One thing we strongly believe at 6 Pack is that if you set your mind to it, anything is possible. Our fans have the hard work, dedication, and determination to do just that, and we love to share their inspirational stories in our Transformations Series! In today’s fitness transformation we meet Nikki Ettig, a young woman from Denver, Colorado who, with the help of her meal management system, came a long way in a little over a year.
Nikki can place the beginning of her fitness transformation to an exact date: August 14th, 2013. School was about to start that year, and Nikki went to get the physical required to determine her sports eligibility. Unfortunately, she was told that her weight was too low. Her heart rate and physical condition did not allow her to safely play sports. Nikki cried for days, but the doctor told her that if she could prove she was on the right track to healthiness, she would be able to play. This was very difficult for Nikki, as she suffered from an eating disorder, so her mind was very sensitive to the idea of weight gain.
Yet as she contemplated her options, she gained a sense of strength. “I knew the path I was headed down was [going to send me] right back into treatment,” she said. She knew she had to make a change immediately. That week she upped her calories to nearly three times that of the week before. When she returned for another physical, she had gained nearly 7 pounds and her heart rate had increased too. With her promise to keep the weight gain up, the doctor gave Nikki the okay to play.
“My self-esteem was higher than I could ever recall.”
At her very lowest weight, Nikki was only 68 pounds. That was September of 2012. Now, she falls between 88 and 92, a testament to her ability to overcome her previous mental blocks. She had to understand that gaining weight was healthy, and the path she was on before simply wasn’t. Learning to love yourself, to tell yourself that you are beautiful just the way you are, is not always easy, but Nikki is now committed to loving her beautiful self, and that makes all the difference.
Running is a huge inspiration to her. She has always loved running and wanted to excel at it. Then Nikki found Bodybuilding.com and saw photos of Jaime Eason and other professional fitness models. These women were not stick thin. They were built, strong, and totally confident. “I want abs like that,” Nikki said to herself. From that point forward, she began to cross train more and more.
“My idea of a perfect body went from a stick thin model to one with muscle.”
Now, Nikki trains 6-7 days a week. During the summer, she runs 2-3 days a week and cross trains the other 3-4 days. She also likes to switch things up sometimes by swimming laps. Her diet is all about protein, healthy carbs, fats, and veggies. (“I could eat a bucket of broccoli. I love it!” Nikki said. Us too, Nikki!)
Nikki meal preps every Sunday, and some of her favorite protein sources include chicken breast, extra lean turkey burgers with spinach, bison, white fish, shrimp, Greek yogurt, whey protein, and omelets. She has one protein shake right after her workout, and this recipe sounds delicious indeed: 2 scoops of whey protein, 1 small frozen banana, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and ice/water. “It’s like ice cream,” Nikki said.
Nikki first heard about 6 Pack Fitness through a friend and on social media, and her first bag was the Elite Vixen pictured below. On Black Friday last year she upgraded to the Elite Victoria, and in her own words, “I am in L-O-V-E!” With her 6 Pack gym tote, she can take meals and snacks with her, without having to struggle to find somewhere to eat. In her previous life, she would make excuses and avoid eating. Now she doesn’t have to anymore, and the ability to carry her own food ensures a proper diet anywhere she goes.
Nikki truly believes that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, and we wholeheartedly agree. She has now won multiple races, and one of her greatest accomplishments is winning the Littleton Stride in 2013. Her dreams for the future include someday becoming a fitness model and being featured in a magazine, as well as owning her own lifestyle business that revolves around clean cooking. “It’s a big idea,” she says, but she’s looking forward to figuring it all out.
We wish Nikki the best of luck in all her future endeavors and are grateful and proud to have been able to help! Proper health is of the most importance, and when you can stick to a nutritional diet, getting stronger is well within your reach. Get a gym tote like Nikki or find the right gym backpack or gym bag for you, and come back to get inspired with even more of the fitness transformation stories we love to share.