It has been almost seven years since Yenory Pouncil began her healthy living journey. She is a proud Garifuna Afro-Latina originally from Honduras, but now resides in Washington, D.C.
Yenory started a website titled iAmHealthyFit after four of her friends wanted to workout with her after work. They would meet at a park in New York City and exercise together.
On Yenory’s website, she stated, “Not only did we support each other, we also pushed each other when we lacked motivation.”
iAmHealthyFit is a space created for Women of Color that can learn that living healthier and happier is attainable, sustainable, and fun.
To learn more about Yenory’s healthy journey, check out her interview below!
Jar: What does being healthy mean to you? Why is it important to you?
Yenory: Being healthy means that you are willing to invest in yourself to be the best version of yourself for you and for the people you love. This is very important to me because most of the health problems we deal with always come back to what we put in our bodies. Living in the U.S.A., I’ve seen firsthand how bad nutrition and lack of exercise affects people and want to teach people particularly women of color that healthy living is attainable and sustainable.
Jar: When did you realize it was time to change your lifestyle?
Yenory: September 2010. I was battling depression after graduation from undergrad, and I was in a very dark place, emotionally and spiritually. I was going through it! Full disclosure, my family noticed that I needed to change before I did. They are the reason I am where I am today. Two of my cousins taught me how to eat right and execise. They taught me to take my time and pushed me to be better.
Jar: What are a few tips you can give to living a happy and healthy lifestyle?
Yenory: So many tips! I’ve learned a whole lot throughout the last seven years. Here are my top three:
- Accept yourself as you are, not as you hope to be. Do not wait until you reach a certain weight to start loving yourself. Start loving yourself now. This is critical to living a healthier life.
- Start by reading all your labels. I strongly believe that everything comes back to what we eat. Before you buy anything, review the labels and make sure you know each ingredient. If you do not know the ingredient, Google it. There are a lot of ingredients in our foods that are banned in other countries. Start with your pantry and fridge today.
- Take your time. I know most of us want to see results ASAP. I get it because that is exactly how I felt, but the reality is that it took you a long time to get where you are, you can’t expect to change that overnight. Change takes time, patience, and work. If you remain consistent, everything will be just fine. Remember that little progress is better than no progress.
Jar: Can you tell me about your website, iAmHealthyFit? What made you want to start this site, and what are your goals for your site?
Yenory: I started iAmHealthyFit to empower women of color to live healthy and happy. When I began this journey, I didn’t have a space that spoke to me, to my needs, and to my challenges as a woman of color. iAmHealthyFit became that space to me, and I hope other women of color find it useful. Over the years, the site has evolved, and my goals for it have changed. Today I hope iAmHealthyFit will do two things.
- Teach and empower Women of Color (WOC) Black, Latinas, and Afro-Latinas to live healthy with a focus on healthy meal prep recipes, tips to balance healthy living, and healthy exercises.
- Connect WOC with resources from women who not only look like them, but understand their issues and are equipped with the right tools to help them live healthy.
Jar: What have been some of your biggest challenges you have faced on your journey, and how did you overcome them?
Yenory: One word comes to mind, BALANCE. I am the type of person that wants to do everything. In addition to iAmHealthyFit’s site, I manage all our social media platforms, I manage the iAmHealthyFit (IAHF) Resource Library, I try to maintain my daily workouts, and I have a 9 to 5. This often leads to a lot of sacrifices. I know that in the long-term it is worth it, but I do struggle with keeping it together. I’ve been better at delegating and automating as much as I can. I also make my priorities very clear and create time to make them happen. For example, I exercise during my lunch break because I do not have time to do it at home. I’ve also accepted that there will always be something that needs to be done, and I can’t let that consume me. Working hard is very important, but it is equally important to take time to disconnect and recharge your batteries. My husband reminds me of this everyday.
Jar: What advice would you give someone who is just starting to eat healthier and exercising?
Yenory: Take your time, do not overwhelm yourself, and listen to your body. Most of us do too much too fast and become discouraged. Instead, start small and find a support group to keep you motivated. We have a private Facebook group that does exactly that. I invite you to join our tribe.
Yenory’s website: iamhealthyfit.com