Episode 7 – Natalie Hodson
Drew: Hey there everyone and welcome to the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. I am your host, Drew Manning.
Lynn: And I am your co-host, Lynn Manning.
Drew: Thank you guys so much for joining us today. We are coming at you today from Park City, Utah. We are actually not in Hawaii, bummer.
Lynn: I know. But, it’s beautiful here too.
Drew: It is beautiful out here too. For today’s episode, we have on an awesome guest, Natalie Hodson. She is a mother of two, a fitness blogger, very successful fitness blogger and mommy blogger. She has an incredible story. In today’s episode, we get into a lot of interesting topics, such as stretched skin and her top 3 grocery shopping hacks.
Lynn: She talks a lot about balancing. You know, being a mom, having self care, taking care of your kids and finding healthy habits for your whole family. She has a lot of great family tips.
Drew: We are going to talk about her viral “Own It” Campaign, which helped her get over to almost half a million followers on social media. She definitely knows what she’s talking about.
Lynn: She is inspiring.
Drew: Now, let’s get into the episode and go hang out with Natalie.
Drew: Hey Natalie, thank you so much for joining us today on the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. We’re honored to have you.
Natalie: Thank you so much. I am excited to be here.
Lynn: We love you Natalie.
Drew: That’s Lynn, of course. Yeah, we all love you.
Lynn: Actually, what you guys don’t know is she is basically my twin.
Natalie: *laughing* We do look alike.
Lynn: And by alike, I mean sometimes we’ve played pranks on people and pretend we are the other person. It really screws with people’s minds.
Natalie: Especially if we have the same braid in our hair or our makeup is done the same way, it’s actually kind of confusing and hard to tell us a part.
Lynn: We will probably dominate this conversation, because I love Natalie so much and she is one of the most inspiring women in the fitness industry and mom that you will ever meet. But Drew, we will let you ask a question here or there.
Drew: Are you guys done yet? *laughing*
Lynn and Natalie: *laughing*
Drew: Talking about each others hair and makeup? Ok, so the first question I want to ask you Natalie, when people ask you what do you do, how do you answer that? If you are at a party and people are like, ‘So, Natalie, what do you do?’
Natalie: Yeah, its a funny question. I graduated from college as a history major. I never, ever, ever thought I would be involved in the health and fitness industry. How I got started in the industry was really just by chance. I had just had my son and I had gained a whole bunch of weight during my pregnancy. I really was just trying to get back into shape.
Drew: How much weight?
Natalie: So, I gained and lost 70 pounds with both of my pregnancies.
Drew: Ok, so close to what I gained with my food baby. *laughing*
Lynn: Yep. *laughing*
Natalie: Yep. *laughing* And I mean, I came back after having him and I was about 15 pounds …. my babies were both about 10 pound babies. So, I was 15 or 20 pounds lighter between the baby and everything else you lose. I still had 50 pounds of weight on my body and I don’t lose …. I mean, the weight just doesn’t come off me. I had been a cross country and track runner in college, so I knew running, but I was having a really hard time. I didn’t know very much about nutrition at all or about weight lifting or high intensity interval training. Nothing really, other than running. I found this little program on bodybuilding.com and it was a free 12 week trainer. I remember being really scared because I had to lift weights. I couldn’t run because I had to focus on building muscle.
Drew: Were you afraid that you were going to get bulky?
Natalie: Yeah. I was afraid …. it was just so different than anything I had ever done. I was afraid I was going to get bulky. I was afraid, really my biggest fear was going to the gym and looking like an idiot. And not knowing what I was supposed to do in the gym and being judged by all the fit people in the gym. It was this really cool program and it was free. It walked you through training and nutrition.
Drew: Whose program was it?
Natalie: It was on bodybuilding.com, it was Jamie Eason’s 12 week trainer. Jamie is, if you guys don’t follow her yet, she is one of the kindest, most down to earth, most genuine people in the industry. I consider her a good friend of mine. Without her program, my whole fitness journey maybe never would have happened.
Lynn: Yeah, I follow her on social media too.
Natalie: So, I did the program and I had really good results. Bodybuilding.com featured my ‘before and afters’ and I got all this attention from it.
Drew: Did you lose all 50 pounds?
Natalie: Not in the 12 weeks. But, I did definitely …. I mean I had lost quite a bit of weight from running. But I learned so much about nutrition during that program. I went from being kind of soft and flabby to having actual tone and definition. It was really cool to see my body transform like that. Basically, there is a long version and a short version …. *laughing* I will give you the short version.
Lynn and Drew: *laughing*
Natalie: I got a lot of attention from those before and afters, so I decided to start a blog. My passion is, because you know, the workouts are fun, but my passion is cooking. I really enjoy cooking and making up recipes and finding ways to make eating healthy actually taste good. And finding ways that my whole family will eat that way. So I started a blog that was only sharing recipes. I remember at first, I didn’t think anybody would even look at it and really nobody did at the beginning. But I started getting some following. I was using Pinterest a lot at the beginning to get a lot of traffic for my sight. Now my website has just grown so much. I think it’s about a million paid views a month. It has turned into my full time job. For now, I offer training programs on my site and I have this whole fitness business that all stemmed from this crazy trial of a 12 week thing. I thought, well, I’ll do it and if it doesn’t work, then I’ll just go back to running.
Lynn: Yes. I mean, Natalie makes it sound like a little bit less. But once you know Natalie, and you’ve tried her amazing food and you’ve tried her killer program. Just as you get to know her, you realize, a part of it was awesome circumstance that her before and after got out. But she is an incredibly hard working, talented, amazing fitness momma. That’s why she is so popular and everyone wants to follow her.
Natalie: Well, thank you.
Drew: So, going back to my question …. *laughing*
Natalie: Oh yeah, I didn’t answer your question. Sorry. You guys listening, I warned Drew before we started, I said, ‘I tend to talk a lot, so if I don’t answer your question, redirect me.’ No, I just would say, I am involved in the fitness industry and I do online personal training. That’s pretty much my short answer, because otherwise, that’s pretty much all people want to know. And then if they have more questions, I will give them that.
Lynn: That’s a really good answer. Because when people ask me, I just say, ‘I post the food I eat online.’ And then people look at me really strange. And then I’m like, ‘No, really, I do.’
Drew: That’s all I do too, I guess. *laughing*
Lynn and Natalie: *laughing*
Drew: Your story is a lot more in depth. There is a lot more to it than just that. I think I would love for people to hear part of it. Before you got into the fitness industry, you were actually a really successful entrepreneur. Tell us a little bit about your Scentsy thing, because you were really successful at that and why you made the change from being a very successful entrepreneur and making a lot of income, to doing the fitness industry.
Natalie: Yeah. A little bit about my background. My husband and I met in undergrad school. When we graduated, he got accepted to Grad school at Carnegie Mellon University. We just believed in education so much that at that time we felt like, well we really want to get our education, so we are going to go into debt for that to happen. So, long story short, we ended up having about $200,000 in student loan debt, between a little bit of undergrad, but mostly Grad school. I mean it was like $65,000 a year for him to attend Grad school there. At that the time we were just thinking, ‘Oh, he will get a good job afterwards. It will be fine.’ But when you have $200,000 in student loan debt, your paying almost $1000 on just interest. We were at the time in our life when I had just had a little baby and my husband did have a good job working for ExxonMobil. But we lived in Washington D.C., which was one of the most expensive places in the country to live. We were just literally drowning in our debt. I remember one day my husband came home and he said, ‘Look, I know you want to stay at home with our son, but we can’t afford this. You need to go back to work.’ I knew I could go back to work and make good money. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel I was qualified, because I had worked in sales before. I had always done well at whatever job I had. I didn’t want to put my son in daycare and where we lived, daycare was so expensive. My aunt worked in this direct sales company called Scentsy, which is wickless candles basically. Which is a warmer that has a little lightbulb inside of it and it melts this wax. I saw her being successful with this company and I thought, well maybe I could try that. So, I talked to Sheridan, my husband, and I said, ‘Look. I really want to stay home with our son. I want to try this thing. Let’s give it six months and if it doesn’t work, I will go back to work full time.’ It was so funny, because he said, ‘Ok, we can agree to these, but every three months you are going to present to me like you would present to a board of directors. We are going to do a full powerpoint presentation and …. ‘
Lynn and Drew: *laughing*
Natalie: And you guys know Sheridan ….
Lynn: Ok, we know her husband, so this is why it is so funny. He is amazing. He is amazing and he is so intelligent. He is so business minded and so I can literally just imagine him, which is funny, because I can imagine him doing this. I can imagine Natalie walking in and saying, ‘Excuse me, this is a board meeting.’
Natalie: That is exactly what would happen! So, we had this tiny two bedroom apartment in Washington D.C.. We would get our son to bed and then I would come out into our tiny little flat living room and I would have this power point presentation. I would go through my projections and my financials and all this. It was really cool because it really did help me set goals. I was really hard working but I was also lucky that with Scentsy, I got in at a good time. I was able to build a huge down line of over 5000 people and get promoted in that company very, very quickly. So, I moved to the top leadership position in that company within about 2 1/2 years, I think. It was good income. It was a great income. I loved the company. The owners of the company are amazing people. It just wasn’t something I was super passionate about. I was passionate about helping other women I worked with in the business, I loved helping them. But making your house smell good, wax and warmers, it wasn’t ….
Lynn: I was going to say, you weren’t passionate about candles.
Natalie: Yeah. And like, I’m not into like decorating and décor. Like, if you came to my house right now you would be like, ‘Whoa, is this a dude’s bachelor pad?’ I’m not good at decorating. So, then I fell into the fitness industry and I realized I had a passion for it. I realized my husbands business mind, he said, ‘If you want, we have vision here. We can turn this into a full time business. But you need to decide.’ I knew I couldn’t do both. I just didn’t have the time. I was still a stay at home mom. My son wasn’t in kindergarten or anything, so he was home with me all day. That’s when I decided to step away from my Scentsy business. I kind of transitioned with another leader in my down line and used the income I was getting from that, to help launch my fitness business. Until my fitness business was doing better than I had been with my Scentsy business, which was doing quite well, as well.
Drew: That’s an awesome story. I think it’s really powerful to see that you should follow your dreams, something you’re passionate about. Even though you are making money, doing network marketing, which is a great way to make income. But in your situation, it’s like, ‘I’m not passionate about that.’
Natalie: It was good income too. I mean, I was making very, very good money. So for me, it wasn’t so much about the money, it was that I wanted something that was mine. Something that I could create myself and that I was really passionate about. At the core of both of them, it’s helping people. That’s what I loved about both of them. It just, I always says this to people all the time, you can get a meal plan or a work out program from anybody. But what I really find a lot of pride and passion in, is really working and helping people see their full potential and work past the mental barriers we all struggle with when it comes to health and fitness.
Lynn: Yeah and as a mother myself, I really loved when I found you and started following you and we became friends, because it’s really hard sometimes in this industry to have had children. Women that live a balanced lifestyle and they promote just loving your body and a healthy balance. As a mom, it’s hard to balance everything. I look at you, you have two kids. They were both 10 pound babies and you gained and lost 70 pounds with each kid. Man, that just blows me away. Even though I have had two kids, just seeing that and your care and perspective, wow. What do you tell people as far as like motivation? A lot of women coming out of that, having 50 pounds to lose, and you did that twice, what do you say on how to get the motivation after kids to focus on you and get healthy?
Natalie: Yeah. That’s a good question. I think it was different with each baby. So, after my first baby, I honestly did not know that I was going to come home from having a child looking six months pregnant still. Nobody warned me about that. So, I remember coming home and looking in the mirror and hating myself. I was thinking, I’m not supposed to look pregnant still, what’s going on? I remember looking into belly binders and all these things. I was really hard on myself after my first pregnancy and it wasn’t healthy. It came from almost a place of hatred towards my body. I was snappy and I was cranky and I wasn’t in a good place. What happened is I started focusing more on exercise as a form of self care instead of coming from a place of ‘Oh, I just need to look better and lose the weight.’ Because I found that for example, my husband worked crazy hours at ExxonMobil, like 80-90 hours a week. So, there would be some days that by 6, the baby would be screaming and I was by myself and we had no family out there. I was like at mommy burnout mode. I remember a couple of times, just putting my son in the stroller and just walking around our apartment complex because that was the only way I could calm him down. I started to recognize that when I got outside and got a little bit of exercise and connect with nature in that way, I was happier. I would come home and like, yes my son would also stop crying and that made me happier. But I realized that spending a little bit of time on myself and in my case, it was exercise, it made me feel better about myself. When I was eating whole nutritious foods, I felt happier and I felt better because I was fueling my body with the proper nutrients. I didn’t even know anything about nutrition then, but I knew when I was eating whole foods, I felt better. With my son, it was more like I started to recognize those signs. If I just …. and it’s hard as moms because we kind of feel guilty about taking a little bit of time for ourselves. But I learned, if I just spent like 10, 20 or 30 minutes on myself a day, I was happier to be around and I was a better mom because I wasn’t so snappy and I didn’t feel so burnt out all the time. I learned that after I had my son. Then after I had my daughter, I thought, ‘Oh, I am going to have this wonderful pregnancy. I am not going to gain all this weight.’ I did just like the first pregnancy. I just gain weight with my pregnancies. I was still active and I didn’t eat a bunch of junk food. My body just gains a lot of weight when I am pregnant.
Lynn: I kind of love that though. It is frustrating as a woman when you get pregnant and you hear so many people say how you should and how you shouldn’t gain and what you should or shouldn’t be doing and if you are or aren’t being healthy. And it’s hard, we need to back each other up as moms. So I love that even though you did everything right, yeah, your body still gained this amount of weight.
Drew: Which is good, because how much weight did you gain, Lynn, in your pregnancies?
Lynn: We’re not talking about that. *laughing*
Natalie: You know, it’s ok too for her to know that you don’t have to gain a lot of weight to have this amazing story. I mean you had definitely like, high risk issues, like lots of other things I’ve never had to deal with.
Drew: She gained 18 pounds, by the way.
Lynn: I also was on bed rest for like 3 months, so let’s not talk about my horrible pregnancy.
Drew: I know. But, women need to be together instead of saying, ‘I gained 70 pounds, you gained 18 pounds. I hate you. You don’t understand how hard it is.’
Natalie: We all have our own ….. we are all here for each other.
Drew: I am here to help you women over here unite. *laughing*
Natalie: Yeah, and we appreciate that. We love you Drew.
Lynn: Sorry, we detracted badly.
Natalie: Ok, so after my daughter, I still gained all that weight. It was such a different process for me. One, because I understood nutrition so much more, so I knew …. I had the tools I needed to lose the weight. But two, I was in such a different place mentally. I remember, I literally remember saying to myself over and over and over, it’s not a race. It’s not a race. It’s not a race. I think because of that, it took the pressure off of me to do anything crazy and extreme. Because I knew from my own experience that it would just lead me to not stick to it and fail and feel like a failure. So, I followed my midwives recommendations. I didn’t do any exercise for six weeks. I remember trying to do one push up at the six week mark and I couldn’t even do one push up. I remember falling flat on my face. I didn’t have money for weights, so I remember using things around the house. Like I used a banana instead of a medicine ball. A banana …. oh my gosh ….
Lynn: Ok, what is funny and I feel like it is more pertinent than you think because we have used a banana in our workouts before.
Natalie: We have.
Lynn: Natalie actually smashed it.
Natalie: I was trying to jump over it and I couldn’t. I’m clumsy, I fell.
Lynn: In your defense Natalie, we have used banana’s.
Natalie: I actually meant to say a pineapple, because they weigh like five pounds and I used that. Anyways, I just learned these little tricks. I think the difference is that I was a lot kinder to myself in the process. A second thing, which we can talk about in a minute, I got frustrated after I had my daughter. Because I had lots of things that I felt like nobody talked about. I had all this stretched skin and I had all these stretch marks. I felt like …. I know other moms are dealing with this, but nobody talks about it. On my blog, I started opening up and sharing and talking about a lot of those things. I think that helped me, because as I started to talk about my story, it made me feel less ashamed of those things. It made me feel comfortable in my journey and in the process and in the weight loss, I guess as well.
Lynn: I love that. So much stuff that I love about that. But I really love it because I feel like I gave women that same advice. Sometimes our advice, or Natalie’s advice, doesn’t sound very sexy. It doesn’t sound very cool, sexy or pretty. Like, ‘You know what, it’s just going to take time and you need to love yourself. You just need to tell yourself everyday, you are doing the best you can.’ It can take months or even a year or even two years, to get back to the same body weight we were before pregnancy. I know a lot of times we see so many things that are gimmicky and salesy or 30 days overnight transformation. Or take these pills for 3 months and you’ll never be more fit. But the truth is, it’s taking the time for yourself. It is those consistent healthy habits and it’s being kind to yourself. That’s going to get you where you need to be, not only physically, but more importantly emotionally and mentally. I love that you do that. I love your “Own It” campaign. You touched on it at the end of your answer, talking about how …. for those of you who don’t know, look up the hashtag Own It, and Natalie talked about those hard issues. She showed this amazing video. If you haven’t seen Natalie’s pictures, you need to. This girl has abs.
Natalie: Oh gosh.
Lynn: We are talking about abs that you could wash your clothes on.
Drew and Natalie: *laughing*
Lynn: I have ab envy of Natalie. She is showing her abs, but then she is showing like she has loose skin from her pregnancies and it’s not going away. Talking about your ‘Own It’ campaign, do you ever have big insecurities about your loose skin, or other things due to pregnancy? And how did you overcome that and how do you teach women to embrace their bodies?
Drew: So, before you answer that, I just want to tell people this ‘Own It’ campaign, this thing Natalie did, went completely viral online. It went viral. Even Heidi Powell featured it on her blog, but she talked about the numbers too of just how viral it went. Do you remember?
Natalie: Yeah, it got seen by over like 50 million people on Facebook, gosh I don’t remember all of the numbers off the top of my head. It just blew everything away. It took my Facebook following from, I think I had a 100,000 followers at the time, and it bumped it to 200,000 in a month I think or something. It really grew a lot at that time. So, you asked me a couple of questions there, and I will try to answer each one. When I first made that video, it was very candid and it was very in the moment. What had happened was I had went to an expo and I was there for a company called MRM that I worked for. There were people in line who had come to meet me that followed my blog on my website. One of the girls came up to me and said, ‘I know that you had big babies, don’t you have stretched skin too? What do you do about the stretch marks?’ I just looked at her and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I have them too.’ But I realized that in all the pictures I was posting, I was standing up tall. Let me clarify, I don’t photoshop my photos, but when I stand up tall, you can’t really notice the stretched skin as much. I never posted a picture of when I am bending over or when I am sitting down or what I see and my perception. And so, I came home and I thought about that a lot. I couldn’t get her comments out of my head. So, I just pulled out my camera and I made this very candid video and I said, ‘Look, I just want you guys to know that I have stretched skin to. When I stand up you can’t see it but when I bend over, you can see it.’ I just talked a lot about how we …. my thing is stretched skin, but we all have things in our life that we might want to change but we can’t. Maybe you have a big nose or maybe you have short legs, whatever. These are insecurities and when you stop focusing on the areas you are insecure about and that you really can’t change. I mean I can’t change my stretched skin, unless I want to have surgery. You can’t change a big nose, unless you want to have surgery. In the ‘Own It’ campaign, what I encourage people to do is to focus on the things that they do have the ability to change. So, I would focus on, I do have the ability to lift weights and get nice toned arms or to eat healthy, nutritious food. Or to set realistic small goals every single day. So, that’s kind of how the ‘Own It’ campaign started and then it really …. I saw with my own eyes that when I would …. and I was scared! Like, let me tell you, when I first posted that, I remember my hands were shaking. And I sat in front of the computer for a good 30 minutes before I had the courage to hit post. Because I knew a lot of people were going to see it. But once I finally hit it, it was crazy. It was instantly, all the comments started coming in. Like, ‘Oh my gosh, I struggle with that too. Thank you so much. Thank you.’ I realized that when I felt scared, it was because I felt vulnerable. That is where we connect with each other, is when we are open and willing to be vulnerable. Vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength. I saw that. I actually saw that and I felt it and I understood it so much more as opposed to reading that in a book. Then the ‘Own It’ campaign grew and I started opening up about other things in my life that I was very scared to talk about before. I mean never, ever, ever had I publicly talked about some of these things. When I was growing up, my mom was in and out of prison. That really affected me growing up. I was very ashamed and embarrassed by it. I never talked to anybody. Pictures, like when she wasn’t at my wedding, I would just say, ‘Oh, she just couldn’t make that picture.’ So, once I opened up about that, two fold, two things happened. One, people started relating to me a lot more, just like with the stretched skin stuff. But, two, once I owned my story, I wasn’t ashamed by it anymore. I didn’t associate that shame and that guilt and that fear with that instance in my life. Instead, I just owned it and accepted it and was able to move past it. From there, I told people this was such a powerful experience for me, I want you guys to have this and I want to feature your own ‘Own It’ stories. It doesn’t have to be about body image, it can be about anything in your life. It can be about an experience you’ve overcome. It was amazing. The stories we got and are still getting. Like, women who …. there was one woman who had been hit by a car and had scars all over her body from all the surgeries she had gone through and had gotten past the body image issues from all of her scars. We had women who had been abused or other women who had been neglected. It was so powerful to read other peoples stories and to know, ‘Wow, I am not alone. I felt that exact same way and I am not alone. We all deal with issues.’ Then that’s when Heidi Powell and I connected and I helped her with her ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ campaign and I again talked about the stretched skin and other areas that I am kind of insecure about. I talked about how you can build your own self confidence by focusing on goal setting. For me, setting small, realistic goals every single day was a game changer for me, because it allowed me to build my own self confidence by proving to myself that I can say I am going to do something, then actually do it. For me, that happened by setting tiny, like micro-goals, like tiny, like park in the back of the parking lot when you go to the grocery store. Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Eventually those goals would get bigger, but for me that was how I kind of got past that negative self talk was by setting tiny micro goals.
Lynn: Man, I love that whole movement. I love the whole campaign. Like you said, every woman can relate with it. I mean, whether it’s stuff, I mean there has always been stuff from when I was a child that I wish I could change. Or after I had kids and I had stretch marks and people don’t normally talk about it. It’s insecurities that we think we wish we had that woman’s body. I love that campaign and when I saw that, it was just a reminder to me, to not focus on all the things that we are insecure about. Let’s focus on our strengths and our abilities and how we all are beautiful. I also love that you did it as a campaign and as a group with all these women. I feel like it’s so powerful and as women, we come together and unite in this sisterhood and really lift one another, support one another and encourage one another. Point out each others strengths, it’s just so powerful.
Natalie: I agree. I will say there were a few hateful and mean comments. Like people said, ‘Oh, you have mommy issues.’ Or, ‘Oh, who are you to complain? You don’t look that bad.’ A lot of people are going to nit pick. When those first started coming in, it would bother me. Now I have gotten to the point where I just kind of accepted that usually when people comment and say mean comments, it’s more of a reflection of something they are struggling with inside. It’s so much less about what they actually wrote about me. Those comments, I pretty much just brush off my shoulders. Really, they are pretty few and far between.
Drew: Well, we can totally relate to those. *laughing*
Lynn: Yeah, yeah. *laughing*
Drew: My whole Fit2Fat2Fit journey, most of it was positive, but a few naysayers and haters out there. But I think a lot of the things you said, although you are a woman and it’s very common among women, it can apply to men. Because men are insecure too. People don’t realize ….
Natalie: I totally get it. *laughing*
Drew: We don’t like to admit it, but we are insecure. That’s the thing, I know so many men that think they are going to be happy when they get the six pack or they get the physique model body, but that’s not where happiness comes from. It doesn’t. Unfortunately for men, they look at these magazines and these other models and they are like, ‘Oh man, I wish I had that.’ But they don’t talk about it as much as women do.
Natalie: Or even if it’s not body image stuff. Like for me, the number one shame trigger for men is feeling that they are inadequate or that they are not providing enough. So, it could be work, or feeling like you are not doing good enough at work. Or that your wife doesn’t feel like your providing for the family. That’s the thing, right? We all have our own issues. Maybe it’s in this area or that, but the feeling of inadequacy, it’s all the same. So when you can own that and share and connect with other people, then you can be stronger collectively as a group.
Drew: I think what I am trying to say is that it’s harder for men to be vulnerable because we are men. Our society puts it up like, ‘Well, if your vulnerable, your more like a woman.’ But, in my own experience, being vulnerable is a strength. Where as when I was growing up, it was looked at as a weakness. You don’t talk about your weaknesses, you keep it in.
Lynn: Which to me is always so silly because ladies listening to this are like, ‘We always think vulnerability is sexy.’ I mean every woman I know is like, ‘I want a guy really sweet and vulnerable.’ And then men are over here being like, ‘It’s such wussiness to be vulnerable.’ And I’m like, ‘You know what, listen to the women. We are always right. We told you it was good.’
Drew: I thought women liked the six pack and big muscles. No? Man, I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.
Lynn: Doing the dishes, telling us we look nice, buying us chocolates.
Drew: With our shirts off. *laughing* Ok, getting back to a few things, because recently you’ve been featured on Dave Ramsey’s ….
Natalie: Yeah, his daughter, Rachel Cruze, they co-wrote a book together called, “Smart Money, Smart Kids” and they heard about our story about how we had been in $200,000 in debt and gotten out of debt using his program. By the way, if you have not heard of Dave Ramsey, you need to go check him out right now because his program is wonderful for getting …. I think they are the number three podcast in the country. He is just a funny guy that says funny stuff all the time, but he has an amazing plan for getting people out of debt. We followed his program and they had heard about that, so they reached out to me. They said, ‘Hey, you and Rachel have similar audiences and we really like the way …. what you’re about. We would like to fly you out to Nashville and have you film some video blogs with Rachel.’ That was about two months ago when we did that and it was so much fun. We got to do a lot of fun things. But I was able to share with Rachel some tips for eating healthy, while staying on a budget. And she gives a lot of tips like shop on the outside of the grocery store and those kind of things, but they wanted like real actual tangible tips.
Lynn: I love it.
Drew: Yeah, we need more grocery shopping hacks because not all women go grocery shopping. I do the grocery shopping, so I’ve got my pen and paper here. What are your tips?
Natalie: Ok, good. So one tip that I love is that, I will fully admit I am a spice addict, ok? Like, it’s bad. If you go to my kitchen and you open drawers and you’re like, there are more spices in here. When I was trying to lose weight, I learned that to add a lot of flavor to food, use spices. Before, I used to always add mayonnaise and ranch dressing and heavy condiments. I learned that to get similar flavors without all the calories, you can putter around in the kitchen and experiment with spices. So, I have all these spices. In that process, I learned that if you go to the Hispanic aisle or an ethnic food aisle, you can find literally the same exact spices you would buy in the baking section, like the McCormick brand. You will find international spices, they are the exact same spices for a fraction of the price.
Lynn: Really? No way!
Natalie: Yes. The language will probably not be in English, but I promise you it tastes the same. You would normally never think, I’m not going to go look by the Thai food for basil. But if you go buy the basil, a normal size container is probably 3 or 4 bucks. And I’m just throwing basil out there, I mean any spice. But you go in the ethnic food aisle and your probably going to pay 75 cents.
Drew: That’s crazy.
Lynn: I’m going to the store tomorrow just to check this out.
Natalie: Ok. *laughing* Lynn is going to go grocery shopping??! *laughing*
Lynn: I mean, I’m not allowed to go grocery shopping because …. I buy cereal and Oreos.
Drew: Yeah, she comes back with all the cereal and sodas and that’s why I do all the grocery shopping.
Natalie: That is so cool that you, Drew, do the grocery shopping and he cooks.
Drew: Yeah, I do the grocery shopping and the cooking. She does the finances.
Lynn: And the cleaning and anything else that is actually hard.
Natalie: Awww …. *laughing* No, you guys have a good balance though. So, another hack is brown rice is super cheap. You can buy a pound of brown rice for a dollar at almost any grocery store. Usually I get it at Walmart. But rice, I am telling you, the rice aisle is confusing. You can walk down the rice aisle and there is instant rice, there is Ben’s Rice, there is Cajun rice, there is rice with onions. There is like all these rice options and it can be really confusing. What I like to tell people is the fancy rice is going to be like $7 for maybe half a pound. But if you just go to the bottom, usually it’s the bottom row in the grocery store, because it is the cheapest. You can find a bag of brown rice for 99 cents. What you do is instead of cooking it in water, like the directions suggest, go get a can of beef broth and boil the rice in beef broth or chicken broth. Cook it that way and it adds a really good flavor to the rice, so you don’t need to add a lot of other things. It almost, I tell people this, it doesn’t really taste like this so don’t get your hopes up, but if you cook brown rice in beef broth it almost tastes like healthy beef ramen, kind of.
Lynn: *laughing* What?!
Natalie: Not really, but you kind of get the flavor. There is also this paste called, ‘Better than Bouillon’ and that’s pretty good too. So you are going to save a bunch of money that way. One thing I was joking, Dave Ramsey’s thing is that until you get out of debt, you better live on beans and rice, rice and beans, and so ….
Drew: I’ve heard that before.
Natalie: Yeah and he always says, ‘You better not see the inside of the kitchen unless you are washing the dishes.’ He has all these funny phrases. So when I was there, I gave that tip and he said, ‘We are changing the slogan from beans and rice, it’s beef broth and rice.’ I don’t remember exactly how he said it but it was funny. And then also, potatoes are really inexpensive. You can usually get a 5 pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars. What we like to do, in fact we’ve been doing this …. you guys listening, you may not know this but Lynn, Drew and I are sitting all together here.
Drew: Yeah, we are here in Park City, Utah.
Natalie: We are, so we have been eating meals together and a lot of times what I like to do is make multiple kinds of potatoes together. So, I might take one sweet potato, a yam and one russet potato and cut them up and roast them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and a little bit of garlic powder. That is an inexpensive carb source for you. Potatoes are very inexpensive and then I like to kind of mix them with some red potatoes and sweet potatoes at the same time.
Lynn: You guys, they are delicious. Almost every health professional …. when people are on their weight loss journey, they say that potatoes are an amazing healthier source of carbohydrate compared to a lot of other forms of carbohydrates.
Drew: Well, some people freak out because they are like, ‘Oh, it’s a starchy carb, so it’s going to make me fat.’ But here is the thing, if you’re exercising enough, it’s not something you need to worry about so much. It’s an excellent carb source and the reason is because it is nutrient dense. It has a lot of vital nutrients that are really good for your body. So, if we look at foods as just carbs, proteins and fats, like macro nutrients, then we justify that soda is a carb and this twinkie is a carb and this donut is a carb. But really you know, you’re starting to lose out on nutrient dense foods. I think potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates.
Lynn: And they are delicious.
Drew: And I had some tonight by the way.
Natalie: We all did.
Lynn: We all actually ate them today. They were so delicious.
Natalie: We probably each ate two potatoes, at least. Wouldn’t you say?
Lynn: Yeah. So good.
Drew: Ok, before Lynn gets into some of her lightning round questions she does all the time, I want to ask you a couple of generic questions that I get asked a lot. I am just curious to hear your answers. So, obviously I think a lot of our followers have families or have a spouse and they would be interested in knowing your answer to these questions. What do you tell people when they ask you what do you do when your spouse isn’t on board? With you trying to be healthy and their not really sabotaging you, but wishing you weren’t trying to be healthy because they want to ‘quote-unquote’ enjoy life. What do you tell those people?
Lynn: Oh man, that is such a good question. We get that all the time.
Natalie: Yeah, it’s a great question and I could talk forever on it, but I will keep it short. Really, what I have found with my own experience and with the people I work with, is that there are a couple of factors there. One, usually your spouse doesn’t want to be pushed into something and told what to do. So a lot of times, let’s say you read this article online or you find out about this cool new company called whatever …. and you’re super excited. You are motivated to eat healthy and to work out and you come home and you have to remember that your spouse didn’t read all those articles that you read or watch those motivating videos. They are just living their normal life and you come home and are like, ‘I’m going to make all these changes.’ They get frustrated because they feel like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, I didn’t have any say in this and I don’t want to make these changes with you.’ One, you have to kind of be aware of the language you use when you talk to your spouse and be considerate. They might not be at the same point you are. Then two, I’ve also learned that a lot of times people are just afraid you are going to change and they are going to be stuck at the same place they were at, which is where they want to stay. And you are going to change into this new person. Sometimes they just need some reassurance. I know with me talking to my husband, a lot of times you just need to reassure them that your not going to change as a person, like fundamentally you are still the same person. You just want to get healthier. Then that conversation can lead to talking about reasons why you want to get healthier with them. Maybe tell them about an experience or talk about your kids. If you have kids, talking about being there for them when they get older is an emotional trigger for most people that can be a catalyst for change. I always …. I always …. here’s an example, let’s use this for an example. Let’s say you go on a family hiking trip, and if you have neglected your health for 10, 20-30 years and lets say your kids and everyone wants to go for a hike. But because you have neglected your health, you need to stay at basecamp and maybe prepare dinner. Everybody can get back from the hike and you can hear about it, but that is a totally different experience than like actually getting to go and see everything they got to see. Sharing those kinds of stories or talking about maybe a personal experience, like if you had a father or grandfather who maybe had cancer or heart disease or dealt with diabetes and you had to see them give insulin, share those stories and those emotional reasons why you want to make these changes. Be aware of the language you use, when you are talking to somebody, don’t chastise them. If they are eating ice cream, don’t be like, ‘Oh, you’re going to eat ice cream again?’ or ‘You really skipped your work out today?’ Because what is going to happen is, that is just going to pull you further apart. That is just going to make them feel ashamed and attacked. That is going to make them not want to help you and not want to accomplish your goals. What I have found is just having kind communication can make a big difference. Saying this is where I am coming from and this is why I want to make these changes, and I would love it if you could support me as I am on this health journey. Then explain if you have a hard time. For example, I have a hard time if there are certain foods in the house, I have zero will power. I have just talked to my husband and said, ‘Look, I just want you to know it is really, really hard for me to stick with my healthy eating when these certain things are in the house. You know I am happier when I can eat right and I can exercise. So, if you want a happy wife, leave these things out of the house.’
Lynn: Happy wife, happy life.
Natalie: Trust me, look I know I’m kind of making it sound like it’s been this perfect road. It absolutely has not been, we have had bad times and good times and we’ve learned and grown together. It’s been a major …. I guess the main thing you have to remind yourself is that things are not going to change overnight. It’s going to be a process and you are going to learn to find your new normal. What works for your best friend, may not work exactly the same for you. What works for me, may not work exactly the same for you. You need to experiment and try and work together.
Drew: I think going back to my Fit2Fat2Fit journey, I think if Lynn wasn’t on board with me eating healthy and she was just eating her normal unhealthy ways ….
Natalie: Wait! *laughing*
Lynn: Can you put in show notes *Drew throws Lynn under the bus AGAIN*
Natalie: That’s like every single show, right?
Lynn: Every single show.
Drew: That’s how we stay consistent.
Lynn and Natalie: *laughing*
Drew: It would have been so much harder if she had not been on board with eating healthy with me. So, I don’t have a personal experience for that. So, when people ask me, ‘I’m like, you know what, I can’t give you my own personal experience, but in some ways I can.’ Because sometimes when I try to get Lynn to exercise with me or correct her form, it causes conflict. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you want to do this? Why don’t you want to go work out? What’s wrong with you that you want to sit here and watch movies? Let’s go work out.’ So, I can kind of relate in some ways. When you try to push on them, they get defensive. Especially when it’s coming from their spouse. They need to receive their outside motivation, kind of like the ending example where you went to a seminar and you got super motivated. They didn’t have that experience. They need to have that at some point, but it’s not going to come from their spouse. No matter how motivating you are …. *laughing* …. if you are the spouse, it doesn’t matter. The spouse is always wrong. But when they hear the same thing from a friend or someone else, they are l like, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense. I can do that.’ *laughing*
Lynn: Ok, I am going to throw my two cents in here just because is the most common question I’ve gotten from …. because I’ve only worked with women since I’m a woman’s fitness specialist and I get this from female clients all the time. It is funny to me because this approach I am going to share with you guys, so far every client has come back to me and been like, ‘Oh my gosh, it totally worked!’ So, not to toot my own horn or anything but I think it’s good solid advice. It’s very much in line with what Natalie said as far as people …. a lot of it is insecurity. The other spouse thinking you are going to try to control them or maybe you want to change them or you’re going to change and leave them. I always tell them, you know what is really interesting? Your spouse or friend or family member, they really love you. They love you a lot of times more than themselves. People are really hard on themselves. A lot of times if they are in an unhealthy condition and if they are overweight and struggling, they don’t really believe in themselves and they are kind of scared that you are going to leave me behind and I can’t do it. But, if you make it about you, their attitude changes. So, I tell them to try this approach. Go to them and be like, ‘You know what you guys, I don’t think I can do this. I really want to change my lifestyle. I really want to be healthier and I want to do this for our kids and so I can be a better wife. I’m scared to do this on my own. I don’t know if I can do it. Do you think that you can help me? I don’t really know if I believe in myself. Can you help me to do this? Could you come along with me?’ Every time they said their spouse are like, ‘I can help you do this! Yes!’ And it’s almost like they rescue you. They want to come to your aid, they want to help you. They want to rescue you, they want you to feel good. They love you. When they come in from that approach, they feel like this was their idea. They are doing the work to help you and literally every time, I don’t know if I have released the secret and now it’s not going to work, but they will always say, ‘No way. It literally worked. I could never get him to do it before.’ He’s now researching and bringing home all these ideas, like, ‘You know, babe. This is really what we should do now because this is healthier.’
Drew: So, it’s kind of like inception. Your planting ideas in their brain and you are like on level three. *laughing*
Natalie: So, yeah, you didn’t know you were going to get marriage advice on this podcast. So there you go.
Drew: Ok, so I have to ask this question before Lynn gets into the lightning round. We have got to stay consistent. You’ve had two babies, you’ve gained 70 pounds two times. Which is one more than I have gained 70 pounds. That’s a fair story. Yours was you had a baby, I didn’t have a baby. First of all let me ask you this, do you guys plan on having another child? Is that too personal?
Natalie: No, not too personal. That’s a hard question. I’ve been very open about this on my blog. We had a ectopic pregnancy a couple of months ago, so that was where we were trying to have a third baby and the baby implanted on the wrong part and not my uterus. So, that was a really traumatic experience and it’s weird because at the time, I really felt like it was 100% the right time to have another baby. I don’t know if I feel that now. So, yeah, to answer your question, I’m not totally ruling it out, but we did just move to Idaho and we did sell every single baby item we had. So, there is that.
Drew: So, ok. Would you ever do a Fit2Fat2Fit journey on purpose? Would you purposely gain 70 pounds or a lot of weight? Would you ever do it to gain a different understanding or anything? Because being pregnant you have a better understanding and empathy than your average fitness instructor.
Natalie: Ok, well there are two questions there, so first I would say yes. The reason I say that is ….
Drew: Wow, you are the first one!
Natalie: Yeah, I know! But, I actually ….
Drew: Let’s sign her up!
Lynn: I can tell you right now, we already knew that Natalie was my soul mate and this has just reaffirmed it.
Drew: So, are you guys going to do it together?
Lynn: Honestly, I would do it if you told me that Natalie and I could move in together and be BFF’s and eat donuts all day long, and hang out all day long. Sign me up.
Natalie: No, and I know that is because I have seriously considered being a part of you guy’s Fit2Fat2Fit TV show. That will be coming out soon. I have considered doing that and I was at a point where I said, ok, I think I would do this. So, yeah, I think it would be really fun to eat a whole bunch of food that tasted awesome for six months.
Drew: Do you think you gained a better understanding being pregnant? Do you think you better relate to people who are overweight? Or do you think doing the Fit2Fat2Fit journey would give you a better understanding?
Natalie: I think that it does and it doesn’t. I think a lot of people say, well pregnancy weight doesn’t count. Which is true in some regards because part of it is a baby, right? You lose that when you give birth to a baby. But, the other 50 pounds really is just extra body fat I had. If you look up my pictures, I had 50 pounds of extra body fat on my body. But, it is different. I will absolutely say it is different than gaining the weight by eating habits or a lifetime of eating bad and never exercising. That is very different. I do think that my own experience definitely gives me empathy because I understand the feeling of helplessness. I had so much to lose I didn’t even know where to start, of feeling embarrassed being in a gym. All of those things, I can certainly relate to.
Drew: Ok, gotcha.
Lynn: Natalie, you are so inspiring. You’re my favorite. Ok guys, we are going into my favorite part of the entire show, which is called the lightning round.
Natalie: I always get nervous, but you know why? Because I love the lightning round. I listen to every single one of your podcasts and the lightning round is my favorite because I want to know what people say.
Lynn: I basically am going to spout out random questions. Natalie has no idea what they are. They really have no purpose or meaning behind health and nutrition. They are just things I am curious about and she only has a few seconds to respond and answer as quickly as possible. Are you ready?
Lynn: Natalie, what is your most embarrassing moment?
Natalie: Oh, I can’t tell this.
Drew: You have to!
Lynn: It’s the lightning round, right away, whatever just popped in your head, you have to say it.
Natalie: Could you not tell that story? Ok, I just talked about owning my story. Oh my gosh, ok. My face is red. I used to be a marathon runner and one time I was out on a long run and I’m just going to say it, I pooped in my pants. So, I was like 4 miles from home and I was on a busy neighborhood and there was no place to stop. I could not hold it in and it was like, every step was like ….. poop.
Lynn and Drew: *laughing*
Natalie: And it went all over my clothes and I had road rash from that stuff sitting on my skin and rubbing in my cheeks back and forth. I literally bawled for two hours, because I was so ashamed of myself and I can not believe I just told the whole world that story!
Lynn: I literally do not think I could love Natalie more right now.
Drew: I see you totally different now.
Natalie: So, Drew, you posted that picture, I wanted to tell you that story so bad and I was so embarrassed.
Lynn: Natalie, everyone poops their pants at some point.
Drew: It’s just not always while running. We still love you. That is probably the best answer so far.
Lynn: Honestly, that is the best answer we have ever had. I could stop right here and we would be fine. Next question, your favorite TV show?
Natalie: Oh that’s easy, the Bachelor.
Lynn: I knew it. Your secret crush?
Natalie: Oh, that’s easy too. Channing Tatum.
Lynn: *laughing* I know right?
Drew: Oh my gosh.
Natalie: Like, my husband even knows like I am obsessed with him.
Lynn: Did you see Magic Mike?
Natalie: Oh, on opening night, in the movie theater with my girlfriend.
Lynn: We are twins. Ok, last question, your favorite dessert? Just because I always want to know.
Natalie: That’s a hard one. Honestly, I don’t know if people would consider this a dessert, but probably donuts. I love donuts.
Lynn: My sister! Totally!
Natalie: I just recently discovered bacon covered maple donuts and I eat them way more than I should.
Lynn: We have been eating those together here.
Natalie: We have been.
Drew: Ok, last question. Do you ever feel pressure out in public to eat a certain way? Because now that you have a fitness following? Do you ever feel that pressure? Do you own it or sometimes are you like, ‘What? I always eat Kale salad.”
Natalie: *laughing* You know, at the beginning I did, because I felt this need to be perfect and this all or nothing personality. Now, I am so vocal and open about having balance in your life and I share photos all the time of like my treat meals. I talk so much about not being strict all the time and about balance and moderation, that it doesn’t bother me. It’s good for people to see this fit healthy girl can still have balance and moderation in her life and eat pizza with her kids. Or can go out for ice cream after a basketball game, or whatever. No, I don’t really.
Lynn: I love that.
Drew: Ok, well thank you so much for joining us today, Natalie. Where can people find you at?
Natalie: My website is just my name, www.nataliehodson.com. I love connecting with you guys on Instagram and on Facebook as well.
Lynn: And isn’t it @nataliehodson1.
Natalie: Yes, apparently Natalie Hodson was taken, so it’s @nataliehodson1. Yeah, you mentioned Snapchat, my new favorite social media, love Snapchat. That same handle and then Facebook is Natalie Hodson official.
Lynn: Just so you all know, all of that will be in the show notes so that you know where to find and follow Natalie.
Drew: I am just saying, Sportscenter has a top 10, I am thinking if anyone can beat your embarrassing moment, they will get a prize.
Natalie: Ok, good.
Lynn: We are just finishing on a happy note. We love Natalie. She is so inspiring. This momma, if you follow her, will seriously give you the best health and fitness tips. Especially in keeping you and your family and your kids healthy and happy. We are just glad we had you on.
Natalie: Thank you. I love you guys and the feeling is so mutual.
Drew: Thank you guys so much for listening to todays episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Please don’t forget to leave a review on ITunes and please subscribe to our Podcast, if you enjoy it.
Lynn: Yeah, and don’t forget to leave comments, you guys. We love to hear what you thought about the Podcast. Let us know if there are any questions you would like for us to ask the next person we have on the show or if you have any other health and fitness questions. We go through each of them when we have some time. We always try to get back to you.
Drew: Don’t forget to stay in touch with us on Social Media. For me, @fit2fat2fit on all Social Media handles.
Lynn: Mine is @2fitathome.
Drew: Yep, and you can also sign up for our newsletter on my website, it is fit2fat2fit.com.
Lynn: And mine is 2fitathome.com.
Drew: Thank you guys so much and we will see you guys back here next week with another amazing episode.