Transformation – Nikki Bartleson


“This is my favourite ‘after’ photo ever in history! I love how happy Nikki is!!!” – Terri Batsakis

*Nikki started boxing casually with Terrific Fitness in 2012. When she first started she struggled punching and holding pads due to damage to her hand after an accident which left her with pins in her hand. I would give Nikki options if necessary in the beginning until she strengthened her hand. Today, you wouldn’t even know she had anything wrong with it! She performs all exercise with perfect technique, always opting for the more advanced version. Nikki never complains about any exercise or workout and always gives 110%, often doing back to back classes. Her strength and fitness has come a full 360. I am not even going to talk about her weight loss. She will tell you all about that herself. I want to focus on the woman that has evolved. When Nikki first joined us she was quiet, reserved, and reluctant to talk to anyone or partner with anyone other than her boyfriend or sister. Today she talks to everyone and has a huge number of friends at TF. Her vivacious personality was once hidden deep inside; today it is unleashed and free. I am so super proud of everything Nikki has achieved and continues to achieve. I can’t even put it into words. When I think about how far she has come I smile with tears of pride. Such a beautiful young woman inside and out, I am honoured she chose my team for her journey. I am truly blessed to have travelled and continue to travel this road with her. Nikki, keep going hun, because you my dear and going to go serious places in life! What an amazing young woman! This is Nikki’s story in her words:

“Before I started training I felt destroyed. I was always feeling sorry for myself. I was so lethargic and unmotivated for life. I was so consumed with self-hatred for the way I looked. It was a strange feeling…. it was as though you were someone, trapped inside another body that did not represent you!  I always had goals but back then they were just “fantasy’s and dreams” that I never thought would come true. From a young age, my yearly birthday wish would be “make me slim”’. I became very self-conscious at a young age and this affected me all throughout my teenage years.   I ate because of emotions for the body I had and I had the body I had because of how and what I was eating. It was a vicious cycle. I became so depressed and began to suffer severe anxiety and stress.  I hated shopping! I would love the look of clothes and after trying them on I was almost always unhappy and break down. It was never a fun experience. I almost always wore my jumper at school and always covered up my arms with a jacket or cardigan- even when it was 38 degrees!  At 18 I moved in with my partner. Moving away from home and needing to provide meals on my own lead to constantly eating out, buying take away food, late night eating, eating all the wrong food and lounging around a lot in front of the television.  I became very self-conscious at a young age and this affected me all throughout my teenage years.  I often had a hunched over stance to cover up my stomach which has resulted in severe back and neck problems. I hated going anywhere and became housebound besides going to work.  My weight fluctuated and I got to a size 16-18 at 88 kgs.  I was mortified to be nearly 90kg! I began trying to find a solution by starving myself and taking pills to suppress my diet.  At one stage I would survive on chicken broth hot water and only a cooked dinner per day. I was so concerned about what other people thought about my appearance.

My older sister Nadine began personal training sessions preparing for her wedding and I decided to try it out. After the first few sessions my body was so sore after training, I would cry walking stairs and my legs just felt like jelly. I then took up netball and volleyball once a week, as well as the training and began eating healthier options. The weight started coming off and I quickly saw and felt the benefits off training. My sister then introduced me to boxing with Terri. I really enjoyed it and it helped rehabilitate and strengthen my hand after I had surgery to have a metal plate screwed in, holding together the broken bones. I then took a break from the boxing because I traveled overseas, I changed my workplace, I was studying and general ‘life’ was happening around me. I then re-joined with Terrific Fitness which had expanded into a variety of classes  and attended core connection and circuit classes and boxing classes.

I began to see the changes in my fitness and pushed harder and harder at each class I attended. I really enjoyed learning all the different exercises and their techniques. I felt really supported by the trainers and their encouragement helped to continue to ‘push’ me.  I often obtained sporting injuries and felt upset and restricted when I couldn’t perform the specified training exercises and needed to do the “options”.  That’s when I realised I’d come along way…I was upset because I couldn’t physically do the exercises due to injury! I felt restricted and annoyed but often I would push through the pain just to prove to myself I could still do it!  I then was finally made aware that I had very poor nutrition knowledge.  In May 2013 I hit a wall. I was feeling depressed and anxious about an upcoming holiday. I turned it around by taking control. I obtained a treadmill and weight fitness system and began training at home as well as attending netball and Terrific Fitness classes 3-4 times per week.  I began walking to work. I began researching nutrition and fitness information and discovered things I had never even heard about. I used the Terrific Fitness page to learn information and become inspired by Terri’s meal photos. Other people then started posting photos of their meals, which also assisted me to gain meal ideas.  I used this knowledge to implement it into my eating habits.

I found that by simply changing to home cook meals, using coconut oil and butter, decreasing my sugar intake and by avoiding pasta, bread and potatoes it was really helping to change my body to an extent I could not even believe.  I then continued to find out more and more about exercise and nutrition and tried to implement this into my daily life. I have my moments. Everybody does. I always seem to climb back up- once I’ve fallen down. . .. I guess that’s the inner strength that I didn’t have before I was training with TF.

I began eating 4 times a day. I worked an early shift so I would take in my breakfast consisting of high protein and eat it there. At the beginning I had a lot of negative responses regarding the food I was eating for breakfast. I would eat a steak, chicken, lamb etc. and veggies. People around me called me crazy and would say “I couldn’t stomach that at this time of the morning”. My response would be; “Really? I woke up starving today….. I wish I had more! Can you please tell me who wrote the rule book on what you have to eat for breakfast….”  I woke up starving today…. I wish I had more” at first, people’s petty opinions really upset me, but I soon realised that this way of eating was really working for me and I was reaping the rewards and getting closer to my weight loss goals. I am still not where I want to be with my weight loss, although I  am much  further along than I ever imagined I’d be . I recently attended a TF Nutrition Workshop that confirmed I am on the right track with my food and helped me gain knowledge on how the body processes food and absorbs the nutrients.

Today I feel like I am on the right path. The worst is over and there are only greater things to come. It is not the end of my journey but another chapter. I feel more confident within myself and have achieved so much over the past two years, physically and mentally it’s incredible. The Terrific Fitness community has contributed to my life immensely. I have lost a total of 28kgs since training. I feel more confident and have less anxiety. I now enjoy being more social, doing activities and going out in the sun. I even enjoy shopping sometimes!  I no longer worry about the attitudes or opinions from other people. I believe in myself now which was almost impossible two years ago. I have more goals to reach in my fitness and I am still trying new ways to improve my nutrition and to further decrease my sugar intake.  I feel more in control of my emotions and mood, in fact, overall I feel in control of my life!

I never want to go back to being unhealthy and feeling the way I did. I feel happier than I have ever been. I’m constantly inspired by new challenges and I feel prepared for the unknown- ready to take it on! These types of feelings were so unfamiliar to me and give me the biggest adrenalin rush to continue my journey.

I have recommended Terrific Fitness to a lot of people. A lot of them are now members. TF has supported me all throughout my journey and have helped me to obtain the skills and knowledge that I needed to succeed at reaching my goals. TF has always provided me with ongoing encouragement and provided an environment that was happy, friendly and relaxed. This makes it something to look forward to each week. Thank you Terri, Daniel and Laura – I cannot thank you guys enough for the assistance and support you have provided me. You have really inspired me to be the best version of myself!

“ Hard work pays off. Everyone has a story…… remember, YOU can write your own chapters and endings!” – Nikki Bartleson, Epping

 *Weight Loss and Training Disclaimer