Friday, December 18, 2009

Meet the Junkies

Welcome! This blog has been a vision in my head for quite some time. Not sure what I exactly want it to become, I do know I want it to accomplish one thing if anything: encourage women to get fit to be healthy!!!! My goal is to have workout and product suggestions, playlists, recipes, pictures, articles and funny stories. I have enlisted {perhaps, they would say forced} them to be contributors. We are on a journey together--one of early mornings, running sprints, lifting weights, stairmasters, spinning, jumping rope....and a lot of, well...complaining and soreness! I am hoping that our tales and journey are relatable for you. Each of us has our own style, likes and dislikes. Struggles and weaknesses. Hopefully, you can find something to make you laugh and giggle. Oh and something to make you want to get on the exercise train!!!! I would love for you all to know a little about the "Junkies" before we begin. Like I said, each of us has something very different to offer. Hopefully, you will find our stories entertain and inspire you!

Nicki's Story {that's me!}: I want to point out something to you. I am not a "professional" trainer. That is something I am currently working on {and you will hear a LOT about later}, for now, I am a professional bully. A bully to my sweet friends who work out with me. I am a certified group aerobics instructor, with a specialized certification in Turbo Kick {more on that later}. My fitness journey began in college. In high school I was a classically trained dancer. That was the extent of my workouts. A grueling ballet class and a 90 minute jazz class a few times a week. My body was curvy and my weight pretty healthy. I enjoyed lunch daily at Taco Bell, Wendys, Leals, Chick-Fil-A...oh the metabolism of a teenage girl! My freshman year at college, I no longer had any dance classes. I was on my own. My roommate and I stumbled upon an aerobics class that met 3 times a week in the gym. Hook, line and sinker. I was hooked. I did that the whole year, and did not gain the dreaded, "freshman 15", rather actually lost a few pounds! My sophomore year, I ventured out into the world of lifting weights. My then-boyfriend {now husband} was very into fitness as well and would make me a weekly plan. I continued to make fitness a high priority in college. When I graduated, I joined the Y and took a class called 'Turbokick'...cheesy as it sounds, the workout changed my life. I was hooked on this more than anything I had ever tried. LOVED it. I would stand in the front row and go off. The instructor came up to me one day and said, "You really need to get certified." Well, the rest is history. I have been teaching that and other classes for 6 years. I love teaching people. I love seeing women meet goals and feel great about themselves. It was such a good fit for me. After my babies were born {almost 3 and a 1 year old}...I realized my body needed a little extra push. Breastfeeding was not the "weight loss cure" that everyone told me it would be. With patience and hard work, I have begun to feel so much stronger and more in shape than I ever have. I say that because I have an EXTRA SPECIAL PLACE in my heart for women who have gone thru childbirth or some sort of illness or surgery, making their self esteem less than it should be. I love to see these women meet goals for themselves fitness wise! Starting slow, being consistent and loving the size you are meant to be! I also love running, but I am not that good at it!
Kimberly's Story:
It’s rather humorous, if you know me, to see me on a fitness blog. I don’t know much about fitness. Working out has never been one of my fortes or strong suits. To say the least, it’s not my favorite thing, and when time is a commodity, to make a priority to work out is extremely difficult. In fact, I can’t {or couldn’t} stand to exercise. I’d walk, but nothing else seemed to fit my likes. I do like food and I don’t think that counts! In fact, I found that those yummy recipes and extra calories make my metabolism work harder to drop pounds. And I don’t have a good metabolism. Never have. Never will. Even at my smallest, I feel big. And here I am. A few months postpartum and making every effort to visit the gym on a regular basis. I want to be in shape, I want my clothes to fit, and I so badly want to feel good about myself. However, those days of feeling good are few and far between!

A few weeks before I became pregnant with our second, Griffin, now almost five months old, I was at my workout peek. I was going to the gym at least five days a week, drinking my required servings of water, running a good twenty minutes and pushing myself during each training session. I had dropped several pounds, lots of inches and I felt good about my image. Well, as good as I had felt in a long time. My skinny jeans had just, weeks before, been pulled out of the back of the closet and, well, one forgetful move and I became pregnant with our second! Thou God’s timing far exceeds our own, I was a bit annoyed that after waiting eighteen months, I had just shed the extra weight from our first child.

And now, I feel like I have to start completely over.

I’m thirty and when I look at photos of myself, I feel old, quite a bit older than one year ago. The photos reveal to me how much two children {and lack of sleep}has made me age. I’m drained from my all-hours-of-the-night feedings and required night time visits from my three year old. A good sleep doesn’t come by me easily. Thus, making getting up to work out the last, very last thing, I want to do when my alarm clock sounds. Most mornings, I battle with the thoughts inside my head and convince myself to shut off the buzzer and snooze. This making for a very frustrating day. Frustrated because I need to work out and I didn’t. Frustrated because I’m still tired. Frustrated because when my husband gets home, I have to head to the gym.

After a c-section and eight weeks of healing, I was ready to hit the equipment. Now twenty weeks later, I’m still in the process of dropping a good thirty pounds. Breastfeeding doesn’t help. Cookies don’t help. Beating myself up each day doesn’t help. However, I’m learning more and more that the perception I have of myself is vital to the way I handle my daily routines, how I feel when I love my children and my husband, and surprisingly, exercise actually gives me the energy I need to get through the day. It has recently become my stress reliever. When I go, I feel rewarded.

I know when Griffin becomes older and Creighton sleeps through the night, I’ll be back at my peak. It just takes time. Time I don’t want to surrender. Time I don’t feel I have to give. Time that’s so precious to me.

I’m dedicated to making that time. I’m not perfect. I’ll make mistakes. I’ll eat things not on my “diet”, drink a few diet sodas and sneak in a few walks on the beloved treadmill rather than climbs on the dreaded stair step machine. I’m picky and I always find my favorites. I don’t want to branch out and try new classes or learn new moves. I want this process to be easy and it’s not. It never will be for me. Maybe you are the same.

I’m not athletic. I’m not a little person. I’m not a runner or a cyclist. I am learning to adjust to the new me and I refuse to wait eighteen months to drop this baby weight as I did with my first. Holding on to the poundage does no one any good, so regardless of my desire to sleep, our busy schedule, or my will to stay home, I head to the YMCA at least four to five times a week. And truth be told, on those days I don’t go, I wish I had.
I encourage you to do the same.
Jennifer's Story:

My name is Jennifer (aka "Fer"), and I am so excited and honored to be a contributor to this blog. Just a little bit about me...I was born in Bryan, TX: a true born Aggie! Whoop! My family moved around quite a bit while I was growing up, but I lived in Temple, TX for most of my life, so that's where I call home. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education). I was so blessed to teach Pre-Kindergarten for 4 years to under privileged students in Temple. I got married in July of 2006 to Michael, a Baylor grad, who co-owns Visiting Angels and Angel Medical Professionals. We have a 13 month old son named Sawyer who is the light of my life, and I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with him now. We recently moved to Waco to be closer to Michael's office, and we are loving our new home and being near our good friends. My hobbies include singing, blogging, going to movies, watching Food Network, working out :) and of course spending time with family and friends. I love the Lord and desire to glorify Him in all that I do. I am very involved with my church through singing on the worship team and co-leading a young marrieds bible study. I am blessed beyond measure, and I thank my Heavenly Father for His grace, mercy, and love. My favorite verse is Ephesians 5:1 and this is a verse I desire to live by. “Be imitators of God; therefore, as dearly beloved children and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

I would love to be able to say that I have always worked out and stayed in shape, but that is just not the case. I grew up playing volleyball, running in track, and eventually working out on campus, but once I got out of college, I started to slack off in this area. After I had my baby, I knew I needed to do something. I started running again in my neighborhood, and I also ordered some DVDs to do at home. I was lucky to lose the baby weight quickly, but it started to creep back slowly as I slacked off again. Since I now live in Waco, Nicki has encouraged me to take her classes at the Y. I was excited to get back into it and have the accountability that I needed to keep me going. It has only been a week and a half, and although I am completely sore and tired, I know that it is worth it, and I can already see and feel results. My goal, as well as motivation, is to not only lose a few pounds, but to just be healthy and feel good about my body. I want to have more energy in the day and feel refreshed by the workouts. I also need a place for myself, a place to release stress, a place to get away from life, and I am finding that going to the gym is perfect for this! I hope that this blog will be an encouragement to all of us and challenge us to reach our ultimate fitness goals! Come join us in the journey!

Lauren's Story:
I am a 29 year old Christian woman, wife of 7 years, and stay at homemom to two boys, 3 and 1. I started exercising 6/09 to try to be insomewhat better shape after not working out in years and having two babies! In the past, I was always one to make a goal to run, walk, or go to the gym consistently, but I would always quit after a few weeks. After a couple of my friends encouraged me to start working out, telling me how nice it was to go to the gym and just do something for themselves, I decided to give it another shot. About that same time, Nicki invited me to try out her kickboxing class. Even though it was completely out of my comfort zone, I stuck with it and realized I was getting better at it each time I'd go (and having fun!). I slowly worked up from one day a week to two, and after a couple of months, I could feel a big difference in the way I felt! I felt stronger in everything I did, had better balance, and started seeing muscle tone come back that hadn't been there in years. Now I'm going 3 times aweek, because I am enjoying it for he first time in my life. Nicki really keeps it interesting by creating something different for us to do each time, which I need! I also have found it so helpful and fun tohave a group of girls to exercise with and keep me accountable. My #1 goal in exercising is to be healthy and fit for the long-run. I want to be a strong and healthy 40, 50, 60+ year old, and I'm excited to feel like I've truly made a change that I know I will stick with!


  1. sooo cute, ya'll will be such an encouragement to many! Including ME as i venture back into the fitness world post baby#2! :)

  2. Woo-hoo! I love it! And I'm your first "follower!"

  3. Ladies, I am SO EXCITED about this blog! I wish I still lived in Waco so I could come to your classes and actually be there in it with you! Thanks for putting it out on the web so we can still be in it together! My little guy just turned 19 months old, and I am STILL REALLY struggling trying to get off the baby weight I gained with him. And we're talking about a LOT of baby weight. So I look forward to having your help on the journey.

  4. Awesome! Just Awesome! I am craving the experience that you all are having! It is great to see you all enjoying yourselves. Makes me want to move back and join in. Keep it up girls!!

  5. I'm so excited about this blog! I have followed Lauren's blog for years and admire her life as a wife and mother. I'm ready to get myself in shape in '10. I will turn 37 in 2010 and I need this!!!