Nikki Sharp wants you to love your body without having to torture it. No extreme dieting or unhealthy fitness regiments; with Sharp’s book “5 Day Detox” and her overall outlook on living life in the healthiest ways possible, she is an exemplary role model for all women looking for ways to love, appreciate, accept, and help their bodies. After experiencing firsthand what it was like to live an unhealthy lifestyle in the modeling industry, her meal preps, podcasts, books, and tips serve as easy ways to live your best life. In this exclusive interview with Spotlight, Sharp reveals what led her to help herself, and ultimately, help others.
How did you start in the modeling business?
Growing up I idolized the 90s supermodels. I was very thin and lanky as a child so it seemed like a natural fit. I started at 16, moved to LA at 19, but it wasn’t until I graduated university at 20 that I chose to pursue it internationally. I lived and modeled in Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, LA, New York, Denver, Athens, and Bangkok.
You’ve mentioned that modeling led to a lot of health issues. Can you talk a little more about the body culture of the modeling world?
As a fashion model you are expected to have certain sizes on your body, and this is a standard around the world, which is unfortunately the size of a 14 year old girl. So as you get older, your body naturally changes, yet you have to stay the same size. This leads to extreme dieting, exercising, and becoming obsessive over your weight and body measurements. Inevitably, this happened to me, especially as one agency says to lose weight, the other says gain… You’re in a constant state of trying to be perfect for someone else.
Was there a single event or reason that led you to be health conscious?
I had left New York and went back to Colorado for a bit of a breather from modeling and I decided I would make all my meals and exercise outside, not in a gym. It was during this moment that I felt so good and I realized that I had a passion for health—because I didn’t know that you could feel so good so easily!
What sparked your passion for it?
Just seeing how good I felt, it then became easier to continue to eat better and do more loving things for my body.
How do you stay healthy on the road?
By taking my own food, always. I will always pack a lunch when flying, bring snacks into my office, and bring mason jars of water with mint in them. This is key to staying on track. I’ll also find where health food shops are and stop there wherever I go.
Do you have any advice for other women who struggle with overindulgence?
Look at the EMOTIONS behind your eating. It’s never about the food. It’s about feeling lonely, unworthy, out of control, lack of confidence… and then we turn to food, drugs, alcohol, exercise to make up for the lack in our life.
How was your mental health affected before and after your lifestyle change?
I was constantly anxious, always thinking something bad was going to happen, and needed to feel in control by planning everything. I also had insomnia for years. Now, I know I cannot control anything and am able to meditate on it all, just letting go of the fears of the unknown. It’s scary, but fun this way, because you never know what will happen, which means anything can happen!
What was the inspiration for your new book—and why meal prepping?
I wanted to share with people HOW TO actually cook for a week and see results you want, instead of just cooking recipe by recipe. To me, the WHY behind doing anything is what will make you continue to do it. So the whole book is the why meal prepping will help you, how to do it to succeed, and simple recipes that will set you up for success.
What’s your favorite recipe from Meal Prep Your Way to Weight Loss and where did it come from?
Oh gosh… That is so hard! I guess I really love the paleo sandwich, which has roasted red pepper hummus, roasted mushrooms, a variety of colors and textures—it is just so satisfying. I grew up eating sandwiches, so this recipe shows you can still be healthy and see results you want when being health conscious.
What’s next for you?
My brand new podcast #Adulting: Life Hacks to get your sh*t together is out! My co-host, Zack Peter, and myself interviewed experts like Mark Hyman, JJ Virgin, Dave Asprey, celebrity Amy Smart, sex expert Eileen Kelly and more to ask “How do we simplify adulthood?” and show you what really works. We dive into topics like sex, dating, money, health… It’s such an exciting and fun show!
Learn more at http://www.nikkisharp.com/
Follow Nikki on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/nikkisharp/