Sometimes, it’s the most difficult experiences that show you who your true friends are. For Nicole Caperilla, it was her incredible weight loss journey that showed her who were the ones who would really stick by her through the best and worst.
“I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child,” Nicole revealed, according to The Sun. The 31-year-old from Connecticut admitted that she had developed unhealthy eating habits from when she was young. But when the mother saw her weight climb up to 19 stone, she realized she needed to do something about it.
“It wasn’t until my first pregnancy I put on so much weight and couldn’t lose it,” Nicole said. “I tried every diet and supplement to lose it and it wasn’t budging. I also didn’t make the best food choices either and wasn’t consistent.”
Along with unhealthy food choices, she also said that poor lifestyles choices added to the problem. “I’d eat a lot of things like burgers and pizzas and processed junk foods that were really high in carbs. I ate so many carbs. I think I’d let it go on because I wasn’t putting my health first,” Nicole went on to say. “Working night shifts meant terrible sleeping patterns and it was hard to make good choices. I became a stay at home mom and then it just got even worse putting myself on the back burner.”
Over time, things started taking a severe toll on her mind and her body. Nicole shared, “I just kept going even though I was struggling physically, mentally and emotionally with being morbidly obese. I never had any energy and I was always out of breath. I got winded by the smallest things and was borderline diabetic, borderline sleep apnoea and had high blood pressure. One of the scariest times for me were when I was waking myself up in a panic gasping for breath because I’d stopped breathing in my sleep.”
After struggling for long, Nicole finally turned things around when she was appalled by a picture of herself. That’s when she decided that things couldn’t go on the way there were and she began her tireless journey of losing weight.
2017 was also the year where she had VSG (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), during which a portion of her stomach was surgically removed. Two weeks later, as soon as she got the go-ahead from her doctor, she started rigorously working out and switching to a healthier diet.
“I changed my diet right away and started eating a high protein diet. I get my protein from things such as lean meats, beans and protein supplements. I’ll have oatmeal for breakfast, sweet potatoes and veggies for lunch and protein and veggies for dinner. I also eat a lot of fruit now which I rarely did before…” Nicole said “I started working out five to six days a week doing weights and cardio.”
It was a difficult journey for Nicole, and she saw that the people she thought she could trust were the very ones who were pulling her down. “Although I never received any nasty comments to my face, I did receive rude comments after my weight loss success from some of the people closest to me. I’m talking about friends I’d had all my life.”
Apart from the support of her loving husband, she didn’t receive any encouragement from her friends at all. “They were not supportive at all. They would criticise everything about me and put me down not realising their jokes hurt,” the mother added. “They’d judge or joke about what I was wearing and tell me I wasn’t perfect. They were very negative. It took me a long time to come to realise they were just jealous with the help of some friends and my husband Charlie. I realised that I didn’t need to have people like that in my life.”
Along the way, she did find those friends who genuinely had her best interests at heart. And she pushed on through her weight loss transformation. “My husband and other friends have been incredible and I’ve made so many new supportive friends too. I’m so proud of myself for losing weight and my internal transformation too.”
Within two years, Nicole went from 266lbs to 140lbs, according to the Daily Mail. Earlier, she would have to squeeze into a dress size of 20, but now, she can easily fit into a dress size of 4.
Today, Nicole is a personal trainer, pushing people towards achieving what they set their heart on, just like she did. “I’m more positive, I empower others, I make goals and I chase them and achieve them… I changed my life around and even became a personal trainer because I want to help others to do the same.”
Even though she lost some friends along the way, she’s proud of where she is now after all the hard work she put in. Nicole said, “I had so much self-doubt. I think we all do… never in a million years would I have ever have imagined I’d be where I am today.”