Interview by: La Tasha Taylor
Iriel Franklin (center) lost her father to heart failure three years ago. An accountant by day, she began posting about her journey online and quickly grew a following of over 6,000 Instagram followers and developed a product line Get Fit or Get Fat. Read how this mother and career woman has become an inspiration for thousands of women on their weight loss journey through hosting digital fitness challenges.
Please introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Iriel Franklin, founder of Get Fit or Get Fat . An online fitness website & community dedicated to helping people take control of their health by motivating, and inspiring.
Your personal journey toward health comes from the loss of your father to heart failure. Tell us how that affected you?
At first, it was very difficult to deal with. Here I am, thinking that my father was “healthy” because of his weight/body frame, but because of his eating habits, and the way he ate, it caused his heart to fail. For a while, I struggled with a slight sense of guilt. “If I would have chosen to get healthier sooner, could I have saved my father’s life?” But now I know my purpose. To “save” others, and change the misconception.
You described yourself as the big girl with the pretty face. How has your weight impacted your relationship with others throughout the years?
The crazy thing is that I’ve always been confident. Sure, in more intimate settings, I was more reserved, and wanted to keep the lights off, and of course I would hear the famous “You’re beautiful for a big girl” comments, and actually think that those kinds of statements were compliments. I didn’t realize that I was hiding behind a sense of “false pride”, when I knew that I definitely would have liked to have been smaller.
You lost over 100 lbs in just one year. Tell us about Get Fit or Get Fat?
The idea for Get Fit or Get Fat came to me when I had lost about 40 lbs. I would track my progress via social media and post progress pics for myself, so that I could see the proof and also as a form of motivation. Because of this, several people would contact me daily, asking me what I did, and what I’m eating, how did I cook it, what workouts they could do, etc. Because I couldn’t respond to them all, I created getfitorgetfat.com, a place where people could go to gain the necessary information they need to start. I then added fun, motivating fitness wear to the site with motivating words and phrases to get people excited about working out. From there, it just grew.
What has becoming an entrepreneur meant for you?
One of the main things I pride myself in, is that I’m real. I’m open, honest, and I’m still on the journey. I was overweight for as long as I can remember. I’ve never been “skinny”, and I’m not perfect. I hold myself accountable, as well as my business. Get Fit or Get Fat has become my second child. I want to reach people. I want to help people, and this is my platform to do so.
Having passion for what we love is the best feeling. You have generated revenue from your business with a blog, products and services. How do you help or motivate others in creating their dream jobs?
One of the first things I tell someone who wants to start a business is to have a plan. There are so many times where we want to do so much, and get caught up in this thing called life. I think it’s important to be practical, patient, and passionate. Do something because you want to, because it’s in your heart. Not because of the monetary value it can possibly provide.
Advice for those battling weight issues?
My advice is simple. Trust the process. Never compare your progress to someone else’s. We all lose differently, but you have to remain dedicated. Start at 30 days, and then add 30 more. Make it a habit. It’s not easy, but the reward and gratification you get at the end is so much sweeter.
Visit the official website for more information about Get Fit or Get Fat
Photo: Get Fit or Get Fat