The start of a new year is a great time to jumpstart a new and healthy routine! We caught up with our friend and fitness entrepreneur, Natalie Flowers for some 2019 inspiration. Natalie is a badass woman in so many ways and we hope you find her insights as motivational as we do!
COCO: Tell us about your exciting new fitness program!
Natalie: I first got into fitness in a big way in my early 20s. But it took me years to realize that proper nutrition and exercise will NOT change a person’s life if their MINDSET doesn’t change.
I wanted to create something new -- a program that recognized that for a woman to live a new healthy lifestyle it all began with re-wiring the script in her mind. We walk out the “truths” that we allow to dwell in our minds. And, we all have things we’ve placed in our minds or allowed others to deposit by their opinions. The thoughts that we believe about ourselves will determine the future that we have. For many, this means they will continue to re-tread the same ground and not make any forward progress with their body, with their relationships, with their personal growth.
My program starts by tackling the issues of the mind to create a completely new way of approaching nutrition and fitness. By rewriting the play in your head, you are writing the NEW YOU that you desire.
Once we’ve established the NEW YOU, we have to address the current patterns and triggers that are keeping a person trapped in unhealthy patterns. You would be amazed by how many women struggle with trigger foods that lead to binge eating and emotional eating, which sabotages her desire to feel bold and confident in her own skin.
The mindset transformation is then linked to a new LIFESTYLE of eating and exercise that involves getting women in the weight room. The big picture here is that the top physiques in the world are created through sculpting your body with weights and proper nutrition. I’ve adapted the secrets of the world of bikini competitors to an everyday lifestyle that will work for everyone who follows the program. You can live a healthy, fit, fierce lifestyle every single day.
COCO: What motivates you to stay active and healthy?
Natalie: It’s no longer motivation for me, it’s part of who I am. It’s my lifestyle. I brush my teeth every day, I lift weights, I eat great food. It’s what I do, it’s who I am. And, I LOVE staying active for the quality of life that I get to live and share with my two little boys and my husband. We are an active family, we hike together almost every weekend and it is the best!
I also want to continue to inspire other women especially the mamas out there that the BEST thing you can do is be the BEST version of YOU! Pouring from a FULL glass requires YOU to put YOU first! Taking care of you, with your health as a priority, allows you to pour into everyone else around you.
COCO: What are three fitness myths you can bust for us?
Natalie: LOVE THIS QUESTION!
Myth #1: If I lift weights, I will look like the Incredible Hulk.
Umm...No! The only women who look unnaturally muscular are either on anabolic steroids or have testosterone levels beyond those of a man. Weight lifting will give you ladies the body of your dreams! I’m telling you, LIFT weights!!!
Myth #2: To lose fat I just have to do lots of cardio.
Women have been lied to for so long about cardio and deluded into staying out of the weight room. Here’s the truth. Yes, cardio burns calories. But it only burns calories while you are doing the cardio. Once you stop, the calorie burning stops. BUT, your muscles burn fat ALL day long! By building muscle, you are creating a furnace that will burn the fat off of your body. Weight training and the muscle repair that follows stimulates fat burning for hours after your finish exercising. Lots of cardio will have you looking “skinny fat”. You may be thin, but you’ll lack the curves you want. Who wants to be thin with no butt?! Not me!
Myth #3: You have to eat small quantities of food or a low-calorie diet to be thin.
Actually, no! You need to EAT ALL DAY the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat to keep your metabolism high. If you undereat, you’ll put your body into a state of deprivation and it will begin to hold onto fat as a survival mechanism. The key is to be eating high-quality, nutritious food all day long and only have a slight caloric deficit. Your body will put ALL of that food to work and you’ll melt the fat off in a predictable, steady pattern that is sustainable and will not shock your body into scarcity mode.
For many women, they need to be eating MORE food to lose weight and eating it MORE often. One of the most common things I’ve heard from the women in my programs is the surprise at how MUCH food they need to eat and how full they feel throughout the day. Eating this way also provides sustained energy all day long and reduces moodiness, to boot!
COCO: What are some tips you have for women looking to get into shape or improve their fitness routine?
Natalie: One, you can’t rely on motivation or willpower for lasting results. Motivation will get you started, but without habits and a system, you’ll will not create permanent results. And, willpower is insufficient by itself because it takes effort and when you’re tired, it’s easy to let things slip. When YOU value YOU, when your mindset is fixed on following through because you’ve made a change in your identity, it becomes forever a part of the NEW YOU.
Two, find exercises you enjoy. I HATE cardio machines! So, I don’t use them! I get my cardio training while hiking outdoors. I LOVE weight lifting. If you don’t know how to lift properly, hire a trainer to show you HOW to lift weights. Weight lifting is the single BEST way to transform your body to having lean muscle and a toned physique.
Three, NUTRITION!!! You can’t out-work a poor diet! Eating the right amount of GOOD food, with the right macronutrients was a game changer for me and for all of my clients. You must fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to build and maintain muscle and burn fat. There is a science to this that I discovered this past year and it led me to walk on stage as a bikini competitor and win my first ever show. It works. My husband and I now follow this way of eating and both of our bodies are continuing to transform before our eyes.
Four, NEVER QUIT. Diets fail because they are temporary. New Year’s resolutions last for a month. This is not about punishing yourself to get back into your small clothes or beating yourself up. This is about a new lifestyle of eating and exercise that gives you life, energy, and an outlook on life that is unbeatable. When women love themselves and value themselves on the inside, this is how you can show it on the outside.
FIVE, find a picture of the body you want to achieve. Save it to your phone and visualize EVERYDAY yourself becoming that person. Your vision = your action. Your action = THE NEW YOU.
COCO: What do you look for when it comes to activewear?
Natalie: I LOVE leggings! I wear them every day -- to the gym, while running errands, and because I’m my own boss, I usually wear them all day long. Quick tip: find leggings that hug your curves in the right places and have fun prints that fit your personality. Having leggings you love will also get you excited to put them on and get active!
COCO: You are a big advocate of empowering women, why are you so passionate about this?
Natalie: I’ve worked closely with women for the past 15 years, first as a hairstylist, and then building my own skincare business leading thousands of women entrepreneurs. In the salon, I heard first-hand how many women are in deep pain because of low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. Even women entrepreneurs would second-guess themselves and sell themselves far short of their full potential because of how they felt on the inside.
I want ALL women to know they are beautiful, adored, and created in God’s image to do GREAT things. God doesn’t make trash and he certainly doesn’t make mistakes. Every person has a purpose but we allow LIES into our minds that steal our joy and sense of value. I want to wake women up and clear their eyes to truly SEE just how powerful they are if they would simply BELIEVE they ARE!
COCO: What are your hopes for women who participate in your fitness program?
Natalie: That they truly fall in LOVE with themselves, they would see their worth and value. That their mindset becomes FIXED on daily becoming the fit, beautiful, fierce women that’s inside them! That they would daily walk it out by living a life on purpose for a purpose.
That they know WHO they are and that eating, exercising and making themselves a priority is NOT selfish, but SELFLESS.
They would realize that if they put themselves FIRST then they become an unstoppable force because they know their sense of worth starts with LOVING themselves. You will only extend as much love and grace to those around you as much as you give yourself. It starts with YOU. My prayer for every woman that takes my program is that they not only SEE this, but that they LIVE it out for the rest of their life and empower others to do the same.