Age ain’t nothing but a number and best-selling author, speaker, life reinvention strategist, fitness expert, and TV host Wendy Ida is a living example that great health can be achieved at any age if you embrace and take care of your body. However, she did not always have the glow that she has today. She grew up in poverty, and almost lost her life as a victim of domestic violence. But she chose to believe in the hope and promise that tomorrow holds. With only the clothes on her back, she made a decision to no longer be a victim but to be the victor and start living out loud. Listen in or read more as Wendy speaks about her life through her joy and pain, and how it all came together to shape the confident leader that she is today as well as being “America’s #1 Expert on Looking Good Naked After 40!”
BFT: It’s said to never ask a woman her age but we HAVE to ask because a lot of people won’t believe your age when they see your picture and how in shape you are – so how young are you Wendy?
WI: I love that question! I am 61 and guess what, I’m having so much fun! [laughs] I celebrate each and every day. When I go to my speaking events I say, “today is my birthday, again!” I earned it and I feel grateful not only to be where I am, but also to be alive.
BFT: When people take a look at you and before they learn more about you, it may be easy to assume that you’ve always had a fairly easy journey and that you’ve always been in great shape, but you have a story to tell! So, how far have you come and tell us a little bit about what motivated you to get healthy.
WI: Well that’s true. People when they see me today they say “girl, you’re so lucky!” They can’t believe that I am the age that I am and they don’t believe that I have children or anything like that. They assume that I just have it like that and I go “no, no, no,” and I have to remind them that this was not an overnight something. I wasn’t always like this since 20-something and yes, now I’m a best-selling author, speaker, life reinvention strategist, fitness expert and TV host BUT, I am also a domestic violence survivor. I grew up in New Jersey, in the New Jersey projects, on welfare and sometimes all we had was grits to eat for dinner. I saw abuse as a child then I married someone who was abusing me even before we married.
I suffered physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse for 13 years before I found the courage to run across the country with my two babies and only the clothes on our backs. My babies were a huge motivator in me taking the risk to take the last ditch effort to escape, because I saw that their lives were vastly being affected. Before for my escape, I didn’t think I was going to live quite frankly past the age of 43 – and I came close to that many times and I’m confident that if I had stayed where I was that my saga would’ve ended. Once I got safe and settled, I wanted to feel better, because for 13 years I was constantly tired and my self-esteem suffered; I needed answers and I needed help, and that was the beginning of my motivation towards the healthier side of life. It took awhile because I was a fast food junkie but I was tired of being sick and tired.
BFT: When you made that decision to leave and get help, you said you were a fast food junkie – how was your life at that point physically?
WI: I was a fast food junkie. I was out of shape and I ate because I wanted to feel better. I didn’t know what to eat, I was uneducated and didn’t know the next thing to do, all I know is that I was in pain and I wanted to do something about it and eating was a way to comfort myself – it was an emotional thing and I can say – being 80 pounds overweight was not fun, but the emotional abuse… emotional abuse does last far longer than the physical abuse. Physical pain stops after the beating and maybe the soreness, but the emotional pain lasts forever.
- To be comforted because we can’t find it anywhere else
- To have some kind of control over our lives
All I wanted was for the pain to stop, and I used to use medicine which just soothed and comforted me before I even ventured so much as to think about fitness or health. Although I no longer had physical pain, I was screwed for years after because of the emotional pain. I still have nightmares today…to this very day and wake up in cold sweats because of the emotional things going on, but that’s what I started with and that’s what I had to work on first; and I had people help me with that.