About a decade ago, Candice Williams decided to no longer be the person she had been all her life.
Food was her addiction – her medicine and answer to everything, both good and bad in her life. It was time to take her life back.
She decided to become a positive person – yes, that’s a decision everyone can make, she insists – and to start taking care of herself through fitness. After she got herself in shape, it became time to work with others.
“I started teaching an exercise group, so I teach body pump, body flow and yoga,” Williams said. “With a lot of the classes I teach, I'm able to meet people and hear stories that motivate them and me.”
Her own story motivates others. She’s lost a bunch of weight (more than half her body weight) and has become, without ever trying to be, a social media influencer.
“It's overwhelming but it's humbling at the same time,” Williams said. “I actually just ran into a sweet girl at Trader Joe's, and I look in my buggy to see what I have in here because I know how much they look at me and if I have Oreos or something that should be am I going to get judged?”
That "sweet girl" was one of the more than 183,000 people who follow Williams’ Instagram page, "Unending Battle," which chronicles her daily fight to stay fit.
But, when you are an influencer with that many followers, you both have to “keep it real,” and be ready for some trolls.
“I think that's part of the reason why I do have so many followers is I'm not going to be anybody but myself,” Williams said. “I am still a curvy girl. I tell people, all day, I'm trying to build my body. I like strength, I like muscle, I like curves and at the same time if you post a bikini pic or something where you aren't a size 5-6, you get a lot of backlash: 'You should cover up, you're too big.'”
In the end, it’s all worth it for her. Losing weight was great, but the highlight of Williams’ life is:
“Teaching group exercise,” she quickly responds. “I can't imagine not doing it, if that makes sense. I feel like it’s what I'm meant to do.”
See Williams’ before-and-after pictures plus how much weight she lost, in this edition of the Buckley Report.