Like many modern women, Iriel Franklin is a wearer of many hats; yet what separates her from the pack, is her zest to inform and foster the success of others. By chronicling her own journey as she forged a path to enhanced health and wellness, Franklin has inspired others to join her in the process with her Get Fit Or Get Fat website transforming from just a health blog into a lifestyle piece that takes testimonials, weight loss photos, a clothing line and more. We sat down with the health maven to discuss her inspirations, her goals and why she sets out to change the world through fitness and clean living.
Houston Style: You’re actually an accountant by day, how did your fitness journey begin?
Iriel Franklin: My father died from heart failure; he was 6’1, 200 pounds and that contributed to his heart attack. Following my father’s death in ’09, I started a blog to post my own efforts to get healthy.
HS: How did your initial blog transform into “Get Fit or Get Fat?”
IF: I started my weight loss journey in August of 2012; it started off as just me going yin the gym back when I was 300 pounds. As I was posting pictures of my progress, people started asking me questions about how I lost weight and what I ate. It started off as a simple website with an integrated blog and grew from there.
HS: How would you define being healthy? Reaching an ideal weight or knowing what works for your body type?
IF: I didn’t wake up small, I’ve always been large; but being fit doesn’t really mean being a specific weight. Someone may be 200 pounds by can run a marathon. My dad was 6’1, 200 pounds but he wasn’t healthy; so you can get fit, or you can get fat.
HS: In trying to transform yourself, what initial difficulties did you face?
IF: This is where I was; During a doctor’s visit I learned that I was 6 lbs away from 300 pounds, and my blood pressure was high. I didn’t go back for my follow-up appointment, instead I bought a juicer and got started. 3 months later my blood pressure was down. I took a risk with my life, I didn’t want any one else to take that chance.
HS: What is your ultimate goal got GFGF?
IF: I see GFGF as an outlet about so many things. have so many regrets regarding my dad. Could I have helped him? I want it to be a platform for someone who has never been in a gym before but wants to take that first step. Having this company gives me that platform.
HS: You’ve previously expressed an interest in philanthropy, are there any related issues that also interest you?
IF: My plan is to eventually create a non-profit that targets Childhood Obesity. At 7 years old my grandfather would take me to McDonald’s everyday. It’s an unhealthy cycle that often starts young.
HS: You’ve already made major plans for GFGF’s 1-year anniversary with a Wellness Day at the J.W. Marriott on April 26th. What else can we expect from you?
IF: Well, tickets went on sale at the end of March. During the event there will also be a fashion show which will launch The Fitness Line: Spring Collection.
HS: What continues to motivate you?
IF: It just feels as if I’m actually helping people. It’s in my heart. It’s my passion.
First published via Houston Style Magazine, April 2014