My Journey and How I Ended Up Here

If you are here, then you are probably at least a little curious about me and how I got here. It is a little bit long, so bear with me.

It all began on New Years’ Eve 2009. I was trying to get dressed to go out with my husband (who was then only my boyfriend) and another couple. We were just going to a nearby Irish restaurant/bar for dinner and drinks. Nothing too big or crazy. When I say I was *trying* to get dressed, I mean I was literally pulling every single piece of clothing out of my closet trying things on and getting more and more upset with every outfit I tried on. I had gained weight. A lot of weight. Joey and I had been together for almost 2 years at that point. You know how it goes. You gain comfort weight when you are with someone. You go out to eat more. You spend time with them rather than time working out. It just happens and you don’t realize it. I had reached my highest weight.

After crying and yelling for a few minutes, I threw on a shirt with an oversized cardigan to hide anything I didn’t want to be seen. Which was pretty much everything. I was so embarrassed by how I looked. I am 5’7″ and was 168 pounds and wearing a size 12, tightly. Granted, there are many people who were in worse shape, but I did not know that girl who was in the mirror that day. Then, to top it all off, Joey proposed a few days later. All I could think was, “Shit. Now I really have to get my ass in gear.”

That was that. I had enough of feeling like crap and buying clothes in larger sizes. I hit the treadmill or elliptical every other day. I joined MyFitnessPal and continued working out (sporadically) until my wedding day in July 2011. I was around 150 pounds on my wedding day and wearing a size 8. I felt better, but not content. I was still self-conscious about being in a bikini on our honeymoon and covered up in all the pictures.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I gained 6 pounds on my honeymoon. I came home and got back to it. I was still logging in my food to MyFitnessPal, but my main concern was staying under my calorie limit for the day. I didn’t care what foods I was putting into my body. I skipped breakfast or had 3 cups of coffee instead to keep my calories down and energy up. I had no energy and was having really bad back pain. By the end of 2011, I was down to 148 pounds.  It took me 2 YEARs to lose 20 pounds. The unhealthy way.

I saw a friend post about holding a 90 day challenge group starting in January of 2012. After talking to her, I knew I really wanted to do P90X. I knew I needed to do this, but I had no money to buy a challenge pack. Melanie, being the amazing person she is, said that she would let me in the group anyway. I borrowed P90X from a friend and didn’t drink Shakeology at first. I was hooked after just one week. I LOVED the accountability and motivation given to me through the Facebook group. In my first month, I only lost 4 pounds, but I lost 8″ total around my body. EIGHT INCHES! I was feeling so much better in my skin. I felt so strong. I knew I had to keep up with this. I am a very competitive person, so I had to prove to myself and the rest of the world that I could finish this program. By the end of those 90 days, I was down 11 pounds and 11 total inches! I felt amazing.

I decided I had to pay this forward. I wanted to help people just like Melanie had helped me. In April of 2012, I decided to become a Beachbody coach. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was going to give it a shot and see if I could make an impact on at least one other person’s life. I dove in and started my own challenge groups and kept my own transformation going.

My 30th birthday was about a month away and I knew that my goal to be in better shape at 30 than I was at 20 was well under way. After P90X, I started Insanity. This workout was the toughest thing I have ever done. To put this into perspective, here’s a little story. I had always wished I could be a runner, but just never had the endurance. I signed up for the Race for the Cure 5k as my first ever race. I was finally going to do it. I never once ran to train. On race day, I paced myself waiting for this “huge hill” everyone kept saying was at the end of the race. I was nervous. That huge hill never came for me. Sure there was a hill, but I floated right up it. I ran it in 30 minutes and I know I could have run it faster.  Insanity was the best training I could have done. I was in the best shape of my life.

In June 2012, I was down a total of 17 pounds and 15 inches from my start with Beachbody in January. I was wearing a size 4. I was the happiest I’ve ever been. I felt beautiful. Not because I was skinny, but because I was strong and fit and I felt like I could do anything. I felt so accomplished.

A few months later, I found out I was expecting. It was an emotional roller coaster. I was scared to death. I was excited. I laughed and cried in the same hour. Hell, in the same 5 minutes. My first trimester was AWFUL. I was so sick all of the time. Literally, 24/7 I was sick to my stomach. I ate lots of comfort food and fell off the workout wagon. I vowed to get back to working out as soon as the sickness subsided. I didn’t.

We had some hiccups during the pregnancy. While our little one seemed to be doing great, he was measuring small. As a hormonal pregnant woman, you can imagine how crazy I made myself. Ultimately, the doctors said I couldn’t do anything to help. Did I listen? Hell no. I ate. A lot. I figured if I could feed him more, then he would grow. I am lucky that I only gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy with all that I ate in that last trimester. Then, one morning while getting the BPP (the day before my 31st birthday, might I add), the ultrasound tech noticed that his heart rate kept dropping and he wasn’t moving very much. That was at 7am. By 9:25am, I had undergone an emergency C-Section and our son, Jordan, was here. He was only 3 pounds 2 ounces.

Now, I don’t know if you have ever had a C-Section, but the recovery is long and painful. Seriously. The worst pain ever. On top of that, I was waking up, showering and getting ready to go to the hospital every day for 8 hours. We spent 20 days in the NICU. He was completely healthy, just little. He just needed to make weight before being released. Longest 20 days of my life. I barely rested. I had a short 5 week maternity leave (I am a wedding planner and we were in full swing, so I had no choice but to go back) and a baby at home. Adjusting to this new life took a lot of energy and time. I barely ate and when I did, it was crap food. I had hoped I would be one of those women who wore their pre-pregnancy clothes right out of the hospital. Not so much.

Now my little one is 8 months old and still completely healthy, thank God. I am working on getting myself back to that pre-pregnancy weight. Here’s the irony of it all. I went up to 168 pounds at my heaviest during pregnancy, which if you remember is where I was at my heaviest and my breaking point. Now, at 1 week into P90X3, I am 148 pounds – my starting weight when I started my Beachbody journey. I LITERALLY am starting over. Imagine how frustrating it is for me to have to do this over again! But, I have to stay positive with all of this, right? I have a wonderful son who is healthy and happy. Plus, I know I can do this again because I have done it once already. I wake up every morning at 6am before my little one, so I can get my workout in. I am still tired when I get out of bed, but I do it anyway. I eat clean and eat often. I try to pre-plan all of my meals so I can be successful again.

So there is my story. I am on this journey again. I’d love to help you on your journey too!

Now for the part that has caused me anxiety from the moment I took that very first before picture in January of 2012. Here are my transformation photos. I am not perfect. I never will be perfect. I just do what I can to feel good in my own skin.

Transformation Day 1 - Present

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3 thoughts on “My Journey and How I Ended Up Here

  1. Awe Nicole I love this!! Good job! And a big Thank You for accepting me into one of your challenge groups when I couldn’t afford to get a full package! So inspiring and brave of you to tell your story! I had no idea that you struggled so much with your pregnancy! You are one tough chic! Glad Jordan is a healthy and happy! So proud of you!! Wish we lived so closer! I miss you and think of you a lot! Xoxo

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