Still “Thinking About” Getting In Shape? Joram Wants You To Know This

Joram Clervius Before & After

Joram Clervius Skinny

Years ago, I was the skinny boy from Haiti that always carried an asthma inhaler around. I can’t say I was ever ‘cool’ or that I fit in. If I stood out, maybe it was for the fact that I held leadership roles in the Marching Band, but definitely not because of how manly I looked, how strong I was, or for my athletic abilities. Most boys think that muscles and athletic ability makes you more of a man–neither of those were part of my past. Like most Ectomorphs, I had trouble keeping weight on my body–this has always been the case since Haiti and it continues to be true today.

In October of 2010, I walked in to a gym near my house and talked to the guy behind the counter about the possibility of joining the gym. My birthday was approaching in December and I wanted to “gift myself the body I always wanted.” He handed me a pass and told me to try it out for a week. I came back the next day, played around on one of the bench press machines for a while and then went home. I went back two days later and did the same exact thing.

On my birthday (and still skinny), I drove up to Jacksonville to visit family–so for New Year’s I resolved to get in the gym and start putting in work towards the body I wanted. By the time I got back home, I had already forgotten about that resolution. However, on January 19, 2011, I was on my way home from getting a haircut and as I passed by the same gym I went into months before, the resolution came back to me but with this voice–“If you’re gonna do it, do it now!” Without hesitation, I went into the gym and signed up for a membership. I went home, changed my clothes and drove back to the gym for what became my first “real” workout, which set me on path of self-discovery and ALL KINDS OF GAINS.

I will admit that for at least the first six months, I had no idea what I was doing in the gym. In fact, I didn’t really start to notice any progress until I started reading and watching videos about weightlifting and applying what I learned into my workouts. I started setting goals for myself and kept working hard every single day to reach them.

My first goal was to get from ~165 lbs. to 175 lbs.

I worked really hard, for a long time and finally got there. But when I did get there, I realized there was no fanfare. There was no big applause, nothing. I remember thinking, “Is this it?” So then I moved the goal post to 185 lbs. Did that. Okay–195 lbs. Did that too.

And this is where I am now; I’m at 197lbs and on my way to the next goal post.

Joram Clervius After

It hasn’t been easy, but it has changed so much more about me than my physical appearance. I’m so glad I decided to do this and I refuse to stop.

Joram Clervius_Back


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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