In her own words…
“Question 1. What was your life + mindset before working with Nichole?
I had spent the past 5 years really trying to dig into my own health and wellness, specifically trying to unearth the root cause of emotional eating issues. My investigation led in part to much healthier nutritional habits. I was eating and feeding my family with whole foods cooked at home. I was exercising regularly, doing cardio on the elliptical 3-4 times per week.
But I still struggled with a negative body image, as I had for years, and I did not always feel in control of my eating choices. Once when I quietly shared this with a friend, she said ‘of course you have these issues! Doesn’t everybody?!’ I wasn’t sure if that made me feel better or worse.
Over the years I had tried many different kinds of diets, including fasting for 24 hours a week, dieting during the week and pigging out on Sundays, and some funky diet pills that left my hands shaking and my mouth dry. None of them worked long term. But this last one I signed up for was sure to really kick off those last 15 pounds of flab. It was an elimination diet. Over the course of 30 days, I took out certain foods that were suspected to cause inflammation and then slowly and deliberately reintroduced each one at a time. I learned that I felt much lighter and happier with gluten and dairy out of my diet. I learned to reduce my sugar intake and caffeine intake. But I did not lose the weight that the diet had promised I would.
I was at the end of my rope. Was I destined to be ‘a little chunky’ for the rest of my life? Should I just accept that, after all, I was in pretty decent shape for a 44-year-old mom of 4? Were these, as my friend said, the same emotional eating issues everyone has?
This is the point where I met Nichole. I signed up for her 21 Day Get Moving Challenge and absolutely loved it. At the end of the 21 days I accepted her offer for a free consultation. Two things she said from that phone call of a year ago have stuck with me. The first was that ‘in terms of weight loss, diet and exercise are about 20% of the equation. The other 80% is mental.’ This blew me away. I had no idea what she could possibly mean, but, man, I wanted to find out. The second was a gentle observation, ‘It seems you might have some forgiveness work to do. On yourself. On others. That was the moment when I knew I had to sign up for coaching with Nichole, jump into the full program and give it everything I could.
Question 2. What did these problems interfere with the most in your life?
I had a love/hate relationship with my scale. Mostly it was hate. Anyway, it was something very powerful because man, that baby could put me flat on the ground with just one small word. Yet I couldn’t give her up. She kept calling to me, ‘c’mon, just step on me once. It won’t hurt. You’ve probably lost 4 pounds already. Won’t it feel great to learn you are skinnier!’ And so I’d give in and strip down, even taking off my glasses. And as I’d hear the digital beep, even before I looked at the number, I would sense her cackle. ‘Ha ha ha ha!! You thought – you dared to hope – that you lost weight! You gained 2 pounds you fat piece of lard! Matt is NEVER going to want to have sex with you again. None of your clothes fit you now. Go look in the mirror and see how puffed up your belly looks. You might as well pour yourself another Cosmo/down a chocolate bar/ scarf down a box of Thin Mints because it’s all over now. You are fat.’ And the downward spiral would begin.
When I shared this with Nichole, she gave me an assignment. She said to stay away from the scale. Stop weighing myself. But first, she said to write for 15 minutes on my feelings about the scale and about myself. Then get on the scale. Then write non stop for 15 more minutes about how I felt afterwards. I was startled to see the power that silly little computer chip had over me. I offered myself forgiveness and decided the scale does not determine my worth. I stayed away from that toxic piece of equipment for months. Then one day, I was feeling exceptionally good. I had been confident with my nutrition choices for a few weeks and was enjoying offering my body the gift of movement. I was feeling lean and strong and wanted to see what the scale had to say. When I got on, the scale told me that not only had I not lost any weight, I had actually gained a couple of pounds in that timeframe. I stepped off and then back on again. Same numbers. Then I looked up and said out loud to an empty bathroom ‘the damn thing must be broken, cause I feel great!’ I was free. Except at the doctor’s office, I haven’t stepped foot on a scale in 6 months. It no longer has any power over me.
I can’t tell you how many pounds I lost in Wildly Alive Weight Loss because I don’t know. For a while that really frustrated me. But now I feel so incredibly light and freed from old harmful patterns of thinking, and I’m usually so happy when I look in the mirror (or if not, I have the tools to shut down the voice of fear) that it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t know how much I weigh and I am okay with that. In fact, I’m much more deeply happy than I ever was counting those numbers.
Question 3. What were you skeptical about when you were asked to try the WAWL program?
Many of the assignments made me uncomfortable. Put my hand on my heart and tell myself ‘I forgive you and I love you?’ Look into the mirror each day for 7 days in a row and tell myself ‘I love you?’ Partner up with a ‘supportive sister’ who will ask me questions, be there for me and help keep me accountable? Send an email to 10 of my closest friends asking them what they think my top 3 qualities are? These were not of any interest to me.
I was deeply skeptical about Nichole’s instructions to eat every 3 hours. It took me a long time before I trusted it enough to even try it. I doubted Nichole’s claims that I didn’t need more than 30 minutes of cardio/strength training and that I didn’t have to be doubled over in pain during and after the workout for it to be worthwhile.
I absolutely knew for certain that I would in no way be participating in the group coaching calls. No way was I going to be talking to Nichole about my struggles in front of all the women in the group. Was she crazy?
Question 4. What specific things did you notice after starting the program and how long before you noticed them?
All of these elements (and many others) made me extremely uncomfortable. And I had no idea how they could possibly be related to weight loss. But I did them. Each and every assignment. I kept remembering what Nichole said during a workout video, to ‘get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable because that’s where growth happens.’
And little by little, day by day, I began to see changes.
Slowly, I started believing the kind things I was telling myself. I began to harbor less bitterness and judgment towards others. I was more gentle with myself when I made mistakes. After repeating these positive phrases to myself each morning, I began to fully integrate and live out of my new lifting beliefs.
Question 5. What was your favorite part of the WAWL program?
I really grew to love the coaching calls. In the other sisters’ questions and struggles, I heard myself. I did not feel so alone. In Nichole’s response and guidance to the other sisters, I felt supported. I was fascinated by how alike we all are! And slowly I got up the courage to ask a question. Not a deep one at first, not a real struggle, but at least I was in the conversation. Then the floodgates opened and I began to look forward eagerly to the weekly calls. I loved hearing updates on my sisters’ progress and challenges. I felt comfortable truly sharing, even to the point of letting the tears fall when they needed to. I enjoyed being known by these women who were on a similar journey to mine.
Question 6. How is Nichole’s program different from ones you have tried in the past?
For most programs, once its over, that’s it. You learn what you learn, wrap things up and move on. With Nichole’s program, the learning and lessons keep on going and going. In fact, that’s where the true power is. It is in what Nichole calls ‘strengthening your bounce-back muscle.’ Doing this program did not solve all my problems. It did not take away all my sadness or loneliness or insecurities or faults. It did give me a toolbox full of options for how to respond to the difficult moments. Instead of standing in front of the refrigerator stuffing my pain down with food, I can journal about it. Instead of sabotaging all my intentional eating choices when my husband and I come off an ugly fight, I can do EFT and offer myself and him forgiveness – without even having to talk to him! Instead of beating myself up because its been 4 days since I’ve had any exercise and, look, my jeans are already getting snug!, I can gently remind myself that right now, this moment is a good time to give my body the gift of movement.
Since I completed the program, I have had ups and downs. I have gone through periods of emotional eating. I have felt fat and dumpy. But the difference is, instead of drowning in the old messages of fear, I now recognize my inner voice of truth. My voice of truth reminds me of exactly what I need to become centered again. I’ve learned how to listen, because Nichole taught me that making choices from a place of love is the most powerful weight loss plan ever.
Question 7. If someone who was really important to you was on the fence about doing the program, what would you tell them?
This is about weight loss. And also, it has nothing to do with weight loss. It’s about your perspective on yourself and on the universe. It’s about learning who you are and where your value lies. It’s about forgiving yourself and others. It’s about trusting your intuition, and listening to your body, and knowing the transformative power that comes from making choices out of love instead of fear.
If you have any questions for Kristin about Nichole or about Wildly Alive Weight Loss, you may email her.
Learn more about The Wildly Alive Weight Loss Program