Category Archives: Wellness

With a Grateful Heart!!!

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Written By Kanika Nikki Utley, November 2012 FitnessX Magazine Cover Model

When I first arrived to LA, I was this Jersey girl who was chasing the dream in Hollywood. I was still figuring out who I was, what I really wanted to be and what was going to make me happy. When I started my fitness journey with Michael Blanks and Irene Blanks Drenched Workout, I realized how much fitness made me happy.

Even to this day, I celebrate me whenever I do a Drenched Cardio work out. Michael and Irene’s passion for transforming people’s bodies is truly contagious. They really want you to have fun while fighting through the pain and sweat. The best part is whenever I show up for my intense high energy cardio session, I’m always greeted with a smile. They help me feel good about me.

The Drenched workout was the beginning of who I am today. I’m so grateful for the Blanks family for making me apart of their family. The success I have today is because of the faith, love, and support you always have for me.
Thank you! xo

Kanika Nikki Utley

 

 

 

 

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Inspiring YOU to Live Well…Naturally!

Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling

Ldelaney

Written By: Laurie Delaney – Fitness America, NPC, ABA, UNBA, WBFF and INBA/PNBA

Photo Credit: B-House Photography

In life, we come to a point that we realize that there is a “glass ceiling” where we may get stuck, feel we don’t deserve more, or feel discouraged.  I visualize this ceiling as if I am getting closer and closer to that glass ceiling as I stay disciplined, dedicated and committed to reaching my goal, but when I get close, I back off, give it up or get discouraged.  Recently in my preparation for the WBFF show, I found myself watching other competitors more than I was watching myself and giving others all the compliments and encouragement, which is great, but not giving myself the same encouragement.  As trainers and competitors — those that others perceive as leaders — we need encouragement, and a little boost every once in a while too.  Whatever your glass ceiling is, you can break through it and I’m going to break through it.  I personally have been dealing with this issue for a long time and just realized it existed.  So, I’m focusing on overcoming the fear of failing, (or is it fear of success…), and allowing others to pass me by because they deserve it more.   I’m speaking in terms of show preparation, but you may feel this way in terms of your job, weight loss goals, or breaking an addictive behavior.  The first step is realizing it exists, and second, do something about it.  Here’s what I am doing and perhaps it will help you.  1) I’m writing down my goal, 2) I’m telling people what my goal is, 3) I’m listening and believing what others tell me who are encouraging me to reach that goal, 4) I’m removing obstacles that may be standing in my way and 5) I’m meditating on successfully obtaining my goal.

I’ve had it explained to me this way.  Draw a circle with your goal in the middle.  Draw a second circle around your goal…. Place people, places and things that will influence and encourage you toward that goal.  Draw another circle and place the names of people, places and things that won’t encourage, but won’t discourage you either.  On the outer circle, write names of people, places and things that will stand in your way of reaching your goal.  You know where this is going, right…. Draw nearer to those people, places or things that help you reach your goal and put distance between you and the people, places and things in that outer circle.  Sometimes this means making a significant life change and significantly different choices daily, but if your goals are important, you will succeed and in the end…. It’s never too late to make positive change.  You may find your journey to success is one that will inspire and encourage someone else.  And, that’s is the greatest gift ever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Laurie Delaney has been in the fitness industry since 1993, teaching, learning and applying what she knows to her clients and herself.  Since she received her Certification from the American Council of Exercise, she has also been Certified in YOGA, Pilates, Core Synergetics, BOSU Balance, Intensified Strength Training, Lifestyle Weight Management Consultant and as a Clinical Exercise Specialist.  Competition life is in her blood and she enjoys the journey…whether it’s first place or not.  She began competing in 2000 in the Fitness Division, then moved into female Bodybuilding, and now competes in the Bikini and Figure Divisions.  Laurie competes with Fitness America, NPC, ABA, UNBA, WBFF and INBA/PNBA.  She sees competitions as a way to better herself and prove to women over 40 that you can not only be fit, but you can stand on stage and be proud of your hard work.  You can visit Laurie’s website at http://www.lauriedelaneyfit.com/.

This is My Legacy…

Nikki-BillyBow

 Written By: Nikki Utley

CEO/Publisher BillyBow Aguirre asked me a while ago, “What is my legacy?” and “What am I leaving behind?” In order for me to answer that question, I turn back to a previous generation of my family. I look to my grandmother, Alcine Utley. She was an outspoken leader in her community who played a major role in giving back to the less fortunate in Trenton, New Jersey. One year, she fixed a Thanksgiving dinner and served it out of her beauty salon for the entire neighborhood, even after they broke into her shop and stole from her, littered her property and sprayed graffiti all over her building, she still wanted to feed them. She believed whether it is money, insight, or truth, God wants us to share it with others. There is a tremendous blessing to be gained by opening our hearts and lives to those who need to know about unconditional love and forgiveness.

I also look back to my great grandmother Lucille Jiles aka ‘Little Mom’, the true matriarch of my family. She was a trailblazer in her time, not only obtaining a college degree and a master’s degree, as a Black woman in rural Alabama, but becoming the 1st Black to hold the position of Superintendent of Troy, Alabama’s then segregated school system. She was a strong advocate for education, despite all of the inequalities; she dedicated her life to providing quality education to all. She along with my great grandfather (Folly Jiles) made the ultimate sacrifices, so that their children and grandchildren could enjoy a full life that consisted of a strong intellectual and cultural background. She was very much the political activist in the 60’s during the Civil Rights movement, and garnered the respect and admiration of many of her contemporaries, Black and White.

When I look back to these great women in my family I recognize my purpose. I am a leader. I am an advocate for change. I am the voice for the unheard. I am the beacon of light for anyone who has lost their way.

So, in honor of my family legacy, I’ve strived through my own fitness journey to touch people’s lives in any way I can. I’ve teamed up with fitness personality Jodi Tiahrt at Quest Nutrition, a brand that prides itself on helping people to eat naturally. I’ve followed the direction of fitness and figure competition coach and mentor, Cathy
Savage. She’s paved the way for many women to transform their physiques naturally by teaming up with Isagenix. Thanks to the Savage team, I’ve joined the Isagenix family, an organization that is committed to making an impact on world health and free people from physical and financial pain, and in the process create the largest health-and-wellness company in the world.

 Most importantly, I’ve partnered with a dear friend, David Wilks, who came to me with the idea of creating a platform for Black women in fitness to stand upon. I jumped on the idea right away and we created Black Fitness Women, a support group that is dedicated to acknowledging Black women who compete or simply train and strive to promote a positive example of health and fitness.  According to the office of Minority Health, “African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About 4 out of 5 African American women are overweight or obese.”  With BFW, we are giving Black women an opportunity to change their lives and not become a statistic. They can no longer use the excuse that there’s no one like them in mainstream media to give them hope and motivation about their health. When they see BFW, it’s like looking in the mirror. They will be inspired by women who look like them and have the same needs as them.

My goal is to continue the legacy my great grandmother and grandmother left behind. They were leaders. They lived to make a change. I know that when it’s my time to pass on, no one will remember how many trophies I won from competing, no one will remember how many likes or comments I got on cute pictures on Facebook, no one will remember the crazy reality shows I produced…What people will truly remember and honor is how I used my life to make a difference in other people’s lives…that is my legacy.

So, I thank you “Little Mom” and Alcine Utley for being strong, intelligent, resilient women who drew the blueprint for my legacy. In all that I do, I do in homage to you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nikki Utley is FitnessX Magazine Cover Model and serves as a Producer on a host of acclaimed reality television programs such as NBC’s Emmy-nominated “The Apprentice” and Bravo’s top rated “Flipping Out”. Nikki’s passion to motivate others has led her to establish a fitness career. Currently, she’s the overall winner of NPC’s MuscleContest.com Bikini Masters Division 2012. Her unwavering focus to help women know their worth and ability to succeed propels her to be a formidable force in the fitness world.
FitnessX Magazine for November 2012

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FitnessX Magazine 2012: FitnessX Magazine for November 2012

FitnessX Magazine hopes to inspire and motivate women to live a healthy lifestyle. Our writers/models will inspire you with articles and tips about fitness, health & wellness. All our models are natural athletes and excel in other disciplines. At FitnessX Magazine, our tagline says it all “Inspiring YOU to Live Well…Naturally!

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