Nardia Cunningham is a wife, mother of two, and owner of a successful fitness business known as The Bodylab, LLC. Today, she has it all; a beautiful family, a thriving business, and she is a competent athlete. But her journey came with challenges few could endure so gracefully.
Nardia was born in Kingston Jamaica. She joined the Army in 2001. She was injured and received a medical discharge in 2008. Her injuries left her with permanent injuries, surgical pins in her feet, and she was diagnosed with PTSD.
Despite this, Nardia began developing her own loosely organized fitness group. It all started when she decided to help her college friend to lose 90lbs. Her friend was considering surgery. Nardia understood the risks of laparoscopic surgery and dedicated herself to coaching her friend through a natural weightloss program of her own design.
Her friendly intervention attracted the attention of others looking for a weight loss solution. Over time, Nardia gathered a loyal group of people who would join her and her friend in the park on a regular basis. This was the seed that would lead to a stunning transformation.
Nardia returned to school, and despite her injuries, took a position as a Sheriff’s Officer in 2012. By this time she was married and had two daughters. The heavy workload, scholastic responsibilities, two pregnancies, and caring for two small children took a toll on Nardia. Working nights, missing her husband who was away on military duty, and caring for her two daughters was beginning to feel like too much. Unable to keep up with her fitness routine, and coping with the biological changes of two pregnancies, she soon found herself succumbing to depression.
DEFEAT IS NOT AN OPTION
“[…] working nights, coming home to a newborn and 4-year-old- I felt like a zombie. My husband was gone for weeks on military duty. Our new house was too far from my group classes. I was uninspired.” But Nardia refused to be defeated. She soon discovered that social media made it possible for her to find a new audience. She began by offering fitness advice on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She began to feel the inspiration to be fit and help others get in shape reemerging.
Her online fitness partners helped to “keep her accountable,” as Nardia puts it- and she did the same for them. Soon, with her spirit renewed, she found the strength to go from an out of shape 186lbs to a lean and muscular 150lbs. “Family, friends, fitness, and motivating others are what keep me going. I love living and exercising to be fit, not skinny.” Clinging to her dream, Nardia used this momentum to create her business- her dream job. Today, she is a shining example of what inspiration and the refusal to give up can do. Instagram: @fitdastruggle/Facebook: @bodylabllc Website www.BodyLab.tv