We’ve all done it. We get so caught up in our everyday routine that we forget to truly take care of ourselves. Life gets the best of us and we use it as an excuse to not focus on our wellbeing. As we juggle more, take on more responsibility at work and home, and try to manage life in a constant stream of distractions and information coming at us; it becomes more important than ever to make time for numero uno. But we shouldn’t let that get in the way. Sometimes all we need is a little motivation. We’re honored to share the very personal journey of Nick Sickler, a ChiliHead who let life get in the way of being physically active. Nick found the motivation he was looking for and managed to turn his life around with the support of his wife, a community of peeps at boot camp/cross fit, and a team of 55,000 other ChiliHeads focusing on their wellbeing! Check out Nick’s story:
I was very lucky growing up with a loving mother, SO loving that she always wanted to do things for me….especially FEED me! Growing up I didn’t eat the healthiest of meals and there was always something in front of us to snack on, or a ‘feel good’ kind of meal. Luckily, I was always in some sort of sport growing up, pretty much year round. As I grew older, some of the baby fat shed away and by high school I had gotten into lifting for sports. I had my weight pretty under control and was very active in football and baseball. After high school I continued to work out and controlled my weight all while having a loose lifestyle of late nights and fast food… Ahhhh to be young again! Not to mention, starting a career in the restaurant business! FOOD.
Years later I met my beautiful wife Kelli. While we were dating I continued to stay active at a gym. It was not until Kelli was pregnant with our first, Olivia, that I started to pack on the pounds. I couldn’t let her eat all those cravings alone, right? Ha! I put on about 25 lbs. in 9 months. Then all of a sudden it became extremely hard to lose weight. The daily responsibilities of being a new father and working full time were new to me and life started to take control and get the best of me. Work was stressful and rest at home was few and far between.
After about 6 months we started to gain back some structure and control. Just a few short months later we found out Kelli was pregnant again and along came Bella. This time it was different than the first round, a new challenge with a newborn and an active toddler. Over next several years I battled with making time to get back to an active lifestyle and became more of a weekend warrior. My priorities became my career and family and I was not focused on taking care of myself for long term health. I was playing the roller coaster weight game throughout the years and never made it back to my pre-weight of before kids.
Life changed again with a move to Texas! We relocated the family to San Antonio for a job promotion and to start the next chapter in our journey of life in 2013. I can truly say I am very glad we did! I was buried in work taking on a new position but loving the challenge. The girls were making friends quickly at school, and we couldn’t have been luckier to land in our neighborhood. Kelli met a friend by the name of Amy Craft. They started actively going to boot camp and after a month of her attending, I finally gave in and went myself. I had done nothing active for quite some time and it was the WORST experience I had ever had! I think we did like 500 burpees that day, of course it was probably only 20, but felt like 500 because I couldn’t move for an entire week. That was that. I never wanted to go back. I buried myself back in work and used it as an excuse not to go. An entire year went by before I went back, this time I had a better mind set about it and little more motivation, due to recently being diagnosed with high blood pressure. I went consistently 3-5 times a week for about two months. I saw some results but very minimal on the scale. I got a little frustrated and at the same time it was the end of our fiscal year at work which meant a huge work load with wrapping the end of the year up. With both of those working against me, I went back to burying myself in work.
Things in Texas were going great with my family although something was missing. No matter how hard I worked or how hard I tried doing things for others I just could not seem to find a happy structure. I wasn’t happy with myself. About the same time, Chili’s started focusing on our Team Member’s wellbeing. We did some deep dives into what makes life more fulfilling. Gallup research has shown that if you strive in 3 out of the 5 elements of wellbeing you tend to live a very happy, productive life in and out of work. The 5 Essential Elements of Wellbeing are Financial, Career, Community, Social and Physical. I couldn’t believe it… I had 3 of the 5 staring me in the face this entire time and I was too bull headed to realize it. The Social, Community and of course the Physical wellbeing had all been offered to me this entire time, just by joining such a great group at boot camp/cross fit. I have never been happier here in San Antonio than I have been in the last 5 months. What I was missing this entire time was making sure I focused on myself, staying healthy and clear headed every day. This has actually made it easier to take care of those that rely on me, with family being top of that list. I have some physical goals I am trying to accomplish by the end of the year that I will continue to pursue, but so far over the last 5 months I have lost almost 30 lbs. and have lowered my blood pressure to normal range.
I owe a lot of this to my wife Kelli for continuing to give me her support and pushing me to be a better person. I also wanted to give some props to my boss, Bobby the J. He has done nothing but been supportive in my journey to get healthy, and he plays a crucial role in my life. I ask God daily to give me the strength to help and lead those that I am responsible for at work and at home. We are so appreciative to have such great people in our lives that inspire us to be better each and every day. My journey will continue for ME and my family….and what a great thing to set a standard for our girls to make fitness and health a priority in life!
The journey continues…