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Conversations with the Inspiring Nikkie Michelle Bendross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikkie Michelle Bendross.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nikkie Michelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Greetings! I am the Assistant Director at a learning center by trade, but I am also a passionate, self-taught Gluten-Free baker/personal Chef, Life Coach, Transformational Speaker, Radio Personality and Plus Size Model represented by Treasure Coast Talent. Four years ago, I achieved a 200 + lbs. weight-loss through proper diet and exercise following a failed marriage plagued by nearly 20 years of domestic violence. However, a few years later, I began to notice certain ailments along with not being able to lose any more weight no matter what I did, hence, my doctor diagnosing me with a host of food allergies including Celiac Disease, Furthermore, after getting remarried to a wonderful man and relocating our family out-of-state, this all sparked the birth of our business: Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle, LLC and helping others through the promotion of clean-eating, positive outreach and our company’s flagship campaign: Nikkie B’s Treats & Cuisine. Furthermore, I speak at public events, have mail-ordered products available for sale online, have been featured on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)’s Checked Inn with my husband and am found constantly blogging/vlogging my latest gluten-free recipes and adventures. I am so passionate about baking that I literally dream about my creations! I have prepared everything from traditional, sweet and savory to low calorie and fat- free delights! Additionally, I am all for body positivity – so, it’s like I always say “Just because I’m plus size doesn’t mean I’m the walking dead!” What’s more, I believe in helping and educating people from all walks of life. As a survivor of domestic violence and ovarian cancer, I am on a crusade to motivate, enlighten and INSPIRE others! “The struggle is real, but the journey is worth it”.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, it has not been a smooth road at all. My struggles were learning how to overcome my propensity for codependency, self-doubt and self-loathing in the wake of that toxic marriage which nearly took my life and where psychological warfare was commonplace and used as a means of control even at the expense of my physical health and well-being. One example of this was being repeatedly told: “I like you fatter, stay fat!” Hence, my massive weight gain, however, he would shy away from me in disgust during intimate time. So, as you can imagine this was very confusing and torturous to my spirit which is innately loving, bright, giving and full of life. Later, he would reveal the true nature of this ugly, twisted and treacherous approach towards maintaining a marriage to me: his logic was that if he could keep me as unattractive as possible, no one else would want me. But why would he even have this concern… this fear of losing me?! At this stage, it certainly was not because I gave any indication that I desired to be with another man, but he knew that his treatment of me was utterly deplorable! Still, I cannot place all of the blame solely on him as I made a number of mistakes as well. In addition to the mental, emotional and physical abuse, he was unfaithful, therefore, in turn (to myself), I justified being unfaithful, but I soon learned that two wrongs don’t make a right.

This all put me in a position where I had no other choice but to first embrace my outward appearance and the ugliness and toxicity that had accumulated on the inside, standing firm in my truth… not adhering to society’s norms and standard of beauty as I gradually began making healthier choices to achieve a better, healthier me overall. I was once broken and being plus size in today’s society didn’t make it any easier, I was constantly judged and taunted by not only my “non-fluffy counterparts”, but also by loved-ones. So, I just decided to become my biggest fan which eventually yielded the best version of me! Yes, I’ve found myself by becoming a whole person before even attempting to become someone’s other half.

My advice to women starting their journey is to start with self-discovery! In other words, find out who you are, the things that you like and don’t like, know that nothing is too good for you, tell yourself “I am good enough”, forgive yourself for past wrongs, set goals, believe in yourself, remain positive and believe that you deserve the very best. Take action and only carry out that which will enrich and benefit your life. Happiness is an inside job, never hand over that authority to anyone else. Begin to help others see the light! After you’ve achieved an ample amount of success, reach back and pull someone else up with you. Pour into others as they pour into you. It is never too late to achieve your happily ever after.

what should we know about Nikkie B’s Treats & Cuisine dba Nikkie’s Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As a self-taught gluten-free baker and foodie, I specialize in coming up with creative ways to eat healthy even when faced with certain food allergies. I am also known for inspiring, uplifting and transforming people’s lives across the globe because everything about my brand and what I do promotes tapping into one’s inner-power and soaring to greatness. I am most proud of the fact that we contribute to a positive climate for those rejected by society at large and the progression of all mankind alike.

Please feel free to retain my services as your Life Coach or book me as a Motivational/Inspirational Speaker, Plus Size Model or Personal Chef at your next event.

What sets me apart from others is that although I make and sell cookies, there is nothing cookie-cutter about Nikkie B.! I am in a league of my own and will never conform to anyone’s mold.

How could this voluptuous woman who persists in being unapologetically and authentically herself [while still being thick in the thighs, waist, and hips] possibly be the next spokesperson for a healthier lifestyle? Easy! It is because I am the roaring voice of those who have been silenced by bullies, undeserved ridicule and vicious taunts.

No, I do not promote maintaining an unhealthy body weight, but I refuse to let anyone destroy the glorious person inside as he/she makes strides to achieve optimal health!

Look out world, Nikkie Bendross has arrived!

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
The best advice I can give to a young woman just starting her career does not make rash decisions, every move needs to be calculated. Soak up as much knowledge as you can and never be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, big or small… the resulting lessons are invaluable. Aim to soar so high that a failure is an inconceivable option. Failure will actually never be an option as long as you keep getting up after every fall. But most importantly, truly believe in yourself, visualize your destination (where you desire to end up) and take action to ultimately manifest your dreams.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Eric Bendross, Nikkie Bendross, Xavier Elliton, Winston Elliton III

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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