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Starting Over – Natalie Jill

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The Urban Monk – Starting Over with Guest Natalie Jill

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Having It All and Losing It All

When your Facebook page has over 1,600,000 “Likes”, you are a social media star. There are a lot of them out there nowadays. Natalie Jill’s path has been different from most of them.

She had what seemed like the perfect life and didn’t feel sympathy for people who had achieved less. She had the wonderful husband the expensive house, the nice car, the money, and a new baby on the way. As she tells it, she was judgemental and self-righteous when it came to people who hadn’t attained the same trappings of success.

But all that fell apart. Natalie lost her house, her marriage, retirement savings, and weight gain and an autoimmune condition attacked her health. Natalie lost her house, her marriage, retirement savings, and weight gain and an autoimmune condition attacked her health.

Natalie had to figure out how to begin again. She wasn’t able to do that right away. Natalie was ashamed and kept her failure a secret. She felt like one of those people she had always looked down on.

Starting Over

Natalie didn’t recognize the person she saw in the mirror. She got tired of hiding and feeling sorry for herself. She had given birth and realized she was now responsible for another life.Natalie made the decision that, “This is not who I am.” She set her intention to do things differently and she then publicly shared her intention.

As she set about making her changes, she found herself in information overload. There were so many gurus and experts in the nutrition and fitness worlds that it was hard to know who to believe. She put together a plan that made sense for her.

One of the most important things Natalie did for herself was to create a vision board. The board was a visual representation of her goals with photographs cut out of magazines. It showed the life she desired. She started a Facebook page and put up pictures of the meals she was eating. She then paired the pictures with simple recipes. She felt this would keep her accountable since she was putting it out into the world.

Back to Basics

She went back to basics in nutrition and movement. The meals she posted on Facebook eventually became an ebook based on demand from her rapidly growing fitness community. It is now a print book.

Natalie has four pieces of advice for anyone who needs to start over:

  1. Make a decision that you will no longer live the life you are leading. You may not be able to make that decision until you have hit bottom.
  2. Create a vision for the new life that you want and establish goals and embody that vision. Share that vision with others, period
  3. Be accountable. Where you are, the problems you are having, are nobody’s fault but your own. You are the one who will have to make a change. Be accountable to yourself first. Find an accountability partner who will support you in what you’re doing and let you know when you fall back into excuse-making.
  4. Surround yourself with people who get you and will support you.

Authenticity and Honesty

Natalie has built a huge following through authenticity and honesty. She shares her story of loss, shame, and depression. She has used social media to open a two-way conversation. She found her audience and created the fitness and nutrition products that they said they wanted.

She keeps things simple for the men and women who are looking to get on the path to better health. She posts recipes that focus on unprocessed foods – foods that once grew, with ingredients you can pronounce. She has exercise plans that use bodyweight calisthenics so that overwhelmed moms, who might also be intimidated by the gym, can train on their schedule, in their home.

Natalie stepped outside her sadness to serve others. She believes that no matter where you’re starting from, no matter the obstacles, there is always hope. She’s living proof.

Find out more at NatalieJillFitness.com. Her new book, Natalie Jill’s 7-Day  Jump Start is on Amazon.

Move Toward What Makes You Happy - @NatalieJillFit via @PedramShojai

Interview notes from the show:

 

Pedram:

Welcome back to the Urban Monk. I am here with a new friend today, and we’re going to talk about something very interesting. If you have ever thought about starting over after bottoming out, you’re in for a treat. Natalie Jill, welcome, welcome, welcome.

Natalie:

Thanks for having me.

Natalie Jill’s Backstory

Pedram:

You have a very interesting history, a rocky road if you will. You’ve come from there to a very interesting, amazing place. You had some challenges. With those challenges you had a choice to either alchemize and step through or to wallow, and identify, and sink.

Natalie:

Exactly.

Pedram:

Give me a little bit of back story here.

Natalie:

Sure. Okay. The truth of it is I originally was somebody I would have described as very self righteous. I thought everybody should be able to have a successful career, nobody should ever be in debt. Everyone should have this perfect life. You just have to try and do it. I had this attitude about it, and I feel like the universe had a different message for me, because everything shifted when I was in my mid-30s. I was married, and I had what would have probably looked like to most people the perfect life. I had the nice neighborhood with the picket fence, the husband, I was pregnant, and I was working at a high powered corporate job. My world was crumbling and no one would have known on the outside. It taught me this big lesson, because I feel like so many people, me included at the time, we try to fit this mold that we’re supposed to be. It’s fake. You think you’re supposed to have this type of job, and this type of marriage, and this type of house, and look this certain way, and there’s really no depth to it. It’s phony. I never thought of it that way. I was always like try to keep up with the Jones’s and fit in.

What happened was I was married, and I was in a really rocky place with my marriage. He had been my best friend, and we were no longer best friends. It was right at the time when the stock market was crashing. The housing market crashed. I was pregnant, knew I was going to have to take a voluntary job demotion, because I was going to be a mom, and I couldn’t travel full time. Everything that I once knew started to crumble. I had this big house I put my life savings in, and all of a sudden I couldn’t afford my mortgage. My savings was pretty much gone, and I was that person back in that time that was house poor. I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to tell anybody, because I looked on the outside like this perfect, happy person and I wasn’t. Things started whittling away, and nobody knew, and I was just really sad about it. What happened was while I was pregnant I kept eating, and eating, and eating as a comfort thing and not eating healthy food, eating junk, McDonald’s and french fries, just comfort food.

Pedram:

Did you look fit at the time too?

Natalie:

At one point before I was pregnant I did, but pregnant I was gaining a lot of weight. I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant, which was 65 more than I am now, which I’m 5’2″. That’s little, and it was a lot of weight on me. I was eating junk, so I was adding to my depression and misery. I had my daughter, and I remember thinking, “This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life,” and it was the saddest time. Not be my daughter was there, I was happy about that, but because I knew I couldn’t stay in my marriage anymore. I knew I couldn’t afford my house. I knew I didn’t have a savings, and I was scared. I was really scared, and I remember … There’s a day that I remember so clearly, and it was when I was walking my baby in the stroller and my 2 dogs. I caught a glimpse of myself in one of those reflections, the windows where you see a mirror, and I just didn’t recognize myself. I thought, “Who is this chunky, depressed, bags under my eyes person?”

Wow. I don’t have any real people in my life because anyone that looks at me right now wouldn’t know how sad I am. They would think, “Oh. She’s got this perfect life. She’s got these labs, and this baby, and this house.” What they didn’t know was that I was sad. I was feeling unhealthy. I was scared. I was alone. I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for my house. I didn’t know what I was going to do for work, because I knew I couldn’t travel anymore and keep this same corporate job. I remember feeling just really this rock bottom sadness. I had never experienced depression in my life before that, and I remember that was the first time I’d ever actually felt it. Worse than feeling it is I felt like I was so alone, because I had this fake life. I didn’t have anyone that I could tell what was going on was what I felt like at the time.

Pedram:

Especially with all the facades of the “I’m fine” and keeping up with the Jones’s.

Natalie:

Yeah. I always had this like, “I’m tough. I can handle it. Everybody else has a problem. It’s not me.” All of a sudden I really had this depression and I felt really alone. It just felt funny that I’m going home to this big house, but I can’t afford it. You know? It felt really funny and phony.

Pedram:

Were you divorced at the time at this point?

Natalie:

I filed for divorce, so my daughter was a newborn. We had filed for divorce, and I had decided to stop paying for my mortgage, because I was house backwards. I’m someone who had never ever missed a credit card payment in my life. I had never borrowed money. I had this perfect credit, and I had to make this decision. I can’t pay my mortgage right now. I can’t do it. I felt like this failure, like everything I’ve talked about and believed in I’m not doing right now.

Pedram:

And judged.

Natalie:

Yeah, and judged. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I remember seeing myself in that reflection and being depressed. Then I remember going to get gas in my car. This was horrible. I put gas in my car, and my credit card was declined. I had never in my life had this happen to me. I was the kind of person who would judge somebody like, “How can they have bad credit?” I didn’t understand before. It was American Express. I called them and I said, “Why is my credit card declined. I’ve never missed a payment in my life.” They said, “You’re $1.4 million in debt.” I was like, “What? Wait a minute. 1.4? How do you have …?” It was my entire house. I was in debt, because I hadn’t paid for it, my mortgage. I stopped paying. I had to. I remember just feeling like, “What the heck am I going to do? I’ve got this baby. I’ve got …” I didn’t even know what to do. I just felt stuck. I felt stuck.

Pedram:

Here you are, the bullets are flying. You are back against the wall. What are you going to do? I mean, you’ve got a kid. You have some options. I mean, you have skills. Joint custody? Full custody? Having a kid is kind of a full time job too.

Natalie:

Yes. Totally. We hadn’t gone through the arrangement of what that was going to be yet, but that scared me too. I knew that her dad would help, no problem. I knew he would share custody, but that scared me too. I’m her mom and I thought … That was adding to this. I didn’t want to not have my baby everyday. What am I going to do here? Yeah. If I do my job and I work, then is he going to have her more? I just had the weight of the world on me. I remember I stayed in this spot for … there was a good 3 months of just me being really isolated and depressed. The only thing that got me up every day was my daughter, just knowing that I had this amazing baby here and I had to figure this out. I really was in circles in my own head, like just, “Woe is me. Woe is me.”

What happened was I had this moment where I had the thought that, “This is not who I am. This is not who I have ever been. I’m going to make a decision right now.” I always say the commonality with everyone I’ve ever met that’s transformed anything is that they’ve decided. They’re like, “I’ve decided.” That’s what I did. I decided, “This is not who I’m going to be. There’s a reason this is all happening to me, and I’m going to figure it out.” I created a vision board. A vision board … you might know what it is. A lot of people don’t. I created a vision board. I did not filter it. I was just picking out pictures of things that appealed to me. I didn’t even know why. I cut out pictures of fit girls, a happy couple, happy family, ocean view, a golf course. I just picked things that made me happy. I put it on this vision board and I said, “If I just look at this vision board every single day and can get that feeling of what that would feel like, maybe that’ll start to outweigh my depressed feeling, and I can start moving towards this.”

I did this vision board, and I started researching what do I need to do to get myself back together. I research just basic things like movement, food. What can I do? I want basic. There was so much information overload out there. I was always interested in fitness and nutrition, but I didn’t even know where to start. Do this diet or that? I was overwhelmed. I thought, “I just need to go to the basics, figure this out, make a list, and look at this vision so I have the feeling everyday.” That’s what I did. I made a list, and I created my vision board. I just started. I decided, and I started.

Pedram:

This isn’t like lightning striking, “Oh. I put up a vision board. Now I suddenly feel better.”

Natalie:

No.

Pedram:

Right? People kind of fall into thinking, “Okay. Well, all of a sudden 1 day everything turned around.” The days kind of still sucked, but you started to turn a corner because of the decision, I’m reading.

 

Natalie:

Totally. The thing about vision boards is, yeah, it’s not hokey pokey. It’s not this hocus pocus, you put a vision and that’s all. What it does is it creates that feeling, it generates that feeling, and we move towards feeling. If you feel happiness or good about something, you’re going to want to keep doing that. When you don’t have anything to look at or you don’t have that vision, all you’re stuck with is your depression, and your sadness, and you’re reminding yourself of what you don’t like in the mirror, and all of that. It just keeps spiraling down. To me, if I created the feeling, it gave me something to look towards and to feel towards.

Pedram:

Is that the first step, just stepping into the feeling you would rather be feeling?

Natalie:

I feel the first step with everybody now, no matter what, is you have to decide, and then you have to get that intention out there. That’s through writing and creating a vision and sharing that with people. You have to get that intention out there and be committed to that. The decision comes first. You have to decide that you’re ready to change. Not I’m going to try, or I’m going to think about it, I wish, it’s I’ve decided I’m going to fix this.

Pedram:

This is it. This is it. This is it. I’m stepping into it.

Natalie:

Yes.

Pedram:

Then what starts to unfold.

Turning a Passion Into a Business

Authenticity Is Sharing Your Dreams And Vulnerabilities - @NatalieJillFit via @PedramShojai

Natalie:

What starts to unfold is for the first time in my life, without even planning it or trying to, I started being really authentic. What do I mean my that? I had just heard of Facebook at the time. This is funny because I have 1.5 million followers on Facebook now, but at the time I had my 50 high school friends. I didn’t know anything about Facebook. I felt I didn’t have anyone I could talk to about what I was going through, but if I was going to start moving in the direction of my goals, I needed to be accountable to something. I started taking pictures of my food everyday. I would make my lunch or my breakfast and I would take a picture. I started an album on my personal Facebook called what I eat, and I shared what I was eating, just real. I didn’t care if the picture didn’t look perfect. I didn’t care what anyone thought. I didn’t care if anyone unfriended me.

Pedram:

Wait, so back up. At this point you’re not a celebrity nutritionist. You’re not a celebrity fitness person.

Natalie:

No. No one knew who I was.

Pedram:

Know one knows who you are. You’re a mom who came from corporate background, and you’re putting up pictures of what I eat.

Natalie:

From my Blackberry.

Pedram:

From your Blackberry, which is dating us all here now. Then people start digging this?

Natalie:

Yeah. They love it. They’re asking me, “What is this?” I liked the conversation, so I would share, “You know, I’m trying to get myself healthy again. This is what I’m eating.” I would post everyday my recipes, just an album called what I eat. This is before taking food selfies was a thing. It’s before it became this joke. I was just doing that, and people were asking. Somebody suggested one day on Facebook, “Hey. You should make a recipe book.” I did know anything about making a recipe book. I said, “Well, how do I do that?” They said, “Well, make an Ebook.” I remember Googling what does Ebook mean? Electronic book. Without knowing anything I took all my Blackberry pictures and I put it on a PDF file. I decided I was going to charge $12 for it. I laugh at this now, because there’s all these sales pages that people make now. I just made a little typed up description of what this was, and I posted on my Facebook, “Hey guys. I put my recipes together. $12. Send me to this Paypal link and I’ll send it to you.”

Pedram:

12 bucks and it’s yours.

Natalie:

People started buying it. This was somebody who had no money at the time, I’m struggling financially. All of a sudden I’m getting little emails, $12 here, $12 there, $50 a day. It’s starting to come in. Wow. This is interesting. Still a side money thing. Then people start asking … they’re sharing my recipes and they’re asking, “How do you put this together to eat healthy, because you’re also showing some pictures of you and your daughter, and you look like you’re losing weight. How do you put this together?” I sat down and I made what at the time … It’s very different than it is now, but I made what was called my 7 day jump start. I wrote out exactly what I told you, how to make a vision board, how to decide, write out your goals, how to build a meal, everything I had learned on my own online about how to eat healthy. I made a little 7 day plan. I went back to Facebook and said, “Okay guys. You said you wanted my plan. Here it is. It’s $35,” and started selling that, and more and more followers.

Starting Small with a New Business

Pedram:

How are you feeding yourself on kind of your main dig? If you have like $12 and $35 coming in here, what was your main job? How were you …?

Natalie:

My main job was still corporate. I had taken a demotion, so my money was definitely a lot less. I was figuring out how I was going to get out of this house, go rent a place. I was going through this whole process. I was still making some money, but I was still so in debt that I wasn’t getting anywhere yet. Now I’m just focused on how do I get out of my situation and move over some place. I have okay money to come in. I’m not getting rich on it by any means, but these little Facebook sales are helping me see that there’s a possibility. I still wasn’t looking at it as a career yet. I was just looking at it as, “This is just helping me with my confidence right now.”

Pedram:

Who are they identifying with, a vulnerable, single mom who’s being raw, authentic, and honest?

Natalie:

Yes.

Pedram:

Is that …?

Natalie:

There were so many people relating to me. This was the gem in the whole thing is when someone would purchase my diet, I wasn’t thinking, “Sales. I’m going to get rich on this.” It was nothing like that. I was actually really excited when they would write back and say, “Oh, my gosh. I lost 5 pounds. I feel great.” I would say, “That’s amazing. Can I share what you just said? It’s going to be encouraging to other,” not even thinking sales. They’d say, “Sure,” so I would screenshot what they said, and I would post it back on Facebook, and I’d say, “Oh, my gosh. Look at Sally. This made my day. She lost 5 pounds. She feels amazing. This is awesome. Who’s next?” That literally launched my entire business. I was sharing their story, other people saw, and it just kept growing.

Pedram:

You inadvertently rode the Facebook wave, because Facebook loves that. People love that on Facebook.

Natalie:

Totally. This wasn’t even pictures. This was their typed out message to me of what they wrote.

Pedram:

Sure. Awesome. At the end of the day you’re helping people.

Natalie:

Yes. I was being myself. I was sharing my vulnerability. I was sharing that I was going through a divorce, that I was struggling financially. This meal is inexpensive. I’m sharing things that I was actually doing, and I was being myself. What was so funny to me was being that authentic, and real, and not caring what people thought is what launched this whole new life of mine.

Pedram:

Other life.

Natalie:

Yeah. It’s like literally 2 chapters. I feel like I’m a completely different person than I was in my old corporate world.

Pedram:

Did this start kind of incubating you as someone who’s like, “Holy crap. I better know what I’m talking about. I should learn about nutrition. I should do this …?”

Natalie:

Totally. I was actually a certified personal trainer and a sports nutritionist, like a certification for it, just from years ago because I was interested in it. I just always was interested in fitness and nutrition. I just hadn’t been applying it to myself until I got back. When I was learning my own journey I went back and got re-certified on things. Then I went and did a masters sports nutrition license. I got the credentials then so I could feel good giving the advice then too. I kept going with that. What’s so funny to me now is people think that I was this big fitness nutrition person and that’s why I’m doing well with my business. It’s like, “No. I came from a completely different place. No one knew me a few years ago and this grew from that.”

There's Nothing More Freeing Than Not Caring What People Think Move Toward What Makes You Happy - @NatalieJillFit via @PedramShojai

The Addictiveness of “Being Real”

Pedram:

I’m real. I’m real, and I’m telling you how I actually struggle, and you’re struggling too, and I get that.

Natalie:

Now it’s honestly addictive being real then. Now it’s like I always say, “When in doubt, just tell the truth. Just be real, because trying to be what you think you’re supposed to be does not work.”

Pedram:

This actually kind of calls back the the early part of our conversation where you’re the gal who is ashamed of what they’re going to think. Right? I don’t have the money. I don’t have the ba, ba, ba, ba, bop. It’s like all of this storefront energy, all of this bullshit we put energy into, trying to worry about that. That was what TV is. That’s what our politicians sound like. It’s exhausting. You’re now flipping the script, being honest, and all of a sudden you have this other garden starting to grow on this side.

Natalie:

And a huge support network that I could have never imagine. People are rooting for me all of a sudden, and I’m rooting for them. It was fun. I’m thinking, “I’m helping people, and I’m actually making a little bit of money too. This is amazing.”

Pedram:

At this point you’re still not like, “Oh, this is great. I’m getting rich. This is my career.” “I’m just doing this awesome side project. I got my little Etsy store kind of thing, and it’s really interesting. It’s fun.” What is this doing to your depression?

Natalie:

It totally changed it, because now I’m not only getting fit and feeling healthy, and that’s changing things, but I’m now accountable to other people, because I don’t want to let them down. I’m helping them get healthy. I don’t want to be the one that now doesn’t work on myself. I want to be their cheerleader now. I start feeling accountable to them. They’re feeling accountable to me. The first people I formed this relationship with on Facebook, that first found me, they’re still … they’re my group. I have them in my book coming out. I love them, because I was so … I went through this process with them. I was changing and so were they.

Pedram:

They wrote this book with you?

Natalie:

Yes.

Pedram:

Yeah. Absolutely. That is so interesting to me, because I always look at people who are down and out and then turn and dedicate their lives to being of service. It’s one of the quickest ways out of depression. It’s one of the quickest ways not to identify with the woe is me. I had all these plans in life and so what? So what? Now look at you. You followed the bread crumb, if you will, and you ended up in this really interesting universe. On that note there’s also something to be said about breadcrumbs, because I know a little bit about your history. Give me a little bit more about some of the other kind of …

Staying Healthy While Being Celiac

Natalie:

I’m a celiac, and I have been for years. I knew this before I was pregnant. I was diagnosed with celiac before gluten was trendy. Nobody knew what gluten was. I used to carry around a little card to restaurants explaining what it was, because it was in everything. I had learned about gluten free. Gluten is just the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. I’m a celiac, so my body doesn’t recognize it, so I’d have a bad immune response to it if I have it. It also contributes to depress and a lot of other things. That’s why I always think it’s funny when people say they’re going on a gluten free diet to lose weight. It depends on what that means, because you could eat a gluten free diet full of junk. Gluten free processed food is still high in sugar and the wrong foods. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you, just like you could have an unhealthy vegan diet. There’s different spectrums. When I was eating gluten free, but gaining weight and depressed I was not eating a healthy diet at that point.

Pedram:

Right. That’s really like saying, “I’m sugar free, so I drink diet coke, therefore I’m healthy.”

Natalie:

Exactly.

Pedram:

It’s just the whole thing becomes crap.

Natalie:

It doesn’t mean anything. Yeah.

Pedram:

What I love about this is it’s so homegrown. It comes from you hitting rock bottom, looking at your baby, and being like, “Mamma bear’s got to keep fighting.” Right?

Natalie:

Totally.

Pedram:

And being depressed, and gaining weight, and having struggles with your foods and all that, that’s not helping you get out of your mess, so you really had to pick up and get out of it. Then what became your gestalt? What became your plan with this?

Natalie:

Then I have to give credit to my now husband, because I met him going through a lot of this. I fast forwarded a lot of this together now, but when The 7-Day Jumpstart started getting some traction I was getting all these things. He is what I call a modifier, so he saw me sending all these emails and having to get home because I have an email notification that somebody paid $35 for this thing, and I have to send it to them. He was great at coming in and helping me figure out a process. How can we automate this? How can we make this a little bit better? That was like the next big jump like, “Okay. Let’s get this automated, which helps me have a little bit more time to think through what I want to do with this.” Before it was literally just me getting an order and sending out an email. Now I was falling to this process, but I wasn’t going to be able to expand or grow, so I automated things.

Then I think that as my confidence was coming back and my depression was going away my strong assets started coming back. My ability to listen to problems and come up with a solution was really starting to shine. Now I’m really developing my audience and listening to what they want. I started creating more products for them, because people would tell me, “I love your jump start. I had great results. What’s next?” I would create the next thing for them. It’s really funny, because my whole social media was initially built on fat loss and meals, recipes, and if you look at it now it’s a lot of workouts. That evolved just from people asking me, “What’s next?”

New Ways to Stay In Shape at Home

Pedram:

What’s next is you got to get moving. At this point were you a fitness enthusiast that had gotten back up off your butt and you were actually doing stuff?

Natalie:

Yes. I was, but I wasn’t sharing a lot of that yet on social media. As I’m having people get great results with my nutrition plans and my recipes, now they’re saying, “How do you exercise?”, and they’re telling me the problems. “I don’t have money for a gym,” which I understood. “I have little kids at home. I can’t get out.” “I haven’t worked out in a while.” I understood everything they were coming from, so I came to the solution I would offer solutions. I’d say, “Well, let’s do it at home. Let’s do a workout at home. Let’s use chairs. Let’s get creative. Can we do something in 5 minutes?” I would look at these other trainers on social media that would say, “Oh. Unless you do an hour of this and heavy weights …” It was so intimidating. I knew what it was like to be in that depressed, overwhelmed, overweight spot, and I thought, “These women don’t want to go to a gym and spend an hour when they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Pedram:

They don’t have time. They’ve got kids at home.

Natalie:

But let me show them 5 minutes of something they can do that’s going to really make a difference and help them get stronger. I started doing that, and my business just started growing. The more I listened to people, and connected with them, and helped them find a solution to what they were presenting, the more they changed, the more my business grew.

Pedram:

Sure. That’s the wonderful virtuous feedback loop that is available now through social media and through new media, which is it’s a 2-way conversation. Your audience is asking you for what you want, and they’re asking you to develop and kind of grow into being the person they need you to be for them.

The First Step of Building an Online Business – Find Your Audience

Natalie:

Exactly. So many people ask me about social media and how to start a business online, and they want to come up with this whole elaborate plan and this product they want to develop. I’m thinking, “You’re going about this completely wrong. You’re missing it, because you need to develop your audience first and just being real. You need to find out who likes you and wants to relate to you first, and then find a solution you can help to a problem that they have.

Pedram:

How to serve.

Natalie:

Just coming up with a product and then saying you’re going to go build an audience around it is a lot more challenging and it’s not as authentic.

Pedram:

How do you keep people accountable? That, I mean, is really the biggest challenge with nutrition, with fitness, with all of it. Right? It’s one thing to have a new years resolution. It’s another thing to work out all year.

Don't Blame Anybody For Your Mistakes. Take Accountability. - @NatalieJillFit via @PedramShojai

Natalie:

There’s a couple steps that I tell people no matter what. If you’re trying to lose weight, or if you’re trying to get stronger, if you’re trying to change your relationship, if you’re trying to grow your business, there’s a process that you have to go through. 1 is deciding. 2 is creating that vision and establishing your goals. 3 is you have to be accountable, but when your accountable it’s not just to someone else, it’s to yourself. If you are not accountable to yourself, then it’s not going to ever happen. What that means to me, and what I’ve taught people that buy my programs for it to mean to them is that accountability to yourself means that you’re not going to blame anybody anymore for anything, period. There’s no excuses. That’s true accountability. You have to own it. I’m overweight because … not because this person, because what did you do to contribute to that?

Pedram:

Including my celiac, my thyroid, my medical diagnosis?

Natalie:

Yes. Your financial situation, your whatever, you have to take … If you keep that blame game going, all you’re doing is trying to convince other people of why your excuses are valid. It’s not going to help you change. As soon as you take that accountability and you own it that’s when things start to change. How do I keep them accountable? I tell them if they want to work with me, or before they even agree to do my programs, they need to make that decision that there’s no more excuses. I’ll help you find a solution, but you have to decide your role. You have to own up to that you have a role in this.

Pedram:

What percentage of people bounce at those gates?

Natalie:

I won’t ever really fully know because they’re out of my conversation once they start doing that.

Pedram:

That’s what I’m saying.

Natalie:

I say, “Are you trying to convince me why your excuses are valid or are you ready to do this?” I don’t let people in my circle unless they’re ready to do that because it distracts me too.

Pedram:

Great. It’s really funny. I was just having this conversation about meditation. Everyone’s like, “90% of all chronic disease is because of stress.” Then we have … Everyone is just like, “Oh, yeah. We’re stressed out. We’re stressed out.” It’s like, “Oh. We have this thing for that. It’s called mediation. You should try it.” “Oh, yeah. I’ve heard of that, but I’m not going to do it.” It’s like, “Well then, I’m sorry.”

Natalie:

Then just be stressed.

Pedram:

Yeah, and be a lazy asshole. You have to do something to help yourself. Right?

Natalie:

Totally.

Pedram:

For you, it’s like you’ve drawn that line, and I really respect that. At the end of the day, you’re not the one getting anyone fit, and you’re not the one going grocery shopping for them, and you’re not the one cooking their meals.

Natalie:

No. The other one, I give so much free content on social media. 99% of what I share is just free content that I put a lot of time into generating. When someone says they can’t afford my program or they … It’s like, “But I give all this stuff for free. That’s again not being accountable to yourself. There’s Google.” Anyone can go on Google and get the information. That’s what I did. I believe there’s really no excuse. I’m not saying it’s not going to be harder for some, or take longer, or be more challenging. I’m just saying there is a way for everybody to improve and become a better version of them, but they have to be accountable first.

Pedram:

You’re seeing as people become better versions of them they become better parents, better citizens.

Natalie:

They’re better everything. I feel my best when I’m not just … I don’t want to toot my horn, but when I’m helping empower others to become their better them, whether that’s fitness, nutrition, business, whatever it is. That’s when I feel my best, and it puts me in a better mood, and it gives me a purpose. I think it improves things across the board.

Pedram:

Yeah. I mean, you think of the family … I’m assuming most of your demographic would be women, but maybe I’m wrong.

Natalie:

I have everything. I definitely have everything, but I would say the person that relates to me the most is typically a middle-aged female that is 20 to 50 pounds overweight and going through … has hit a bottom, has stuff going on.

Pedram:

Got it. Kids, no kids? Family, no family?

Natalie:

A little bit of both. I definitely have a broad audience, but yeah, the moms. That’s the other thing, I am 44. I am a mom. I went through a divorce. I have real things that happen, and I share it. People like that, because I think people get very tired of the Photoshopped 20 year old talking about, “No excuses,” because they’re thinking …

Pedram:

“Come one. You’re 20.”

Natalie:

Right. Exactly. I think that’s encouraging for people, because they see that it is possible.

Social Media’s Role In Depression

Pedram:

Yeah. What people don’t see with these Instagram stars is that perfect picture that they got was like 1 of 50 takes. It is completely a façade as well. We’ve seen a lot of that become trendy in media.

Social Media Can Be Powerful But It Can Also Bring You Down - @NatalieJillFit via @PedramShojai

Natalie:

That’s one of the things I always advise people too that are going through a depression too is you have to social media cleanse. Social media can be really powerful, but it also can really bring you down. I don’t like to follow anyone that makes me feel bad about myself. I think you follow things that are motivating and encouraging for you and make you feel motivated, encouraged, excited, happy. If it’s making you feel bad about yourself, you don’t want to follow them. I don’t want anyone following me if my stuff makes them fell bad about themselves.

Pedram:

Yeah. Not your person. One of the things that kind of happens that I find to be this wonderful ripple effect is you’re helping these wonderful people who have kind of hit rock bottom come back up and out and feel better about themselves. Say they have kids. Say they have spouses. Say they have careers. This starts to then ripple into all these other facets of their lives, because they have the energy, they have the vitality to actually step up. Look at you. You were rock bottom, and now you’re helping all these people. That kind of contagious ripple effect is so wonderful to see.

Natalie:

It’s a contagious energy, and I love it. I could talk for hours about this, but you start to build your … I call it loading my bus. I want to stay on this path of happy, and healthy, and feeling good and energetic. I don’t want other people in my life that are not on that same train anymore. I get it. Everyone has there moments, but they can get out of it. I want those people that are willing to get out of it and are willing to be accountable. I collect those people. I like those people. It’s motivating. I think when people start to have that own transition in their life they tend to seek out others like that too. It’s very powerful. I have friends that I hadn’t seen in years, and they come visit me. They say, “Wow. You have such a great network of people.” I created that, and you can to. I had to make a decision. I want this type of person in my life, and that’s what I’m going to surround myself with.

Pedram:

That’s like saying, “You have such a wonderful garden,” and you’re like, “I weed all the time. I’m like dealing with the soil.”

Natalie:

That’s a great analogy.

Pedram:

“Yeah. I work this thing.” Yeah. It’s like you’re 4 years into this.

Natalie:

I don’t want the downers. You can be down. I get it, but tell me your roll in that, and let’s figure out how you’re getting out of it.

Natalie Jill’s New Book

Pedram:

Yeah. Let’s draw a line. Let’s not have excuses. Let’s step up, and let’s take you on the journey. Get on the bus. Tell us about your book.

Natalie:

Okay. I’m so excited about this book.

Pedram:

I know you have this book coming. Yeah. Congratulations.

Natalie:

Yeah. Thank you. I started everything online, but I always listen to my audience, so the first step … I never had done a hard copy product. The first step was my audience said, “We want hard copy DVDs,” so I started with I made DVDs for them, made everyone happy. Everything I do goes to what my audience is asking for. With my recipes … and everybody’s been asking for a hard copy book. I was really excited to put this together, because I reach a lot of people through my social media, but I really feel that what I’ve done has really helped change a lot of people’s lives, not just with weight loss, just with so many things. I think there is a gap in the education on what people need to do to get healthy. It comes back to that information overload that I went through in the beginning where do you have to go on this crazy cleanse? Do you have to give up whole …?

There’s so many rules that you have to do to lose weight, and really what I did was unprocessed my diet and unprocessed my life. That’s what I did this book about. It’s based on my original 7 day jump start, but it’s all healthy, easy to make food based on unprocessing your diet. It’s all about addition, not subtraction, so it’s not about never have these things. It’s about what good things can you add into your life and into your diet to make you have energy, satisfy cravings, and lose some of the weight as a bonus? It’s all about that. Then I include some home workouts and things, just to help people get started, coming from that mindset of where I was before.

Pedram:

I love that, because we live in a culture of orthorexia. It’s like, “I can’t eat anything. The water’s polluted. The air is …” That’s not helpful, so give me swaps. Tell me what I can eat, and it’s a much more positive and encouraging way to go about it.

Natalie:

My rules aren’t like this black and white … When I define unprocessed food I’m saying anything that once grew and that you can pronounce the ingredients. I’m starting with that. I didn’t say like you can’t add water to it. I’m not going to get all crazy with that. I’m just saying if it once grew and you can pronounce all the ingredients, let’s start with that.

Pedram:

Sure. It’s like making a samurai sword. The first few cuts are really big, and then at the end it’s just this really fine finessed thing, but if you’re 40 pounds overweight and you just don’t have energy and you’re depressed, I mean, just unprocessing your food is like night and day.

Natalie:

Totally. Yes. I think it’s going to be a breathe of fresh air to people, because it really is not that restrictive at all. It’s about addition. It tastes great. People love it, and it’s based on something I’ve been helping people now withfor 4 years get tremendous results. I’m excited to get this message out to more of the world.

Where Can I Find Natalie’s New Book?

Pedram:

Where can people find the book?

Natalie:

They can find it pretty much anywhere, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, any place you can get it, or just going to Nataliejillfitness.com/book. I have all my bonuses listed up there and stuff and talk more about the book. They can pre-order it there.

Pedram:

Awesome.

Natalie:

Thanks

Pedram:

Awesome. Great to have you.

Natalie:

Thank you.

Pedram:

Good luck with the book.

Natalie:

Thank you.

Pedram:

This is awesome stuff. I think you’re a hero, and you are speaking an authentic language to people who really need it, and that’s important.

Natalie:

Thanks.

Pedram:

Eating junk food, feeling sorry for yourself, back against the wall, debt, everything is caving in, what do you do? You step up. You do what it takes, and you step into your greater self. She started eating right. She started exercising. She started being authentic and sharing that with the world. That’s what we all need is a little more authenticity out there. TV sucks. The reason why the internet is growing is because we can have real conversations with real people, and she gets to be a real person. There’s millions of people on this journey with her. What’s your journey? How are you going to transform where you’re at and the way you feel, and the weight of your life into something? Well, that’s what alchemy is, right, turning lead to gold. Natalie did it. What’s going to be your alchemy story? Let’s have it.

 

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