After 10 years as a personal trainer, Nicola Feustel from West Drayton knows a few things about fitness and nutrition.
But after winning bikini contests and suffering from an eating disorder she has now decided to change her methods to encourage her clients to be body positive.
The mum-of-two is encouraging people not to transform their bodies, but instead to throw out the scales, stop yo-yo diets and change their lifestyle.
Nicola, 33, said : “I believe we can help people mind and body.
“A lot of people want to lose weight because they think it will make them happy – if we strive for perfection we'll never get there.”
Nicola has previously suffered from non-purging bulimia, which is an eating disorder where sufferers will compensate for overeating by excessive dieting or exercise.
She entered four bikini competitions, winning her first, but decided the life extreme dieting followed by binge eating after the competition was not for her.
'It's a constant battle'
In the lead up to a competition Nicola said she would hold to a strict diet for three months, but as soon as the show was over would enter a three month period of overeating.
“If I put on four pounds I would work to get that off. It's a constant battle", she added.
Nicola, who runs fitness classes and also does private personal training sessions, says watching her 15 and five year old daughters grow up has helped show her the importance of body positivity.
Nicola's top five tips for body positivity:
- Do not compare yourself to other people
- Delete and unfollow people on social media who make you feel less positive about your own body
- Smash your scales
- Follow good people – follow body positive people on social media
- Stop body shaming other people
Along with her personal training, Nicola hosts a Hayes FM radio show and will be appearing on TV on Fit Happens on the Community Channel in the new year.
For more information about Nicola and body positivity you can visit her website .