Nicky Kakakios risked it all to change careers and raise her daughter on her own. But she knew that if she worked hard and made the right moves, results would follow.
My name is Nicky Kakakios, and I’m an independent certified personal trainer. My interest was initially sparked when I took a weight-training course in college when I was 19 years old, and it has been a part of my life since then. At the age of 24, after training a few years on my own, I decided to hire a trainer and nutritionist to help me. From then on, I was hooked. I loved the way it made me feel and of course, the way I began to look.
At the time, I was a preschool teacher. I loved working with kids. Over the years, I was approached by some of the moms at the school to see if I would train them. This made me think of changing careers because the training was my passion and I wanted to help people get in shape and feel good. I’ve been a personal trainer for 15 years now.
Change is Gonna Come
A couple of years passed and I got married to a man I loved very much. The year after, at the age of 28, my beautiful daughter Jamie was born. It was the best day of my life and the best thing that ever happened to me. But shortly after she was born, I began to have many problems with my husband. We were fighting every day. I couldn’t sleep because of the baby and him not being home. Years passed like this.
I was trying to build my business and bring up my child alone. Finally, the day came where I couldn’t do it anymore. I took my child, who was now five and walked away. I was so afraid of where to go. How will I do it alone? How can I do this to Jamie?
Finding her Footing
Time passed. My business began to build—all by word of mouth. I loved doing what I was doing. My clients were happy and loved working with me, and that made me happy.
Just before turning 40, I decided to do a fitness bikini competition. It was a great experience but wasn’t easy. My uncle, who was like a dad to me, passed away eight days before my competition. But I did it and placed second. Last year I decided to do it again. I placed first in fitness bikini grandmasters. It felt amazing to go on stage at the age of 47 after working so hard. I’m very proud of myself!
Fitness has helped me very much through all the struggles in my life and has made me feel like a strong and proud woman!
I USED TO ENJOY EATING FAST FOOD ON A REGULAR BASIS, AND NOW I NEVER EAT FAST FOOD.
It’s a Lifestyle
My diet and fitness routines have evolved over the years as my understanding of myself and fitness has grown. I used to enjoy eating fast food on a regular basis, and now I never eat fast food. But I still indulge in foods I love, like pizza and sushi! I also very much enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner. I believe that things can and should be enjoyed in moderation.
My dedication never wavers. It’s my lifestyle. But that’s not to say that things never get tough. I suffer from chronic migraines and neck pain, and I continue to push myself through these episodes to overcome them. I find fitness helps ease my mind, destress, and deal with the episodes better. I’m also lucky to have a supportive community that I can lean on. My partner Pierre was incredibly supportive and patient when I prepped for my competition in 2019. My clients also gave me the strength to push through the difficult days.
My biggest successes are helping my clients stay the course, adopt the lifestyle they pick and attain their goals. The words of wisdom I give them are to set achievable goals, prepare yourself to work hard, and enjoy the process—don’t get down when things don’t go exactly as expected. Just keep doing the right things and results will follow..
Photos By GLEN E. GRANT Follow (@glenegrant)