Nicole Bonifay’s story
HCF: What made you decide you needed to change your life?
“I like to think I’ve always been a pretty positive, fun person to be around but one day I realized deep down, I wasn’t TRULY happy. I was putting on a show, pretending to be happy and love myself. One morning I woke up and thought, “What can I do to my life to make me truly happy?” and the answer was right in front of me… The only thing that stood in my way of true happiness was me, how I looked, how I felt about myself. I looked myself up and down in the mirror and made a decision and a promise to never see that person again. I set out on this journey to find myself and find happiness.”
HCF: What steps did you take to improve your life?
“Baby steps, I can’t stress that enough. If you try to give up everything and change everything about your old ways, you’ll just fall right back into it because you did too much too soon. Start small in every aspect and build your way up to healthier. For instance, I started by cutting out fast food. Soon I cut out soda, followed by processed foods, sugars, etc. I started walking and trying to jog. I say trying because I could literally run for like 30 seconds before I was winded. Then I started really paying attention to what I put into my body and focused on a balance of healthy carbs, healthy fats, and proteins. I started increasing my physical activity and I got stronger and healthier.”
HCF: What motivates you to keep you on this path?
“Though it definitely doesn’t hurt when people I haven’t seen in a while go, “Oh wow, you look great”, my motivation is myself. When the cravings aren’t there like they used to be because I alone have programmed my brain to know that the terrible stuff I used to want was what was making me so unhappy in the first place. Being able to run longer or faster or lift heavier weights when my body couldn’t do that two weeks before is so encouraging. Wearing all my old shirts as dresses is pretty fun lately, too. ;)”
HCF: What are you most proud of going through this journey?
“Never giving up. That was always my downfall in times prior when I tried to lose weight. I would go strong and eat only 100% clean food and exercise consistently for a week straight, then a craving would hit and boom, Taco Bell and the couch. I’d relapse instead of picking myself up and moving forward. I would just give up and go back to old habits and tell myself, “well you just had a soda and a burrito, your whole week is ruined, start again on Monday.” Monday never came; there was always a new excuse. This time, I decided to never go back. Yes, I’ve had setbacks, yes, I’ve had pizza and no motivation to get up and get active but I never let myself stop. Treat yourself in moderation, have a lazy couch day if need be but GET BACK UP. Run harder, add an extra workout to your schedule, do not allow yourself anything but 100% clean foods the next day. One bad meal won’t make you fat, just like one good meal won’t make you fit. The key is consistency and moderation. Consistently eat healthily and be active and in moderation, allow yourself a treat or rest now and then.”
HCF: What future goals do you have?
“I am nowhere near where I want to be with my body and my physical capabilities. I have more weight to lose, more muscles to build but I know that it’s a slow, but worthwhile journey. You can do this the “easy” way, but it won’t last. The changes I’ve made are lifestyle changes that will follow me throughout my life. I will continue to get leaner, stronger, more flexible, faster, jump higher, run longer, swim harder, etc.”
HCF: If you could share any advice or words of encouragement, what would they be?
“Fail to plan, plan to fail. Seriously. Meal plan, write down your workouts, etc. If you have set goals or tasks to complete or meals already made, it’ll be easy to keep yourself on track. If you just wing it, it’ll be easier to find yourself in that drive-thru line come lunch time or taking a day off because you’re tired. Also, take pictures! Sometimes the weight won’t be coming off like you’re used to and you’re stuck looking at the same number….pictures are the greatest way to capture your true journey. You can look back and not even believe you ever looked like that and see the person you have become today; it’s a great feeling.”
HCF: Where can people get in touch with you?