How I transformed my body after Covid

December 8, 2021

I wanted all my pain and suffering to be worth it. I was standing in my room with limited clothing on to take my before pictures. I took a deep breathe while I had tears streaming down my face. I took a photo from the front, side, and back to the best of my ability. I took another deep breath reminding myself that this is all temporary. That my body in this space was temporary.

Just like most of the world, I was struggling during the pandemic. I went from being on my feet fourteen hours a day to sitting at my breakfast table working as many virtual sessions as I could while developing awful shoulder, back, and neck pain. I went to the kitchen and ate what I wanted to comfort the physical and emotional uncertainty I was feeling at the time. I was bloated on a daily basis realizing that I was not naturally burning off all that I ate because I was not up and moving at the gym. I was also post breakup which wasn’t helping either.

I used temporary fixes to cut weight for my Strongfirst Kettlebell certification so I could test with lighter weight. I weighed in at 125 lbs in August 2020. That was probably the hardest yet most rewarding weekends of my life considering that I tested for three straight days in a mask while moving apartments by myself in the evening. After that, there was no need for those quick fixes. Fast forward to March 2021. I was blessed to enter back in the workforce and out of the pandemic lifestyle. I was wonderfully overwhelmed with a new job and an influx of business after 18 months of working from home and collecting unemployment.

In all honesty, it was downright uncomfortable coming back into the gym helping all these people after an emotionally unbearable year and being so unhappy with my body. The work started right then and there. No more fucking around Nikki. This is the experiment of all experiments. On April 1, 2021 I weighed in at 140 lbs.

It’s not new to me to fluctuate in weight and it’s never put me in a state of stress because as a coach and nutritionist I have the power and knowledge to attain the feeling and body I feel most comfortable in. So I thought, let’s document this process to truly prove to others the following:

  1. This process takes time
  2. This process takes effort
  3. This process can be uncomfortable
  4. You most likely will have to ask for help

Like I said, despite the fact I felt like shit, this process was not new to me. I wanted to show others that no matter who you are, coach or not, you have to put in the work. I started on my own and with very simple steps. I started eating a salad a day and strength training just 2x a week. I just wanted to simply begin moving and get out of the pain I was feeling. By default, I was sleeping better because I was moving more and doubled my water intake. Phase two was integrating a third strength day and meal prepping to bring nutritious food to work on a consistent basis. The weight began to shed and I started moving like an athlete again.

I realized to take it a step further I needed some help. All the steps I was taking were great, but realized that my work was a little aimless. After six months, I reached out to a fellow coach to take my measurements, I tracked my food for a month to make sure I was eating enough as I was expending more energy at work, and asked another coach to write me a strength program with focus on pull ups and trap bar deadlift. I put myself in charge of my conditioning days. Two months later, ten months in total, I reached my pre-pandemic weight (which is not 125 lbs by the way), performed five unassisted pull-ups, and back to acing multiple 24kg Turkish getups with ease. I felt like myself again, more importantly.

I’m tired of living in a quick fix world. Your health is not a quick fix. It was never about the weight, but how I felt and how I carried myself. Could I have cut the weight quicker? Yes. I absolutely have the knowledge to cut weight quicker than I did, but I also did not want to suck the joy out of life and I was way too busy at work to take on more than I could handle at that moment. The process wasn’t perfect and you best believe I enjoyed my summer to the fullest.

It may have taken me longer, but in this moment I have never felt so proud of myself. Why? Because I have put myself in a position where all of this was a choice. I am not a victim to my health or weight. I am able to choose how I want to feel and look. Leading a life of good health is a conscious effort and choice. The process is really just learning more about yourself and what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. So that when you’re in the trenches of life, which you will be in at one point or another, you will not fall victim to it.

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