My Story

This week I was asked what my “story” is and how I found Beachbody. I realized that I never have really told my story in full… so, why not dive on in and tell it here?! Here goes!

Growing up as a child I had a really kick ass life. I played sports (mainly soccer), went on a lot of family vacations and never wanted for a thing. My mom started working at AOL in the early 90s and if you remember, AOL was VERY successful. So, in turn, my mom’s career took off. Prom dress shopping in NYC? Why not? Fly to a Hanson concert in San Francisco? Sure! It was pretty awesome. Life was great for the most part, but I constantly struggled with body image (like most teenage girls) and fluctuating weight. Looking back I know that I didn’t have the education of proper nutrition. I ate what I wanted but when it was soccer season I was ALWAYS on the soccer field so I was burning a lot of calories. However, in the off season, I would gain weight. Nothing huge, but enough, as a high school girl to be self conscious.

 nikki hill johnson childhood pictures 

Fast forward to college and I gained WAY more than the freshman 15 (I’ll spare you the photos). I wasn’t working out and I was drinking A LOT of alcohol, plus still had no idea about nutrition. I was miserable. And embarrassed. But the summer after freshman year I came home and did the South Beach diet and lost all that weight. That began my descent into crash/fad dieting. I became an expert at South Beach diet and of course, LOTS of cardio at the gym. I would spend an hour in the gym. 20 mins on the bike, 20 mins on the elliptical and 20 on the treadmill. {GUH!!}. I literally had no idea. And any time I started to put on weight I would just bust out my South Beach Diet book and get back on track. But otherwise, as you can tell by the photos below, I had A LOT of fun in college. I went to a small, private, liberal arts school in Florida and it was like being on vacation alllll the time. I miss those days!

 college years for nikki hill johnson

After college, reality hit me hard. You mean, I have to pay for everything myself? Going from living off my parents to having to find a job and live paycheck to paycheck was HARD. But I still had fun {while racking up credit card debt} and got an awesome job at AOL {of course!}. My twenties were a fun blur — I lived in NYC, Charlotte and then came back to Northern VA where I had a blast living up the single life in DC. I had WAY too much fun {and even got arrested. oops}. But I destroyed my body with drugs and alcohol. I also was back to my South Beach Diet ways. Looking back I feel sad for my 20-something self. Sure, I was having fun, but inside I was lonely and insecure. Constantly fighting a battle with my reflection and how I felt about my body. But when I was drinking and partying, I felt awesome! Who doesn’t?! It’s the next day that’s hell.

 nikki hill johnson in college partying shots with friends

Thankfully I met my now husband {on a bar crawl!! lol} and my life was forever changed. After ignoring him for a year I finally gave him a chance and we dated long distance for about 7 months until he made the move to VA. One month into us living together a big blizzard hit and somehow (lol) I ended up pregnant with Molly. I was TERRRRRRRIFIED. But I went through my pregnancy eating everything in sight. I ended up having gestational diabetes AND thanks to a pulmonary emboli I had suffered at age 20 I had to be on blood thinners. Then I gave birth to the most perfect little girl and the next few months were a blur. I was SO unhappy. And tired. I cried ALL the time. Especially when I was nursing. I ended up figuring out I had postpartum depression and DMER (dysphoric milk ejection reflex). I was put on Zoloft, but I was still in a haze… I didn’t want to take care of myself or go anywhere or see anyone. I was a completely different person.

 nikki with baby molly post delivery

On top of that Ben was unemployed and I went back to my job at AOL after 12 weeks of maternity leave and was LAID off! So neither of us were employed. It was BEYOND stressful. Thankfully we both had decent savings, but if you have ever been without a job you know how quickly money runs out. We fought a lot about money and job searching. Thankfully, by that summer we both had secured jobs — I was working from home as a social media consultant and freelance writer and he was working as an ecommerce manager.

It took a good 6-8 months until I really felt somewhat back to myself, but in that timeframe I had a wedding to plan! Ben and I got married when Molly was 9 months old. It was stressful and I remember doing the South Beach Diet to lose my baby weight, but then completely stress eating up until the wedding. I look back at my wedding pictures and even though my wedding was AMAZING and so much fun, I always think, “Ugh, I should’ve lost more weight.” I know, how fucked up is my mind?

 nikki and husband at their wedding holding baby molly

Pretty much right after the wedding we decided we wanted to add to our family. A few months later we were pregnant with Burke. This pregnancy I went to the gym and I really tried to be healthy. But remember, I still had no idea about good nutrition. I also had antepartum depression my first trimester which sucked. ANNNND I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes AGAIN! I was terrified of having PPD yet again. I mean, TERRIFIED. It was almost all consuming and the only thing I could talk about. “What if I have PPD again?” If you have ever had PPD you know that it is completely awful and isolating. I didn’t want to suffer again.

Thankfully I didn’t! YAY! I had a perfect little boy and NO PPD, but I also had 50lbs to lose.

 nikki and her family with her new baby

If you are a long time reader of this blog you have followed my weight loss journey. I met with a wonderful woman and we talked about nutrition — it was a big light bulb moment for me. It was the key to unlock the “secrets” of weight loss. I started tracking my food and immediately saw results. I was hooked!!

 nikkis weightloss journey

However, during this journey, Ben’s company he was working for folded and he was unemployed yet again. To make matters worse it was the same company who was employing me as a social media consultant and I lost my job as well. Back to unemployment. Womp. We decided to move to Charlottesville — price of living is much lower and my mom lives there. Also, my mom paid for our rent. {embarrassing!} But we fought about money ALL the time. I nagged him about getting a job. It was not fun. The one constant was that I continued on my weight loss journey and blogging about it.

While working out in the rinky dink gym in our neighborhood I saw a flyer. A group of people were going to get together each morning and do T25. I had no idea what that was at all but I wanted to work out with other people. I woke up at 5:30am every morning and went to do T25 with them at 6am. It was SOOO fun and I loved Shaun T. But I still had no idea about Beachbody coaching until I saw someone I went to high school with post about leaving his job to become a full time coach. I totally thought network marketing was a scam and Shakeology was a scam, but I reached out to him because I was curious.

I was a HARD sell, but we talked, I researched and I decided “what the hell?” I mean, we were literally down to our last $2K in the bank and what else was there to lose? So I jumped.

Personal development is a HUGE part of being a coach. So I started reading and I started becoming more positive and thinking positive thoughts and practicing affirmations and I started seeing a lot of success. AND Ben got a job!!! We had to move back to Northern Virginia, but things were looking up for us! From that moment forward I put everything into my Beachbody business and focused on helping other moms. I found my passion! I have been rewarded in more ways than I can count. It has been the biggest blessing to our family and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity and for my decision to just jump and grow wings on the way down.

UPDATE {5/6/2016} — since I wrote this blog post SO much has changed in our lives.

  • We retired my husband from his corporate career so he could stay home with me and the kids!
  • I hit 6-figures in my business!
  • We traveled to Cancun on an all-expense paid vacation!
  • I ended 2015 as a Top 20 coach in the company and helped so many of my coaches duplicate the success I seen in the beginning of my business.
  • I had my first 6-figure first quarter!! WHAT?!?
  • We moved to Charleston, South Carolina and bought our dream home.
  • We are now expecting our third child — one we wouldn’t have been able to afford had it not been for Beachbody!

If my story has resonated with you in any way I would love to help you on your journey! Please don’t hesitate to reach out!