“Don’t Do It Alone” by CFitter Nicey Hilton

CFitter Nicey Hilton with her husband, Jay, and their daughters.

CFitter Nicey Hilton with her husband, Jay, and their daughters.

There’s no way to put this delicately, so I’ll just say it: I started throwing up after meals.


A couple of years ago I developed reflux esophagitis. Translation: acid from my stomach was coming up my throat after eating. It got so bad that sometimes after meals I had those, ahem, barfy incidents. Eventually I was taking the maximum dose of prescription meds just to manage it.

I went to the hospital for testing, but they said there wasn’t anything mechanically wrong with my throat. Turns out the post-meal barfing was because of my weight. I was paying the price of the food choices I made and the pounds I slowly accumulated.

Before the hospital, I was in denial about what I was doing to my body: the late night “cruncher bowl” of chips and melted cheese; cocktail hours that had one too many super-sized drinks; sucking food down like a Dyson vacuum when I ate.

The vomit was bad, but even more destructive was the Gremlin in my head constantly whispering attacks: “What’s happened to you? You’re fat! You look terrible in those clothes.”

So to silence the Gremlin and calm my bubbling stomach, I decided to take the Community Fitness Challenge last month.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the program that Coach Rachel and I worked out:

  1. Eat healthier, and make my meals smaller but more frequent
  2. Exercise five-to-six times a week, including the special Challenge-only classes AND wear a FitBit to track my steps throughout the day.
  3. Sleep better and longer
  4. Log my workouts and meals on My Fitness Pal – a website to track my progress
  5. Set weekly goals and check in regularly with Rachel for feedback about balancing diet and exercise

And just as powerful for me – in all this, I wasn’t alone. There was a team of other Challengers working with me toward a common goal and Rachel was there helping guide each step.

Within two weeks I was off the meds entirely. I lost nine pounds. I rarely have any reflux symptoms. And the Gremlin stopped their attacks.

But most importantly, the Challenge had a profound effect on my entire family.

My seven and nine year-olds both started cooking with me and encouraging better choices at the grocery store. My husband came to the initial Challenge orientation and now he takes a bunch of classes too, including tabata. All three of them came to my Challenge graduation, because it really felt like a family effort.

The changes weren’t easy. But if you’re ready to face yourself and if you’re ready to truly feel better about yourself, do it. Just don’t do it alone.

Nicey Hilton has been a CFitter since 2010. Join Nicey and her husband, Jay, this fall in our next Community Fitness Challenge. Special thanks to Challenge coaches Deb, Rachel and Tricia!

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