Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
Hello! My name is Nikki. I work full time as a data analyst and project manager at a bio pharma company. I also am a certified personal trainer & fitness nutrition specialist running my own fitness company. As for hobbies, I compete in bodybuilding competitions, love kayaking, running 5Ks/10Ks, I’m also a belay certified rock wall climber and I enjoy graphic/web design!
What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
My weight had fluctuated quite a bit after grieving the loss of my fiancee in 2007 and as I approached my 30th birthday. By 2010 I was at my highest weight/size and I was unhappy with how I looked and felt. I knew I had to do something and start putting my health first.
What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
My heaviest was approx. 151 lbs with a nearly 30 inch waist. My lowest during this transformation has been approx. 113 lbs. I have since put on more muscle and I am now approx. 125 lbs with a 24 inch waist.
How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
My transformation will always be a work in progress. I started working out in Sept 2010; I started eating clean in May 2011. Four months later, I had lost approx. 23 lbs and had a more toned/athletic appearance. By Sept 2011, a year after joining the gym my body fat percentage was approx. 22% and I had lost 30 lbs total.
Which physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
Primarily strength training and running.
How did your eating habits change?
Initially I cut carbs drastically. Then over time I switch from low carb to paleo, opting to eat more whole natural foods (including carbs) but eliminating a lot of processed foods.
What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner?
Breakfast is typically oatmeal and an omelet… and COFFEE! All other meals are a combination of protein (poultry, fish, beef), veggies and either sweet potato or brown rice. I don’t snack often, but if I do it might be fruit, protein shake or nuts.
What is your favorite fitness activity?
I really enjoy lifting weights; I still run just not as frequently as before.
What do you do now to maintain your physique?
I continue to do the same things that I did when I started. I eat clean minimally processed foods 90% of the time, drink primarily water all day and workout (strength training and cardio) 6-7 days per week.
How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
When I first began my journey I threw all of the junk and processed food out and vowed to never purchase in bulk again. I made a decision to put my health first and that turned into a lifestyle. I allowed myself to have a treat/cheat on the weekends and would limit it to a single serving. Instead of telling myself I couldn’t eat x, y, or z… I would tell myself you can have it on Saturday. That helped to keep me from feeling deprived. The more you practice willpower, the stronger your willpower gets. Let your goals motivate you and help create the discipline you need to lead a healthier life.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get started with their fitness journey but not sure where to begin?
Focus on what you are eating. Nutrition is honestly the most important part of any transformation. Also, don’t try to change your entire life overnight. Pick one thing you can improve upon and master that, then add the next thing. Your consistent efforts overtime is what will make the biggest impact. Lastly, find an activity you enjoy… if you hate running it will be hard to be consistent with it. Find something you can look forward to!
What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
I think the biggest misconception in fitness lately is that you need to detox or take special pills, shakes, teas or other supplements to make progress. Keep it simple, eat healthy, limit your intake of processed foods and drink more water. “Detoxing” for a week or drinking a special tea is not going to undo years of an unhealthy lifestyle… so skip it and create a healthier lifestyle giving your body the nutrient dense foods it needs to work optimally.
Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
I am not only inspired by top bodybuilders like Candice Lewis Carter or Cydney Gillon but I am inspired by seeing other ordinary people just like me transform their lives. I love seeing the light-bulb moment when someone goes from thinking about getting fit to actually embracing fitness, getting healthier and creating the physique they dreamed of.
How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)?
I post lots or positive motivational content as well as workout videos on all of my platforms:
- I can be found on www.fitgirlnikki.com
- My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
- FB www.facebook.com/fitrgirlnikki
- IG www.instagram.com/Qnhikohle
- Twitter www.twitter.com/Qnhikohle