Your metabolism is as unique as your fingerprint. What works for your neighbor isn’t going to necessarily work for you. It is also important to consider there are many factors beyond diet and exercise that come into play when looking to make a lifestyle change. Aligning your mindset and establishing behavior-based habits are necessary to achieve sustainability. It’s a consistent habit that breeds success.
I also believe cultivating your environment so that it is conducive to your goals is just as critical. If you are barely sleeping and highly stressed out, then your nutritional choices are most likely not the greatest; the harsh reality is when emotions are high, logic is often times low.
Have patience have perseverance but most of all, have confidence. What you believe shakes your mind.
At 14 years old, I received my first gym membership at Lifetime Fitness to stay conditioned for track. Little did I know this place was going to advance my passion for fitness and also begin my career in the training industry.
At 18, I started college, personal training, and competing in local fitness competitions. I completed my Bachelors in Exercise Science/Pre-Med and had every intention to become a medical doctor, but quickly realized the preventative end of health and wellness captured more of my interest.
I also fast tracked and earned professional status in my first year in one of the most recognized leagues in the bodybuilding industry also known as the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding). Bodybuilding taught me a different type of discipline; one that demonstrates you cannot hold onto it without constant work. It demonstrates a form of self-respect, patience, and work ethic.
Bodybuilding also allowed me to become a better coach. It put me in the drivers seat emotionally and helped me realized changing lives and inspiring others was my purpose. And so I continued and pursued my Masters in Business Administration as well as additional education to master my craft as a personal trainer and nutritionist.
If your wanting serious results in your training, Coach Natalie is for you!! I have been working with her for over two years on strength training and refining my nutrition, and I have been able to achieve great milestones. Natalie has helped me get my diet inline, and designed a strength training plan to fit my needs as a triathlete, I became an Ironman in under 8 months, and I owe Coach Natalie a great deal of gratitude for my success.
Anyone that knows me knows my passion for fitness and a healthy way of life. However, that hasn’t always been the case. Sure I’ve always tried to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle by working out and eating healthy (or so I thought). But over time not only did it seem I wasn’t getting the desired results, I seemed to be going the opposite direction of my intended goals. I became a member of Lifetime Fitness in early 2008. Soon after, I began to notice Natalie around the club training clients and working out on her own. I learned a little about her background as a bikini competitor and could tell she knew what she was doing. I have hired personal trainers in the past and was skeptical about hiring another one. But I knew I needed a change in the way I was doing things and Natalie came highly recommended.
My initial consultation with Natalie was in September of 2012. Together we sat down and laid out a plan to include an overhaul of my diet and a whole new way of training. I expressed my goals and willingness to work hard and she promised to deliver results. And she did. Without question.
Week after week I met with Natalie as I watched the transformation in my body and week after week I learned something new. Not only was there a change physically, but my mindset as well. People were asking me what I was doing. My answer was always, “whatever Natalie tells me to do”. It wasn’t just “working out” anymore. It became a lifestyle.
It wasn’t long before Natalie convinced me to start preparing for a physique show. Prior to meeting Natalie the thought never crossed my mind. Even then, I was somewhat apprehensive. Stepping on stage in front of hundreds of people judging me solely on my body was an intimidating thought. Could I even get my body to the point where I was remotely comfortable to do so? Natalie expressed her confidence not only in the process but in my ability to do so. So I did. In April of 2014 I entered my first show. By that time I had dropped about 15 lbs and 13% body fat. While I didn’t place as well as I hoped (let’s face it, who competes in anything to lose?) I gained so much more through the process. I developed new friendships that continue to this day, was able to be inspired by many likeminded, hardworking individuals and even inspired some of my friends (and strangers) along the way.
I was a new man. To me, all of that meant more to me than where I placed or the trophy on my shelf. Having had the experience, it wasn’t my intention to compete again. However, Natalie, once again, convinced me to enter my second physique show showing her confidence in me. In June 2015 I entered the Michigan State Championships and through Natalie’s guidance I placed well enough to qualify for a national show. Though I haven’t competed since, it was another great experience and something I will forever remember. While this is a short testimonial of my experience with Natalie, I’m sure I could write a book. She has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. I have gained the knowledge to not only keep myself in the place I want to be, but to help others who now seek guidance from me. I happily continue the lifestyle Natalie introduced me to and don’t expect that to ever change. It is now my goal to inspire others to join me in this lifestyle and help them when I can. While I have met some other amazing personal trainers at Lifetime, I will always recommend Natalie to anyone who asks. I am in the best shape of my life at 40 years old and will always thank and give credit to Natalie for that.
I’m not really sure what to say about my journey. I wasn’t planning on submitting a story – I honestly wasn’t really expecting the results I got. I had previously trained with a trainer (one of the scariest and best decisions I ever made…). I got yelled at for food logs, but learned what to eat – good clean food. I got called out during workouts – she knew what I was capable of when I didn’t believe it possible (I can lift how much…?). She talked me into Alpha one day a week – again a terrifying decision. I fell in love with it and went to 3 days a week. Natalie has pushed and encouraged me, and I look forward (in a very sick and twisted way) to my Alpha classes.
Through this journey, which started long before, I have gained more than I could have asked for. I have gained tremendous knowledge of what my body needs to perform and how it reacts to the good and bad choices I make. I have created a fit family that share in each other’s failures and feats and is another reason I am able to keep up what I do. I have gained strength, skill and stamina. I am probably in the best shape and health of my life. I am showing my teenagers (especially my daughter) a healthy lifestyle, and positive body image.
I hope that if anyone can take something from my story, it’s this – ANYONE can make a change. It literally takes one step. But we need to understand that just like a toddler learning to walk, we will stumble, we will fall. But we can always get back up and keep trying. Eventually it becomes second nature and it’s like you have done this forever.
Answer: No. Meal plans are typically expected in the health and fitness industry and unfortunately, most of the time do not work. "But coach, I don't have time to figure out what to eat can't you just tell me what time and what specifically?" The reality is meal plans...