Badass Babes: Nicke Paddock

nickeNicke, what made you decide to become a coach?

I went to a life coach about 7 years ago and it helped me so much I decided one day I would become one so I could help others in the same way. This winter was the perfect time to do it as I was going through lots of health stuff and wanted to keep myself busy through the long cold winter.

Can you tell me why you chose Rhodes Wellness College for your education?  What about Rhodes attracted you?

I had been researching for a couple of years which program to take and when I read about the program at Rhodes I knew it was going to be similar to the techniques that life coach used on me years ago. It was also not too long of a commitment or too expensive. There were definitely less expensive programs but they didn’t seem to be the type of coaching I was looking for.

Do you have a niche? If so, what is it?

Still working on it, but I am thinking of going with meditation manifestation coaching and maybe living your ultimate life coaching.

What kinds of offerings do you have? What services do you provide?

I am still working on this. I’ve been doing lots or research and will hopefully have a focus soon.

What makes you unique among other coaches? How is your approach different?  

I have been meditating for over 15 years and know you can manifest things into your life by being still and asking the universe for what you need or want. I will work with clients to identify what is wrong, what is needed and how to then meditate and manifest what they need. I will also be working on helping people live an ultimate life because we only have one life! That is why my business is called Only One.

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is someone who has a well-rounded life, living well and for the most part happy but has identified an area of their life that could be better and they need some help with it. My ideal client will believe that manifestation is possible…or at least be curious about it.

What has your own journey been like – as a coach or as a person and how do the two align?

As I was taking the course I was thinking the whole time I LOVE THIS! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED AND NEEDED AND I CAN’T WAIT TO HELP OTHERS. I have always believed life is short so let’s make the most of it even though it can throw you some real shit deals, I want to help people move past the shit deals. I have been pretty successful in my own life with moving past the crap and building a life where I am conscious of what I want and need from it.

You took a trip to Thailand earlier this year? What was that like?

AMAZING! I took this trip because I had just recently been dealt a shit deal. It was on my bucket list for 14 years! I needed clarity on my next steps after a miscarriage and IVF. I did lots of meditation and wellness while there and the universe delivered….it gave me vision on what my next moves are. Still in the process so we will see if it was the right path.

I know you’re big on having fun, Nicke. So, what are some things you do that bring you joy?

Yes fun, fun, fun! Life is so short and I believe fun is one of the things you should be able to say at the end of your journey that you did well! Gosh most my life has been fun, I try to incorporate it into everyday life with my family and husband by laughing lots, being silly and trying to make others laugh. I always say, if nobody’s dying you might as well have fun with it. I travelled a ton when I was in my teens and 20s backpacking around. I realized that travelling brings me joy so I try to do lots of it. I spend lots of time with my girlfriends, we all bought seadoo’s and go out every Thursday night on them in the summer. I try to only surround myself with people who make the “fun” cut, the uptight type are not for me lol. I also have future fun plans with my girlfriends that when we all retire we buy Winnebago’s and be the travelling fun girls going all around North America being wild and free, maybe even hire hot young male drivers haha.

I think taking the time to identify what brings you joy and fun to your life is so important and then following through and doing it.

What do you think makes you a badass? I know I have several ideas.

I drove around Thailand on a moped, if you’ve ever been there you will know how badass that is haha! I think just living life in the grey, with no hard lines and rules (besides the major ones that falls under my integrity, morals and values) and not sweating the small stuff, picking only five things to give a fuck about and letting the rest roll off your shoulder, is pretty badass. Oh and saying fuck a lot! Haha.

How can we find your website or your social media? Please provide links.

Not finished this yet, I’m a marketing junkie so I am thinking lots and researching the right way to do this. I’m also taking my time as I’m not ready to be able to put 100% into it yet. But it will probably be something along the lines of


Badass Book Reviews – The 10 X Rule

Grant Cardone is a badass. He may even be a bit of a hard ass. However, he totally gets things done. His goal is to be known to all seven billion people on this planet. Grant works hard to make that goal a reality every day. He does not believe in going soft. He goes at everything with a 150% effort. Otherwise, to him, it’s not worth it. He doesn’t believe in giving up or giving in.

Grant is a kick ass man. He came from nothing and has created a major real estate empire for himself. He has trainings and a TV show and a whole bunch of projects going on. He loves to stay busy. He’s also married to a beautiful woman and has some great children. He loves his family and gets up earlier in the morning to be with them and to exercise.

He figures that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing excellently. He over-promises and over-delivers. I love that. I do that myself. His way of going at things was a little difficult for me as a life coach, but I think that, as a badass, it’s right up my alley.

If you want to make $3 million, why not dream of making $30 million or $300 million? He really believes in pushing for the stars. He made me think of things I hadn’t dreamt of before. My life coach, Andy Onstead, suggested I read this book. I wasn’t sure, but I really got a lot of good information out of it.

I totally suggest that you read it if you have goals you want to achieve. Grant will help you reach for the stars and improve your outlook. It’s all about outlook. If you have a crappy outlook, you will get crap back. If you have a great outlook, you’ll get greatness back. I teach that to my clients. It’s all about your perspective.

What do you want to achieve? Achieve, believe and conceive. You can do anything.

Read the 10X Rule at today:


Heavyweight Yoga – A Really Enjoyable Experience

AbbyLentz_YogaPose_300dpiAbby Lentz is a powerhouse. She’s 70 and a true pioneer. She got into yoga before it was fashionable and has seen it transform. She has helped transform the concept of yoga herself. She’s made it more accessible to people of size, which I will always be.

What is Heavyweight Yoga?

Her program, Heavyweight Yoga, takes basic hatha yoga poses and modifies them for the plus-sized person. It makes it easier for us to do yoga. Yoga is fantastic. It has so many health benefits. It’s like a meditation in action. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did.

But I did.

Abby Lentz

I met Abby for coffee on Thursday, June 28th. She was fun, funny and very sweet. She honestly shared her vision for Heavyweight Yoga. She has YouTube videos and DVDs on her website so those of you who don’t live in Austin like I do can benefit from her wisdom.

Her lust for life makes her seem so much younger than her 70 years and I bet that teaching yoga is part of that for her. She came to yoga at a time of transformation in her life and rebuilt herself and her career. She’s just an amazing woman.

Heartfelt Yoga Studio

When I went to her house, yes her studio is in her home, I was blown away by how cozy everything was. The first lesson is free, which is amazing. I can’t believe I went so quickly, but I just felt I had to do it. I wanted to come and see what it was about so I braved rush-hour traffic in Austin, which is considerable, to get to her studio by 5:45 pm for her Thursday class.

I was greeted like an old friend and brought into her studio. It was lit up with the late afternoon sunshine and white curtains that brought the room to life. I notice cute little tchotchkes throughout the session. My classmates were wonderful and welcoming. I was nervous. I had only taken aqua yoga before and afraid I couldn’t keep up. Everyone reassured me that it would be fine, no one more so than Abby herself.

The Class Itself

When class began, I was drawn in immediately. I could do this. I actually did better than I thought I would. Abby complimented me after class as we met in her kitchen to drink tea and have snacks. Everything about the class was just warm and welcoming. I felt so good afterwards that I signed up for four more classes. It was relaxing, fun and challenging at the same time. Amazing!

Food Funerals – Should You Have Them or Not?

Food Funerals – I love this topic. My bariatric surgeon’s nutritionist hates it, but I’m not a big fan of him. He loves Quinoa and Kale and has never had a weight problem in his life. Basically, food funerals were my way to say good-bye to foods that I wouldn’t really need in my new bariatric life. They were sort of my ‘last meals’. I prepped for a while before my surgery. I worked with my own nutritional counselor, therapist, psychiatrist and life coach.

I knew what was going to happen post-surgery in part because I had the lap band before. Certain foods were just not going to work in the bariatric lifestyle. I decided to bid farewell to things like pizza and lasagna and tres leches cake. You can decide which foods you need to say good-bye to. I made it into a mini-ceremony.

I found them very effective. They gave me closure on the fact that I couldn’t or wouldn’t eat those foods again. I know that why the bariatric surgeon’s nutritionist didn’t like them. I get it. However, I was emotionally attached to food. This was my way of de-taching emotionally from it. I will tell you the truth – I have had pizza and lasagna since surgery. I just eat gluten-free pizza and lasagna is more of a noodleless kind. I still get the flavor, but it’s not entirely the same.

Frankly, a food funeral is a good way to prepare yourself for life after surgery. It will help you be less emotional about food. Food is fuel. We need to stop having a relationship with it and learn how to live with it as part of our lives, but not the most important part of our lives. By saying farewell to it and sending it off on its way, I made my peace with food and prepared myself for life post-surgery.

I think it has helped me be more successful as a result. Should you have food funerals? That’s up to you. I can’t make that decision for you nor would I. If you think it makes sense, do it. If you don’t, no one will fault you for it.

What is fat mind? Why you need to be aware of it?

Fat mind is something all bariatric patients need to be aware of. It’s basically thinking like a fat person. Your former self had a certain mindset when it came to food. That mindset may not be the best mindset to help you succeed as a WLS patient. You may want to eat things that are not healthy for you. You may want to eat at times you are not hungry. You may want to eat more than your body can comfortably hold.

Fat mind is a way of thinking and being that keeps you stuck in the old you and the old habits. It’s difficult to counterract it, but not impossible. The first thing to do is to be aware that those thoughts are there. You can overcome them. It’s difficult, but it can be done.

Awareness is turning your attention to something. In order to be aware of fat mind, you need to understand when you’re starting to think that way. It could be when you see a trigger food like candy or a cookie. Maybe those items don’t need to be in your home anymore. It’s not going to harm your family to eat those items away from you. You can and should make your home a safe and healthy environment for you. You’ve got to take care of yourself and knowing what you can and cannot tolerate is important.

Some people can have the items around them and it doesn’t bother them. That’s fine for them. You are the only you in the world. Get to know yourself post-surgery. You will find that you are a bit different than you were pre-surgery. It’s okay. Don’t be alarmed. Weight loss surgery is life-changing. You will find out that things shift. Attitudes shift. Needs shift. It’s alright.

Relax and let it happen. Watch it unfold and you will see that your life is going to get so much better. As for fat mind, the only way to beat it is to recognize it. You need to know when it rears its ugly head so you can say no to it. You are stronger than fat mind. I guarantee you that you are.


Health Update – Gall Bladder Removal

I had my gall bladder removed on Friday. It was not a difficult procedure, but it was necessary. Apparently, I had an ‘impressive’ number of stones. The doctor said it was over 50. Yeah. No wonder why I had been feeling pretty sick and had trouble eating.

The extreme weight loss from the surgery may have facilitated the need to have the gall bladder removed. Some surgeons remove it as a matter of course with the weight loss surgery itself. I’m not sure what caused mine to flare up.

Would I still have the WLS surgery? Yes, in a heartbeat.

Today is Monday. I’m just tired. I do have some lingering pain and I’m just drained. I am happy with my progress. I see the surgeon for a follow up on Wednesday and hopefully I’ll be cleared to do all my regular activities.

I have lots to do this summer. I’m excited to show you my Bariatric Badass podcast.  The first four episodes are up on SoundCloud right now. We will be moving them to iTunes soon so you can subscribe.

I have not forgotten the Bariatric Q&A, but I have not done as much work on it as I’d like. Don’t worry – it’ll be in great shape as the summer gets over just like I will be.

Finally, I’m working hard on my support group documentation. I will be running two – one in Austin and one online. Feel free to check out my Facebook page for more information or Eventbrite. The links are below:

Please know that I am here for you no matter what and am willing to offer support and assistance. I love what I do and I love you. No, that’s not the pain medication talking. No matter what, I’m in your corner. Know that. Trust that. I am authentic and real. I will fight for you and teach you how to fight for yourself. I will also encourage you to love yourself.

You deserve it.


Badass Babes: Alannah Byers

AlannahI first met Alannah Byers when I started my life coach training class at Rhodes Wellness College. Alannah was the youngest one in our group, but I was astounded by her passion, compassion and depth of knowledge. I’m proud to call Alannah a friend. We are even peer coaching together. She is a force of nature and a true Badass Babe. I hope you enjoy learning more about her.

Alannah, what made you decide to become a coach?

I decided to be a life coach because I’ve always loved helping others. My mom is a life coach, and one day it just clicked with me and I decided to look into schools and see what’s out there. I found Rhodes, and was immediately sold! It seemed like a great place to go and I was right!

Can you tell me why you chose Rhodes Wellness College for your education?  What about Rhodes attracted you?

Rhodes was a great fit for me, and one of the first schools that I looked in to. I loved the fact that it was all online, and that the workload wasn’t too heavy – just a few nights a week. I was able to work and do class at the same times. The class size was also really beneficial for me and my learning style, and the group of ladies I was with was really great. Even though I was the youngest by around 18 years I didn’t feel awkward or out of place. We all got along quite well!

What’s your niche? What population do you serve? What called you to serve this population?  

I work with the LGBTQIA community! I am part of the LGBT community, and the majority of my friends are also part of this community. A lot of people in the LGBT community struggle with coming to terms with their sexuality (I did) as well as struggle with coming out, and knowing when the right time to come out is, as well as who to come out to. I hope that I can help the community feel ok with coming out (or not!) and coming to terms with their sexuality. I also want to teach them that it is ok to be the way they are, even though they may feel uncomfortable with it. 

What kinds of offerings do you have? What services do you provide?

Currently I provide solely coaching services, but in the future I hope to also provide counselling services as well as do some talks – to schools, community groups, etc. I would also like to provide housing or a safe space for people in the LGBT community who are struggling.

What makes you unique among other coaches even in your niche?

I am one of the only coaches who specializes in the LGBT community. I also am the only Canadian life coach in this niche, as well as the youngest coach catering to the LGBT community!

Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is someone who has a goal in mind, or someone who wants to get some sort of clarity in their life! Having a positive attitude towards change also is a big help to their process. To be able to change, one has to be ready or thinking about the change! The change can be uncomfortable

What has your own journey been like – as a coach or as a person and how do the two align?

My journey as a coach has been very beneficial to me. It has allowed my confidence in myself to grow, as well as given me a lot of courage to do things I wasn’t able to before. It has allowed me to learn a lot about myself as well as how to be a better support system for others.

What are some things you do that bring you joy?

Making people happy, and having them tell me that I’ve really helped them brings me joy. I love helping others, and making people feel like things are possible. I always try to be the person that I need when I am in a slump, or when I need an extra push to get me going!

How can we find your website and your Instagram feed? Please provide links.

You can find me on Instagram at My personal website is  and my Facebook page is located at

What a support group is and isn’t?

Last night, I had a difficult experience. I went to a so-called support group. The vibe was very negative. There was a ‘presentation’ in a classroom. It felt like a lecture hall more than a support group. The moderators and leader were very rude and all-knowing. When a poor woman mentioned she was having cake cravings, they jumped down her throat.

This made me realize what I don’t want in a support group.

  • Judgement
  • Food policing
  • Negativity
  • Presentations without sharing

We also didn’t get a chance to introduce ourselves. Sure, we wore name tags, but the room was so big I really didn’t ‘see’ people’s names.

Here’s what I think a suppoort group should be. It should be light-hearted and discussion forward. People should be encouraged to share their journeys. You can have an ‘expert’ in the room, but that ‘expert’ should listen more than they speak. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

People in the support group should have time to introduce themselves and build camraderie. People should be allowed to talk about the problems and pitfalls they find themselves in and get supportive, kind answers from the group. No one should be shamed or made to feel bad. That should be a ground rule and one that the group agrees on.

A support group is not a dictatorship. It is richer for having people’s experiences shared. It is helpful to hear from members at different levels of the bariatric journey or whatever journey they’re on. I want to bring people together, not tear them apart.

I want to build people up and give them the tools they need to succeed. Maybe someone could have told this woman that it’s okay to crave foods. You can choose to give in to the craving or not. It’s up to you. Yes, there may be consequences (i.e., dumping) to the action, but those are consequences you should understand and be aware of. They’re not meant to scare of hinder you.

You have to live your life as a bariatric patient and sometimes that life includes cake. I wish I had said something in the support group to help that woman, but I felt like it would’ve fallen on deaf ears. This morning, I’m still thinking about her and hope she is okay.

I also hope that she has enough self-respect not to go back to that so-called ‘support group.’ For more information on my support group offerings, please visit my Facebook page.

I am offering an online group and one in Austin at Genuine Joe’s Coffee shop. They are six weeks in duration and I ask you to commit to all six weeks. It’s not that much time and I do believe you will get something out of it. I will also ask you for your feedback and participation. I want it to be your support group, not mine. I’m just there to facilitate.

I hope you sign up and I hope to see you either online or at Genuine Joe’s in August. If these work out, I will be offering them more often. I wish you love, light and support today on your journey, wherever you are. If you want cake, eat some, but enjoy the hell out of it. Make it worth your while.

What kinds of professionals are available to me?

As a bariatric patient, you may already be sick of the doctor and nutritionist visits. I’m not going to tell you that I like them at all. However, I know I need to see my professionals to be successful as a WLS patient. In many cases, bariatric patients are left too much to their own devices and don’t make the necessary behavioral changes needed to remain successful, long-term. Did you know that you can still gain back the weight even though you’ve had a large portion of your stomach removed?

Many of us do. It’s far too common. That’s why I am going to strongly suggest that you get professional help during this process. You need to get your mind in gear as well as your body or you won’t succeed long-term.

There are different professionals I work with and I suggest you consider working with at least one of them yourself. They are:

  • psychiatrist
  • therapist
  • nutitional counselor
  • and life coach.


My psychiatrist is a great man. He’s gentle, kind and compassionate. He’s one of a kind. I searched years for him and hope he doesn’t retire anytime soon. I’ve made him promise. His name is J. Bernard Cordoba, MD. He’s in the Austin, TX area and is well worth the money. He does not take health insurance, but he provides me with support and structure. I am not only a bariatric patient, but I am bipolar. In the year since I’ve had my surgery, I have had a deep depression and some manic episodes as well as a period of rapid cycling we both didn’t understand. We’ve adjusted medications – I’ve come down a bit on my antidepressant and slightly increased my mood stabilizer. Dr. Cordoba has saved my life and my marriage as a result.


Because I am bipolar, I have been working with a therapist for years. Laura McDowell-Salcedo is my therapist. She has been for over seven years and she will be for as long as she remains in practice. We’ve been through a lot together. She has helped me realize that I did need the gastric sleeve and was there for me during the depression and manic episodes. She would open up her schedule to let me come twice a week when I needed it. I’m sorry to say that I did need it sometimes. She has taught me to stop with the negative talk. I feel much better as a person since I’ve lost weight although I need to come to terms with the new body. That’s next up on our list. Success.

Nutritional Counselor

Alexa Sparkman is a registered dietician, but she’s not a food pyramid robot. She thinks of food differently and has taught me to as well. She runs support groups called “Overcoming Mind Hunger.” I plan to offer support groups for my clients as well. They will deal specifically with emotional eating, a problem I feel plagues many bariatric patients. Truthfully, Alexa has helped me navigate my new eating plan. My body is very sensitive to foods. I am currently a gluten-free vegan. She helps me get as much nutrition as I can with my limitations. I did not expect to never be able to eat animal protein or drink milk again, but that happened as a result of the surgery. If I did not have a professional like Alexa in my corner, I could have become severely malnourished.

Life Coach

I hold a special place in my heat for life coaches because I am one. I can work with emotional overeaters, bariatric patients and their loved ones to help support them through the process. It is a process. You don’t just have the surgery and it’s all over. I also have a life coach who helped me decide to have the surgery. I year and a half ago, I was dead set against it. I still have moments where I wish I could undo it. Clay Blacker keeps me grounded. He keeps me in the moment and reminds me of my successes, not just my weight loss.

I am a different person today because I got professional help. Food is not my problem anymore. I don’t think of it as my friend or cohort. I don’t really think about it. I just eat it when I’m hungry. I’d love to see you have a non-relationship with food. The mind can overcome so much. Let me help you do it because they helped me. Call me today at 512-484-7634. I’m here for you.

What are the effects of extreme weight loss on the body?

Many bariatric patients lose weight rapidly, especially during the post-operative progression diet. The truth is that the body is not meant to lose weight so rapidly. It can cause some serious side effects. We will look at some of those side effects and how you can work to derail them in your own weight loss efforts.

Personally, I’ve had to deal with some of the negative, as well as the positive, effects of extreme weight loss. The positive include the fact that I don’t need knee surgery. My pain levels are lower because I’m not so obese. I’ve been able to reduce my thyroid medication because my TSH is now within normal range. I also got rid of blood pressure meds. I was borderline hypertensive before the surgery and I am now in the normal range all the time.

I did not lose hair as a result of my extreme weight loss. Some people report that problem and I will go into it in more detail in another post. However, I have noticed some issues that I’d like to address:

  • loose skin,
  • muscle loss,
  • fatigue,
  • vitamin deficiencies,
  • and gall stones.

Loose Skin

I’ve lost over 130 lbs in about a year. I have tons of loose skin. It’s a bit uncomfortable and causes issues. I feel unattractive and am more uncomfortable in a swimsuit this year than I was last year. I have bat wings, loose skin on my hips and thighs and a bit of a skin shelf hanging over where my stomach used to be. I feel if I lost weight slower, I could’ve reduced some of this problem. I will need skin surgery when all is said and done. I’m not sure insurance will cover it.

Muscle loss

I go to a nutritional counselor every couple of months. She does body monitoring which tells me what my BMI is and my lean muscle mass is for example. My BMI has gone down, but so too has my lean muscle mass. I’ve lost muscle as well as fat. This is not the ideal situation. I’m trying to rectify it by working out more, but I don’t know how successful I will be.


The body goes through some stress when you lose weight quickly. I have struggled with the feeling of being tired all the time. I also have Fibromyalgia so I can’t blame it all on the extreme weight loss. I do notice it’s worse since I had the surgery. Some days I feel like I could sleep the whole day away. I just don’t give into it.

Vitamin Deficiencies

I get my blood drawn every three months. I will move to every six months after my next surgeon appointment, which is coming up next week. During that time, I have seen my numbers drop significantly. I am now deficieint in Vitamin D, which is very common for women. I take a D3 supplement suggested by my surgeon’s office. I do this every day along with the other vitamins and supplements I have to take as a result of the surgery.  I have friends who have had near-life-threatening symptoms from lack of Thiamine (B1) and other vitamin problems. Take your vitamins and supplements. Please. You need them.

Gall Stones

This one is relatively new and I may need gall bladder surgery as a result. Extreme weight loss can cause gall stones. It did for me. My gall bladder was fine a year ago. Some surgeons remove the gall bladder as a matter of course when they do the sleeve or bypass since it’s so common. Kinda scary. I know the gall bladder surgery is not a big deal and will give me loads of relief, but I’m sort of annoyed that I need more surgery because of weight loss surgery.

So, there you have it – some of the effects of extreme weight loss on the body. I hope your body handles the extreme weight loss of bariatric surgery better than mine has. I’ve been working with my nutritionist to eat more and lose less quickly. I am fine taking my time getting to goal. At some point, I think you should slow it down too, but that’s up to you.