Who is The Naked Blondie?
The Naked Blondie is a social media phenomenon! With more than 100,000 followers over 4 platforms, 30 year old Nicola Carolan from Athy in Kildare has seen her life change beyond recognition in just a few short years. The reason? A dramatic weight loss journey played out across social media that has seen her lose an incredible 10 stone so far, while gaining tens of thousands of online supporters, and establishing a rewarding new career.
22 stone at her heaviest in 2013 Nicola gave birth to her son, Scott. Morbidly obese and in need of a drastic lifestyle change, she joined her local Slimming World group. So far, so traditional. But in a remarkable display of honesty, Nicola decided to document every step of her experience online and the Naked Blondie blog was born. Sharing the good and bad, triumphs and setbacks, frustration and elation, it records a journey of self-discovery, travelling from illness towards a destination of health, fitness, gratitude and wellbeing.
Why the Naked Blondie? We searched the blog high and low - no naked pics!
When I began to mini blog on Instagram, my first username was Nikkis_sw_journey; it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue! My posts mostly involved sharing meals that I was cooking and some pretty vague weight loss updates. When I created my website, I wanted a name that stood out from the crowd, but more importantly that really exemplified the rawness of what I was about to embark on. I was sharing my very personal journey with the whole word; laying myself bare for everyone to see! Nothing was going to be off limits; nothing left to the imagination - and that has remained the case. I am and will always be The Naked Blondie!
What was the tipping point for you? When did you decide that you had to make a change?
The birth of my son was a turning point, because I was no longer just responsible for my own health. Allowing him to grow up with the unhealthy lifestyle that I had created for myself wasn’t an option. And the choices that benefit him, benefit me: everything I do is for my baby boy. He is my life, my best friend, my sous chef and the reason I lift my head from the pillow every morning. This journey was for myself to be the mother I wanted to be; to be the best possible version of myself.
What helps to keep you motivated?
Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. I have finally accepted that the way I think about food, and how I eat and exercise now is how I have to do it for the rest of my life. It’s not a diet – it’s my new reality and accepting that is liberating; I’m freed from the prospect of failure; I cannot fail!
What is your top tip to help you start again when you've fallen off the wagon?
Your weight loss journey is about creating a new lifestyle that is sustainable for the rest of your life. If you have a bad food day, that's ok because tomorrow is a new day! If you create a weight loss plan that is realistic and manageable; then one bad food day will not ruin your journey. For me I had to accept that food was my fuel, not my comfort. I eat to live, not live to eat.
What has been the biggest change to your life since you started your journey?
Being able to move more is a revelation. The ability to walk, run and play with my son is a gift. I couldn't walk up the stairs, I broke toilet seats, I couldn't even wrap a towel around me when I stepped out of the shower. These are simple things that another person might take for granted but they have changed my life.
Check out our recipe collaboration with Nicola for lots of healthy, tasty dishes!