One of the biggest challenges it seems women face is the struggle with their weight. I feel like it’s a constant conversation and oftentimes an uphill battle. It goes well beyond the ‘vanity’ aspect. When one is comfortable and truly happy in their own skin, their confidence radiates and the energy around them is palpable. The thing is, we’re not all blessed with genetics that allow us to eat whatever we want and stay the same weight our entire lives. For those of us (most of us) who feel they are always struggling with their weight, this interview today I can guarantee you’ll love.
Nicole Graham, Coach/Ambassador for Amanda Russell and Owner of The Garden Hen, is a mom of 3 and a busy business owner, who was simply unhappy in her skin. So, she made a change. A big change. An 80+ pound change. She did everything from home (literally never went to a gym once), and is now coaching women along their weight loss journey. Her story is extremely inspiring, so the interview is going to start a bit differently…she’s going to share her story and then we’ll get into the questions. Keep on reading for how she lost her weight, her advice to others in a similar boat, what inspires her, and much more.
Nicole: My story begins at over 200 pounds…
While I have the most amazing and blessed life with everything in the world to be happy about, I was extremely unhappy with myself for many reasons, but the main one was I felt empty and incomplete. Something was missing that I couldn’t put my finger on. Then it hit me… I had lost sight of who I truly was and where I wanted to be. Looking at myself in the mirror one morning and being extremely unhappy with what I saw I knew I could do better. So, my journey had started. The motivation hit me like a ton of bricks… Then day after day of diet change, physical activity (everything from home because, lets face it ladies, not all of us can get to a gym especially being the mom of three girls ages 2, 3, 13 ), and constantly moving (literally I never sat down), the pounds started falling off. First 10, then 20, 30, 40, and finally 80+ pounds. And BAM I had finally hit my goal August 8, 2016.
There are no words to describe the feeling that comes over you when you have worked so hard to accomplish something you have wanted and needed for so long!!! I finally was able to look in the mirror and say these three words “I DID IT’. Then in the next days to follow I knew that my mission was not complete; my goal was much greater. It was to support women just like me who needed that extra push, that much deserved that extra push we all need, the encouragement to do so much better. My push was Amanda Russell. She has given me the platform to help as many women as I can on a daily basis, which is a dream come true. There are no words to truly express my gratitude and love, from the bottom of my heart, Amanda, thank you.
I hope my story will inspire women to be the best individual they can be even if it means taking it a day at a time… You can and will get there you just have to want it.
What kept you going throughout this process?
Results, determination, my health, my husband, my kids.
The harder you work, the better you feel, and knowing you did it all by yourself is a feeling you can’t put your finger on. It’s such a feeling of accomplishment.
And you never once went to the gym? Wow!
I used my greatest tool… my body. People do not realize what an amazing tool your body is!
You can utilize it and it will work hard for you. If I had to list, in order, the workouts that worked best for me they would be…
Dancing, walking, squats, lunges, crunches, and Amanda Russell YouTube has all of these, too. She has a workout for everyone and you never get board. Not to mention they are high intensity for short periods of time.
What do you typically eat?
Everything! Ha – sort of kidding.
As a rule, I eat lots of fruits, veggies, protein, carbs, yogurt, and little dairy.
I believe, for the most part, everything is ok in moderation. However, the key is you have to burn more calories in a day than you consume… 85% of weight loss is what you eat, not how long you spend in a gym or working out.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to lose that weight once and for all?
If you want it, GET IT. You are the only person who can change yourself.
You are your biggest supporter. Drink tons of water, snack and eat smart, find a physical activity that you really love, and never sit down. What I mean by never sit down is walk and move as much as possible; the pounds will fall off.
You were able to lose 80+ pounds in less than a year, you have 3 kids, and you’re a full time business owner. How do you do it all?
Balance. Schedule. Me time. You have to find balance, and in order to find balance you have to schedule things out, and when you make that schedule, you need to ensure that you do not forget about YOU. Even if ‘you time’ is only 10 minutes a day, meditate, take a hot bath, drink a cup of coffee, learn to breathe and not let the little things in life you cant control bother you. When you learn to let go you will be a happier person in general.
What’s been the hardest part of this journey?
Life is far from easy and weight loss isn’t easy either. However, if you fall off track, jump right back on!!! We all have bad days, but that does not mean you give up; it means you power on and keep moving. Start fresh the next day and do not get frustrated; you got this! Honestly, I did not have any crazy cravings. If I started slowing in the weight loss area, I switched up my routine. If I wanted something food wise, I didn’t neglect my feelings; I let myself have a little.
What inspires you?
My family, my happiness, and my health.
What motto/quote do you always try to live by?
“You are what you eat, eats”
“If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life”
Thanks so much, Nicole!
If you want to sign up for the Amanda Russell program and work with Nicole, go to www.amandarussellfit.com, and enter code NICOLEFIT2017 for an additional 40% off.
See past interviews here.
Shop home workout accessories below!