A mother of two from Burgess Hill overcame a distressing time in her life to find herself brimming with confidence, after studying for the first time in 25 years.
Now she plans to help others.
Nikki Bailey has passed her NVQ 2 Gym Fitness Instructor exams at The Triangle Centre in Burgess Hill.
Years of bullying had left her with very low self-esteem and a weight problem, but she decided to tackle the problem positively.
She lost weight with the help of the trainers at The Triangle, and raised money for the organisation “beatbullying.org” with people sponsoring her weight loss.
In addition, running for charity has helped her raise more than £6,000 for beatbullying.org and the Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice. Despite her impressive fundraising success and completing two half marathons and numerous 10K races in the last two years, Nikki found that she still lacked belief in herself. She had to try to dispel the shadow of her childhood experiences.
Nikki said : “Since childhood I’ve believed I wasn’t up to much and was neither intelligent nor good at anything,”
“After losing so much weight and gaining my fitness and energy, I liked the idea of training as a trainer, but I hadn’t studied or sat an exam for 25 years. Everyone at The Triangle was so encouraging and their belief in me gave me the confidence to study and sit the exams. “The Freedom Leisure team has given me so much more than a certificate and qualification: they have confirmed that in the end you can come through adversity.”
Nikki now plans to study further to fulfil her wish to train other people whose weight or confidence problems are holding them back.
Nikki said: “I know what it feels to lack confidence and look in the mirror and not like what is looking back.
“I have been on that journey and am living proof that weight can be lost, bullies can be beaten and things can change for the better.”