How Nigel Stokes-Noah Lost 145 Pounds & Helps Others Do the Same Through Boxing
It’s almost impossible to scroll through Instagram without seeing a picture of someone at the gym or a post of someone eating a healthy dinner. Everyone wants to be fit. But in reality, many of us are still not making the right lifestyle changes we need to see healthy results.
Nigel used to be in that predicament. She knew she wanted to change but she didn’t do much about it until she finally decided enough was enough. Since that decision, she has lost 145 pounds, opened an elite boxing club for women, and has never looked back.
You've personally lost 145 pounds. That's incredible. Tell us about that journey. At what moment did you make up your mind that it was time to start your weight loss journey?
It’s been a hard journey most definitely but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You have to be strong, especially when you’re trying to inspire and motivate all, while keeping yourself motivated to keep going.
I knew it was time for me to get started when my size 26/28 skirt was tight from waist to knee. I’d lost 60 pounds about a year before (when I joined Fitness Connection), but knew I’d gained 60 plus back.
So, I measured myself; arms 20”, waist 53”, thighs 34”, hips 56”, bust 49”. Not good, and I knew better.
About 2 weeks later, I started researching different boxing/MMA gyms. I loved contact sports and research proved that boxing was the most effective way to lose the weight I needed to lose. I was so ready, I just needed to find the best gym that could offer me exactly what I needed: no mercy, hardcore training.
I knew I didn’t want to be a boxer but I wanted the endurance, strength, confidence and body of one. So, I dove head first not knowing at all what to expect. I was almost 350 pounds at this point. The feeling I had walking into that co-ed gym on the first day…uncomfortable would be an understatement.
As women, we often face many insecurities, some that never seem to go away. What insecurities have you had to overcome?
My main insecurity was my body. I didn’t like it at all, I wasn’t comfortable, nothing fit right and I didn’t have the energy to get things done. I hated the way I felt, mentally and physically and as lazy as I had allowed myself to become, I knew I had to get up and move (I thought about it everyday).
Honestly, after my first session with my trainer, I felt more secure about myself than I did going into it. There are a ton of women with a ton of insecurities, but majority of those insecurities can be fixed just by changing your thoughts and changing yourself physically.
Tell us a little more about who you were prior to the Nigel, owner of Women Elite Boxing Club, that we see today.
I won’t go too far back but, before owning the club I was a full-time college student and business professional, unfortunately overweight, trying to find my way in so many ways.
I always knew this was not the way it was supposed to be, working for someone else and my weight being out of control. While working my first job at Jack In The Box at 17, it didn’t take me long to know that I was designed to work for myself. It was never that I didn’t want to do the job. I had no choice but to give 110%, in my mind I needed to master it to see if I could do it. Literally, anyone I worked for, I wanted to learn how they did it so I could do it myself.
So how did you go from working at Jack in the Box at 17 to becoming a certified boxing trainer?
Long story short, I quit high school in 10th grade, 8 weeks later completed my GED. I started my first “office job” about 6 months later as a Skip Tracer. I learned so fast about credit bureaus, disputing them and repairing credit, that I placed an ad (about 3 months in) on Craigslist and began repairing credit at the age of 19 (making about an extra $2,500.00 per month).
I started my 3-year Associates in Paralegal studies while working as a Skip Tracer at CSC, and was blessed with the opportunity to become a paralegal 3 months after starting school. I was a Securities Paralegal for 6 years, until both firms closed. Then I went on to become a Personal Business Banker, Mortgage Escrow Manager, until my last position as a Systems Info Trainer.
I knew I was looking for something but I also knew I hadn’t found it yet, so I went back to school. I went to DeVry University for Business Management and Criminal Law and Kaplan for Real Estate (I didn’t do this to become a Realtor, I did it to be more informed about investing in rental properties). Then, I became a Certified Specialty/Boxing Trainer…I know so crazy, I still laugh about it.
My mom knows I’m pretty head strong and making sure I knew I had options in all aspects of life was always her mission. She allowed me to explore life so I could see what I was good at. So, if no one understood why I went to school so much or held so many professional titles, she definitely did – and still does. No one school or position could teach me what I needed to know, this is honestly how I felt. I just have to do and know more. Thank you God, Thanks Mom!
What inspired you to start Women Elite Boxing Club? Did you receive any backlash when you first started your gym?
After getting in the grove of things with my personal training, losing over 40lbs my first 60 days, training my friends and coworkers for free after work, and being a mobile trainer for 7 months traveling all over Houston, I wanted to offer the same hardcore boxing fitness training to women in a place just for them. I was ready to reach more women.
Thankfully, I didn’t receive any backlash when starting the club.
Certainly owning a gym is enough reason to maintain a well-balanced life, but in what other ways to do you practice self-care?
I’m a Personal Trainer so I’m sore and muscles are tight ALL the time. I’ve gone from getting regular massages to Swedish, deep tissue massages – all not enough. The only thing now that gives my muscles a little relieve are Thai Massage. I have to make sure I take care of myself with one, at least twice a month. But of course that doesn’t always happen with my schedule. Also, keeping up with my own personal training is extremely therapeutic to me. It’s not unusual for me to leave 24 Hour Fitness after midnight.
What advice do you have for women on the fence about investing in their health and wellness?
Investing in yourself should never be something you should have to think about. Buying stock? Opening a business? Deciding the type of puppy you want? Investments like these, you definitely want to think about! But, I’ve learned that most women are on the fence about investing in their health and wellness because of fear.
I always appreciate the fact that I wasn’t born a personal trainer, 99% of the time I know exactly where these women are coming from. Whether its fear because they haven’t worked out in forever and don’t think they can do it, or just fear of failing all together. So when I show them my before pictures, they’re more secure in what I tell them their bodies are capable of. I try to remind everyone that the body is capable of doing some amazing things, I know personally once I convinced my brain of that, there was no stopping me.
Want more of Nigel? Visit her website, http://www.womenseliteboxing.com.