Photos courtesy of Precious Woodley

When you envision a female fitness influencer, you probably think of a woman with a perfectly proportioned and conditioned body that elicits envy from everyone who sees her. Precious Woodley is not that woman (yet), but she definitely has influence. You may have seen her on Instagram sharing her journey to health and wellness that is about much more than logging hours in the gym. She has embraced her FAT—“Fine and Thriving!” she proudly proclaims—body and is determined to bring it into its best and healthiest form while encouraging others along the way.

Woodley traces the beginning of her fitness journey to the beginning her college years at UW-Madison. “Most people gain the freshman 15, but I gained the freshman 100,” she recalls. Between a sedentary study life and extracurricular activities like drinking that were not always the healthiest, Precious noticed the change and committed with friends to living a healthier and more active lifestyle. Just when she started to notice some progress on the scale, she discovered that she was pregnant with her daughter. Five years later, she looked at what she was calling baby weight and again committed to taking control of her health. After trying a number of diet trends, she sought a strategy that would help her to not only lose weight, but to sustain a healthy lifestyle beyond the summer body.

In 2015, Woodley wrote a “FAT Girl Letter” to herself where she encouraged herself to care for her body out of love for herself alone. In this letter, she wrote of her desire to be a motivational speaker who can encourage others. 

Like all of us, 2020 was a pivotal year for Woodley. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, she experienced domestic violence. As she moved through her healing and survival, she noticed that she lost 40 pounds from stress alone, without any intentional weight loss effort. She wondered “what could I do if I actually worked at this?” Then she set out on a new health journey motivated by a desire to continually love herself better and to motivate other women.

Woodley began personal training with Andrew Walls after seeing results that he had with another client. Her work with Walls allowed her to not only begin working toward her health and fitness goals, but also to learn to trust Black men again in a safe environment. She became stronger mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. 

In early 2021, Woodley rediscovered the FAT Girl Letter while on an airplane. Armed with new strength and confidence, she set out to honor the desires that she expressed in that letter. The first step was to talk with Walls about becoming certified as a personal trainer. She has now completed her coursework with International Sports Science Association and is a certified personal trainer and certified nutritionist, which qualifies her as a certified fitness coach. Woodley continues to pursue additional certifications to enhance her knowledge and capacity to support others toward wellness. A fitness journey has become an entrepreneurial journey.

Social media has been key to Woodley’s health and business success. As a millennial, she has always connected with people online, so she decided to parlay her existing social media practice into something that could support her health and business goals. She began posting workout footage to her Instagram stories in early 2021 thinking that she would be more comfortable if the post vanished after 24 hours. Gradually, she began posting more, including her own transformation pictures. “They surprised me!” she exclaimed. In February 2021, she rejoiced at reaching 299 pounds from her highest weight of 365. She was thrilled to be out of the 300s and but she was also focused on the victories that could not be measured on the scale. 

Woodley launched Me2You Selfcare Enterprise as the capsule for her wellness entrepreneurship. While fitness is a launching point, she wants to help her clients in total life transformation through four pillars: self-defense, self-care, financial fortitude, and health and wellness. Her logo is a gradient from black to purple, the color of domestic violence awareness, to show that domestic violence is only a part of her story, but it is a necessary part that has revealed new capacity in her. “God chooses his strongest soldiers for the biggest battles.” Woodley is her own marketing material, so she freely shares the highs and lows of her story to demonstrate to others that all of these things can work together for good.

Woodley now works as a Director at The Goddard School in Verona and is in a new, loving relationship with a partner who has complementary wellness goals. 

With a happy relationship came happy weight, but Woodley was prepared. She began using a fitness app from another Instagram influencer who served as her fitness coach to get back to accountability for her routine and healthy lifestyle. The app inspired her to offer a similar service to her existing clients that would also allow her to expand her clientele exponentially. Woodley’s fitness app is now in development. She looks forward to adding this and other services to her business to help more people and to reach the level of wealth that she desires.

In all the work that she has done to transform her life inside and out, Woodley is committed to remaining FAT. “I look at that as Fine and Thriving and that’s always and forever. So no matter how small I get or how fit I get in the eyes of anyone, I am still a proud FAT girl.”