Beating Obesity is a new segment on my blog where I interview persons that I have been following and watched that have inspired me.
They’ve shown me how amazing the human body can be and how if we just put our minds to it we can free ourselves from this self-built prison.
I’d also like to start this series because I noticed a lot of the pages that share transformation pictures only share the finished products. For someone who is just starting out that may not be the type of inspiration they need. Maybe, they need someone who is in the during stages not the after. This series will cater to every type of person. Someone who has reached a milestone, persons who are halfway there, and persons who are in the after stages. I want everyone to be inspired!
Our first feature is Nikki. If you’d like to keep up with her journey you can follow her on Instagram. Her handle is @nikkisbeatingobesity.
Tell me about yourself. Something unique and dynamic. Not the generic things that someone can find out on social media. But also add your name (first name) and age, please.
My name is Nicole, but most persons just call me Nikki. I am 32 years old. I have always been overweight (if that’s what you want to call it), as far back as I can remember. I was the chubbiest girl in my classes all through elementary school. In sixth grade, the gym teacher told me I weighed in at 199lbs. My senior year of high school, the gym teacher did weigh-ins openly, in front of the entire class. Classmates “bet” on my weight. By the time I graduated, I was averaging 283-287lbs. I would try the “fad diets” only to get discouraged when I didn’t see the results I hoped to. I met a guy right before my 20th birthday. Toxicity is an understatement. After eight years of emotional, mental, and sometimes physical abuse, I decided the relationship was not able to be salvaged and I ended the engagement. Even though it was my decision, I didn’t feel… worthy (to put it in a sense…) and I didn’t care about myself. I solely relied on food as comfort.
What gave you the motivation to start?
It was right before Christmas. I hadn’t had my cycle in more than three months and it was concerning as I have always been super regular. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. When I stepped onto the scale, I weighed in at a whopping 331lbs. I was so embarrassed that I had let myself go even more so. A few weeks later, I learned I had PCOS. The feeling of hate I had for myself intensified as she told me children would be not impossible, but difficult.
How did you start? (Did you start by exercising or did you clean up your diet first? And did you clean up your diet gradually or did you jump right into it?
I questioned if there was anything she could prescribe (again, trying to go the easy route) –but her suggestion was seeing a nutritionist. My first appointment was four months later, with the nutritionist. I tried to start on my own but I still weighed 327 at my first appointment. I felt discouraged but was willing to try anything. She discussed nutrition, labels, etc. I did minimal exercise in the beginning. Using her basic suggestions (drink more water, read labels, calorie intake, fruit, and veggies) by my second appointment I had lost 31 pounds and the third, another 20lbs. ONE year later, I had lost a total of 100 pounds. I felt healthier than I thought was ever possible, not to mention the gained confidence. I felt finally self-worth/love.
What’s the hardest thing about your lifestyle change?
There are a few… but the hardest is definitely consistency. Staying focused long term. Another difficult thing is social media. Finding the balance between following others for inspiration/motivation and not allowing what you see online to discourage you.
What has kept you going even when you didn’t feel like it or when you felt like it’s not working out how you planned?
I’m human. I “fall off the wagon” far more often than I’d like to admit. Life gets hard. Sometimes thing’s don’t go according to plan. Initially, in those moments, I tend to resort back to old habits… often using food to comfort. It never takes long until my body says NO MORE. It begs me to fuel it, to work out. It’s tough but I focus all those negative energies into my workouts. Getting back into a routine.
Do you have any regrets on where you had to get to change your lifestyle around? And did you have to evaluate yourself to find the source of your weight gain?
I wish I had loved myself enough to fight for me sooner. But I believe everything happens for a reason, in its own time.
Why is/was this time different from the other times you’ve tried to lose weight? What gave you the strength to not give up this round?
This time I used my mind: basic information. I didn’t go for the diet pills.. the shakes or wraps. I used food to fuel me. I eventually incorporated workouts. I saw the change, more importantly, felt the change. Also, I was helping to take care of my sick aunt. The weaker she became, the stronger I wanted to be for her… for my future.
What has been your happiest or the most rewarding moments since you’ve started your journey?
I hate to be 100% scale focused. But I think the most rewarding moment was when I saw 199. It was the first time I saw a starting number of one since the day I weighed in in the sixth grade. It was a bittersweet feeling.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about or just started their lifestyle change?
Do this for YOU… because you deserve to be the healthiest version of yourself. We all fall – but getting back up is what matters
What is the ultimate goal? Do you have a specific weight goal? Is there something you want to achieve after getting to your ideal place?
If I had to pick a number, I’d go with 165. 165 pounds lost, weighing me in at half the person I once was. If I never reach that point, it’s ok. I’ve lost 150 ish pounds on this crazy journey. My future now is about maintenance and saving money to one day have loose abdominal skin removed. Until then, it’s learning to accept the body I have now with all its quirks.
The first step is trying and the next step is not giving up when things get hard! If you keep going you may be the next person featured here!
Keep going! If no one else believes in you know that I do. You’ve got this!
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Remember you are a pink starburst and don’t let anyone tell you differently! xoxoxo