Well it has been a long time since I first came across Oxygen Magazine in the local newsagents back in 2000. I was in awe of the current Oxygen covergirl at that time Laurie Mac, and was so excited when I flicked through the pages and saw the most amazing physiques I had ever seen. I had finally found my inspirations!!!

I had always been fit and athletic, however the magazines I was reading were filled with skinny celebrities (back in the time of the heroin 'chic' look made famous by Kate Moss) and this was NOT the bodies I aspired to have. I had been lifting weights at the school gym and I KNEW that I wanted to have 'muscles', but I didn't quite know what it was that I wanted to 'look' like, or create. Oxygen Magazine was a god send! I was only 20 at the time and the magazine taught me a completely new way of life. I waited and waited for each monthly edition to arrive at the newsagents, and religiously read it back to front, and again. Back then it was the American Edition, as Australia did not have its own at that time.

Over the next few years I completed a Traineeship, Certificate II, and partial Diploma within the health and fitness industry. After that I tackled a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Bachelor of Education. Following this I entered my first Figure competition as a novice, and it was at that time I came across a competition for an 'Oxygen Sportsmodel'. Within a week I had been to the Gold Coast to compete in my first show, the following Tuesday over in Perth to enter the Oxygen Comp (HQ was in Perth back then), then back to Brisbane, and then straight over to Sydney to compete in the IFBB National titles. I was excited to have placed 3 in the Oxygen Competition, and met the editor at the time. The team showed me through the offices which was awesome, and after speaking with the Editor about what and why I was doing what I was doing within the health industry, she offered me a cover! It was a MASSIVE week, and was a huge turning point in my life.

That was back in October 2007, and then August/September 2008 my cover arrived and was on the shelves. It was an incredible experience! Obviously Oxygen wasn't then what it was now and the readership was very small, but I was amazed by how many wonderful women reached out to me for help, advice and support. It was really heart warming to know that now I was able to help others, and that they found something inspiring about me. I never started in this industry to get a picture in a magazine. I studied and worked my toosh off (lol) as I wanted to be able to show women how to get in shape, and feel good about themselves.

It has been along time since that cover hit the stands, and so much has happened since that time. I have had some of the lowest and toughest moments of my life, as well as some of my proudest and happiest. I have been rock bottom and struggled with some of life's not so nice challenges, but more importantly I have pulled myself up and learned so much from those experiences that I know I can help so many women out there. I guess I came to a point recently where I truly understood what it meant to be to be a 'Oxygen Covergirl'. We are not like other magazines! We are not a 'pretty picture' on the pages. WE ARE REAL WOMEN WHO ARE FRIENDLY, APPROACHABLE, PASSIONATE WITH A TRUE DESIRE TO HELP AND BE THERE FOR WOMEN WHO NEED SUPPORT, MOTIVATION AND AN 'EAR' FROM ANOTHER WOMAN WHO GENUINELY CARES!

It has been a huge ride for me over the past 4 years, and I am so happy to finally be in a place that I am happy with who I am, love my life, and doing what I was put here to do. Ladies,  I have learnt that with everything thing in life to be happy you have to do YOUR best and be cool with that! You have to work hard as nothing comes easy, but if you know you are doing your best, then that is all you can ask of yourself. Living each day, being present in every moment, spending time with those you love, making a difference to the world in some way, and being a good person will ultimately make you a happy person.

I am looking forward to connecting with you all through my blog. It is an extremely big honour to have been asked to be a part of this fabulous magazine. I wanted to say a quick thanks to OXYGEN MAGAZINE and the whole team. I am committed to representing the magazine in the absolute best way I can and stand strong for all that Oxygen stands for.

To my fellow Oxygen readers, please feel free to jump on an ask any questions you have, or reach out if you need any help or guidance.

Can't wait to get to know you all better and share more of my world with you :-)

LOve NiCky J xxx