I grew up in the ballet world. Where you were judged on how you looked FIRST then how you danced. It is a world that reinforces thinness no matter the cost. The cost was not only physical but also mental. At age 17, I woke up one morning to find that I could not move my body without excruciating pain. In 3 days, I was admitted to the hospital where doctors where baffled why this seemingly healthy young girl needed help to go to the bathroom and couldn't squeeze tooth paste out of a tube because it was too painful. I was told I would probably be blind and I wouldn't be able to walk. Months later, the doctors finally diagnosed me. I barely finished my senior year of high school. My illness prevented me from returning to ballet for my final year there. Miraculously, 8 months after being admitted to the hospital, I had made a full recovery and was headed to Radford University on a dance scholarship.
After graduating university with honors, I pursued my professional ballet career. Dancing in companies on the east coast and retired when I was 30 years old.
I went back to college and graduated first in my class with a 4.0 in Physical Therapy. I worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant and started training clients on the side once I received my American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer certification. I LOVED training my clients!
When I married and had my two kids, I chose to stay home to raise them but there was always this itch to do more...to help people get healthier.
In 2006, when I first started Shape It Up (my first fitness business) , I did and taught Dieter’s Mentality – count the calories/macros/ meal prep/ obsess about every little morsel I put in my mouth AND the grueling workout no pain – no gain crap! I looked great on the outside, but it was never good enough. I was a mess on the inside. I hated my body. I hated that I could only get it to look fabulous for very short periods of time. I hated having to go out to events because I thought people would look at me and think “who does she think she is? A personal trainer?! Hah! She’s not fit enough.” There were times when I would curl up in the fetal position and sob because nothing looked good on me…that I was still not ripped enough.
I trained for fitness competitions, but my mindset always got the best of me. I couldn’t understand what we wrong with me. When my mindset work got stronger, I realized there was nothing wrong with me. What was wrong was the method I was using…Dieter’s Mentality. If you grew up in the 70,80 or 90’s you were taught to eat rabbit food and do tons and tons of cardio. I was beating myself up – berating myself because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Wasting all my time on weighing every little thing I put in my mouth to the GRAM! Food logging – stressing out when I had to eat outside of the house. Taking pre-made meals with me wherever I went. I was a freakin’ full time job! One that I was no longer willing to put up with. I thought “There HAS to be a better, easier way. I do NOT want to spend the rest of my life food logging and micromanaging everything about my weight and body.” I had to learn how to STOP hating myself skinny!
The day I divorced my food logging app was a hard day for me. I didn’t realize how dependent I was to it. I imagined it was what someone coming off drugs felt like. I knew I had to get it out of my life because I was not about to be chained to a kitchen scale for the rest of my life. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted. No foods off limits. I wanted a healthy, lean body too.
It was hard at first but once I separated myself from it got easier.
Overtime, this is how I created my current weight loss programs. Testing it out on me first then incorporating it into my client’s plan. AND it worked!
Not just for me but for my clients too.
I found freedom in how to eat and how to maintain the body that I want to live in. I was able to teach this to my clients and it is all centered around mindset.
We get to think what we want to think.
Our default patterns are driving our bus. We spend so much time thinking that Dieter’s Mentality is the only way to lose weight. And yes, you can lose weight using a diet and a beat-down workout, but it is not sustainable. And I am pretty sure your goal is to not lose the weight and then gain it back. NO ONE signs up for that! But you repeat it every time you choose to go externally to solve your weight problem.
Sustainable weight loss comes from within…from what is going on between your ears.
Life without Dieter’s Mentality is so freeing!
Eat whatever you want.
No foods off limits.
Go to a restaurant and just pick what you actually want to eat.
No more food drama.
No more grueling workouts (unless you love them).
Life without the scale is so much better.
Certifications and Achievements
- Graduated Radford University with Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
- Professional ballet dancer with Ballet Theatre of Annapolis (now Ballet Theatre of Maryland), Peninsula Ballet, National Ballet of New Jersey, guested at Pennsylvania Ballet and Vineland Regional Dance Company
- Medical degree as a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) – Degree: Associates in Applied Science (AAS)
- Graduated 1st in PTA class.
- President of PTA Club
- Studied Tang Soo Do
- Founded Shape It Up, LLC
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Health Coach
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Fitness Nutrition Specialist
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Behavior Change Specialist
- Certified Kickboxing Instructor
- Certified Pilates Instructor
- Certified YogaFit Instructor
- Zumba Instructor
- Member of IDEA Fitness
- Authored “The No Fuss, No Mess Cookbook”
- played Speed Dater (Lexi) in the movie “15 Roses” which won Best Romance Film at the Cannes World Film Festival
- Competed in Goliathon doing 12 consecutive obstacle course races for charity and was honored to be featured on Goliathon's trailer.
- Host of "Healthy Travel with Nicole" TV show
- Founded Nicole Simonin Coaching, LLC.
- 2 x TEDx Speaker:
- Podcast “Weight Loss for Women Over 40” ranked #22 of the Must Follow Fitness Podcasts by Feedspot
- Columnist for Womenz Straight Talk Magazine
- Frequent guest on Lite Rock 96.9 on "Living Well with Robin Stoloff"
- Nicole has been featured in Rachael Ray in Season, Bicycling Magazine, Real Simple and MSN.