Chief Nikki’s Transformation – Part One 

Yes, it’s true. It’s time for Head Chief Nikki to undergo her own transformation….Tribal Stylee.

As most of you will know, I have been somewhat out of the fitness loop for a while. Life has thrown me what seems to have been a constant onslaught of curve balls for the last couple of years, including some pretty big and nasty twists and turns, which included deaths, family traumas, prolonged stressful times, and my own ill health.

All of us will be dealt a difficult hand in life at various times, and we’ll all cope and muddle through as best we can. After all, we have to remember that nothing is permanent, everything is temporary and this too shall pass. However, it was mainly down to my health conditions that I found myself giving in, (not giving up!), to the life circumstances I found myself somewhat ‘stuck’ in for some time.

Like many of you, my health status consists of a couple of chronic long term conditions which although cause exhaustion, have been manageable and I have always been able to maintain a regular fitness regime despite them. I know some of you can relate. However, whenever I was faced with yet more chronic illnesses and the addition of a sudden (and very scary) medical issue which had the potential to be very serious, resulting in a permanent ban on all exercise, it was then that things changed.

I am naturally a positive person, and you will no doubt be aware that over the last year or so, I have grabbed on to that silver lining of hope so many times, only to fall victim of yet another false start. If I’m honest, there were many many false starts. So eventually it wore me down and I accepted that I just needed to give in to the situation that I was currently living in. I say give in, because in hindsight I feel this is exactly what it was. I wasn’t giving up. I always kept a vision of a healthy future (even if that had to be heavily altered to what I had been used to), but I had to accept that the energy I was using up physically by restarting over and over again, could have been better used focussing on other more urgent matters. It was also mentally draining with a large hint of emotional torture! It’s a bit soul destroying when you find yourself ‘failing’ over and over again, due to no fault of your own. The mind was willing, but the body and those blooming curve balls, weren’t. So I gave in. For a while. You see, I don’t really like doing something half hearted, or starting and then having to stop, it just isn’t in my blood. If anything is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right. So although it was hard to do, and took some time to get there,  I finally accepted that I needed to take a back seat, wait in the wings for a while and just let the storm pass by…

So, I’m not ashamed to admit, I have been slobbing out, not doing any exercise, eating an unhealthy amount of junk food, drinking far too much wine, and getting inadequate sleep. Whaow. Those words certainly jump off the page at me!

However, I am delighted to now find myself in a position that most of the storm has passed, and those curve balls seem to be slowing down. My mind is in a place where I have the time, energy and ability to focus on me again. But best of all, medically, albeit with caution, I am able to start exercising again! Well, at least once this lot of stitches heal – mustn’t be too keen just yet, eh!

I find myself giving a deep sigh and gently shaking my head every time I think about the journey I have come through. We’ve all been there. That sigh of relief, that look to the sky with thankfulness, and those burning feelings of painful memories but with a tinge of hope and strength from the lessons learnt from them. That’s life. And no doubt more curve balls will come my way again in the future. However, for now, it’s time to pack up camp and get back on the road again.

Am I ready for it? Nope. Not at all. Not one bit. I have become quite fond of Chinese takeaways and pizza. I am used to not being able to get out of bed in the mornings and lounging about in the evenings in a constantly exhausted state. And I enjoy glasses of wine with friends! So you see, while I was dealing with the ‘life stuff’, I have formed new habits. And truth be told, I can understand how very hard that can be to break away from. It’s easier like this. It’s a far easier lifestyle in my opinion. But of course, that doesn’t make it a ‘better’ one. Or a healthier one.

So, although I don’t feel 100% ready to make changes that will enable me to regain my healthier lifestyle, I am going to do it anyway. I trust that once I get on the road again that the passion for healthy living will ‘click’ back in again. I have events coming up, I have challenges I want to do, I have a bucket list full of things that I thought had been taken away from me on medical grounds and I now want to make sure I accomplish them all before it’s too late…..but surprisingly it’s none of these things that are driving me. During my new habit forming, I am able to see a reflection of what I have become in my own daughter. She was once an incredibly ‘switched on’ and health conscious little lady, even at the age of 5. However now I am seeing the sugar-driven and junk-craving behaviour. I see the growing disregard for dental health or importance of green veg and protein in her own diet. Leading a healthy lifestyle for me is one thing, but the benefits for my daughter to witness that are priceless. Therefore it’s positive role modelling that is my true driving force. I not only owe it to myself, but I absolutely certainly owe it to her. Before it’s too late. Core habits form young and these are carried through in to adulthood. And as I’m sure many of you can understand, these can be incredibly difficult to change.

So strangely for the first time, it’s not about reaching those goals, or fitting in to that dress. I accept that I no longer need the body I had years ago when competing in National sports. I know that I am not a fitness model and therefore don’t need to eliminate every shred of body fat and cellulite. I know I will always find clothes that fit and look good enough! So for me, getting on the road again is all about introducing my old lifestyle back in to my current one, but in a new way that’s manageable. It’s about habit forming. It’s about maintenance and longevity. It’s about practicing what you believe in. It’s about reconnecting all those touchstones in life. It’s about finding happiness in wellbeing again. It’s true what they say, happiness isn’t the destination, it’s the journey….

And I’d love you to come on this journey with me.

Head Chief Nikki