Why I decided to transform
It was looking back at photos from a family trip to Disney World and realized that I lost control of my weight. In the photo, I was with my mom posing with Mickey ears and looked unhappy and big. Despite being active in karate and recreational sports, a poor diet and several severe knee injuries caused me to put on about 25 pounds in a year and a half.
Before New Year's Day 2013, I was surfing the Internet and found a transformation challenge which offered prizes to the most dramatic transformation in a one-month period. I spent the next 31 days watching what I ate, making more of an effort to stay active, and training hard at the dojo. Nobody was more surprised than me when I was named the winner. I felt real success and happiness, so I decided to see what else I could do.
Later that summer, I visited the Toronto Pro Supershow and was fascinated by the bodybuilders and competitors. Since I'm not a marathon runner or triathlete, I didn't know which goal I could use to keep pushing on. That weekend, I decided to become a fitness competitor.
How I accomplished my goals
I hired a coach to start my weight-loss journey. I stopped buying garbage food and started scheduling my workouts into my day like I would a meeting. When I decided to get into bodybuilding, I did lots of research, found a coach who specialized in that area, and dedicated myself 100 percent to the lifestyle.
I keep motivated by following athletes on Instagram and Facebook like Dana Linn Bailey, Jodi Boam, Julie Bonnet, and Jill Bunny. I stayed accountable by posting progress photos on my social media accounts.
Supplements that helped me through the journey
Diet plan that guided my transformation
Here's what I would eat on a high-carb day like leg day.
- Sweet Potato
- MuscleMeds Carnivore
Training regimen that kept me on track
I do HIIT cardio 2-3 times per week for 20 minutes and train in the martial arts twice per week. I work abs in every day. To keep my heart rate up between sets, I jump rope or do jump squats and box jumps.
- Side Lateral Raise
4 sets of 12 reps
- Lying Leg Curls
3 sets of 45 secs
- Butt Blaster
3 sets to failure
- Seated Leg Curl
3 sets of 45 secs
What aspect challenged me the most
I crave chocolate and bread constantly, so keeping my diet clean was a real challenge. I also travel a lot for work and have a busy schedule, so if I'm not organized with my meals I resort to fast food or airport food. I have to remind myself why I do what I do and what my ultimate goals are.
My future fitness plans
I'm currently training for my next bikini competition in October 2014 with a long-term goal to earn an IFBB pro card. I'm also studying for my personal training exam so that I can share my love of fitness with others looking to achieve success and happiness.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
It's easy to get overwhelmed by differing opinions on diet and exercise, so start small. Pick 1-3 healthier habits and work on them every day until you are 100 percent compliant. Only then should you start working on something new.
My first habits were to have breakfast every day, drink two liters of water, and do something active every day. Succeeding in small ways when starting out gives you the confidence boost to keep going and to tackle bigger targets.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com offers a wealth of information on how to get healthier. If you have a question or need perspective, the first place to look is Bodybuilding.com.
Nikki's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Talk Dirty To Me" by Jason Derulo
- "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears
- "Timber" by Pitbull (Feat. Kesha)
- "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody" by Fergie
- "Beast" by Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard