Thursday, August 25, 2011
Biggest Winners Inspiration Part 3
Meet Nicki, another inspiration and someone I am proud to call my friend. She challenges me every day to push myself to my limits and beyond. She has supported me and been a friendly ear over the last year. She is proof that anyone can do this, you just have to make the choice and do it. She juggles being a mom, working full time and working out with such ease. I'm sure you will agree how inspiring she is after reading her powerful words.
Tell us your story? Why do you struggle with weight/food?
I wasn’t an overweight kid. In fact, I played competitive sports when I was young and through high school, but I never learned how to eat well. My mom was always on a diet to lose those pesky 20lbs and my dad would live on coffee until 3pm every day, but start eating sandwiches or cookies at 10pm because he was starving. My junk food addiction began in high school where the only available food was from a vending machine or the fish’n’chip shop across from the school. I developed very poor eating habits, but it didn’t affect my weight because I was so active. In university, the struggle began. I wasn’t as active, but continued eating poorly. Almost 20 years of yo-yoing followed. I would gain 25lbs, lose 20, gain 30, lose 25 and on it went. I have successfully lost weight a multitude of times, but I hadn’t ever successfully maintained the loss.
Here is Nicki Before
And Nicki After
When did you start your weight loss journey? What prompted you to start?
This time the journey began when my husband and I decided to try to have a baby. We had a great deal of fun trying for the first year, but with no success. I thought that my weight was holding us back. So, on January 5, 2005 (my 32rd birthday), I met with Michele Shorter for the very first time. I went on to lose 33lbs with BDHQ and feel better than I had in years, but our conception outlook hadn’t changed.
We went to a fertility specialist to see what was happening with my disobedient ovaries and discovered that our collective reproductive prowess is more effective than most birth control in *preventing* pregnancy. And our assisted fertility journey began. Having a baby was incredibly important, but the hormones, forced rest and emotional turmoil took its toll on my newly fit body and psyche. With one cancelled IVF cycle under our belts, we pulled ourselves together to give it one more shot.
In August 2006, the second round of daily injections began with an extreme dosages of hormones to rev up the egg engines. We got one fertilized egg for the efforts. When the clinic called to say that our one little egg had split into *two* cells, we celebrated like it was 1999. Those two microscopic cells were about to change our lives forever. Almost 9 months later (a whole other story involving tena pads and a busted water heater), Gavin was born. He is an absolute miracle. I wouldn’t change him for anything.
But 20 months after giving birth to our miracle, I was a tired, overweight, working mom who wanted to get her body back after years of fertility treatment, pregnancy, breastfeeding and post-partum depression. I looked and felt years older than my youthful 36. My body was tired and I was tired of feeling that way.
So in February 2009, at 199lbs, my highest ever (and not pretty at under 5 feet tall), I found Body Dynamics again. Now there was a great downtown studio with a fantastic Biggest Winner program. I had a significant amount of weight to lose, but I have never felt intimidated or shy in this group. I started working out 4 days a week and radically changed my diet to eliminate processed foods.
How much weight have you lost?
At my lowest, I was down almost 70lbs. I have had a set back over the last few months with a pulled calf muscle, but I am back on track and headed for that final goal of 75lbs gone forever.
What does an average week look like in your life (commitments, workouts, work, kids etc.)? How do you fit it all in?
My life is extremely busy with work, family, friends and my health. I say all the time that I work full time and I work out full time. I have 2 boys. A teenager who is busy with his own activities, but not old enough to drive yet and the above mentioned little miracle who is now 4 and quite a handful. Thankfully, I have a really supportive husband who gets that I need to do this for myself.
I also have a great job that is flexible and has been encouraging. Some of my co-workers have been my biggest fans and have since joined BDHQ also! We have a “fitness” policy that allows me to start work a little early each day so that I can get to the gym at lunch. I try to do that 3 days a week. I still attend Biggest Winner classes 4 times a week and starting in the fall I will add 3 morning runs back into my schedule.
It is busy and sometimes hectic, but working out is a non-negotiable. If I have time to watch TV or be on Facebook, then I have time to work out.
Well said Nicki - if you have time to read this blog then you have time to work out :)
Is there anything you miss eating that you used to eat before? Why?
There really isn’t. There are a few lessons that I have learned over the past few years and one has been that if I can’t sustain the way I am eating for the rest of my life, then I should lose weight that way. It is a hard lesson because the lure of fad diets and rapid results is so tempting. I still get trapped in that mentality of just eliminating entire food groups or severely restricting calories to “lose 14lbs in 7 days!!” So I have learned that moderation is key. I am most successful when I am not going to extremes.
If you could go back and talk to yourself at the beginning of your journey what would you tell yourself?
You ARE worth it.
What advice would you give to other's that are struggling?
If they are struggling to get started, just do it! Take the first step. That first one is the hardest.
If they are struggling through the process:
#1. Stay the course! Consistency pays off.
#2 Talk to someone who has been supportive of this process! We all have cheerleaders in our life. Talk to them!
Nicki, you are one of my cheerleaders - you are a friendly ear for me through ups and downs. You help me see parts of myself that I may not have seen before. You are a true friend.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
I just keep showing up at BDHQ. I know that if I show up, the trainers and all the fab people in Biggest Winners will keep me going. And I know that I will never regret going to work out. I will almost always regret not doing it.
What do you do to reward yourself?
This is a place I still struggle. Food has always been a reward to me. It is a hard habit to break. This summer, I have been rewarding myself with new experiences instead. I’ve climbed Mt. Finlayson, gone kayaking, ziplined twice, taking paddle-boarding lessons. Adventure has been my reward instead.
Yes i'm with you on this 100% - this summer has been rewards through adventure. Thanks for joining me and challenging me every step of the way.
Share one of your successes that has meant the most on this journey
I have accomplished so much in the last couple of years, but if I had to choose one thing it would be crossing the finish line of the marathon. When I started in Feb 09, I couldn’t run even a few blocks. In October 2010, I ran a marathon. It was an incredible experience and I will never forget it.
What has changed in your life? for good? for bad?
Just trying to figure out how to put this into words has been in tears. I can’t begin to explain what this journey has done for me. I have achieved so many things. I have accomplished feats of fitness I never dreamed possible. But more than the physical, I truly believe that I am a better person than I was 2 years ago. I am not bitter and sad now. My life is full of joy and I can see it now.
I have met and been moved by some of the most incredible women (and a couple of stellar men!) who model the most incredible strength, drive and passion to change. I don’t think any of them will ever fully understand how much they have touched my life with their generosity and vulnerability. I have made amazing friends and life-long connections.
I could never have done this without the team at BDHQ. All the trainers are fantastic, however, Michele and Lovisa have transformed me inside and out. These two women are compassionate when I am at my most vulnerable and unrelenting when I am at my most unmotivated. They were invested in my success before I knew what success looked like. They believed in me before I ever believed in myself. For that, I will be eternally grateful.
Congratulations on everything you have accomplished Nicki, running a marathon, climbing mountains and continually motivating people to reach their goals.
Posted by Brianna Westhaver at 9:18 PM