I contacted Nichelle in January 2020 looking for information on competition prep packages.  Prior to this, I had completed Nichelle’s Fit and Fabu-LAUS program and knew I wanted something more. I was in the midst of a career transition and during my preparation for that, I had gained some additional weight.  Despite being a personal trainer myself, I knew how to create a good program for recreational fitness and generalized weight loss, but I didn’t have the experience of training someone or myself for a fitness competition.  Ultimately, I wanted real transformation.  As an educator and busy mom, I had adopted some poor nutritional habits due to stress and on-the-go eating.  I knew that the right program would take the guesswork out of meal planning to support the athletic conditioning.  Knowing myself and how busy my work would be going forward, I knew success would be dependent on clear, straightforward planning and prep. Recognizing my own limitations, I couldn’t do it all alone.  My “plate” was full.

Initially when I shared that I was working with a coach, I took a lot of heat because I am a certified personal trainer myself. But the answer was easy. If you’ve ever achieved a higher degree of athleticism or sport, including dance, you’ve either experienced first-hand or know the value working with a coach. When I decided to compete this year at in my forties, I really wanted to convince myself that age is just a number.   In the end, I proved so much more to myself, including what I could accomplish with commitment and determination.

I’m so thankful to have worked and become friends with Jamie Ferrante over the last year. Always encouraging even when I was super hard on myself or frustrated with the progress.  My competition was pushed back twice due to the pandemic, so you might say I had prepped three times over by the time I actually hit the stage.  Nonetheless, she stuck with me through it all.  A good coach not only has the skill set to take you to the next level but also knows how to build trust. They keep you motivated especially when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  She did all of these things.

I’m very proud of my results for completing the very first time and persevering with the prep despite cancelled events. I earned two second place silver medals and in one category came second to someone who is half my age and hasn’t had any kids!

Through this experience, I learned a lot about the process and rigorous required for competing.  Even though I started out the journey in confidence without others knowing, as I approached the show, being introduced to the amazing women and coaches of Team Laus was really transformational in its own way.  I didn’t have a chance to meet any of my teammates until the day of the show and even at that point it was a strange environment.  However, I really felt supported and guided by Jamie, Julie and Nichelle.  From the outset, Nichelle was incredibly supportive and equally realistic about my goals and time frames.  But as the stage approached, I benefited from the combined expertise of all three women who provided me with unlimited guidance to set me up for success.  Even after it was all over, I’ve had the benefit of Nichelle’s support as we discussed next steps for my fitness journey.  So, if you’re considering competing and are new to the process, Team Laus is the perfect place to begin. I can personally attest to losing weight in a healthy way with no shortcuts and consistent effort.  It’s not an overnight journey.  You have to do the work but it will produce a shift in lifestyle and habits that will serve you far beyond the stage.

Thank you Nichelle.  I’m so proud to be surrounded by strong, resilient women and to be a member of Team Laus.

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