Natasha had issues with her weight for as long as she could remember.
From her brother not wanting people in high school to know they were related because of her size, to the constant bullying from her classmates, she was going through a tough time. She turned to emotional eating, and later, emotional running as ways to cope with this part of her life.
A lack of balance and proper care for her body led to some bad news for her; a fractured foot. It put a sudden halt to her running, but paled in comparison to the news her family was about to face.
In 2013, her dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only weeks to live. His sudden passing in December of that year left Natasha in a fragile place. To cope with his loss, she returned to running, but once again lacked consistency or balance in her life.
I was challenged, going back and forth between emotionally eating and emotional running, instead of finding the right balance to take care of myself. One day I would run for hours and then the next day I would eat several chocolate bars in one sitting.
Natasha felt like she was losing control of her life. Food once again became her coping tool of choice. Life was hitting her hard as she tried to deal with another foot injury that wasn't healing properly, the anniversary of her dads passing, and an emotionally abusive relationship that she feared would turn physical.
She knew that something had to change.
She found the courage to get out of the abusive relationship and took her first, real steps towards living a healthier life. With the support of a friend, she stepped into the Steve Nash Park Royal Sports Club and was quickly recommended for a personal training session with Christopher O'Hare in hopes of relieving her near constant foot pain.
She saw pictures of herself at a family birthday party and was shocked to see that she didn't recognize herself in the pictures. She promised herself that she would put every ounce of energy she had into turning her health around in the gym.
Working with Chris wound up being the exact thing Natasha needed to find the balance in her life she so desperately needed.
Chris is patient and kind. He recognizes the times when I need to be pushed, and the times to step back and let me push myself. He encourages me through my bad days when I doubt myself, and cheers me on in the moments I succeed. He adjusted quickly to my detail-oriented mindset, going in-depth to help me understand the full process and how it impacts each other.
Through her training with Chris, she was able to discover a new outlet for exercising; kickboxing. It's shown her that exercising can be something fun and enjoyable to look forward to during the week.
Since she started working with her trainer Chris, Natasha has lost 70 pounds and no longer feels pain in her feet. While she is reaping the physical benefits of this life change, she has seen dramatic changes to her mental health as well.
This year has been the first year I have actually felt like the person I was meant to be. I am more confident and trusting of myself than I have been since I was a young girl. This is also the first winter season since my dad passed away where I feel I will be able to manage any emotions that may come from the season in a healthy manner.