my weight loss journey: an update


hi, friends! 
grab a cup of coffee & sit with me for a bit. i want to share an update on my weight loss journey with you!



earlier this year, when my grandpa passed away, i felt a sudden shift in my habits & in my thinking. my grandpa lived life to the fullest & up until his diagnosis, he lived an incredibly healthy life. for the first time, after his death, i was struck with just how short our lives truly are & the weight of our every day choices. it was during this time that i recognized a great need to make a big, lasting change.


last year i shared my whole30 journey & my 20 lb. weight loss {you can read my blog post here}. i was able to maintain this weight loss up until october, just before the holiday season when bread & dairy became too great a temptation, but then throughout the months, i gained it all back. 

i absolutely loved how i felt on whole30, but it was not a sustainable lifestyle for our family. during our european travels this summer, we discovered just how much we truly enjoy the culture of good bread & fine cheeses. after our return from europe, luke began baking artisanal bread & i knew this would soon become part of our family's food culture. 


throughout the summer months once we returned from our travels, i started recording my meals & calorie intake on the app, my fitness pal. i ate in moderation, not eliminating any food group entirely, & chose my indulgences carefully. i also continued to exercise 4-5 times per week. slowly, the weight began to come off once again. 

inspired by our european travels, i picked up the book, french women don't get fat, & read it cover to cover. this book helped me seek out the balance of eating well & living well.


dear ones, if i am being completely honest, weight loss is by far the most challenging area of my life. i use food as a way to cope when life gets busy or i am unable to control my surroundings. 
each day is an opportunity for growth, but i am thankful to share that i have lost 23 lb. i have also joined the weight watchers program & attend their weekly meetings for support. i have about 17 more pounds to lose before i feel like i have met my first goal. 

like i've shared, this story is not finished. it's full of ups & downs, valleys & hills. it's a well-worn path full of wrong turns & it's by far the most challenging journey i've experienced yet. i'll continue sharing bits of my weight loss journey on instagram at #nataliegetsfit if you'd like to follow along!

i'd love to know how you're making your health a priority right now. please share your weight loss journey or any healthy habits in the comments below!

thank you so much for reading. i hope this serves as a bit of encouragement to you & a reminder that you are indeed not alone. xo.
love,
natalie

18 comments:

Unknown said...

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Amy Margaroli said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are inspiring in so many ways- you can do this and you can keep it off! I believe in you!

Mandylion said...

Natalie - I've been a reader for many months, but this is my first time commenting! Just wanted to say that, from what I can see through your blog, you are such a beautiful person and your lifestyle inspires me greatly. Thank you for sharing your life and being real! Blessings to you as you continue on your journey!

Anonymous said...

Wow this was what I needed to hear today. I have been trying to lose weight and just be healthy too for the last three months. I lost 22 pounds and felt so much better. I am trying to eat in moderation, indulging on a more limited basis, and enjoying good foods, lots of fruits and vegetables. This time of year is stressful and I eat poorly when I am stressed. I ate well on Sunday, and okay on Monday, but things just fell apart yesterday. I don't really know why. I have been considering WW but am anxious that it will just be one more appointment that I must keep. I have never commented but love your blog, the honesty is refreshing. I feel some connection, strangely, since my dad grew up in Arkansas.

Elise Gahan said...

I love this! Moderation and self-control is just the hardest thing and food can create such a weird shame/guilt cycle. I too am working on freedom from emotional eating and it's amazing how wonderful my whole self feels on the days I can do that. One Part Plant had a really great podcast with Andie Mitchel on emotional eating as did the Lively Show with a women named Isabelle Foxenduke that had really insightful information on intentionally and mindfully eating. Congrats on your progress and hard work!!

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations on your journey!

Misti said...

I had my son in September 2014 and it wasn't until May/June of this year that I started seeing a noticeable change in my shape towards my pre-pregnancy body. And really the last three months is when I've been actually sneaking back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. It's a hard road, that's for sure, and my mid 30's metabolism isn't what it used to be.

Honestly, one of the biggest things in the last two months have been returning to lifting weights. I love, love, love lifting and I think it is something a lot of women are afraid to do.

If you are looking for some inspiration via podcasts, I recommend the Nia Shanks show, Harder to Kill radio, Barbells and Bone Broth.

RE: Whole30...I have some family members who have done it multiple times with great results, but like you, they do tend to gain some weight back. It just doesn't seem sustainble especially for people who are not paleo oriented the rest of the time.

R Dhad said...

for me, it's about gaining weight. i'm a lot underweight than I should be (i need to at least 113 and i'm currently 102 lbs). I tend to restrict food when I'm anxious. So I'm working with my counselor right now on eating more food.

amanda june said...

First of all, this may be the first time I've read the "grab a cup of coffee and settle in…" line and thought, "hey, that's a great idea. I WOULD love to get another cup of coffee and settle in to read this" and went and did it. Ha!

Anyway, thanks for sharing -- everyone's journey is different and it's such a personal thing! I'm totally with you in that for me, weight has been such a huge and messy part of my story. I was overweight as a child, obese through adolescence, and got healthy in my mid-20s, but it was a long road, and I lost weight in spurts, mostly through Weight Watchers -- 20 pounds here, 15 more pounds a couple years later, and then finally I got serious and was able to lose another 45 pounds or so several years back, which pushed me into a "healthy" weight range. I've now lost, and it shocks even me to say it, 116 pounds. Yet even after the bulk of the weight had come off, it took years for what was inside to heal -- I could restrict calories (or "points"), I could manage my habits, I could exercise, but at the end of the day, there was still this hunger in me, this longing that I was still turning to food to fill. And a different number on the scale or a new BMI didn't change that. I am so thankful, though, that in recent years the Lord has led me on a path that has brought increasing freedom in this area. I can enjoy food, but it is no longer my passion nor is it my master. I will admit that health is not a huge priority for me right now -- I don't exercise, really, although I live in a big city (no car) and so life necessarily includes a good deal of walking; in recent months I've let busyness keep me from cooking much at all, and the way I eat could hardly be called healthy. But something in me has flipped the switch off that makes you want to eat when you're not hungry; I simply haven't the desire anymore, so weight isn't an issue. I know I would feel better and be healthier, though, if I could at least incorporate exercise, and I would like to put some more wholesome homemade meals on the table for my husband's sake at least.

Wow, sorry, I've gone on longer than I intended. One more thing: if you haven't read Geneen Roth's book Women, Food, & God, I highly recommend it. I can't say I agree with everything she has to say, particularly her specific beliefs about God; however, I think there is a lot of truth to be found in that book. I read it a year or so after I had lost a lot of my weight and was still struggling with food issues. I devoured it and found it deeply profound and insightful. Also, someone else mentioned it but Andie Mitchell's blog (formerly Can You Stay for Dinner?; andiemitchell.com now, I believe) and her memoir (It Was Me All Along) are also great reading.

Luna Beehive said...

Oh man, the struggle of my life... I've lost 15 and I have about 15 more to go. So very encouraging, thank you for sharing! I am always motivated when I hear about others success with weight loss. GET IT GIRL!

Valley Girl said...

The most life changing thing I ever did was work with a health coach. Her name is Amy Rootvik. She is based out of Richland, Wa but works with clients anywhere. The thing that was so powerful about working with her was the combining of nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, ALL of it. She taught me to ask myself, "how do I want to FEEL." Just today, I was in the kitchen with fresh popcorn and cookies for my kids (we had a snow day) and I looked at it, I smelled it, and I asked myself, "how do I want to feel?" I want to feel strong, powerful, energetic. Nothing sitting there matched what I wanted to feel. My desire went away. I read, learn, seek out nutritional information all the time. I'm vegetarian, work at a health food store, exercise 5 times a week. It and yet...I still can feel out of balance, unhealthy, tired, lethargic. It all comes down to asking my body, what do you need, how do I want to feel. Amy taught me that our bodies are going to get what they need one way or another. If your body really just needs energy, it will get it...maybe by you eating sugar or refined food snacks, but it will get you to give it what it wants. By listening more clearly to what my body is actually asking for I am able to give it what it really needs. And then there's lifting weights. Holy moly. Life changing right there. I have done cardio/gym workouts forever...then I joined Crossfit and started lifting barbell/Olympic weights. I have never felt so strong and empowered. Sending you strength and healthy vibes as you make your way on this journey. It's so much more than just food and exercise...this is soul work. Love, peace and light friend.

J Lara said...

Hi Natalie, After listening to Dom D'Agostino's podcast on Tim Ferriss, I've been researching and trying the ketogenetic diet (or way of living). Dom shared such compelling evidence why the keto diet is so helpful to so many areas - including warding off cancer. So far, I've noticed a slight weight loss (my clothes are fitting a touch differently) and also I'm not craving sugar/carbs like I once was. It's amazing what bulletproof coffee can do as my first meal of the day. I load that baby up with butter, coconut cream, spices, and hit blend. Thanks for sharing your journey and update. Good luck and know you have a sister-of-another-mister in Maryland cheering for you! Jen

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Finding that balance is something I struggle with too but I want to make this life in this body a good one!

Anna @ A Good Home said...

Thanks for such a great post. I'm constantly struggling with this balance, too. I'm doing a VERY modified version of the 21 day fix and can't even seem to make it 3 weeks without scarfing down whatever snack foods are in the house. I need a good way to feed myself healthfully while still making food for my family that they'll actually eat!

Stephanie said...

I love how honest your blog is... Even the less than beautiful bits! :) I joined weight watchers a couple months ago after my third baby. I fell off the wagon for a couple weeks but am back on. Thanks for the update. I hope you continue to share some of your recipes. We lead a similar lifestyle although we currently live in a metro area, we have a large garden and chickens.

Janna said...

Proud of you girl. I struggle with my weight and seems I always have - and I know that it is simply because my life is too hectic to make ME a priority, but it saddens me to think of the harm I'm doing myself. I'm praying for something to happen this year. I know I need to make it happen, and I have before. I must. I must. I must! Enjoy hearing your stories, friend.

Mrs. Parler said...

I absolutely loved French Women Don't Get Fat! I need to re-read especially in this season of life. I can totally relate to using food to cope. I use food when I'm "bored" and pretty much just mindlessly eat at all. It takes so much effort to eat mindfully and it's just one area that I always lax in. Ready to get on this lasting change. Start being mindful. So nice to hear others stories and encourage one another! Blessings to you, friend!!

Mary McKinney said...

Oh girl. Reading the was like reading my own autobiography. I found success with Whole30, but it was not sustainable for me. I am in the midst of finding my bearings for my annual "after-the-holidays-time-to-get-in-shape-mission". Like you, my dear, dear, HEALTHY mother was diagnosed with cancer recently and life has become all too real. My own mortality has flashed before my eyes and things seem a bit more real now. This post came to me at just the right time, for a needed bit of encouragement, this chilly morning. Thanks, as always, for your honesty and willingness to put yourself out there. xoxo

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