In Her Words: Natalie’s Story

“In Her/His Words” is a new series I am starting for people who want to share their story and don’t have a blog or other platform to do so. There are so many different ways to reach success and all of us can use a little inspiration! If you’re interested in sharing your story, please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com to get the conversation going!

I remember sitting on a balcony overlooking a gorgeous mountain view, waiting for my husband. He had been out all day mountain biking while I read a book and ate the snack food we packed. I planned my day around food and he planned his day around the trails. A week later, I walked into Weight Watchers with my mom.

2010 Natalie

I was not thinking I would be with him one day, I was only thinking that I needed to be a better person, wife, daughter, co-worker, friend, and self. Life’s limitations were being set by me because of my weight. I had a great family, terrific friends, a job that was very stressful but work I enjoyed, and thankfully no major health problems. However, problems were creeping up with me in regards to my health. Heart palpitations, pre-diabetic symptoms, daily acid reflux, and getting winded walking anywhere with my niece and nephews. My mom had been a WW Lifetime member since I was a child and encouraged me to return with her. I knew the program worked but I was hesitate to think it would change my life.

I had 117lbs to lose.

I could not even think that far ahead. I decided to be happy with each 5lbs I lost. I still crave those 5lbs stickers!

It took about a week for my husband to understand the program and what it would mean for our life. He ate what he wanted but he worked it off by biking. I never saw food as fuel before. Food was celebrations, comfort, medicine, experiments, connecting, careers, and a delight. Food is now tracked, understood, craved only when needed, indulged when earned, and a bond with others. I started with small steps, focusing on my food intake at first. Meetings are my classroom. From my leader encouraging me at every step, to classmates that have gone further than I ever imagined, I always learn something. No matter where you are on the journey, you can learn from your classmates and leaders. The support has been the foundation for me to succeed.

As the food started to be understood, I started walking around my neighborhood. I started doing research and found the Couch to 5K program. I decided to run a 5K. Running was nothing I had done before. I played basketball and softball in high school but never ran unless it was drills. I found myself enjoying it. I ran my first 5K with my husband in April 2011, 8 months after I started WW. I ran three more 5ks in 2011 and continued on my path. October 2011, I hit the 100lb weight loss. Along the way, I was promoted within my work, went on vacations (one that includes a week long trip where our friends are chefs and bartenders!), and started to learn that this was a healthy lifestyle, not a diet.

Believing in yourself is the hardest part of this journey. Reaching for food is easier than controlling my mind to walk away. It sounds scary to change your life but staying where I was could have been frightening. Finding support whether from friends, family, meetings, on-line world, and co-workers are vital.

My life has changed drastically over the past 24 months. I have lost 118.8lbs and hit lifetime one week shy of my two year mark, August 4, 2012.

181-1

And those earlier health problems? None of them currently exist. I have inspired my family to run and be healthy, completed a sprint triathlon with my sister-in-laws, and take time for myself to be reminded that my health is the most important gift I can give myself. As I venture into maintenance, I need to remind myself: This is not my finish line but rather my starting point.

And that view from the balcony……. I experienced my own view from a mountain bike with my husband for the first time this last fall. To go from the balcony to the mountains, that is my success.

15 Comments on In Her Words: Natalie’s Story

  1. sarah
    August 13, 2012 at 9:39 am (8 years ago)

    Congratulations! What you experienced and wrote is truely amazing! Welcome to the lifetime club!

    Reply
  2. Mary
    August 13, 2012 at 10:50 am (8 years ago)

    Congratulations Natalie on your hard-earned success. You are an inspiration to so many!

    Reply
  3. Felicity @ Waist & Wallet
    August 13, 2012 at 10:56 am (8 years ago)

    Thanks to you Beth for bringing us Natalie’s story and thanks to Natalie for sharing that inspiring story. Congrats on all your success!

    Reply
  4. kiki
    August 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm (8 years ago)

    Wonderful post! You look 20 years younger!

    Reply
  5. Emily
    August 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm (8 years ago)

    Congratulations to you! You’re awesome! Girl, you look amazing and I love that Beth shared your story! You are super inspiring and maybe you’ll be what I need to kick my butt back into counting points mode.

    Reply
  6. Melanie_F
    August 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm (8 years ago)

    Congratulations Natalie! This is truly inspiring.

    Reply
  7. Blogging Runner
    August 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm (8 years ago)

    Wow! What an amazing story! Such an inspiration! And you loook just amazing. Congrats on droping 118.8 pounds!!

    Reply
  8. Kelly @ No Sugar Sweet Life
    August 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm (8 years ago)

    WOW!! You GO girl! I love your story and the fact that you shared it here on Beth’s blog. I relate to the part about the active hubby who can eat whatever he wants. So not fair :p It has been adjustment for me too figuring out how to balance my own food needs / weight loss goals with his. I still have about 25 more to go. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to keep pushing forward!

    Reply
  9. dietmaven
    August 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm (8 years ago)

    Kudos to you Natalie! It must be amazing to be doing activities with your husband and not on the sidelines. An amazing story, so glad you shared – and you look fab, by the way!

    Reply
  10. Libby
    August 14, 2012 at 5:53 am (8 years ago)

    WOW!! Such an inspiring story! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  11. Khaleef @ Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet
    August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm (8 years ago)

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you. It must be amazing to complete all of these races and other things, and to know that it is a result of your hard work. I can’t wait to get to that point.

    Thank you for sharing your story and motivating me to keep pushing!

    Reply
  12. robin
    August 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm (8 years ago)

    FANTASTIC!

    Reply
  13. lynette
    August 17, 2012 at 9:19 am (8 years ago)

    You really look like a different person! Congrats to you!

    Reply

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