Nicole Grays Owens will not be a forged member of “The Actual Housewives of Atlanta,” however she definitely qualifies as one. After a 25-year stint in corporate America working with such media giants as CNN and Paramount Footage, it was a pure transition for Nicole to grow to be a number her own podcasts, “Catch the Convo” and “Pillow Speak: Stay in the Dwelling Room with Niko Grey.” The charismatic and attractive California transplant is a fixture on the Atlanta scene and is often described as trendy, unapologetically clear and most importantly DOPE.
Considered one of her proudest accomplishments was constructing BISON, a multi-million greenback Payroll and Staffing firm with then-husband Wesley Owens. Presently perusing her passions on a full-time foundation, Nicole is a star wardrobe stylist and aspiring novelist. When she’s not working, Nicole enjoys down time together with her 3 unimaginable step youngsters, or sitting poolside sipping champagne and puffing on a hookah whereas contemplating her next transfer.
Ladies Health joins Nicole in an fascinating chat over what evokes her to stay the life that she lives. Meet up with her under.
You started off with a 25-year stint in corporate America working with such media giants as CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Fox Sports activities and Paramount Footage, earlier than shifting on in 2016 to pursue your private passions on a full-time foundation. Introduce us to a day in your spectacular life.
Spectacular? Wow! I assume from the surface wanting in, some would assume my day-to-day is pretty terrific. Actually it’s simply me working on myself and constructing my brand (Niko Grey). Seven days every week I roll away from bed with the intention of conquering personal objectives and overcoming hurdles. Writing (there’s a fictional novel in the works, a remedy for a reality television present, and a drama that could possibly be a weekly collection), collaborating with my designer, Faith DeFaria, on my clothing line (dopesince1969), considering up artistic ways to encourage my growing Social Media following by way of my stay podcasts, and therapeutic – each mentally and physically from the obstacles and losses I’ve had to overcome in 2016. I’m getting stronger each day. Sprinkled in between that organized chaos, I’m typically sitting in a chair with a make-up artist getting glamorous as a result of it’s a day of filming for one of the reality-TV exhibits I’ve been forged for, which might be at present in production here in Atlanta. Sleep, yeah, there’s not loads of that.
You’re greatest recognized on your dramatic weight loss endeavor wherein you lost 150 pounds and reworked not solely your bodily health, but your whole emotional outlook on life, aptly known as “The Rebirth.” Walk us via your unimaginable weight loss journey.
Buckle up. It’s fairly a journey!
I wasn’t all the time obese, however but as soon as the pounds started hanging round completely in my early 20s, melancholy set in and I used to be not that upbeat, carefree California woman. Shortly acquired sucked right into a downward spiral. Family and pals alike observed me turning into less social, extra of a recluse. I used to be feeling embarrassed by my weight achieve, unable to seek out clothes that might match, not eager to travel – those tiny airplane seats are not any joke and no one needs to take a seat subsequent to the fats individual. I was out of control. My physique was like a runaway practice. I principally hid out at residence. Alone. These feelings led to me turning into an ’emotional eater’ and it simply stored getting worse, till I reached a bit over 300 pounds.
You identify the weight-loss technique, I gave it a go. Lost a number of, however couldn’t maintain it off, so I felt like a failure…repeatedly. I attempted every little thing, however nothing labored.
It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta that I decided it was time to take back management over my mind and body, regardless of the fee. Dwelling like this wasn’t dwelling, it was merely present.
What led to the reply for my weight problems was a co-worker who quietly took a depart of absence and when she returned her weight loss was instantly noticeable. She glowed and appeared radiant. And I needed that too! After watching her journey and transformation over a interval of a yr, I labored up the nerve to ask her how she’d achieved it. She confessed she’d had gastric bypass surgery. I took her to lunch to select her brain concerning the process and the procedure. She gave me the identify of her surgeon I made a decision to take the leap!
Though I qualified for the surgery because of my ailments (chest pain, problem respiration,crazy cholesterol levels, at risk for diabetes and a excessive BMI) I virtually acquired rejected by my insurance coverage service as a result of through the years of exams, annual verify ups and the like, I staunchly refused to let nurses weigh me, so my weight had not been documented in my medical information. I needed to write an in depth letter to my insurance service explaining my attempts to shed extra pounds alone from the age of 20 one thing to 39. And with that, I used to be cleared.
I underwent gastric bypass surgery, but not earlier than a psych eval, courses with a dietician and therapy that ready me for what my life can be like after the surgery. For me, the ‘after’ was a breeze. And no, I’m not making an attempt to make it sound pretty. I’d literally gotten to the purpose the place I’d quite be lifeless than to proceed dwelling life as a fats woman. This was the appropriate answer for me and I was enthusiastic about it!
After surgical procedure, the load started to fall off immediately. In fact it stalled at occasions, however after hitting plateaus it will kick in again and extra kilos would fall away. Once I went in for surgical procedure they weighed me. I refused to take a look at the size, but was informed a number barely above 300, and by the point I reached my 40th birthday in August of 2009, I’d met my objective. I weighed 170 kilos and was a perfect measurement 10. All my friends and family have been proud and shocked. Since I didn’t tell anybody I was having the surgery and I now lived in Atlanta, my return house to Los Angeles was a huge shock. My mom, who was all the time a measurement 6 or eight stored, having me undress and check out on totally different items in her wardrobe. She just couldn’t consider it. Everybody was in awe.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t state Gastric Bypass surgery is a “software,” not magic. There are a variety of adjustments. Principally mentally. You’ll be able to’t eat the amount of meals you used to. The truth is, kid-sized portions have been typically an excessive amount of, however this came after a yr of only with the ability to eat meals one ounce at a time, and virtually hourly to maintain up my power. I lived off seasonal fruit and grilled hen and nothing else for the primary yr. Typically I’d have oatmeal, periodically one single chew of pizza (my favorite), however not a lot else. As an avid crunchy snacker, I used to be all the time terrified that a potato chip would by some means injury my new pouch, so I’d chew it to hear the crunch then let the remaining dissolve on my tongue for flavor. Sounds gross, but true. Although the stomach I used to be born with continues to be inside my body, my surgeon created a brand new one which is known as a “pouch.” It’s also up greater than the place a daily stomach can be, so not only do you not have room for a lot food, you additionally really feel full more quicker because it’s up greater. If you’re full, you’re full. Taking that additional chew isn’t a good suggestion. It may possibly depart you feeling horribly nauseated, make your heart beat rapidly, it’s typically troublesome to breathe. You may even start to perspire and the one factor you can do is await that moment to move. Here it is eight years later and I still order from the menu just like the ‘fats woman.’ Everyone laughs because they know now my eyes are greater than my abdomen, literally; however mentally I nonetheless can’t assist myself, so I style every little thing and then I’m glad.
GPS has other critical downsides as properly. Digested meals, fats, vitamins and vitamins your physique wants bypass the small intestine and go directly to the massive gut, which is for waste. So after GPS, your physique absorbs the whole lot in another way, including drugs and vitamin dietary supplements, which I take twice every day to compensate for what I’m not absorbing naturally. This course of varies from person to person. My largest letdown is that dairy is out for me. I’ve not loved a bowl of cereal or a cease of mint chip ice cream since 2008, however I’d say it’s nonetheless value it. Given the selection again, I’d choose GPS on the drop of a hat.
That half was a doozie, right? Nicely, I’m not accomplished yet. I stayed at a measurement 10 until 2012, then slowly the pounds began creeping again up, a bit of over thirty to be actual. Keep in mind GPS is a device, it’s not magic. Ultimately I acquired to the point the place my pouch might hold virtually a cup of food in one sitting, as a result of over time, identical to my abdomen stretched, so did my pouch. In the event you’re not cautious and I wasn’t, that’s what happens and so manyGPS patients achieve their weight back and I too was on that street. Slowly soda and junk meals started to sneak it’s method back into my mouth and landed on my stomach, thighs and buttocks. Even my face received fuller. My 10’s turned 12’s, my 12’s turned 14’s and I simply skipped 16’s altogether and landed smack in an 18. When the scale learn 208 pounds I lost my thoughts! Swimming every day, doing lapser an hour or extra turned my routine, I joined a nearby health club for early morning cardio and went again to consuming more healthy. The kilos started coming off slowly, but this was the first time since my GPS that I’d carried out any bodily activity to get the load off. It was arduous making my approach back to my 10’s and it took me two years to get there in 2014.
By the summer time of 2015 I started dropping pounds because of stress and by April of 2016 I was a measurement 4, weighing in at 135 pounds. I didn’t look wholesome, I didn’t really feel healthy and I appeared older than my 46 years of age. There was an incredible upside to this sudden loss. I was lastly prepared mentally and financially to have an entire ‘Mommy Makeover’, with out the being a mommy part. After consulting with plastic surgeons I opted for 3 phases of surgery and 14 procedures on the expert palms of Dr. William Hedden and Dr. Christopher Schaffer at Hedden Plastic Surgery and Spa at Greystone, in Birmingham, AL.
Part 1 passed off in April 2016: I had brachioplasty (arm carry), breast carry, breast implants, blepharoplasty (underneath eye luggage eliminated) and a tummy tuck, wherein Dr. Hedden created an completely new belly button, after eradicating so much extra pores and skin. Part 2 was in July 2016: I had an upper body carry, brazillian butt carry and fat transfer to my buttocks, but there wasn’t much to transfer, so I knew I’d should do it again in the final stage. Part three was in October 2016: The last hurdle. Inside and Outer thigh raise with fat switch to buttocks and labiaplasty (there’s a joke in there as to why that was even needed, however I’ll maintain that inside joke between my surgeon and I. Throughout each part I added Botox to my brow, in-between my brows, at my crows ft and filler across the snicker strains at my mouth. Which I will proceed to do I really like Botox.
Whew! I’m exhausted simply recalling all of this. After months of recuperating from the surgical procedures I’m truly excited about my next steps. Yoga and understanding with my personal coach, Karlene Claimon. By no means in my 47 years have I had a longing for cardio, constructing muscle and complete flexibility. Since there gained’t be anymore slicing on this bod I’ve gotta hold it in tip prime situation.
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