Sequim, WA

Is it possible to love encouraging others while at the same time having the hardest time encouraging and loving yourself? For me, it is. I am a certified life coach, teacher, boss lady, mom, and wife who loves uplifting others and encouraging them. Yet, my whole life, I've struggled to love myself and appreciate who I am. This struggle began when I was very young. At just ten years old, my mom told me I was too fat to wear jeans. That moment planted seeds of insecurity and self-loathing that grew as I did.

Hi! My name is Nika Greenleaf, and I love life. I love exercise, people, interesting discussions, new discoveries, musicals, geography, and challenging myself. I grew up constantly moving my body. With both my mom and dad being chiropractors—fit and healthy—I was raised in a household where every dinner included salad and carrot juice before the main meal. I danced for six years, played sports all my life, and have exercised on and off for as long as I can remember.

That comment from my mom when I was ten marked the start of a downward spiral in how I viewed myself. I moved out at 17, relocating to Alaska for 20 years, where I met my husband and earned my teaching degree. Throughout this time, I battled persistent self-doubt, but I never stopped exercising in some form.

My fitness journey took a significant turn when I became pregnant with twin girls and gained over 100 pounds. Their birth, via C-section, brought immense joy but also a host of emotional and physical challenges. My weight led to severe back problems, and when my twins were just three months old, my back gave out completely for two months. During that period, I was nursing on my back seven times a day. This was the true beginning of my health and exercise journey.

Once I could move again, I started with simple exercises, beginning with walking on a treadmill while wearing a back brace. I incorporated core exercises from "The 90-Second Fitness Solution." Gradually, I could walk more, hold a plank for ten seconds longer, and eventually start running. This progress took time and perseverance, but the secret to my success was simple: never giving up and staying consistent. I didn’t let the mirror or my mind deceive me into quitting.

When my girls turned one, I completed my first race. My back was stronger, my heart healthier, and my mind clearer. I had lost 125 pounds and discovered a love for running, participating in races here and there. That was 15 years ago, and my passion for running has only grown. In September 2023, I completed my first half Ironman, swimming, biking, and running a total of 70.3 miles.

Fast forward to the present, and my love for running remains, though I recently faced burnout. Despite my accomplishments, I still struggle with body image issues. This past winter, I ran 40 miles in a week—a notable achievement—but felt lousy and low on energy. Now, at 42 years old, my goals have shifted. I seek a life full of energy, love, and joy. It’s not about being the best runner or racer; it’s about having the energy to coach others, spend quality time with my family, and create lasting memories.

I've developed a six-day-a-week exercise program that works for me and that I love. I run or walk about 30 miles a week and strength train three days a week at home. The purpose is to be strong, happy, energetic, and to establish lifelong habits. We only have this one life to live, and I aim to live it joyfully, loving my body, my life, and my calling to help others.

One of the reasons I cherish life coaching is the privilege of helping people emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I help them get unstuck and move forward. I’m so grateful I didn’t give up after gaining so much weight post-pregnancy. Step by step, I emerged from the darkest period of my life and found joy in moving my body.

If I could go back and speak to that little girl who thought she was too fat to wear jeans, I would say, “You are so beautiful and smart. I’m sorry your mom said that, but don’t give in. You are a special and unique person who will move mountains someday.”

Learning to love myself is a continuous journey, but it's a beautiful one. If you're looking to move forward with your life, rediscover joy, or get unstuck, let's get started! As a life coach, I love encouraging people and helping them move their own mountains. You can read more at

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