Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Esprit de She Duathlon...

This past Saturday, I accomplished a goal I set for myself in very first race, a duathlon. Esprit de She Duathlon is a women's race where you run 2 miles, bike 9 miles, run 2 miles. It may have been a bit ambitious for my first race, but as I began looking at my life at the start of summer: my poor eating habits, lack of energy, my obsession with Sonic Dr. Peppers :), and how overweight I was, I knew it was time for a change. Yes, I know my life has been crazy the last couple of years surviving off hospital and fast food while we helped care for Max, but I  knew it was time to leave my excuses behind. With Max getting better, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to focus on my personal health and make a change. I sat down with Daniel and he helped me create a goal for myself to lose 50 pounds by changing my lifestyle through eating and working out. I met with a nutritionist and found a race to help jump start my working can read my full testimony below this post if you are interested. Let's just say that I have felt more like my true self, the real Natalie, more these past few months than I have felt in years. I am loving my new lifestyle and even though I was ridiculously nervous for this race, I was beyond excited! 
 First off, I must thank my husband for all of his support, encouragement, and for pushing me even though there were a few times I wasn't too happy with him for doing it :). This man has loved me unconditionally through the years and even though I have been severely overweight after having the boys, he has continually made me feel beautiful for who I am. What I have loved most is how Daniel has gone out of his way to help care for the kids and put his own training aside to make sure we created time for me to get my workouts in. He most definitely wins the husband and father of the year award in my book! He also coached me through the race and helped me prepare for the race like making it through transitions...
 I think what I discovered most through this journey is how much I love cycling! This wasn't anything Daniel pushed me toward, I actually decided to take up the hobby on my own and boy am I glad I did. I have fallen in LOVE and can see why Daniel is always itching to hit the road...
 While I was hurting quite a bit during the race, I couldn't help but smile the whole way through because it seemed like I would make a turn and I would have a cheering section shouting for me!
 It was awesome!!! Both families showed up to cheer me on and they even had posters...which the cheerleader in me loved :)! 
Daniel's cousin Clay who lives in McKinney even came and was super encouraging because he is a coach. I could hear his voice clearly as he coached me through the stages :). My sister and her family even made it for the end of the race as I finished the last leg.
When I decided to do this race, I was hoping to find a friend to race with me. I instantly thought of my girl Joni to see if she was interested in the challenge with me...thankfully she was! I've had so much fun texting and messaging her over the past couple of months as we encouraged each other through out training.

This girl rocked the race and we may have already begun looking for other races to compete in together :)...yes, I think we are now addicted! 
 Words cannot even express how much fun I had during my first race. I already have my eyes set on my next goal...a triathlon in June! Watch out world, this momma is ready to conquer her fitness goals, create a healthier lifestyle for her family, and have a blast sharing in the joy of racing alongside other women!

My Personal Weight Loss Testimony:

Most of my life I have abused my body. Although while growing up, you would never have known because I was naturally athletic and had a slim, muscular build. My body didn’t begin to feel the affects until my mid-twenties when my metabolism started slowing down and my figure began to change. Then came my biggest hurdle, having children. Both of my sons’ births created several health problems that I never had struggled with before. It was like one day I woke up and really looked at myself in the mirror and almost didn’t recognize myself. Where did the active, energetic Natalie go? In her place stood a woman overweight, exhausted, and carrying around definitive signs of childbirth. My body was struggling with hypothyroidism along with high blood pressure all due to severe pre-eclampsia that developed early on in my pregnancies. I was told that I would be on medicine the rest of my life. That answer was not acceptable to me. I am not a fan of the doctors and I’m even less of a fan of medicine, so when I stared at that overweight woman in the mirror I knew it was time for a change…time to stop abusing my body.

I grew up in a home that didn’t focus on nutrition although we considered ourselves healthy because we were so active. But as I got older, slower metabolism set in, and I slowly decreased my activity levels I realized that my habits were far from healthy. Therefore, after many discussions with my husband weighing options (diets, Weight Watchers, Advocare, etc.) we decided my best choice would be a lifestyle change. I had already worked out with P31 several times, so I went forward with a nutritional consult with Amanda Bullen. I must confess that is the best investment I have ever made. Amanda is truly inspirational and fantastic at what she does!!! I was nervous upon meeting her, not because she is super lean or healthy, but due to the fear of the unknown…how hard will this be? Will I have to starve myself? I’m super picky, I hope she doesn’t expect me to eat only spinach! My fears were all put to rest immediately during the nutritional consult, Amanda presented the information in a positive light…in a way that was not overwhelming, but encouraging letting me know that I could do this.

I walked out of the consult feeling excited about reclaiming my body. It took a couple weeks to get into the rhythm of following her advice and I spent a lot of time referring back to my binder full of nutritional suggestions. Oddly, this picky girl began to understand how to correctly fuel my body and have been able to introduce new foods into my nutrition. What I love about this lifestyle change is that I don’t get bored with the same old foods, I don’t get worn out because I’m not counting points or calories, I don’t have to take crazy amounts of pills for supplements…no, I am just purposeful in what I put into my body. In addition to changing my eating habits, I also began working out consistently again. The combination of these two has completely changed my life…I lost 30 pounds in 2 ½ months! I have never felt more confident, happy, strong, or energized thanks to overhauling my lifestyle by reclaiming healthy eating habits and taking the time to get outside to be active. I am thrilled to say that I am no longer on any medicine. I look forward to a healthier marriage with my husband as we have begun cycling together. I look forward to being more active with my three children. I look forward to not just fitting into smaller clothes, but feeling more energized as I take care of my family. More importantly, I look forward to taking care of myself so that I can serve my creator with all that I am. I no longer look in the mirror and see an overweight woman, or a woman whose body bears the scars of childbirth….I now see a woman of God who is taking care of her self so that she may serve her family, her community, and her Father more fully.


  1. Awesome, awesome blog. I am so proud of you & you are a true encouragement to my family as well. I look forward to us & our families eating better & staying active together :)

  2. Hey Natalie! You are just glowing in this post! :-) You have done so much taking care of others over the last few years that I'm glad you are taking the time to take care of YOU! I'm so happy for you and your success in reaching your goals! You'll have to let me know if you do another race in the DFW area so I can be one of your cheerleaders! :-)