Vicky’s Fitness Journey! Food is your friend!

Today we are featuring our glorious ambassador Vicky for a client story! Vicky has been an online coaching client for 6 months and what a glorious 6 months it has been! Vicky was already in great shape when she joined the team, so the goals were to recomp her body and build lean muscle mass.. I think she is doing a sensational job! I hope you enjoy reading her story…

I guess you could say that I’ve always had an interest in health and fitness. My brother got into bodybuilding when I was in my late teens, and I accompanied him to the gym a couple of times so he could show me the ropes. Prior to this I had tried running but never found much enjoyment in it and so that didn’t last long! (lesson 1: you must enjoy what you do, or you won’t stick at it!). So, when I found weightlifting, something clicked.

The problem was, I had only ever gone to the gym with someone and had them effectively tell me what to do. The thought of going into a gym on my own and having to figure out how to work these massive machines filled me with absolute fear.

I moved to a house-share in Bath when I was 22, eventually joining the YMCA gym with my housemates. I would stick to a routine of moving between the cross-trainer, the treadmill, the bike, and every so often would build up the courage to find some little dumbbells or kettle bells and retreat to a quiet corner away from absolutely anyone else.

When my housemates stopped going, I really tried hard to keep it up but truthfully, I didn’t have the motivation, discipline, drive or knowledge to continue. Instead, I joined the leisure centre gym and made use of the classes available there – I felt much more comfortable having someone tell me what to do!

It wasn’t until I moved in with my boyfriend in 2018 that my relationship with food became more luxurious than just what was necessary… I think the novelty of moving in together and cooking our own meals meant that we accompanied everything with cheese for the first month solidly! This probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d kept up my leisure centre membership but with rent and bills to pay, I decided to quit.

After 6 months of indulgence, enough was enough, something had to be done. I was officially the heaviest I’d ever been, and I was so unhappy with my appearance. My confidence was at an all-time low.

I joined a HIIT Circuits group which helped re-ignite a passion for weightlifting, they encouraged me to count calories and stick to a goal of 1,200 per day (I’ll come back to this), allowing myself one cheat meal per week, and I worked out 3 days a week for 30 minutes per session. The weight drastically started to fall off. I felt much fitter and I was starting to see some muscles poking through, but there were still elements of the HIIT style workouts that did not suit me. I remember I’d always shudder with dread at the sight of ‘sprints’ on the workout plan.

Although I stuck to and enjoyed the workouts for over a year and a half, and I’d achieved the desired results, I eventually gave up the calorie counting. I was tired of seeing treats in the kitchen at work, searching the calories in my app and feeling demoralised by just how much was in a single doughnut or slice of cake. It wasn’t sustainable (lesson 2: if you restrict your diet too much, you’ll end up unhappy and binging).

Fast forward to March 2020, Coronavirus hit the UK, lockdown began, and workout classes became virtual. After a month or so, I decided not to renew my membership for the next season, but it meant being sat in the house with no release from the pressures of working from home and being stuck inside for the foreseeable future. Like so many others, I resorted to alcohol – gin was the only thing separating the working day from the evening. I also had a comment from a work colleague saying that no one would recognise me at the end of the pandemic because I’d have put so much lockdown weight on. That stung.

This is where Nicole Rebecca Fitness came in. I’ve known Nicole for years, so when I started seeing her home workouts on Instagram, I decided I needed to get my butt into gear and start to move again.

I joined a local gym when we were finally released from lockdown and started working with Nicole to develop a personalised nutrition and workout plan.

Slowly but surely, my confidence grew – not only my self-esteem in everyday life but also confidence to use the big equipment in the gym, confidence to stand amongst the men in the free-weights section, confidence to walk into the gym in just a sports bra and leggings. All these things I never thought I’d be able to do.

I’ve now been part of NRF for 6 months and can honestly say the change in, not only my physical appearance but also my mental health, has been phenomenal. I am stronger in body and in mind, I am happier, so much more confident, I sleep well, I’m more positive, more energetic… the list goes on.

Since I lost a good amount of weight through HIIT workouts, the goal with Nicole was more of a muscle building one. We hit the weights hard, 4 days a week, and slowly started to increase my calories to aid muscle growth. I am leaner but also more curvaceous and working to build a booty as sensational as Nicole’s!

Increasing your calories into a surplus is scary. Particularly given my previous experience of calorie counting. As women, we are conditioned to believe that you will only lose weight/be skinny/get the body you want if you’re on a diet. No pizza, no burgers, no chocolate, no carbs – that’s NO life! NRF encourages an 80/20 approach to nutrition, making it much more sustainable and achievable in everyday life.

I have absolute confidence in Nicole; everything she has advised so far has given me fantastic results and whilst I am aware it is my own discipline, consistency and hard work that has got me here, I can also say whole-heartedly that I couldn’t have done it without Nicole and the support of the NRF girls. Being part of a community of women who build each other up is revolutionary! I have finally found a process that suits me, that I enjoy, and I cannot wait to keep smashing it in the gym and see where I am in the next year or so.

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