Lets get some things out of the way. My name is Nikki, I am currently 19 years old and I’m in the process of losing weight while living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Some may find my story “boring” since I’ve had no real drastic weight struggles in life. But a struggle is a struggle, no matter how big or small.
So some background: I was born August 4, 1992 to two loving parents. I had a simple, loving childhood with no real problems. I was always real small as a child, and stayed that way until I starting going through puberty, which sadly was at a very young age.
Throughout junior high I maintained a decent weight, but started terrible eating habits. Since I never had to worry about my weight, I simply ate what every wanted which soon became an issue. At lunch I got a double tray or I would pack a huge lunch filled with PB&Js, chips and cookies. The only class I ever struggled in ironically was P.E. I was never a real athletic kid; the only thing I ever did was dance.
I’ve been dancing since I was seven years old, always working towards the dream of being on my high school dance team. When I was younger, I didn’t take it too seriously but once I got into high school and I took our drill team prep class, all I could do was practice, practice, practice to insure I’d make the team.
At the end of my freshman year, I made my high school drill team, the Pacesetters. It wasn’t until then when I really realized how I didn’t look like the rest of the girls. About 98% of the team probably weighed in between 110-125 and had skinny legs. In high school, being curvy wasn’t necessarily desirable, so my pear-shape did nothing to aid me there. I was the curvy, pear-shaped girl in the midst of 70 other super skinny girls.
Once my sophomore year started, that also started the after-school dance pracetices everyday. Anyone who dances everyday for 2-3 hours is going to lose some weight. I started to slim down abit as I also started to moniter my eating habits. My body still looked different than the rest of the girls on the team, which to me simply meant I was fat and they were skinny. Looking back, I know I was not fat, but in the moment I felt like the biggest girl on the team.
At the end of my sophomore year I tried out to be a dance officer for our dance team. The dance officers lead the team in practices, football games, and competitions and got to perform and compete special officer dances. I took an extra dance class outside of school and choreographed a solo to perform at the competitions we went to in order to prepare for the tryouts. Sadly, it was not enough as I did not make it. Honestly, this was the runner-up to the saddest moment of my life.
Junior year came along and this meant two things: I would get my driver’s license and I had to spend the entire year watching the officers perform and compete while I had to sit idle-by. This only encouraged me to work even harder for the tryouts the next year. I took two extra dance classes, choreographed and performed two solos at competition, and even taught a drill team prep class at a local studio.
But this time around, my hard efforts paid off and I made not only officer, but the position as colonel, the highest ranking position. This meant I was in charge of not only the team, but the officers as well. Words cannot describe how ecstatic I was! My ultimate dream had come true and I soon realized that dancing had become a real passion, and I decided that I wanted to become a drill team director.
At the beginning of the summer something hit me. Every colonel in the past had these amazing, lean bodies so I ultimately felt pressured to have one myself. At the beginning of the summer I went to officer camp Downtown where officers from the entire Houston area come stay in a hotel and learn routines and leadership skills. This was really an eye-opener for me since I saw all the other colonels and how they looked. I was surrounded by skinny and lean girls who were also amazing dancers.
A few days after I got home from officer camp I went to a Kilgore Rangerette camp that was 4 days long and the Rangerettes taught different styles and levels of dance. Again, another eye-opener when I saw all the Rangerettes and their amazing bodies, then the girls who would be trying out and how they had the same lean and fit bodies.
This gave me the motivation a needed to really make a change in my life. I started doing weight watchers with my mom and went to the gym everyday. I really started to notice a change in my body. When I wasn’t comparing my body to the other 70 super skinny girls on my team, I felt pretty content with the way I looked.
As the school year went on my director trusted me more and more, which meant more responsibilities. With the exception of officer period, which was a class period where we practiced all of our dances, I was in charge of the team and spent most of my time watching them dance and cleaning their dances. We also decided to do a huge, production-like spring show that year so if you were not in the dance that was rehearsing after school, you went home. So that meant no dancing everyday after school.
So throughout the entire spring semester of my senior year my life was consumed with our huge spring show. I still continued my healthy eating, with the occasional Chick-Fil-A after practice, but I never went to the gym for a good work-out. I stayed at a steady weight through all the good stuff: spring show, prom, graduation.
Once I graduated I decided to take a break from dancing. So this meant no more physical activity everyday. Also, it was SUMMER which meant fun, fun, fun! Sadly, for me this meant EAT, EAT, EAT! I started picking up a lot of hours at my job at a bowling center. Don’t know if you’ve been to a bowling alley but the menu is not very nutritious! That summer was when I really started to gain weight. Unfortunately, the weight gain had just started.
In August, my best friend gave me a “surprise extravaganza” for my 18th birthday, which meant plenty of alcohol. I had never been a drinker in high school, Pacesetters was worth too much for me. Now that I graduated, what was stopping me? When I started going to school at our local community college, I started going out every weekend. That meant alcohol, late night fast food, and very little time for the gym. From March 2010 to March 2011 I went from about 140 lbs to 180.
Luckily, during my first fall semester of college I realized how much I missed dancing. I decided to officially change my major and pursue a career as a dance teacher. I started taking dance classes in the spring semester, so more physical activity. I started a new job as a nanny for a 9 year-old girl and to my advantage, her mother wanted her to start eating a healthy diet. When I would watch her, we would eat healthy snacks and dinners together. During the summer, I watched her and her two step-siblings from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday. We all ate healthy together and went to the YMCA everyday. That’s when it hit me. I was happier, more energized, and a few pounds lighter!
Once school started, the weekends going out and partying did too, but I was smarter about it. I ate healthy the entire week then I would only go out one day out of the weekend. I joined our dance ensemble at HCC and we danced 4 hours every Friday. I would also spend extra time in the studio working on our dances.
I slowly but surely was losing weight, while still having fun and going out with my friends. In December I lost touch with all of my “party friends”. I started spending more time with my boyfriend and work friends. As of April 2012, I am currently 140 lbs and still losing! I’ve lost 40 pounds in one year and I’m only 15 pounds away from my goal weight!
I hope that my story can inspire people, especially college students, that you can lose weight. No matter how slow it goes, a pound lost is a pound lost. My goal is to lose weight in the most healthy way possible, through eating right and exercising. I have recently gone back on Weight Watchers (DISCLAIMER: I am not paid to endorse Weight Watchers. I wish.) because it is simple and it encourages a healthy lifestyle rather than a “diet”.
So you may be wondering why I picked the name “Sweat and Shimmer” for my blog. It was kind of one of those things that once I thought it in my head, I couldn’t let it go. Many people have heard the saying “Girls don’t sweat, they shimmer” Well, that’s kinda where I got my idea from. I wanted to include the word ‘shimmer’ in my blog title and have that saying underneath the title. Then I started thinking, why should women be afraid or ashamed to really sweat. In my opinion, women today are much stronger than men. Think about it, women are (normally) in charge of their children, their household, and the majority of women today have jobs of their own. So why shouldn’t women be as strong, if not stronger, than men physically? So the title “Sweat and Shimmer” is basically my way of saying don’t be afraid to work hard for the body you want, and still be beautiful woman at the same time :)