Quantcast

xoNecole Founder Necole Kane On How Bodybuilding Helped Her Battle Depression

Workin' Girl

Thursday, July 2, 2015, was a day that many of us will never forget. That was the day xoNecole founder and Editor-In-Chief Necole Kane said goodbye to NecoleBitchie.com, a site that had become a centerpiece in the celebrity gossip realm.


A month after her farewell post, she started xoNecole with the desire to empower and inspire women through lifestyle articles. And as an entrepreneur, she was not prepared for the trials she would face in this new chapter of her life, especially since she had a vision of what she wanted it to look like. From the lack of resources to pure frustration, Necole needed something to take up her time that freed her mind of those anxieties and inhibitions. That's when she found herself in the gym.

During a sincere and unvarnished sit down with BET for their series Body of Work, she shared her business struggles, how her fitness goals led her to fitness competitions, and how they ultimately helped her combat bouts of depression.

As any entreprenuer knows, building a business isn't for the faint of heart. Although xoNecole offered a sense of community and a breath of fresh air to millions of its readers, behind the scenes with no additional funding except for her own, the transition was a difficult one. And even after being acquired, the businesswoman had new territories to navigate within along the journey to xoNecole's expansion as a thriving lifestyle site for Black women and their voices.

Fitness became an unexpected light in her day to day life, and fueled her in the fight to keep striving for a reality that truly aligned with her purpose.

"I was struggling with my business xoNecole, I was kind of frustrated at the time. I was running out of resources and I really wanted to grow my brand but I felt like I didn't have a lot of help, and I didn't know if I could keep my site going. I needed something to kind of take up my time because it was a very rough period and I was going through a lot of depression so I went into the gym. I knew for me to stay in the gym I had to have a goal to work towards. I found out about fitness competitions so I said, 'I'll just do fitness competitions' because I knew if I had that end goal, I'd stay the path."

Within a year into her fitness journey, the founder and EIC of xoNecole gained a new title and a new facet to her already multilayered identity: Pro athlete.

It isn't a feat that many are able to accomplish in their first year of competing, but through hard work, consistency, and dedication, Necole became an IFBB Pro in bodybuilding in August of last year. It further solidified for her that anything she could put her mind to, the Universe was conspiring to help her do.

And for the first time in years, it felt like she had her name back. She shed that old skin of her old life as Necole Bitchie, and proudly, with her shoulders back and head held high, walked into her light as an evolved version of herself: the Necole Kane. Fighting back tears, she shared:

"People for two years would come up to me and say 'I miss your old blog' and that always made me feel.. [pauses] I just remember I used to think 'I hope I do something one day that they don't associate me with that anymore.' I thought it would be my new website, which is doing great but it wasn't until my fitness journey that people would come up to me and say, 'Oh my God' and they wouldn't even mention my old site anymore, they would mention my fitness journey. And say, 'You've inspired me so much. I see how you've been in the gym and your body has changed,' and that was such a proud moment for me when that shift happened."

Photo Credit: Audra Oden Photography


Necole more than survived, she had arrived:

"I used to go through stages of depression all the time. I don't get depressed anymore. I haven't had a stage of depression that has happened since I started this fitness journey, especially this chase for my pro card. I have literally focused on my business and fitness all year so I haven't had time to feel sad about anything. I'm filling my time up with things that I'm passionate about and I recommend people do that. Fill your time with things that bring you joy. It was just about showing my family, my friends, and the people that follow me that I'm not one-dimensional. That I can excel as a businesswoman but I can also go on stage and be a pro bodybuilder and whatever I put my mind to, I can succeed in it."

Since Necole has focused on business and fitness, she has found what makes her happy.

Her ultimate advice to any one struggling to find peace would be to fill your time with things that bring you joy. Following that counsel, has allowed her to live her absolute best life.

I don't think Necole even understands the true impact she has on the lives of women who follow her, including myself. For years, I have watched and admired the strength she possesses. She continues to leave me floored by her capacity to live life with intention – it's so easy to fall victim to society's lens of success. I want to personally thank you, Necole, for your body of work: From your unrelenting fitness goals to the fearless tribe you galvanize daily.

The world is a better place because of your body of work, Necole Kane.

Featured image by Audra Oden Photography.

Can we talk about how Megan Thee Stallion is lowkey an inspirational speaker? I mean seriously, have you ever been feeling down on yourself and then "Girls in the Hood" starts playing? It's like, OK girl, get it together, you're a Queen. From beats and bars to catchy lyrics, she's gonna deliver. But musical talent isn't the only thing that deserves acknowledgment. Sis is also about her bag. The "Savage" rapper has collaborations with multiple brands like Cash App, Revel, and recently announced, Nike.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

What a month it's been with New York Fashion Week, the VMAs and the MET Gala giving us life and style inspo for days. The spring runways evidenced that fresh ideas are on the horizon. The VMAs showed us that the world is our runway and we should treat it as such. And then there's the MET. The MET Gala made it clear that America is chock full of innovation from denim to crystals to colors. To be African-American means that we got a little extra edge so the lewks are more than plentiful.

Keep reading... Show less

We all know that the pandemic has been an eye-opener for professionals forced to work from home, isolate, and now, deal with the back-to-office mania. In fact, research by insurance giant Prudential has found that 1 in 4 workers are looking toward new career horizons, and another recent survey of professionals ages 18-24 found that 66% have felt stuck in their careers since the pandemic began.

Keep reading... Show less

Like many, I was introduced to Tiffany Haddish when I went to see the hilarious film Girls Trip. I came into the theatre expecting to chuckle a bit and just enjoy a movie night. But little did I know, this was a film I'd be watching so many more times and that would put Tiffany on the map as a breakout star. From start to finish, I laughed hysterically and even spent the evening with one of my girlfriends, sharing and reflecting on our own college memories. Fast forward to today, Tiffany Haddish is an Emmy- and Grammy-winning household name.

Keep reading... Show less

For the past 20 years, Target has introduced us to new and emerging designers from around the world, all at an incredible value. In the latest installment of their upcoming designer collection, this fall, Target features rising Haitian-American designer Victor Glemaud as one of four designer collections dropping today. Launching his eponymous leisurewear collection in 2006, the NYC-based designer expresses iconic and fun fashion through statement knitwear, designed for women of all races, sizes and personalities.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Lucky Daye Is Doing It For The Culture, From The Soul

Every so often, an artist comes along who seems to be a physical manifestation of all that we are.

Latest Posts