About Me

Natalie Pictures_030

At 26 yrs old, I am just now learning to love myself…inside and out! This blog is my journey along the way.  As I let go of a past filled with yo yo dieting, obsessive exercise , eating and self punishing behavior….I’m learning to love  my body, get excited about fitness for the right reasons, and develop a healthy relationship with food..…I hope through my journey others will have the strength and desire to let go of their negative behavior whatever it may be and embrace their beauty.

To read more about my past struggles and the “ah moment” that kick started my changes…READ BELOW


Where to begin?  It all started 10 years ago at the age of 16….lets go back…

Growing up I was always very thin. In 9th grade I hadn’t broke the 100lb mark.  Naturally, over the next two years my body changed tremendously.  I found myself 25lbs heavier.  I was 5′5 and 125.  Thin right?  Wrong! (or at least I thought so). The changes in my body made me feel the exact opposite.   I found myself looking at girls around me and constantly comparing myself. I decided I wanted to lose weight. I remember the first time I asked my mom how to lose weight. She told me I was perfect how I was and it was crazy to think about being any skinner….but with much persistence on my part…I MADE HER give me some suggestions (exercise, lower calorie intake, eat healthy).  In moderation these suggestions would have been great…but taken to the extreme these suggestions became my nightmare.  And so it Began. The vicious cycle.

For the past 9 years I have battled myself and my weight.  I have never been overweight, but have gained and the lost 10-15llbs about one million times. (that is a lot of times!) My behaviors were very extreme.  I would go from being an exercise aholic, to not exercising for months on end. My food consumption was a nightmare. I counted every single calorie, researched every food I ate to know exactly what it had in it. I set strict limits on what I ate, when I ate..and how I ate. At times I would eat less than 700 calories a day and other times I would binge on more calories than you can imagine. Exercise was my punishment. There were many times I would exercise so long I made myself physically ill . I would not be able to walk or would be in so much pain I couldn’t move, leaving me unable to exercise. Not being able to exercise made me want to eat more, eating more led to me feeling fat, feeling fat led me to feeling bad, and feeling bad led me right back to eating more…and round and round it went.  I’ll start “being good” on Monday, or after the vacation I’d constantly say to myself….Sometimes Monday would come and I would start ‘being good”…..and other times I wouldn’t. This cycle not only put strain on me emotionally…but can you imagine what my body had to be thinking? No food, lots of food, no exercise, extreme exercise…WHICH ONE IS IT?

I found myself hating. Hating everything. Hating myself for participating in such negative behavior. Hating my body for not looking the way I wanted it to. Hating other people who I assumed didn’t have this same struggle.  My head was  constantly full of negative thoughts. I can’t count the number of times a day I would think about, food, my weight, exercise..and so on. I constantly put myself down when I did not achieve perfection (which to my standards was impossible). I kept telling myself that everything would  be better if  I was ”skinny”.  If I could just get to my goal, then I’d start to live a healthy lifestyle. I’d promise myself that If I could reach that certain number on the scale…then I’d stop eating so little, or exercising so hard…I’d be in control, I’d be moderate…I’d eat healthy, I’d care more about my body and how I treated it….but only after I get there.

Over the course of 10 years there have been times where I was only a little obsessed about my weight and food (obsessed is the key word here) and other times where I obsessively obsessed over everything.  The level and degree of my problem faded in and out, and after years of the same behavior over and over, I began to believe that it wasn’t possible to change.  I believed that I’d always have this problem. It’s was not possible to overcome it.  I felt alone. No one  understood.  I tried to talk to my husband about it a zillion times, but I was never honest enough, never dared to tell him my true thoughts and feelings. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. And even if I had been honest I was too closed minded to listen.  I honestly believed I couldn’t change.

Dave and Natalie

11 months ago my husband  (little honey) and I moved from Portland, OR to Utah.  The move took us by surprise and with little notice we asked my parents if we could stay with them while we searched for a home.  Moving home was great. Being around Mom and Dad again was  fun. My mom is not going to be happy with the next part of this story (sorry), BUT if it were not for her and what I have experienced since moving home… I would not be where I am today.  Living at home forces you to spend a lot of time with your parents.  This time made me realize that I am “my mother’s daughter”….I began to see myself in her.  She was doing what I did…and I was doing what she did.  She too was participating in the vicious cycle I described above.  Diet, exercise, lose weight, eat unhealthy, gain weight, feel bad, eat more, gain more weight, diet, exercise, lose weight…round and round. Physically seeing someone else that was not me do the things I had done made me feel very upset inside. After witnessing this behavior for a few months I had my own “ah ha moment”. I talked with little honey, and in tears expressed what I had been observing and how fearful I was that if I did not change, 30 years down the road I would be caught up in this same vicious cycle. I cried…really hard.  He tried to console me just as he had many times before…but this time as he spoke, I did something different, I listened. Somehow I was able to see things differently.  I felt like I had been hurled over the edge, and the fear of falling and crashing at the bottom drove me to act and think differently. I felt determined and began asking a million questions…..What can I do? How can I change? What will it take? Is it possible?  Being the smarty pants that he is, he told me something he had told a million times before. ”YOU CAN CHANGE”….. “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING” …. “IT’S UP TO YOU”…….”YOU CAN DECIDE…AND IF YOU DO…YOU WILL CHANGE”.  I had heard this a million times…but that was the first time I started to believed it.  I started to understand.

It was up to me…. I can change…. I can do anything…. It’s my decision.  And the decision was made.  I wanted to change. I’m going to change. That was my first step ..deciding to do so.  That was the first day of a life that I am thrilled to be living.  A life I create and a life I control.

My road to change

definition: change

/tʃeɪndʒ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [cheynj] Show IPA verb, changed, changing, noun –verb (used with object)  to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history.

My change began with setting a few achievable goals.

  • Daily Practice of “Positive thinking” and the squashing of negative thoughts
    (I can do anything. Change is up to me. I am beautiful. I am strong…etc)
  • Eat nutritional well balanced meals
    (work on overcoming unhealthy eating habits and focus on nutrition and health rather than weight loss)
  • Participate in a moderate exercise program
    (commit to working out for my mind and body to reap the benefits…not just my waist line)
  • Continue to set achievable goals
    (work daily to overcome obstacles and focus on a lifetime of good health)

After 7 months of working on my goals on a daily basis, I feel stronger, healthier and more beautiful than ever before. I also have confidence in myself. I have confidence in my ability to change . I have come SO far. I am proud of myself! I know I can and will achieve my goals. I know I can and will become stronger. I know I can and will lead a long, healthy life. I know that the person I was is not who I am, and that I am now in charge of how I will live my life and who I will be. I have chosen to live a positive healthy life. This blog is my journey in doing just that. Living a healthy life both mind and body. I will document my thoughts, actions, pit falls,  ideas, discoveries, goals and everything else along the way. I am not striving for perfection. I have not fully overcome my own struggles. But I am working towards leaving everything negative behind.  I hope that my journey may inspire others to do the same…. leave the negativity in the past and begin to make healthy changes. It’s time to take control.

Now that I’ve spilled my beans….START READING HERE!! (make sure to read the first post first…scroll to the bottom to find it or use the drop down box to the right) Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Kenzie Robinson
    September 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Nat- you are the cutest thing ever. I can’t believe you would think those things about yourself. This blog sounds fun and I will definitely keep up with it. Keep up the positive thoughts. And know that I love ya!

  2. Menden (Skinny Menny)
    September 9, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Your honesty is so refreshing! I was really drawn into reading your story, and I’m excited that you’ve got such a positive attitude and healthy perspective…way to go, girl! 😀 I’m definitely looking forward to reading more…thanks for visiting my blog!

  3. eatlivelovedream
    September 10, 2009 at 8:28 am

    LOVE your honesty girl!!! So excited to see what the future holds for you:) Keep up the amazing attitude! I look forward to reading more.

  4. hopeinpeanutbutterandoats
    September 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    loved reading this! welcome to the blog world, this community is the most supportive ( 99% of tthe time) you will come across!
    you and the hubs are just adooorable!

    • nataliekshaw
      September 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by!

  5. September 15, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Hi Natalie! Just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog! It’s funny, I started struggling when I was about 16, too. Here is to our healthy twenties! 🙂

  6. September 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Congratulations on kicking the cycle and feeling great about yourself! Looking forward to “getting to know you” in the blogosphere!

  7. jessicafick
    September 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Natalie- thanks for stopping by my blog! It really has helped my hubby to also join me in “strive for five” when I’m doing the cooking or have suggested simple ways to incorporate veggies into what he’s making. He made an awesome pasta sauce the other night with eggplant and summer squash- yum! Here’s to healthy living- inside and out!

  8. September 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Looking forward to reading more on your blog! Thanks for visiting mine!

  9. September 17, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Just found your blog. It’s really interesting and I like what you have to say. Look forward to reading more!

    • September 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks! Its fun to meet new people! I’ll be sure to check out your blog too!

  10. September 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

    natalie- your about me section is amazing- i love your honesty! you have come such a long way and should be veryyy proud of yourself! and HELLO, you are GORG! can’t wait to read more of your blog!

    • September 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm

      thanks for the sweet comment!

  11. September 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Natalie! Thanks for stopping by my blog

    First, you are beautiful.

    Second, thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. Moms everywhere need to read your story and recognize the impact their words and actions have on their daughters (good loving mothers too).

    It sounds like you’ve come a long way already. I look forward to reading more of your journey. Good luck!

  12. September 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog:D Can’t wait to read your blogging journey and see all the CHANGE to come!!! Good luck girlie!

  13. September 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Wow Natalie, what a journey you’ve been on. No No 2 Yo Yo – now I get the name of your blog! It’s perfect, I love it!

    Blogging has helped me on my own journey to health and wellness, it’s a great outlet with a fabulous community too. Glad you’re here.

  14. September 24, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Good for you Natalie! You are definately NOT alone! So many of us are plagued with the same yo you negative issue! I am so glad you found the courage to be honest and reveal your feelings with your husband…and yourself!

    you ARE awesome and WILL achieve your goals!

    I am gonna go start reading your first post now!

    • September 24, 2009 at 9:04 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment and thanks for visiting my blog!

  15. September 24, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Natalie, thank you for visiting my blog and for your amazingly sweet comment! I really love your blog and this section! It really is all about believing in yourself and that you can achieve your goals if you do so. It’s something I definitely struggle with – the person I “was” versus the person I “am”. So beautifuly and honestly written here!

    I look forward to reading 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  16. September 24, 2009 at 11:15 am

    What a great story! thanks for stopping by my blog. Keep up the great work

  17. September 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog! What an honest story. I’ll add you to my blogroll 🙂

    • September 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you! And thanks for adding me to your blog roll! I need to update may page and add a blog roll. I plan on doing it soon! 🙂

  18. September 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with the blog world! I can definitely relate to MUCH of what you talked about. I have a long history of issues with food and my body as well. It helps to know I’m not alone. Remember, how you feel on the inside is much more important than how you look on the outside! BUT, I’ve come to find out that when you do feel truly happy on the inside, things on the outside naturally look gorgeous!!!!! 🙂

    • September 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm

      That is so true. so true!!

  1. September 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

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