Having It All and Losing It All
When your Facebook page has over 1,600,000 “Likes”, you are a social media star. There are a lot of them out there nowadays. Natalie Jill’s path has been different from most of them.
She had what seemed like the perfect life and didn’t feel sympathy for people who had achieved less. She had the wonderful husband the expensive house, the nice car, the money, and a new baby on the way. As she tells it, she was judgemental and self-righteous when it came to people who hadn’t attained the same trappings of success.
But all that fell apart. Natalie lost her house, her marriage, retirement savings, and weight gain and an autoimmune condition attacked her health. Natalie lost her house, her marriage, retirement savings, and weight gain and an autoimmune condition attacked her health.
Natalie had to figure out how to begin again. She wasn’t able to do that right away. Natalie was ashamed and kept her failure a secret. She felt like one of those people she had always looked down on.
Natalie didn’t recognize the person she saw in the mirror. She got tired of hiding and feeling sorry for herself. She had given birth and realized she was now responsible for another life.Natalie made the decision that, “This is not who I am.” She set her intention to do things differently and she then publicly shared her intention.
As she set about making her changes, she found herself in information overload. There were so many gurus and experts in the nutrition and fitness worlds that it was hard to know who to believe. She put together a plan that made sense for her.
One of the most important things Natalie did for herself was to create a vision board. The board was a visual representation of her goals with photographs cut out of magazines. It showed the life she desired. She started a Facebook page and put up pictures of the meals she was eating. She then paired the pictures with simple recipes. She felt this would keep her accountable since she was putting it out into the world.
Back to Basics
She went back to basics in nutrition and movement. The meals she posted on Facebook eventually became an ebook based on demand from her rapidly growing fitness community. It is now a print book.
Natalie has four pieces of advice for anyone who needs to start over:
- Make a decision that you will no longer live the life you are leading. You may not be able to make that decision until you have hit bottom.
- Create a vision for the new life that you want and establish goals and embody that vision. Share that vision with others, period
- Be accountable. Where you are, the problems you are having, are nobody’s fault but your own. You are the one who will have to make a change. Be accountable to yourself first. Find an accountability partner who will support you in what you’re doing and let you know when you fall back into excuse-making.
- Surround yourself with people who get you and will support you.
Authenticity and Honesty
Natalie has built a huge following through authenticity and honesty. She shares her story of loss, shame, and depression. She has used social media to open a two-way conversation. She found her audience and created the fitness and nutrition products that they said they wanted.
She keeps things simple for the men and women who are looking to get on the path to better health. She posts recipes that focus on unprocessed foods – foods that once grew, with ingredients you can pronounce. She has exercise plans that use bodyweight calisthenics so that overwhelmed moms, who might also be intimidated by the gym, can train on their schedule, in their home.
Natalie stepped outside her sadness to serve others. She believes that no matter where you’re starting from, no matter the obstacles, there is always hope. She’s living proof.