One woman’s struggles with mental health and weight loss turns into an inspiring message of courage and determination for Herald readers
Danielle Nicole, at just 21, has been through so much. The young woman from Portugal Cove – St.Philip’s says she has already struggled with anxiety and depression and faced the tragic loss of a best friend from suicide.
But Nicole, who was featured in The Herald in 2017 for her weight loss success, says giving up was never an option.
‘New-found Good Health’
“I started my weight loss journey the first time in late 2016. By January of 2017 I felt I really had things under control,” she begins. She celebrated by reaching out to The Herald to share her story of motivation and new-found good health.
“I felt, if I could do it, anyone could. I wanted to motivate others.”
But life, she shares, hasn’t always been easy. “I had a battle with depression and anxiety and I was on some different medications that didn’t seem to be working. I lost my motivation to go to the gym. Then, my best friend, Chelsea, committed suicide and that threw me for a loop,” she says quietly.
Struggling with so much, Nicole gained back all the weight she lost, plus an extra 20 pounds. But staying down was never an option, she says with fierce determination in her voice.
“I found the motivation again to just get up. That was the start. I wanted to take control back of my life and I wanted to work out again. I went back to the doctor, we talked about medications and things started to work, and then I started feeling better.”
She started to look better too. “I’m down 60 pounds. I was 263 when I started the journey this time around, more than I was when I started in 2016. I’m half way to my goal of 200 pounds and I feel great,” she says.
While Nicole credits many things; from medication to hitting the gym again, really, it all comes down to attitude, she says. “The motivation for any change comes down to taking control of your life. Controlling depression and anxiety and trusting the medication to do what it’s supposed to do helped for me. I needed help, I trusted that help, and now I can do my part to help me be the best me possible.”
What made her reach out the The Herald again? “I fell away from my goal. Here I was, in The Herald, a success story, and then I gained even more weight back. But instead of slipping into the background, I wanted to show people that it really doesn’t matter how many times you stop or if you fail or if you quit, as long as you are willing to try again, you will get there. There’s no failure if you just keep trying.” There’s more, she adds.
‘Fuel For Your Fire’
“Depression effects so many. Suicide is on the rise in our youth, but we don’t have to let our sickness and circumstances hold us back from our dreams. Use your troubles as fuel for your fire, do what makes you happy and don’t ever quit – but if you do quit, the only way you lose is if you stay knocked down. If you get up and try again; if it takes you two, 10 or 50 tries, you are already winning and the finish line is as close as you fight for it to be,” she says passionately.
Nicole’s friend Chelsea is never far from her mind. “I wish she could see my success, but I know she’s cheering me on from Heaven. I use purple hearts on social media to keep her memory alive.”
The last time her story appeared in The Herald she had many reach out offering support but also looking for tips and advice. “People wanted help with their own journey and they wanted advice or positive reinforcement from someone who has been there,” she says.
She’s hoping this time is no different. “Today, I’m feeling amazing. I’m doing some modeling on Instagram, and I’m gaining a nice following. I’m happy and feeling positive and confident and the smile on my face is genuine and that’s the best feeling of all.”
If you want to follow Nicole’s weight loss journey visit dahhh709 on Instagram