I was a slow starter to the Studio. I grew up playing outdoors a lot, swimming every day in the summer at the town pool for hours on end; I even ran track (800m and 1600m) in high school (but hated team sports). I went to basketball, baseball and football games all the time, though, to watch others play. I would never have classified myself as sporty, though.
When I moved to England, I lost a lot of my fitness. I ate my husband-sized portions and piled on weight. As he loathes exercise, I wasn’t doing any. Life took over – job, house move, two children both born by c-sections, career – you name it. Life passed by quite quickly and I didn’t realise how unfit I had got until I went outside one day to rake up the leaves. I could barely do it. I took it pretty hard. My neighbour was a godsend and came over often to help me. I watched her move about my garden with no struggle and I knew I wanted to be healthy and fit again. I wanted to keep up. I didn’t want to be the fat mom.
I’m shy, a bit of an introvert, and sometimes need a good push or guiding hand. But I’m also fiercely independent, stubborn, and will enter into things blissfully unaware. I went to my first Zumba class on my own. I didn’t even own fitness clothes at the time. I just wore cropped trousers and a cotton blouse. I enjoyed it. Was I any good at it? Nope. But I kept returning. I was the quiet, never-smiling wall flower at the back who never said boo to a goose.
As stated, I started with Zumba. Then, I got into circuits because I knew I needed weight-bearing exercise to lose weight. Next, I was doing boot camp where I learned A LOT about nutrition and that no matter how much I busted my backside with exercise, I just wasn’t going to lose weight and get stronger if I continued eating junk and husband-sized portions. I also learned that you don’t have to starve yourself, either! The 21-day REVIVE programme really helped kick-start the fat loss by eliminating toxins out of my body. I was doing well. Then, my job turned from bad to worse.
I kept exercising and trying to eat right to help me stay positive. In the end, I left the toxic work environment. I was stressed and burnt out from the horrific travel and negative people. But I was also stressed by not being in work! Stress is not good as it hangs on to belly fat – my worst area! I could have taken the easy way out and packed it all in but instead, I went to the Studio even more – kettles, circuits, Zumba! The first time I went to morning Zumba felt really strange and unnatural for me as I had always worked. It felt so wrong to not be working. I told Nicki why I was there. I never felt judged. That’s important about the Studio. You never feel judged – just loved and supported.
This year, I joined the Kickstart Fatloss programme and it did what it said it would do. I love cooking and baking with clean food now. My husband and family love my clean curries! I’m happy now, at a workplace I love, and am so very grateful to all at the Studio who have supported me. The Studio is where I can go to feel happy and confident. I can meet up with friendly, like-minded individuals of varying degrees of fitness who all support and encourage each other. I never feel embarrassed (I honestly do Zumba like no one’s watching!); I can push myself (and if I don’t, Nicki and Vicki will!); and I can walk out a dripping, sweaty mess not caring what I look like because I feel good because I did it – no one ever regrets a workout. Could I do a burpee when I started? Nope. I touched the floor and jumped in the air. Then I got braver and fitter. Then it became a game with myself, a bit of a self-competition. How many burpees could I do in a minute? 5…then 10… I’m there 4 sessions a week. I’d do more but I know rest days are important.
Now, my 9-year-old daughter is joining me at Zumba. I love it. I love sharing this with her and hope that as she grows up and goes off on her own, that she’ll remember the fun exercise she did with mom and keep at it in her independent, adult life.
I still have more weight to lose, but like I said, I’m a slow starter. But I never wanted a quick fix. I didn’t want to lose weight fast. I wanted the change embedded into my life so that it became a natural way of living. I was a size 24 when I started, trying to fit into size 22 clothing. I’m down to a consistent 18 in shops I’ve never been able to buy from, and brands that have never fit, before. A walk that used to take me 30 minutes to do now takes 15. I can even go upstairs at work without getting out of breath. My whole outlook and attitude towards life is so much more positive and inquisitive instead of using cynicism as wisdom. My ‘can do’ spirit has returned. I can do it. I am doing it. You can, too. And everyone at the Studio is waiting to help you.
Well I knew that my clothes were fitting better and that I had lost some weight but I honestly never expected these results!
42cm or 16.5 inches lost!!! and 16 pounds in weight!
I can't actually believe that I have lost so much.... I am so chuffed !! It has really made me want to keep up with the healthy eating. Those easy few changes to my diet have made such a difference. Thanks to you and Vicky for all the encouragement and advice. I feel I am definitely on the path to my ideal weight now and feel fitter already but want to continue building my strength and fitness.
I have attached a photo of my record card along with my before and after photos, they are both going on the fridge because they make me feel great!!!!
Thankyou again so much
I have been attending classes at the Studio for a number of years now but I particularly wanted write about my experiences over the last few months following the birth to my first child. During pregnancy, I had every intention of continuing to exercise however an old complaint prevented this. When I returned to the Studio my body had certainly changed and despite having attended classes for years I felt slightly nervous. As soon as I saw Nicki she greeted me with a huge smile and a hug; I felt instantly at home again.
I had decided to start with a Zumba class, all the dances were new to me but over the years I've learnt to laugh at myself and besides there's aIways someone free-styling. I won't lie it was hard work but over the coming weeks it became easier and I started to attend other classes. For anyone who is a parent, you will know there are many amazing highs but also some lows; attending classes at the Studio has always left me feeling rejunivated and with a smile on my face once again. As a new Mum, you may feel that you don't have the energy to go but I promise you it will be worth it, the welcoming faces and atmosphere at the Studio alone will make you glad you did. My daughter is now 9 months old and I'm so happy I made the time to go, in those early days I honestly think it kept me sane!
In a bid to lose the baby weight, a fellow new Mum and I also started Personal Training (PT) with Nicki. I can honestly say I have never looked back, over the course of the last few months I have lost all of my pregnancy weight and in fact have gone on to lose a little more. As many new Mum's do, I wondered what my post-baby belly would look like and if I would in fact always have my little kangaroo pouch. I followed Nicki's nutritional and training advice and my once baby belly is now in even better shape; I still can't quite believe it! It's not all about the weight though, training with Nicki has given me the energy I need to keep up with my little one and in years to come hopefully provide her with a good role model. I can't thank Nicki enough for her advice, motivation and the occasional gruelling training session (but I did ask for it so I can't complain!).
Since joining The Studio I have made some amazing friends, had many laughs and to top it off I'm now on my way to achieving the post-baby body of my dreams. I can't recommend Nicki enough whether it be her amazing classes or her personal training. Nicki has a real passion for fitness and helping her clients achieve their goals in addition to endless energy and enthusiasm!
Nicola is the best instructor I have ever had. I have attended a wide variety of her classes and fitness courses and they are just fantastic. When I attend The Studio, I know I will have a smile on my face during the classes and an even bigger one when I leave. I have also been having Personal Training sessions with Nicki and they have been the best decision I have made through my fitness journey. Thanks to Nicki and The Studio, I have managed to lose just under 2 stone and dropped two dress sizes. I have also started to tone in areas I never thought I could. I am starting to see definition in my arms, legs and abs. The Studio is an amazing place and I am so happy I joined, the people there are fantastic and provide great motivation to keep me going through my journey. I cannot thank Nicki enough for all her help, support and advice.
She is a fabulous instructor and makes exercise and working out so much fun.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to lose weight and tone up.
Thank you again Nicki :) x
Love Sophie xxx
(Sophie R - Personal Training Client and Member at The Studio)
I cannot believe the results - I never thought that I’d get this much out of Bootcamp. Not only the 11lbs and 15 inches lost, but I feel so much fitter, my skin is looking fantastic, I have more energy, my willpower and self-discipline are stronger and I feel so much more confident. I am so excited to carry on Bootcamp and set myself further goals. I feel so ready to take on my Mexico adventure in the Summer and begin my training at Drama School. I definitely have the tools to be able to do so now.
Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and continue to do for all of us ladies - The Studio is such a special place, a true hidden gem in Bromsgrove and I’m so so happy that I found it. The classes are so much fun and you and Vicki are so motivational, supportive and funny - that’s probably why the results feel so unbelievable because I’ve had so much fun doing it!
I had gradually put on weight over the years but more importantly, I felt unfit. I decided that enough was enough and that I should find some exercise that I really enjoyed doing, and then stick with it. I did try a few classes at various venues around Bromsgrove but they didn’t feel that friendly and welcoming.
So I kept looking at what was on offer around Bromsgrove and I came across Nicki’s website. I could see that there was nowhere else in Bromsgrove that was offering the variety of classes to be found at The Studio. After having a friendly chat with Nicki, I decided to give it a go and I haven’t looked back since. I had always hated exercise but now I was hooked after attending a Tri-Mixx class.
Nearly 20 months later, and some 22lbs lighter, I am still enjoying the variety of classes and the company of the people at The Studio. Not only that, I am fitter and healthier than I have been in many years.
My husband Paul decided that it was time for him to do something about his health and fitness too. He started to come to some of the classes with me about 14 months ago. He has stuck with it and has achieved amazing results with a vastly improved health profile (he is a diabetic) and substantial weight loss.
Our thanks go out to Nicki and her team for their efforts, advice and encouragement.
I can't thank you enough for persuading me to do fitcamp. I really did need to do something as I had completely lost my mojo and a long standing low back pain was resurfacing as it always does when I'm carrying too much weight. I was very dubious and full of pre-conceived ideas before I started, thinking I would get a couple of lettuce leaves a day and really couldn't imagine life without coffee!!
Well how wrong was I!
It is the best decision I have made for a long time. Within a week my mojo was well and truely back and the dreaded back pain was subsiding.
The food plan was clear and easy to follow and it really has inspired me to change my whole eating habits and not just for the month but forever. I haven't once felt hungry or deprived and it most certainly didn't entail only eating lettuce leaves!!
Although I had been keeping up the exercise sessions I must admit I was doing them rather half-heartedly as I felt so bloated and sluggish all the time. Now there is a renewed vigour and I have upped my weights and am putting in 100% all of the time.
I loved being with a group of people all with the same mindset and end goals. It was great to provide encouragement and to be encouraged by fellow team members and of course you and Vicki.
Needless to say I'm totally thrilled with the loss of 19lbs, 15 inches and a much reduced body fat percentage and no back pain.
I'm just loving life with a new spring in my step once again thankyou so much Nicki I really couldn't have done it without you.
Love Sarah xxxxx
P.S. There is life after coffee I have discovered !!
Kimberley completed the full 12-weeks, here’s what she has to say about the KSFL Bromsgrove 12-Week Transformation Programme:
“When I first signed up for the programme, I didn't really know what to expect or how I would get on. I was at a point where I had been losing inches, but the scales weren't moving and sometimes increased and I needed to do something new.
With the help of Nicki and Vicki and my friend Rachel, I lost 16lbs and 14 inches from my body during the programme, which I am so proud of. But more importantly, I feel so much better, have much more energy and I've tried foods I wouldn't normally have eaten.
I stuck to the plan 80% of the time and 20% of the time had small treats. This worked for me and I knew that I could enjoy my treat or day out, and then the next day, get straight back on plan - this made it much more realistic and something I can continue to do long after the 12 weeks have finished.
I have gained so much throughout these 12 weeks and I have been able to start running again after an injury. I don't know if it's the foods I am eating (and no longer eating), the weight loss or both, but I ran my quickest 5k and I am consistently quicker than before my injury, losing weight and changing how I fuel my body with the foods I eat.
At times, it became hard, but having Nicki and Vicki, my friend Rachel, who did the programme too, and everyone in the group helped a lot and got me back on track. I cannot thank Nicki and Vicki enough - you have kick-started my journey to (hopefully, although dependent on me staying injury-free) running my very first marathon. You also helped me further on my way to achieving my weight goal.
If you are thinking of joining one of the KSFL programmes, definitely do it. It's not a fad diet, it's a change in mindset and a lifestyle change that isn't just for x amount of weeks.”
After class on Thursday, when you and Alison both said I was looking slimmer, I realised I should have said thank you to you because it was the Revive 21 Day Detox programme that put me on the right road. It really helped me to change the way I eat and although I occasionally fall off the wagon, I know what to do to keep the pounds off. You have helped so many ladies in Bromsgrove to feel better about themselves I think you should get an OBE! So a big thank you from me!
See you at class.
Love Di x
(REVIVE 21 Day Detox Client and Member at The Studio)
At the start of the year I weighed nearly 20 stone and did next to no exercise. I suffered with back problems and was really struggling with fitness and simple tasks like walking upstairs.
I emailed Nicki and booked in with my wife for personal training sessions. Twice a week, we saw Nicki who really tailored the sessions to our main goal of weight loss. She made the sessions fun and made them suit our fitness level. After a while, we started going to her group classes where everyone is really friendly. Nicki's classes are a lot more fun and more challenging than a gym. We've also had some great nutrition advice from Nicki which really made us think about what we eat.
Four months later, I have lost three and a half stone. I've changed what I eat and pay attention to what's in the food I eat (there were some big surprises). The classes have improved my fitness levels and I am now much more active, have lots more energy and never really get hungry anymore!
I owe a lot to Nicki for helping me achieve this.
I'm sending you some words relating to the real benefit that I have got from attending your Pilates class over the last year.
As you know, I was suffering from all sorts of issues relating to stiffness and tightness of muscles, particularly in my back and chest/shoulders/neck. This has been due (I am sure) from years of being hunched over a computer, spending many hours driving long distances as part of my job, and taking up cycling, which is not the best of activities when it comes to posture.
My wife Ann, and a physiotherapist/sports injury specialist persuaded me to take up Pilates, following me injuring my lower back in a yoga class by trying to match the others (several years my junior!) in terms of stretching.....
Over the last year I have benefitted greatly from the regime that you have taught in your classes, and I am much more supple and I have noticed that my muscle tone has improved, especially my core, which is an area that I had neglected previously.
I will certainly continue with your classes, and I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who wants to improve their core strength/stability and relieve the tightness and stiffness in their body generally.
I am aware that being male I am in a minority in a Pilates class, but I would say to any man that feels it is not something for them to re-think their preconceptions and take up Pilates as part of their fitness regime.
The way that you run your classes promotes a fun and relaxed atmosphere that would put anyone at their ease.
Thanks again for helping me.
I can’t thank you enough Nicki for your advice, guidance and support which has enabled me to lose 5 and a half stone in 17 months….and……thoroughly enjoy doing it!
A friend introduced me to your Studio when I was looking for a Pilates class, but it was the few Personal Training sessions with you shortly afterwards that started to inspire and motivate me even more. The sessions were interesting and varied, and I realise now that you were so professional and clever in the way that you worked me just hard enough every time to challenge me, but not demoralise me. Far from it - my confidence grew slowly but surely enough to start attending some of your fitness classes. Your positive attitude and approach to everything rubs off on your clients, who are so supportive and friendly making The Studio an altogether very pleasant and fun place to be. And, as well as the weight loss, the fact that my BMI, Body Fat, Muscle Mass and Visceral Fat are all now in the ’normal’ range, is good news.
Now looking forward to maintaining what I’ve achieved with you, your team and friendly clients at The Studio.”
Ange B - PT Client and Member at The Studio
I would like to thank you for helping me with my health and fitness. I have just had my diabetic results back from my recent blood tests and I have managed to lose 44 pounds through diet and exercise. My doctor is pleased with the recent results and because my blood glucose readings have dropped from a long term average of 5.3 to 4.0 mmol's.
I am now not injecting myself with insulin.
I enjoy your classes, variety of exercise schedules and the friendly and fun atmosphere.
Regards Paul A
(REVIVE Fitcamp Client and Member at The Studio)
I’d never done any exercise before joining The Studio, which meant that finding somewhere to go where I didn’t feel too self conscious or uncomfortable was particularly important.
I’m really glad I found The Studio. I was instantly made to feel welcome, not just by Nicki and her team, but by the other members too. Not only have I been able to ease myself into exercise at my own pace, but there are plenty of different classes to choose from. What’s more, with new routines always being added, there’s little chance of the classes ever getting boring!
Kettlercise has to be my favourite exercise class at The Studio by far! Even though I’m relatively new to exercise and had never tried anything like Kettlercise before, I instantly took to it. It’s a real all body workout - I can literally feel the calories coming off during and even after class! I may not have been doing it for very long, but I’m already starting to feel healthier overall and definitely more toned!
Joining The Studio is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my personal health and well-being. I’d highly recommend it to everybody – whether you’re new to exercise like I was or have been exercising for years.