About Tom

Tom Nikkola | healthylivinghowto.comHi. I’m Tom.

Since I was in my teens, I have been fascinated with health and fitness.

My nickname as a kid was CP, aka Chubby & Porky. It sucked. But it did motivate me to learn about what I could do to not be fat.

Whether it was a result of chemotherapy from leukemia at age 5, or just subpar genetics, I’ve always had to stay pretty strict with my diet and exercise habits.

The benefit is that it’s motivated me to keep learning about the best strategies for optimizing health, fitness and body composition.

My favorite word is “Sisu,” which is Finish. It means “determination, resolve, persistence, tenacity, steadfastness, perseverance and stubbornness.” It describes how I approach finding and sharing new or proven ways for people to thrive, rather than just survive.

I’ve read thousands of research papers and articles, and dozens of books on exercise, nutrition, supplementation and metabolism.

Tom Ski Jumping | healthylivinghowto.comMy first real focus on fitness began when I was 16. I remember my ski jumping coach telling me that I weighed too much if I wanted to be serious about ski jumping. That struck a cord and I learned what I could from magazines that were available at the time.

At 5’10” and 17 years old, I dropped from a weight of around 160 pounds to a very skinny 137 pounds. I would never recommend what I did to anyone else, but it was a real learning experience. After that season of skiing, I decided I’d give it one more year and then move onto college. I knew it was a “one or the other” decision.

It was that spring, when I wasn’t so concerned about maintaining a body weight in the 130s that I started lifting weight seriously. I’d done a ton of running and plyometric work, but never done much weight training. In two month’s time, I’d built muscle, gotten leaner and felt better than ever. From that time on, I was hooked. I was fascinated by the effects of strength training, paired up with good nutrition. That fascination has never gone away.

Today, I get my fill of ski jumping from watching it on YouTube of TV. I’m much more interested in the sport of life. There’s an athlete inside each of us. It just needs to be given the right mindset to believe it’s there, and the right program to allow it to come out.

More recently, I’ve come appreciate how powerful essential oils can be as well in living a healthy lifestyle.

I’m on a mission with Vanessa to share the power of Young Living Essential Oils with others, while also teaching them about everything else that affects their health – sleep, stress management, emotional health, exercise, nutrition and more.

Education and Professional Background

I graduated from The College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, MN with a pre-Med biology degree. The first three years were focused on Exercise Physiology, and then I changed my major my senior year. I spoke with about 10 doctors my senior year who talked me out of pursuing medicine, and talked me back into the idea of helping people prevent sickness instead of treating it.

After selling Cutco Cutlery through college, I started my fitness career as a Personal Trainer for Life Time Fitness in 2001.

From personal training, I moved through a number of club and regional personal training management roles.

Eventually, I moved to Life Time’s corporate office and was responsible for developing and managing nutritional products, lab and metabolic testing, and nutrition and weight loss programs.

In 2013, I moved onto a short role with Thorne Research, where I launched a new supplement line of products for fitness professionals, called ThorneFX. The brand recently transitioned to EXOS Sports Nutrition.

I returned to Life Time after a year with Thorne, where I took on the role of Senior Director of Fitness Strategy and Business Development.

Tom and Vanessa | healthylivinghowto.comAnd this brings us to where I am today. I left Life Time Fitness in February 2015 and made the decision to join Vanessa full time here at Healthy Living How To.

What I’m Doing Today

Today, Vanessa and I use Healthy Living How To and Healthy Living With Essential Oils as platforms to help people find better physical, emotional, and even financial health. On any given day, we’re blogging, teaching classes or seminars, or brainstorming our next idea to help reach more people.

If you’re ever in Minneapolis, let us know. We live above Whole Foods and we’d love to meet you there for a coffee or a little snack.

Check in regularly. We’ll have something fresh and inspiring to help you on your path toward health and happiness.