Sometimes I sit and wonder if I am truly having an impact on those around me.
Sometimes I wonder if I am capable of producing something that truthfully helps people.
I often find myself wondering...
Is this enough? Is this working? Are people actually happy?
And then I read something like this....and everything stands still just for a moment. I read these words and suddenly I am reminded why I started to pursue my passion with a fierce determination.
Because all it takes is one person.
One life, and I have accomplished what I have set out to do. I cried a little while reading this one...not going to lie.
I want to introduce you to Emily Best. Emily has been a strong, dedicated and model active member since day one. On January 1st, 2017 Emily made a decision to put herself above all else and begin to create a life that would transform all aspects of who she is. I have watched her triumph month and after month, but I have also watched her pick herself in more ways then one. I am so proud of all of your accomplishments Emily and your constant desire push yourself beyond your limits.
I cannot wait to see what you create in this life...
Emily Best- Phase 8 Creative Credentials
In the past eight months, Nicole has changed my life in every way possible.
I also want to note that for as long as I can remember, I tackled many aspects of my life in an all or nothing mindset. I was either working out for two hours, seven days a week OR I was almost completely sedentary. I was either eating super clean or eating horribly. I have gained and lost twenty to thirty pounds more times than I can remember in the last five years and my body did not enjoy or respond well to this abuse.
To make a long story short, I have struggled with weight and self esteem issues for as long as I can remember. On top of this I lived with a digestive illness that crippled my life every single day. Constant bloating, extreme stomach pain, debilitating migraines, mental ups and downs, and hospital visits were all normal occurrences in my life.
This brings me to one of the “lows” in my all or nothing lifestyle that I found myself in this past December. I was carrying around that extra thirty pounds, I was constantly tired and fatigued, I was eating a lot and making very poor food choices, I always felt down, and the smallest challenge or setback would affect me immensely.
It was the perfect time for Nicole to come knocking at my door…
Nicole has always been a role model for myself and many others in the community I grew up in. I looked up to Nicole in the volleyball world, and it was impossible not to notice her infectious and inspiring personality in everything she did. I was also lucky enough to spend two years with her in Nova Scotia when we were both attending Acadia University. In this time, she told me about her goals of starting her own company that would help others create a healthier and happier life. I knew then that if anyone could reach their biggest goals, it was Nicole, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I would see this dream flourish in the biggest ways!
Little did I know, that Nicole would impact my life as significantly as she has.
Let’s get down to it. (Sorry I tend to have a lot to say when talking about how amazing Nicole is).
I joined Stay Inspired as soon as I heard about it- I am lucky to be a part of Nicole's first ever Fill In The Blanks group that started in January and am now about to enter into my NINTH phase of the program. I gained a crazy amount of knowledge, skills, and insight so fast it seemed like it happened almost overnight.
Lets start in the kitchen.
I have been a vegetarian for almost five years now and have always tried to keep my dairy intake at a minimum. Shortly after joining Stay Inspired I made the choice that I was ready to commit to a fully vegan lifestyle. I knew that if done right, this diet would promote optimal health in my life. Nicole helped me so much in this process.
She was there every step of the way during my transition to make sure I was receiving all of my nutrients through healthy plant based sources. I have never loved food so much and how amazing my body has responded to this dietary decision. I am so thankful for Nicole’s openness and encouragement in this decision and she has helped me become the healthiest and happiest vegan version of myself. This choice has completely reversed my crippling dietary issues, my migraines, and was a large contributor to my weight loss.
Now lets talk about the workouts.
I have accepted the fact that I never have and never will enjoy going to a gym. One of my favourite things about Stay Inspired is that I can complete these effective circuits in the comfort of my own home and not have to deal with expensive gym memberships. Nicole’s circuits have allowed me to achieve things I never thought I could. Being able to say that I no longer hate burppees and that I can now complete push ups from my toes are things I never thought I would be able to do. Watching and feeling my body become stronger and stronger every week was an amazing process. I now feel more energized and enthusiastic in everything I do.
Nicole also helped me reach a huge goal of mine- which was to become a successful long distance runner and to reach my goal time in the Tely Ten Road Race. (A 10 mile race here in Newfoundland). With Nicole’s training plan, constant motivation and encouragement, and a lot of hard work..
I cut over 20 minutes off my last years race time coming in at 99 minutes!!!!
I crossed the finish line feeling more accomplished and proud than I ever have… and ready to create a new goal for next years race!
Set a goal, work my ass off to reach it, set a new goal, repeat.
This is a normal routine that Nicole has instilled into my life.
In total, I have lost over 20 pounds, cut my pants size in half, and am stronger than ever. The only expensive part of the program was all the new clothes I had to buy! :)
Lastly, lets talk about the part that you cannot see.. the hardest part of all.
In a recent visit with Nicole I wanted to share a realization I had with her. A realization that has changed my life in a major way. I have “been skinny” before. I have been “skinnier” than I am now actually. I have been a size 6 before.
But I have NEVER once looked in the mirror and liked the reflection.
I have NEVER felt good about the way my body looks, ever.
Even when I was small, any picture taken in a bikini would involve my arm covering my belly. This all changed since joining stay inspired. On March 1st of this year (I will never forget this date), I decided to take my first picture since my starting picture on January 1st. I put on those same bright pink leggings I had worn in the first (and told myself would never be worn in public they looked so bad). I already knew that they felt better than last time and didn’t fit quite so snug. When I took my mirror pictures I already knew that I had come along way. And when I created the side by side photo of me in the same leggings in January I instantly started to cry.
I felt AMAZING.
I felt PROUD.
I felt STRONG.
I felt UNSTOPPABLE.
And best of all I felt HAPPY.
Through Live with Nicole's, weekly tips, weekly challenges, and one on one chats with Nicole, my favourite transformation of all happened…
My mind is even stronger than my body.
I tackled everyday challenges with a smile on my face and new skills and mindsets that enabled me to overcome each one successfully. Throughout this program I have experienced denial, sickness, loss, and countless setbacks. And my new mindset and mental stamina not only allowed me to get through each situation, it allowed me to give strength to those around me to help them through the challenges as well.
Get inspired, inspire others, who in turn inspire others..
Nicole has started a MOVEMENT and I cannot wait to see how big it grows.
I want to end by saying that;
I HAVE FOUND MODERATION.
I have learned MAINTENANCE.
And I have finally found a program that WORKS.
My poor self esteem was thrown out with the box of my too small clothes because neither of them are ever welcomed back into my life. I cannot wait to see what is next for my last few months of stay inspired and then to see what comes after that. I have accomplished more since the start of this program then I ever thought imaginable and I’m definitely not stopping here. And this is all thanks to Nicole and this amazing vision she told me about back in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
I owe the smile on my face during mirror selfies, my amazing dietary habits, my dedication to staying active, and my newfound happiness to the amazing Nicole. I know I put in a lot of hard work and had amazing support systems along the way, but I would never have started or gotten where I am without Nicole. I owe you a life supply of tropical sour gummy bears! ;)
If you want to be writing this same story in eight months time, contact Nicole, sign up for Stay Inspired, and get ready to change your life!
- Emily Best (St. John's NL)