Nikki Zahka

About Nikki Zahka

Nikki is 22, and a prolific instagrammer from a small town in the US. She started her transformation 2 years ago, the summer going into her junior year of college. After losing 25 pounds and finding self-confidence she wanted to help as many other people through the same eye-opening journey. She balances her fitness business with a full-time job, a healthy lifestyle, and still manages to have a fun social life with it!

Know who you’re Instagramming: Nikki Zahka

Getting to this point: Can you please tell The Big Smoke readers a little bit about what you were doing up until now work wise…

I started my fitness account junior year in college, I interned for an IT corporation in the summers and was a lifeguard for UNH in the winter. So as you can imagine it was extremely different than managing my fitness account now. I have been really enjoying being able to “work” in workout clothes or reply to emails in my PJs at home every night. It really does not feel like work though because it is something I am so passionate about and truly love. I can’t explain how happy I get when I get emails from people saying I have in any way inspired them to live a healthier life. I am currently a full-time employee at another IT Corporation as well, so it has been quite an adjustment transitioning from college to the workforce and balancing both careers, a healthy lifestyle, and still trying to have some fun.

Career Moments: How has Instagram shaped or directed your career so far?

Instagram has shaped my whole fitness business. It all started by me posting a transformation picture on my regular instagram account about 2 years ago. After sophomore year I was so uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body, and finally realized I can do something about that. I realized I was always complaining and disgusted with myself but I was never really making a conscious effort to change anything. That summer I fully committed to living a healthier lifestyle. I did research each night and created my own plan to follow for the summer. I ended up losing 25 pounds but gaining so much more. I was actually happy with who I was. I was comfortable in my skin for the first time in my life. I was confident with who I was and my body, and I want more than anything to inspire people that feel the same way I did to realize they have the capability to transform their lives as well, self love and self confidence is something everyone in the world should be able to experience. I am extremely happy with all of the positive feedback I have been receiving through instagram and I my hope is to continue growing my account and inspiring people.

A balanced life: When do you feel the most inspired and the most balanced?

I feel the most inspired when I see people who are going through this journey as well. It is truly inspiring to see people acknowledge they have the power to control and change their lives for the better. No matter what weight or mindset you start at, it is completely possible to transform yourself into whatever you want. Becoming healthy isn’t just physical, it’s a mindset change. I have found I am more positive, I have more energy, I am more motivated, just from living a healthier life and making healthier choices. When I see others deciding to make that change as well it reminds me why I started and why I reach out to so many people. I love following other people’s journeys, everyone has their own unique story that makes them incredible.

I am most balanced at the gym. Plain and simple. It’s my happy place. I use my gym time to clear my head and destress. It is “me time” to forget everything else that’s happening in my life and truly focus on me, in the moment, and let some frustration or stress out. Nothing like putting negative energy to good use, it makes great workouts 🙂 And you feel 110% better and happier afterwards. I mentioned on one of my posts, when I’m being sassy or negative my mom always asks if I’ve gone to the gym yet today. It just makes everything better.

Misconceptions: What is the biggest misconception people may have about you based on following you online?

I definitely look way more put together online than I am in real life haha. Like everyone else, I have my off days (or weeks…) and I do need to continually motivate myself to keep up a healthy lifestyle and take care of my body. It is so easy to fall off the wagon and make bad choices in the moment, especially being a 22 year old who still wants to go out and have fun and be with friends. As I’m sure many people know, it is extremely difficult to go out with friends and say no to unhealthy choices when everyone else is doing it. I have definitely caught myself a few times giving in to peer pressure to make unhealthy decisions. I am still learning that it is okay to be made fun of for being healthy… it’s actually a compliment. It shows great control and willpower if you can stay on track in the midst of everything.

Fitness Motivation: As someone with an Instagram focused on encouraging others to adopt a healthy lifestyle – what has been the most motivational post you have seen so far?

I don’t particularly have one specific post in mind, but I do have some favorite accounts to follow. I love any accounts that promote self love. I follow a lot of accounts that are currently on their fitness journey to become healthier, they are always the most motivating because you get to follow along with them and watch it happen. Anyone who is honest with their journey and shows their struggles along with the successes is motivating. Before starting my journey I followed SOOO many fitness accounts, that is how I motivated myself. I saw other people going through their transformation and talking about their struggles, how they’re overcoming it, that they have good days and bad days, and it really helped me see that even I was capable of making these changes. It is not a smooth journey and it doesn’t stop when you hit your goal, it’s a complete lifestyle change that you have to maintain and keep up with. But it’s worth it.

Instagram realness: Your Instagram pics are fabulous – if you found out, though, that you could only save three, which three pics would you save?

Haha thank you, I appreciate that 🙂 I would save my transformation pictures to remind myself how far I have come and why I do what I do. I would love to be a part of anyone’s journey that wants to do the same. These are the three I would save:

NZ1 IMG_1582NZ2 NZ3

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