Want to know more about Invest in Your Body and the IYB movement? Take a minute to read this interview with IYB Founder and CEO, Demetrius Fincher. Driven to help people reach their potential and inspired to create a fitness community, Demetrius built Invest in Your Body from the ground up. His passion and determination launched this health and fitness movement, and he’s proud to share that passion with you!
What is Invest in Your Body, and what is its mission?
Invest in Your Body is an initiative that encourages people to make health and fitness a priority. We offer education, motivation and support to those who want to make the lifestyle change.
Where does your interest in fitness and nutrition come from?
My older brothers first sparked my interest in exercise and physical fitness. They were mildly involved in weightlifting and calisthenics, and they gave me the encouragement I needed to get started by setting increasingly difficult goals for me to achieve. Early on, he instilled in me the importance of training for the challenge, not for the mirror. That’s a principle that I carry with me to this day.
My interest in fitness remained throughout my life, but I was inconsistent with exercise and knew very little about nutrition. All of that changed when, in 2004, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She made a lifestyle change and placed new emphasis on her diet, and her commitment inspired me to take a closer look at how I was eating. Through her journey, I began to understand what a vital role nutrition plays in overall health and wellness.
Where did you get the idea for Invest in Your Body?
I’ve never been someone who likes the traditional gym, but I felt that exercising on my own led to inconsistent workouts. I thought that if I were part of a supportive community, I would feel more capable of committing to a lifestyle change.
Prior to starting Invest in Your Body, I searched for non-traditional training platforms as well as sports performance training. I trained in boxing, mixed martial arts, and crossfit. I obtained certificates in TRX Group Suspension Training, Crossfit Level 1 Coaching and I also became a personal trainer via the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I had gone to graduate school to become a Licensed Master Social Worker, and because of my interpersonal skills and fitness know-how, friends often came to me for wellness advice. I realized that many people felt the exact same way that I did: they wanted to make a commitment to their bodies, but they didn’t know where to start and needed support from knowledgeable coaches and a friendly community.
How did Invest in Your Body get started?
Instead of searching for the community that I was longing for, I decided to create my own. I purchased some of the worst dryfit t-shirts you could find and printed “Invest in Your Body” on the back. I started going to a park in Brooklyn, NY with a TRX suspension trainer, a kettlebell and a truck tire. People took notice and started to join me in my workouts. My nephew loved the concept and started hosting workout groups in New Jersey. Friends in Philadelphia caught wind of the idea and loved it, so I started traveling to PA to do group workouts. I shared information about the community we were building on social media, and even more people started to get excited about Invest in Your Body. I’ve now received e-mails from people as far away as the UK and Australia!
How is Invest in Your Body different from other fitness programs?
What we are doing is providing people with exactly what I always felt was missing: a community that offers education, motivation and support. There are many people who didn’t have a workout partner or gym buddy, and now they have us. We use IYB TV videos to spotlight inspirational stories and introduce people to new forms of fitness. We will use our blog to provide education on various topics related to the lifestyle. We will use our social media to support people along their journey. We are truly a lifestyle fitness resource.
Why is the Invest in Your Body movement important to you?
My passion in life has always been helping people reach their potential. This can be done in so many ways, but you can never truly enjoy success in anything without good health. There are so many misconceptions out there about health and fitness. Technology and access to huge wealths of information can be great, but the internet is filled with confusing and conflicting information.
This is why the Invest in Your Body movement is so important. My goal is to use my skills as a Social Worker and my knowledge of fitness to provide accessible, accurate information and plenty of encouragement. This is truly a community first and a company second. We are here to make fitness and good nutrition a priority and a possibility for any and everyone.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about health and fitness?
There are so many! If I had to identify the biggest, it’s that many people believe that fitness is something you do as opposed to the way you live. Fitness is a lifestyle! If you do not commit to the lifestyle than you will never reach your goals. You can’t just go to the gym a few times a week and think that you will reach your optimum physical condition. You have to commit to eating food that has high nutritional value. You have to make sure you are getting adequate rest. You have to consider your fitness during your leisure time. You have to ensure that the people you surround yourself with are supportive of your health. Most importantly, you have to set goals!
As a society, we have moved from wanting things fast to wanting things NOW. The fitness industry is flooded with unnatural supplements, harmful products, ineffective equipment, surgeries and steroids. People can lose their money, health and even lives in the pursuit of “looking good,” when all along we should focus on what makes us healthy. At Invest in Your Body, we provide people with a clear understanding of what it takes to make positive lifestyle changes, and empower them to understand that they can meet their goals.
Why do you think people don’t invest in their bodies?
I think that the number one reason people don’t invest in their bodies is because they ultimately don’t believe in themselves. Self-doubt leads to excuses. We look at celebrities and say “I can’t look that good.” We look at athletes and think, “I can’t do that.” So many people get discouraged by what they think they can’t accomplish, and so they don’t even try!
I say, set a goal. I want to do a pull up. I want to swim one mile. I want to run a 5k. We are here to do it with you. We are here to make it possible.
Who is part of the Invest in Your Body community?
Many of the leaders of this community are regular people who live busy lives but make time for their health and fitness because it is a priority in their lifestyles. We know single moms who maintain full time careers outside of the fitness industry and are also professional figure competitors. We know single dads who have dedicated their lives to health and fitness because they want to inspire their children. We believe that telling the stories of these members of our community will inspire others to give themselves a chance at being successful. Anyone can make their health a priority.
Who inspires you?
I feel that everyone I’ve encountered and everything I have experienced has influenced who I am today, but if I had to identify my number one inspiration, it would have to be my mother. She is the toughest and softest person I know. She is truly a fighter and she sacrificed so much to provide me with the opportunities I have. I feel that it is my obligation to honor her by chasing my dreams.
What is your advice to people starting their lifestyle change?
Use the common sense approach and take small steps. It can be intimidating to get started, so look towards achieving goals one at a time and recognize that good health is an investment, not a race to the finish line.
Nutrition is the basis for a successful fitness plan, so cut the sugary sodas and juices and eliminate candy and junk food. Be mindful of portions and add fresh produce to every meal. We plan to offer a lot of information on nutrition because this can be one of the most confusing and challenging lifestyle changes.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to the Invest in Your Body community. We are here every step of the way to make your fitness journey possible!
What is the Invest in Your Body apparel all about?
Invest in Your Body Apparel gives people the chance to represent their lifestyle inside and outside of the gym. If you know you’ve worked hard for your body, why not show it off with some IYB apparel? Each piece presents an inspiring, positive message for the wearer and for those around them. The goal of the apparel is to spread the movement, and we hope that these stylish pieces will encourage people to represent their new lifestyle!