Shouldn't Nice Girls Finish First?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Some of you know my story by now. I once yo-yoed from extreme weight loss to major weight gain for years, and eventually settled in to what I call my "happy" weight, a figure that I'm able to maintain with a healthy attitude toward food and exercise—one that includes rest days and hard days and healthy days and even ice cream dinners.
I exercise because it feels good and keeps me healthy, and what you see when you look at me is the direct result of how much I exercise (or don't) and what I eat. I'm happy with my approach to both: no obsession, no deprivation, no self-punishment.
As a trainer, I try to deliver the same healthy, balanced approach to students in my classes and followers of my workout videos, whether you have a lot of weight to lose or simply want to exercise regularly for the benefits it provides.  I don't look ripped. I don't have a six pack or bulging muscles. In the fitness world, what I represent usually isn't very marketable.  Fitness trainers have to look the part (buff) and deliver the goods (workouts that make you beg for mercy) to make it in this world.  I'm not (and don't do) any of those things.   
But for one day, yours truly, an unassuming trainer from Ohio who was once told that she didn't look toned enough to have a fitness DVD, had an exceptional moment.  Earlier this week, SparkPeople's "28 Day Boot Camp" DVD was the best-selling fitness video on For just one day, I beat "America's Toughest Trainer" (who has been dominating the fitness scene for many years now), a feat that I thought was only a pipedream.  Let me tell you: There is nothing like seeing yourself on the store shelf next to these popular and talented trainers, let alone near the top rankings—or higher—of such a force in the fitness world. I had to take a screen capture just to prove to myself later that it really happened! It was a day worth celebrating (which I did…by eating pie—yes, PIE!).
 Look at me, mom!
This is significant not just for me professionally, but for SparkPeople, which may be America's best-kept secret. As large as our following is, our small, passionate company isn't yet a household name, but we have big plans to be. After all, our mission isn't over until we've touched the lives of millions more people who need our free resources to eat better and get in shape and live healthier lives.
But it's also significant because I see this as a continuation on the theme I'm so passionate about: changing the shape of fitness. Exercise isn't about weight loss or looking ripped, although it plays a role in both, depending on your goals. My goal is to make fitness accessible to everyone—in an unintimidating style that still helps people get results in a safe, practical way.  It's about being healthy and fit at any size, which I truly believe in. The fact that "28 Day Boot Camp" is selling so well shows me that people are ready for this shift in what has been presented as intimating, difficult, challenging, or "only for the elite" for far too long.  And that is an amazing thing!
So thank you for embracing me as your trainer--flaws, cellulite, belly rolls and all (yep, I have all three of them). Thank you for supporting SparkPeople by purchasing our amazing DVD (it really is great, I promise). And thank you for Spreading the Spark to others by telling them about the DVD, reviewing it on other sites, and talking about SparkPeople whenever and however you can.
If you haven't purchased it yet, take note: "28 Day Boot Camp" is 53% off at for a limited time. This sale ends April 2, so take advantage of it while you can. Not only will you be putting your own health and fitness first by trying this sound and effective program, but you'll be helping a nice girl finish first—and giving "America's toughest trainer" a little friendly competition.  The longer SparkPeople can stay in that top spot, the more lives we can positively impact!
Can I get a WooHoo?!

Photo (headshot) credit: Arthur Cohen

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WooHoo! Good for you Honey! I'm convinced...think I'll go check out Amazon now because I don't have one...but I will!!! Big hugs and congratulations! Wendy

P.S. I like you because you are "real people" and set a good example for all of us "Sparkers"! Report
WooHoo!! I just ordered this from Amazon - I've been needing to step up my workouts a bit and this will do the trick, plus it's a great price right now! And Congrats to you!!! Report
That's great Nicole. You are great and an inspiration. Jillian Michaels wasn't overweight and went through and truly understands the struggles of losing 50 or however many pounds. People who were never overweight will NEVER understand what it's like living with the weight, how you feel when people make comments, etc. You understand and you are not intimidating. WOO-HOO Report
Woohoo!!! Congrats, Coach Nicole! Speaking as one who completed your DVD just last month, you totally deserve this! I got the DVD before it went on sale and it was worth paying full price! Way to go! Report
WOO! And might I add HOO! Nicole, you deserve to be on top. You are "every body's fitness trainer", not just a trainer of the already fit. I'm fit and I don't buy "killer" workout DVDs because, frankly, I don't want to be killed! I want fitness to be a healthy part of my life, supporting my other goals and activities, and it does. Thank you for helping others to adopt a fit lifestyle in an achievable way. May you stay on top!!! Report
WOOHOO!!! WOOHOO!!! WOOHOO!!! I really like the DVD! Great job! Report
WOO HOO! You deserve it! Congrats to you. Thank you for all you do, and thank you for being you! For being real. Thank you for reaching our group who want to live a healthy, fit, but balanced life. I never thought I could look toned and fit, and do it at home. Btw, you look fantastic, you are a role model. Slim, fit and toned beautifully. The perfect picture of a healthy, fit woman. Yor body is what should be marketed as such. Congrats to you! Report
We are so proud of you and happy for you. Woo Hoo! Report
WooHoo! WooHoo! Can not do that DVD yet, but you help in many other ways. All you exercises help me to do what I can - properly - saves lots of mishaps and injuries.
WOO! And number one in spite of your sale price a buck higher than Jillian's workout. I already bought it when it was first on Amazon, and bought one at Target on sale - will share it with a friend who has struggled with her weight doe years. Report
WooHoo! To be honest, your image is more appealing to me than the top fitness expert you are going against. Do you know why? I am a firm believer that the soft and roundness of a woman is much more attractive and comforting than a cut chiseled one. It's the hug factor... which would you rather hug, a hard bodied person or someone that represents more comfort and peacefulness. I know that all those chiseled women out there probably don't want to hear my opinion, but it is what it is.

Also on a side note: You make your workouts doable for anyone. You are not demanding and screaming at us. You give us options and challenge us enough so we can grow.

Thank you for being you and standing up for your standards. I hope you enjoyed your PIE! :) Report
WooHoo! I bought the DVD and am half way through the boot camp plan. I love it and it is something anyone at any fitness level can do. I feel stronger and more energetic than I ever have and am proud of my progress. Thank you for all of your hard work and for believing that everyone can get fit! WOO HOO!!!!! Report
I have three of your fitness videos, and I think they are fantastic! They keep me motivated to move areas I would otherwise neglect. I love your approach, and encouragement. You look great! You deserve a resounding woo hoo!
Looking forward to what you have coming next. Report
Wow! Terrific! It couldn't happen to a nicer person! Congrats! Report
Congratulations. Spark People is the best, and thanks to you for being there.

Bonnie Report
Woohoo Nicole! Well done. I also like your transparency so much! Report
I bought the DVD and I do love it!! I have only done the first two segments but will do it all soon. It isn't that difficult so every one can do it! I love it!!! Report
Here's a WOOHOO for you. Report
Congratulations! Report
Here it is!! WOO HOO!!!! Keep up the good work! Report
Whoo Hooo! I am so happy for you Coach Niclole! I have the DVD's from a few years ago. I never liked the celebrity exercise videos. You keep it real, and that says alot about your credibility in my book! WTG! Report
Whoo Hoo! You're AWESOME, Nicole!!! Report
Nicole - I couldn't pass up such an awesome deal on Amazon to purchase your DVD! I should be getting it in a couple of days and can't wait to use it. Congratulations on being #1! Report
The words "boot camp" struck terror in my heart - especially since I have back issues. But after reading this blog I think I'm going to try this DVD. :D Report
Thank you, Nicole. I credit your online videos and CardioBlast and Fit & Firm DVDs with getting me started on regular exercise. Ten minutes a day at first, then 20, and now I usually work out 40-60 minutes a day six days a week. Your clear instructions and friendly approach are inspiring. And yes, I recently bought your 28 Day Bootcamp DVD. In 9 months I've lost 40 pounds with Spark, improving my health and fitness levels immensely. The work you do truely changes lives - WOO HOO! Report
WHO HOO...congrats... Report
Congrats! Your Mom should be proud! Report
WooHoo! Your Bootcamp DVD helped me lose almost 20 lbs and got me back in shape. I paid full price for it, and it was well worth it. I'll tell you a funny story...when I was finished with the 28 Day Bootcamp, I saw one of Jillian's videos at the store for 50% off and grabbed it. I thought it would be worth it at that price. But she is *mean.* I don't like her at all and didn't feel comfortable working out with her. I couldn't even pass it on to a friend because it's not something I believe in. So her video wasn't worth even the sale price to me!

With your video, I'm able to work out with my daughters. They like to follow along, even if only for a few minutes at a time. I know I can workout with them in the next room where they can hear what you're saying. I took that for granted in a workout video, until I got one of Jillian's. I had to do the video after my kids went to bed so they couldn't even hear her potty mouth! There has to be something majorly wrong with I threw it away. Like you, I don't want to be "ripped" anyway, no thanks!

So, my book Nice Girls Finish First!


Coach Nicole is the Greatest!

Thank you for being you. :) Report
A HUGE-HUGE Congrats to you! The Amazon listing couldn't be better. Keep up the good work and thanks for inspiring all your SparkPeople fans again! Report
WOO HOO You are AWESOME Report
WOOHOO! Report
WooHoo! I think you have it right in focusing on living a real life and being healthy as a whole person. Thank you for sharing your realistic approach. Report
Woo Hoo!! That really is a great accomplishment! Report
Thank YOU Coach Nicole! It is all about being healthy and fit... feeling good is important, especially if you have a chronic disease as I do. You help me keep my hope up and my expectations REAL!
God Bless! Report
WooHoo! I am off to buy it. Tks. Report
WooHoo Great job!! Report
Glad u made it. Denise Austin has been at the top of the fitness world and is now 55, the mother of two grown girls, and 5'4" and 112#. She didn't have 'abs" either, but she stayed with it and looked "feminine" but not the "Barbie-doll" type like "The Firm". Leslie Sansone certainly didn't have any appeal, but she filled a need with "Walk away the Pounds." So, there is a large area in the fitness business. Report
You get MY WooHOOO! And HUGS too. Report
WooHoo! Congratulations! Nice girls really CAN finish first! :o) Report
WooHoo! Report
WooHoo!!! You deserve it! Report
Woo Hoo! Love who you are! Thanks for inspiring me. Report
It is refreshing to know that one can be fit and healthy without looking ripped and buffed and without having to do extreme, intensive or lengthy workouts. One can be toned and sculpted in doing regular exercise on a regular basis. You don't need to be tough and mean. You just need to be smart and committed to this healthy lifestyle. Report
WHOOHOO!! I am loving your success! I refer the people I serve to your site EVERYDAY! The exercise videos and nutritional info is so practical, doable, and always the top expert advice! Keep up the great work!! Report
You Did It!!! WOO HOO!!! WAY TO GO!!! I have the DVD and I love it! Keep up the terrific work!!! Report
Hiya, Nicole,
I'm really and truly happy for you, you've been such an inspiration for me and all of SP members;
I've been exercising on your video's on SP now since i joined on the 2nd of february 2012.... I was so excited by what i saw and the way you explain the exercises and the advice you give during.... I was a fan straight a way...
I have told many people about SP and Coach Nicole and they have given it further afield to the carribean Barbados, St Martin, Dominica,
I'm so happy i bumped into SP and especially You & your easy to follow workouts..... I agree with all the above comments.... you deserve to be at the top .... Congrats!!!
Thanks for being Nicole My Coach !!******

Love the title about Nice Girls Finishing First. Good to read the user reviews below. Seems like a must buy dvd. /Now I saw Jillian last year at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival. She's a pint size, down to earth, positive, toned and energetic dynamo. Report
You definitely deserve a WooHoo and more! Thanks from one of your fans! Report
Woohoo ! Coach Nicole You rock and sparkpeople is the place to be, am glad you beat jilian. I live in far a way nigeria and i went through all the trouble to get jilian's work out dvds and books to me but alas i just could not just do it it was too difficult so i resulted to what i loved best and was practicable jogging with a few excerises i selected from spark people and it is working just fine i love the success i have achieved so far if i haven't gone further than this is simply because i haven't committed to doing so ! So back to you Congrats!!!!!! I guess now i really have to find a way of getting the number 1 fitness dvd to nigeria ! Report
WHOOHOO! I am enjoying the 28 Day Bootcamp DVD! Way to go! You finished first because you are a nice girl ! The universe knows these things and when you are positive it comes back to you! Who doesn't love pie? Congrats!!! Report
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