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Domestic Violence Survivor, Wendy Ida – “A time to mourn and a time to dance.”



wendy ida, black fitness today

Wendy Ida (pronounced ee’da) also known as “America’s #1 Expert on Looking Fit, Fierce & Fabulous after 40” is an internationally recognized Best Selling Author, Speaker, TV Host, Life Transformation Coach and Fitness Expert.

She is also a two-time Guinness World Record Holder and 8x award-winning National Fitness Champion.

You may have seen Wendy in dozens of appearances on TV or talk radio and other media such as Essence Magazine, CNN, Fox Sports Net, NBC, ABC, B.E.T., exercise videos and more.

Wendy is on a mission these days to transform and rebuild the lives of women (and men) around the world. Her mantra is: “It’s never too late to Take Back Your Life!                          

A Time to Tear Down

How did you go about tearing down the walls that domestic violence built?

Quite honestly…it was really hard. I will tell you this. It didn’t happen overnight. We are talking years. In fact, it has been quite a long process and remnants still remain. Initially I sought some help from family and other knowledgeable people for comfort and a sense of safety. I also did some soul searching with counselors and coaches in order to move forward and not repeat the same patterns or mistakes. In addition I went back to college to get my bachelors degree and I did some study & research on my own to understand the “why’s” of my past which all helped me to understand how to breakdown those walls. But this is an ongoing life long task for me. In essence the way I continue to breakdown those walls is by helping other women through similar crisis as mine – whether its abuse, health & fitness issues or simply if they want to Take Back Their Lives like I did. For me it is rewarding, therapeutic and important for the greater good.

A Time to Build Up

If you had to name the corner stone from which you’ve built your new life, what would you name it and why?

Hmmm…good question. No one has ever asked me that before. I have a good answer though and I have to tell you that this hits one of those sensitive cords that makes it rain on me – but in a good way. The first name that comes to mind for my corner stone is… Sylvia Sanders. That’s what I would name it. That’s my sister.

She was my second mom, confidante, life guide and happy pill all in one. She is the sole person who helped me out of deep do-do when I had no place to go. She opened her angel heart and provided a place not only for me to rebuild my life, and myself but also for my children, my other sisters, brother and their families all at the same time.

Although Sylvia has passed on, she will forever remain my greatest mentor. She has helped me rediscover the true meaning of life and how it should be lived. As a result I was able to reopen my heart again and meet my new love and husband today of 25 years.

A Time to Weep

If you could talk to Wendy of the past during the times she wept, what would you tell her?

This question makes me cry even now because it goes deep.

This has actually been a sore spot I had been struggling to overcome for years because there is still that vulnerable piece of me that visits me every now and again – mostly in my dreams or should I say nightmares. I confess up until just a few months ago I was constantly looking back and asking myself why did I let it happen or why did I live like that for so many years. Why? Why? Why? I would beat myself up with the whys. It took hearing some wise words from a psychologist that Oprah interviewed to help me see the light and get a little more resolve on these issues.

In several ways I have gone to that place in my spirit and soul and talked to that incredibly scared little girl, Wendy from my past. I say to her…this is NOT your fault…this is NOT what love looks like…don’t be afraid anymore …wipe away your tears and stand strong. Walk out that door NOW and don’t ever look back! You deserve more! In fact, you deserve the best and you can have the best as soon as you let go here!

I understand now what I didn’t understand then and therefore I forgive that part of me. She (Wendy) just didn’t know any better.

A Time to Laugh

What makes Wendy laugh?

I am so happy I found my happy you don’t even know. My list is long for the things that make me smile these days. But what is even more incredible is that I found my laughter again too! I had lost it for at least 13 years. I am talking about real belly laughs folks. Nothing like it! It’s medicine to my soul!

What gives me a real belly laugh is my husband, Art – when he does imitations of people, places or things. He’s a conservative guy but a comedian at heart. In fact, I had my first real belly laugh with him. On the other hand, I can get a little silly myself. I like acting out unexpected, chaotic pranks and things just to humor him or myself for that matter. I just feel energized and happy most times so I go wherever the feeling takes me with no inhibitions!

A Time to Mourn

What helped you get through your time of mourning?

I have to say I am a God-fearing woman and that was my first point of refuge and still is the root of my stable being. Otherwise, Family talks, counseling, involving myself in constructive activities, being around positive people and simply improving my health are largely responsible.

What I used to eat made me feel bad, had me on brain fog and exacerbated my fears and insecurities. Building my body up improved my confidence and increased not only my physical strength, but also my mental strength. A pleasant side affect was an 80-pound weight loss.

Let me emphasize that this was not an overnight process. It has taken me years for these things to unravel and mend itself, but it was worth it because on the other side of it all you can really enjoy and appreciate the sweet spot you find yourself in!

A Time to Dance

Wendy, show us what you’ve got!

Look out “Dancing with the Stars!” Dancing is one of those things listed high on my happy list.   At 63 I still just can’t stop moving!

Keep up with Wendy by visiting her website,  or send her an email at You can also follow Wendy on social media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Reference: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

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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.


The Journey of ‘BETTER’

Find out what stretches you and take the challenge!

Pastor Cornelius Lindsey



We all desire to have something better—better health, better car, better life for our children, or a better life for ourselves. It is a desire we all share. It wakes us up in the morning, and, for many of us, it is something we think about before going to bed. Our desire to have better or do better is sometimes met with a few roadblocks. We can either feel like we don’t deserve better or that there is no way better would ever come into our lives. Some of us may feel lost as to where to start in our journey or confused when things don’t go the way they should.

Be encouraged to begin your journey of better at the end of your comfort zone. Yes, you read that correctly. Begin where your comfort zone ends. Your ability to do and have better is predicated on your willingness to mature beyond your desire to quit.

When I started working out, I wanted to give up so many times. It was my desire to stop altogether; however, I knew I had to train beyond my level of comfort. That was the only way I was going to grow. When I’m lying on my back underneath the weights, I have no other choice but press beyond my desire to stop and rack the weights. I can sense my muscles failing, but I know it’s the extra reps when I’m most tired that makes all the difference. If I refuse to start where my comfort zone ends, then I will remain stagnant—trapped in a level of comfort that I truly want to escape.

You may desire to be better in your career; with your health; in your marriage. If so, go the extra mile; find out what stretches you and take the challenge. That could be reading a book about a subject you’re wanting to grow in, taking a foreign language course you’ve always wanted to learn, or finally investing in a trainer to help you meet your goals. You will never know how much you can do and how far you can go until you’re willing to stay on the journey of better even when it feels like you want to quit. You have to just keep going. You could be saying, “I understand what you’re saying, but what if I start on this journey and I fail!” Well, I believe failure is in the refusal to move, not the willingness and get up and try. And allow me to reverse the question; “What if you succeed?” You’ll never know until you try. Get on the journey and stay committed to the process.

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The #BlackTravel Movement Is a Reality Many Before Us Could Only Dream Of



black travel

Black travel and exploration around the world is here to stay. “We can do what we want. We can go where we want,” says Evita Robinson, architect of the #BlackTravel movement and creator of Nomadness.

But black people didn’t always have opportunities to travel freely, even in the United States. See how Robinson’s idea has created a powerful movement and how she is bringing our community together through travel experiences.

Check out this video from Rise Up.

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Don’t Fall For The Two Income Trap!



Society has wrongly programmed us into thinking that we need two incomes in a household to thrive. That’s simply not TRUE! You should never base your financial situation off of both you and your spouse’s income. In this video, we’re going to help you not fall for the two income trap.

📍 Check Out MetLife Auto & Home –

The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren-

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Talaat and Tai McNeely “America’s #1 Money Couple”, are Financial Educators that are on a mission to get couples on the same page financially, and to experience the joys of financial freedom. They are co-authors of Money Talks: The Ultimate Couple’s Guide To Communicating About Money.

They are also the hosts of the top rated podcast, “The His and Her Money Show”. Talaat and Tai McNeely (His and Her Money) have been featured in numerous publications such as Black Enterprise,, The T.D. Jakes Show,, Essence, and Business Insider.

Disclaimer and Disclosure – We are not licensed insurance agents, nor coverage experts. MetLife Auto & Home website is full of information and resources to help you make the best decision for your insurance needs and budget. Deductibles, policy terms and conditions apply. This is a sponsored video from MetLife Auto & Home Insurance.

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today






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