Member of the Month – Nicole Herremans

Nicole H MOMNicole could no longer ride roller coasters or sit in public seats without squeezing in. It was embarrassing and demoralizing. Although she was athletic as a child, she had always been a little heavier. Then in college she developed poor eating habits that continued after college. As a matter of fact, she was eating fast food for most of her meals. She had become sedentary and developed digestive issues. Being new to the area and only knowing one person other than her husband, she spent her evenings at home sitting on the couch and eating. She knew she had gained weight but refused to weigh herself. She “knew” she was about 200 pounds and didn’t need a scale to say so. However, she had a wake up call one day at the doctor’s office. She accidentally saw her weight, something she had been avoiding. She had hit 232 pounds. She nearly fainted from the shock. How could that be? How could it have gotten that high? She wanted to be able to have children some day and knew that her weight could jeopardize that. But how could she lose the weight when healthy foods hurt her stomach and she didn’t know anyone to exercise with. The task felt insurmountable. She had tried gyms before, but with no success. They were discouraging, overwhelming, scary, and in general, awful.

Nicole’s friend, Sarah was a member here at SNW Fitness. She was participating in a challenge that she could earn points by bringing friends to try classes with her. She asked Nicole to help her earn some points. She didn’t have to stick around, just show up and try. Nicole took a deep breath and came to her first class by herself (Sarah couldn’t make it to the first one); she tried Zumba. She couldn’t believe it, she could do it; and, it was fun! She and her husband ended up joining and over the next 6 months were faithful to classes, but the weight was still not coming off. Super discouraged, she scheduled a nutrition appointment hoping that would help. Suffering from severe IBS, nutrition was a real challenge. Starting with small nutritional changes, being very careful of her IBS, she began to slowly see results. The weight began coming off slowly at first as she found her way to healthier eating habits that her digestive tract would accept. Her clothes were fitting better, her body was accepting food more and people were starting to notice. Then something amazing happened, she went to a Lumberjacks game and after sitting there for a while realized, she fit, very comfortably, in the seat. This was the first time in a long time and it felt great!

So far she has lost 22 pounds, is able to wear a pair of her “someday pants” and is able to cross her legs again. In addition to all these wonNicole Herremans big pantsderful things, she loves that the weight is coming off slow and steady with little indulgences. This is a lifestyle (not a diet) that she can live with. She knows the weight will stay off because this is just her life now – not a diet, not a gimmick, just who she is. She loves going to the grocery store and inspiring others in line with her healthy food selection. As a matter of fact, a lady noted how healthy her food selection was a couple weeks ago. It made Nicole so happy and proud to be that person. She is now able to control her cravings. If she really wants something, she has it, but can stop after only a few bites. This is triumph she never thought she would have.

What’s in Nicole’s future? She plans to continue to lose more weight by continuing on this journey. She is super excited that when they do start a family, she will be passing on a healthy lifestyle to her children. She can’t wait to ride a roller coaster again and she can’t wait to keep up with other people when doing active things. She loves being able to live without fear and anxiety around food and everyday living. She loves that she can just get up and do stuff without challenge or fear. As a matter of fact, while on a cruise with her husband, they did a ropes course. She could not have done that before. Finally, the very fact that she can eat good food, even raw veggies, without flaring her IBS, has her very hopeful for her future health and the enjoyment of food again.

Wow Nicole! You are so positive and amazing. I am so happy that I have been able to watch both your physical and emotional transformation and cannot wait to see what your future holds!