fitness magazines and learned how to become a certified personal trainer. Before I knew it, not only was I was certified but my clientele grew so quickly I was training 45 – 55 sessions per week and then had a waiting list, and this was within the first 3 months. That’s how I knew my heart was in the right place because the desire was there and everything moved quickly for me.

What do you hope women can take away from your story?

I would like women to know that nothing can keep them from excelling as long as they believe it in their heart and soul that they can achieve what they desire. Once I started to love myself as I was/am, my life changed for the better. Be blessed, and to the world, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.

For more on Nicole, find her on social media, or visit!

Instagram: @nicolechaplin

Periscope: @nicolechaplin

Twitter: @nicolechaplin


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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