By Nichole Simbeck

To say that I left the Body Ambition Strut & Sweat seminar on emotional overload would not even come close to explain how I felt.

Making the decision to become a part of team Body Ambition was a scary thought for me.

Walking into the seminar on that Saturday morning I was feeling extremely overwhelmed.

Being among 40 beautiful women who traveled from all over to listen and learn from Janelle Nicolo was incredible.

I was amazed to see how each one of us share a common goal, and I was enlightened by each and every life story. All of us have overcome so much, and each challenge has led us to where we are today.

I should start by explaining a little more about my story.I have a serious love/hate relationship with myself. Most days I want to crawl out of my own skin, curl up in a ball somewhere, and hide from the world.

I get extremely overwhelmed in big groups and often times I feel like the black sheep. I tend to be painfully shy, and it is a real challenge for me to come out of my shell. I live in constant frustration and wonder when I’ll find the confidence to walk into a room and feel at ease with myself.

Writing down on a slip of paper something I have overcome in life was tough for me. I’m 23-years-old and most days feel 43. At first I wasn’t sure what to write because I feel like I have been through so much and I am still trying to catch my breath.

I went through high school with an eating disorder which I have overcome, but still mentally struggle each and every day. Eating is no longer an issue, but being able to love myself is something I need to focus a lot of my energy on. It certainly doesn’t come natural for me.
On top of that,  at age 22, I got married to the wrong guy, for all the wrong reasons.
Six months later, after realizing what a mistake I made, I was going through a high stress divorce.Being on my own is so scary. I’ve been by myself for almost ten months now and I’m still trying to forgive myself for my mistakes and move on.

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was listening to Kate McKay speak. She brought an unforgettable energy to the studio. Her explanation of charisma was a joy to listen to.I realize how important it is to be able to find your inner light. She talked about how every person has their own uniqueness and it is our job to find out what makes you, “you” and work with it! There is no shame in loving yourself, and until you are capable of finding self love you won’t ever be truly happy.

I also enjoyed listening to Kate talk about befriending and empowering others.  No person can take your inner light, but you have the power to spread it to others.

So give love and positivity whenever possible. Be happy with all that you have to offer the world and work towards sharing your positivity and inspire others to do the same.

Talking about competing was also emotional. Competing has always meant more to me than just being a way to show off my body. It’s always been about finding the confidence to get up on stage.

It’s about looking within myself and seeing my true strength and beauty. It’s about feeling proud of who I am and being confident enough to show it off. To be able to say, “look at all that I’ve overcome and am still standing.”

It’s about inspiring others in the process to do the same. I want someone to look at me and say “Because of you I didn’t give up” or “because of you I made the decision to start”. It was a comfort to listen to Janelle, Kate, and everyone else talk about this. Feeling like your in a roomful of people who completely and totally understand what you want and 100 percent share and support your goals is the best feeling.

This seminar was phenomenal. I feel so much more comfortable with the idea of competing. Having Janelle as my coach and knowing I have the love and support of team body ambition is a great feeling.

I drove home in tears because I finally feel like I found a group of people who understand this is so much more than a fad or a diet, it’s a journey of self love and inspiration.


  1. February 10, 2014

    Nicole, thanks for sharing. You’re an inspiration for being able to put it all out there and share your story!

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