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Hi Nicole!  Your autobiography, What Lies Behind the Smile, is scheduled for release in 2014.  Can you give us a sneak peak into what the book is about and when it will be available?

I would say late Spring or early Summer.  I’m still adding to it, and  I don’t want to leave anything out!  My book talks about my health history, and how after 30 years of getting sicker and sicker on Rx and OTC, I turned my health around naturally, by holistic means.

I also discuss my marriage and divorce, and how I needed both.  I discuss how I have had 12 years of counseling and that the 4 years of marital therapy was integral to who I am today.  It was my wake-up call or aha moment in life which brought about a lot of positive changes for me.  I also discuss my successes and the douche bags and con-artists along the way…we all need ’em right?  I am better, not bitter.  Far too many people play the role of bitter victim instead of the victor!

Like so many fitness competitors, you have a history of health issues and turning to lifestyle changes to remedy what prescription medicines could not.  Can you tell us a little about how that transformation came about, and how it has affected your life?

My book, which will be out late this year, discusses this in-depth.  One example I can share with you is how I had been sick in my early teenage years with a plethora of chronic conditions, and got sicker each decade with Rx and OTC.  I had asthma and always carried an inhaler for years.  In cold temperatures I would have coughing spells, especially after leaving the gym.  With the help of my Integrative Chiropractor, Dr. Turner, I got off all my meds.   After seven months of following his orders I no longer had asthma, or the other chronic conditions like reoccurring sinus-infections, because of the consistent dietary changes I made and the supplements prescribed at the right doses.  Natural and holistic means are definitely not a quick fix, as you can see, but are worth it in the end.

It seems diet and nutrition are always at the tip of your tongue in interviews.  What do you feel are the biggest dietary changes we need to make in our western culture?

Hah!  A loaded question!  Well, for one, eliminate all dairy, wheat and sugar.  Guess what?  There are still plenty of amazing, delicious, nutrient-dense foods out there to eat.  You just gotta make some time to spend in the kitchen and at the right grocers.

Second would be convenience foods.  Not just fast foods, but even healthy convenience foods.  Give it a few years and we will see how much of a negative short and long-term effect some of these packaged foods have on our bodies.   There is nothing better then eating real, whole food from the land and the sea, not from a box or a bag.

You’ve been quoted as saying, “training your brain is harder than training your body.”  How do you stay focused and motivated?  And how do you turn that into motivation and discipline for your clients?

I think for many of us, it’s in us from birth.  I’ve always been pretty optimistic and after all of my life experiences, I have the ability to see both perspectives where most can’t.  That helps a ton!!!  However, I too, have had to work at it at various times throughout my life, and still do.  I have had many difficult times where I was not motivated, which I also share in my book.  For many, pain and struggle is their fuel.  You have a choice what you can do with your pain: you can allow it to suffocate you, or you can push through and become victorious.

I often coach clients on how to have a positive mindset; hence, training your brain.  It takes time… not just a  few weeks or months either.  I recommend books, vision boards, and surrounding themselves with positive people and more.  My book will share a few client testimonials on this as well.

You’ve learned to not only remove toxic food, but also toxic people.  How does one manage those negative influences when they are coming from the direction of family and close friends?

Yes, that is a recurring discussion I have with clients and friends.  You have to limit your time with “toxic” people in many cases.  Even when telling them your goals or what is important to you, they still may not understand and be respectful.  It depends, in some cases many have to avoid those people or remove them from their life altogether.   However, in the end most all are better off without these toxic types and end up with several new like-minded, supportive people in their lives.  I always say the people in your life should lift you up and not drag you down.  It’s their choice.  Everyone can control their own happiness and healthiness.

You have a degree in Fashion Marketing and many years working in that end of the business.  How has a  fashion background translated into the Nicky Fit  line of fitness wardrobe?

When I was in fashion/retail working for Nordstrom, Claire’s and Conair, I had hoped to travel the world and start a clothing line.  Who would have thunk that entering the fitness industry would make all of this come to fruition?

Now that you are retired from competition, where are you focusing your time and talents these days?

I’m focusing on my LifeTime Fitness clients, my book and my personal life.

Has there been a greatest accomplishment or defining moment in your career?

Lots!  And I am very grateful for my career and all the highlights:

Auditioning and being hired for The World Champion Chicago Bull’s cheerleaders back in 1994 and 1995 during the iconic Jordan and Pippen years.

Being scouted at a fitness competition in Las Vegas, then being hired and flown out to California several times to shoot fitness infomercials and commercials.

Capturing the world title of Ms. Bikini Classic Universe in 2009.

Getting hired for the inaugural Team… five years now and counting!

Winning my IFBB Pro card, and qualifying and competing in Ms. Bikini Olympia 2012.

Traveling the world on behalf of and the IFBB to work various fitness events and competitions.

And now, my book, being sought out by a publishing company, which will be out later this year.

What best advice can you share with a new fitness competitor or model?

  • Be patient.
  • Don’t expect.
  • Be ready to work hard, very hard.
  • Everyone wants what you want, so set yourself apart.
  • Remain humble, you’re a model or a competitor…not Mother Theresa!
  • Success (and body transformations) don’t happen overnight or in an instant.  At least not the healthy,  long-term ones.  It’s okay to dream, but keep it real.

Are there any parting words you’d care to share with our readers, and your fans?

A big thanks to all of them!  My book came about because of an anonymous fan.  So many things have happened because of what others see me doing or hear I am doing.  I always say: be careful what you put out there and post on social media.  People do pay attention.  You can get a lot of amazing legitimate opportunities with the right content and image of yourself that you put out there for the world to see.

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