Yoga Teacher at Core Power Yoga and Vegan Food Blogger


I’ve always lived an active lifestyle. At the age of four I started dancing ballet. My childhood was spent in a ballet studio led by Russian instructors. They were strict, and wanted every student to look and dance the way that they wanted. From an early age I was shown how the female body should look, a size 00 with no curves, no hips, no substance on her bones. I developed a bad relationship of food, being overly conscious of what I was eating.

Age nine, that was the first time my mom went to rehab, or so I remember. A lot of memories of my childhood were erased due to trauma. My mom is disabled, and was severely dependent, rather addicted, to narcotic drugs. She took a lot of her anger out on me, making me live in this mindset that nothing I did was ever good enough. Her addiction continued into middle school, and then into high school where it became much worse.

I remember gaining a little bit of weight in high school from birth control. My mom never let me hear in the of it. She was constantly on me about my weight, my size, how I looked. Looking back at photos all I see is this normal sized girl with emotional abuse weighing on her shoulders.

When I was 20 I met this boy who I instantly fell in love with. He had the good looking face, great physic, humor, he looked like the perfect boyfriend on paper. Within a year of our relationship he joined the military and I decided to stay with him. We did the whole long distance song and dance, and that’s when he started to change. He became possessive, aggressive, emotionally and then physically abusive. Every day he would tear me down about something; something I wasn’t doing right, if I said something in a tone he didn’t like, if I hung out with my friends. He tore me down so much that I wasn’t even me anymore. I didn’t recognize my own face in the mirror, I saw a girl who was broken down.

When I was with him, I wasn’t myself. I was unhappy, depressed, I became suicidal. He made me wish every day that I wasn’t alive. In 2017, a year before we ended things, I was about to graduate college. I went to school for fashion merchandising so all of my finals were creative projects. All done by hand, ones where I couldn’t be on my phone all day. Well, he wasn’t a fan of that. When I didn’t text back right away, he would text me over and over again until I responded. He would call me until I answered, check my location to see where I was at. There was one time on the phone with him where he was screaming into my ear as I was driving home from class, it took everything within me to not swerve into the passing lane in hopes of hitting a car to end my life.

I started my wellness journey after I broke up with my abusive ex. After I felt the weight of him lifted off my soul, I felt like I was able to finally be Nicolette. I went vegan, started getting into yoga, doing the things that made me truly happy. Shortly after, I fell in love again. I was swooped off my feet by a man who I didn’t know at the time would end up hurting me so much. We become serious right off the bat, talking about our future together, if our kids would be vegan with us. We painted this whole photo of would our future would be like.

Within a year he destroyed my heart. I fell into a pit of despair, I became depressed, anxious, and I had stopped eating. I hit my rock bottom.

The pain I felt from this man was far worse than the pain my abusive ex emotionally and physically left on me. I felt completely broken, unloved, worthless, lost again.

Despite all this I do believe that you need to go through some hardships to see the good in life again. I’ve found myself on the edge multiple times, even now at almost 26, of wanting to end it all; but I stop myself. I remember my family, my friends, my students, all the potential I have in front of me.

The one thing that keeps me going every single day is yoga and cooking.

Without my wellness blog, without teaching yoga, I wouldn’t be here today. The day I stepped into CorePower Yoga in Huntington Beach, I knew I was saved. Every class began to heal me, began to give me reason to my life again. I started to love myself, and I felt like I was a whole complete person. I began to learn what it was like to be okay on my own, to love myself for exactly who I am. Being a yoga instructor gave me the courage to face my fears and share with my students why yoga means so much to me.

My relationship with food has completely changed. I love every meal I make and eat it all without a fear of what my body would look like after. Having my food blog gives me purpose, and I love sharing easy vegan meals with the world.

I’m nowhere near a perfect person now, but I have come so far from the woman I used to be. From my mom, to my exs, to my own battle with myself; I have made myself as strong as I can be. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel what you are feeling, to let yourself have a day where you cry and let out the emotions you’re feeling. But remember to bring yourself back up. Remind yourself of how truly amazing you are, and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it might be.

With love and light,

Nicolette Papile

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