Be Passion(Fit) & Enjoy the Ride

Natalie has lost more than 82 lbs.
Natalie has lost more than 82 lbs.

“Actually, I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel like that anymore, or ever again. So I changed. Just like that.” – Unknown.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t just like that, but that really is the gist of how my journey began. I’ve struggled with weight my whole life, at both ends of the spectrum. I’ve either been very underweight, or very overweight, but I was never able to find that healthy medium. Junior year of high school is when my weight really started to get out of control and by the end of my senior year I weighed more than 200 pounds. Being 5’5, and weighing in at a total of 210, I was not healthy. After senior year, I decided to go to a fitness camp to try to lose weight. I was successful at first and lost over 20 pounds while I was there, but the transition into college killed me. I quickly gained it all back and then some.

After gaining the weight back, and the extra “Freshman 15,” I was nearing the end of my first year at Florida State when the realization finally hit me. I wasn’t just unhappy when I looked in the mirror, or when I had to size up in a pair of jeans, I was just unhappy. My weight had begun to affect my entire life. That’s when I knew that I didn’t just want a change, I NEEDED a change. So I ended up going back to that fitness camp (Premier Fitness Camp) in California, except this time, there was no turning back.

“It was no longer just about ‘losing weight’ or hopes of ‘being prettier’ to me, it was about the lifestyle.”

Upon my arrival at Premier, I had already lost 20 pounds on my own that summer in just a few weeks. While I was there I lost 8 more. Being 30 pounds down, I was more encouraged then ever. . More importantly than my weight loss at the camp, I had finally realized how to have fun while working out. I hiked up mountains, participated in boot camps at the beach, and even learned how to box! All of this was completely contradictory to my previously construed image of working out which consisted solely of treadmills and dumbbells.

This is when the real transformation began. It was no longer just about “losing weight” or hopes of “being prettier” to me, it was about the lifestyle. At this point, working out no longer felt like a burden. In fact, the hours I spent exercising were normally the highlight of my day! I never imagined I would say this sentence but: I fell in love with exercise. I loved everything about working out; the way I felt on my way to the gym, the way I felt while I was working out, and of course, the way I felt after.

Since then I have lost 52 more pounds, and am below my goal weight at 128, and I couldn’t be happier, but that isn’t just because of the number on the scale. I never thought I would be able to live such a healthy lifestyle, but I definitely never thought that I would learn to LOVE it!

One of the main things I’ve realized throughout my transformation is that in order to truly transform your lifestyle you have to enjoy what you’re doing. Getting in shape, or being healthy doesn’t need to be miserable, in fact, it shouldn’t be. I stumbled upon a Beyoncé quote in a magazine and it encompasses this idea perfectly, “The most important thing about creating a healthy lifestyle is figuring out which workout makes you happy.”

I continuously make sure that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and never getting stuck into a routine. If I ever feel like I’m being forced to go to the gym, I know it’s time to shake things up. Whether that means hiking at Tom Brown Park, or going for a run around Tallahassee, or even participating in one of the dance classes at our school gym, just go out there and do it! Basically, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re doing something. 1097959_10151906271332573_1395128888_n

In my spare time I started to create healthy recipes so that I could nourish my body with not only the right nutrients, but also yummy ones! Experimenting with new recipes, exploring the grocery store, and calorie counting all became a part of my daily routine. The weight continued to stay off, and I began to start a blog. All of my friends were beyond encouraging, and before long, they were coming to ME for weight loss advice! That was the most encouraging part of my journey. Not only had I been transforming my own life but also I realized that my transformation was causing other people to consider a transformation of their own.

I’m so happy that I’ve been able to transform my lifestyle into one that promotes health, and overall well being, and I’m even more excited to now be able to share the knowledge I’ve gained with others! Now studying at Florida State University, I am on my way to getting my Certification to be a Personal Trainer. I cannot wait to help people reach their goals the way I was blessed to be able to. After people began to ask me how I lost the weight like I did, I realized that helping others to reach their goal is my passion. So throughout my transformation, not only did I become more healthy and fit, but I also discovered happiness and passion. A healthier lifestyle is not just about enhancing your appearance; it enhances your mind and sprit too.

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