From her social life to her job and relationship, Natalie Kitney found herself constantly settling. Believing that maybe her dreams were just fairy tales, she chose to just exist and not truly live her life. With no long-term goals, she repeated the same unhealthy cycle week after week.
“I lived for the weekends,” Natalie says. “I would drink too much, always party hard and dread Mondays.
“I’d spend the rest of the week recovering, only to do it all again the next weekend.”
Just like her social life, her relationship was unhealthy too.
“I was in a long-term relationship where I had accepted that this was as good as it was going to get,” Natalie says. “I compromised so much of who I was and what I loved to try and make him happy.”
Natalie’s first journey into the fitness industry was short-lived. In 2004, she lost 10kg on Weight Watchers and completed a degree in psychology and certificates III and IV in fitness.
“It was here I knew my heart and passion was in the gym,” Natalie says. “I wanted to create positive change in other people’s lives.”
After pursuing work as a group fitness manager and group exercise instructor, the pressure of those around her soon made Natalie question her true passion.
“I loved what I was doing, but eventually others began saying ‘so when are you going to get a real job?’ and sometimes if enough people ask you something, you start to question your own choices,” she says.
When an opportunity to work full-time in her family real estate business came up, Natalie took it. Convincing herself that this was the best pathway for her and her boyfriend, she surrendered what she truly wanted and let her goals fade away into the distance.
After making this change, Natalie realised she was living in constant fear of disappointing people.
“For many people ‘the fear of loss is greater than the prospect of gain’, and it’s that fear that completely paralyses you from moving forward in your life,” Natalie says.
“The most common fear we can have, even as adults, is the fear of living our own truth. We live in such a way that compromises who we are in an attempt to please and keep those around us happy. We lose sight of out identity and dreams.”
Natalie was at a turning point where the safe path wasn’t the best choice and the comfortable had become too uncomfortable.
“I decided I needed to draw a line in the sand and look at what I had around me,” she says. “I had compromised so much, and I saw this as my last shot of chasing my dream and pursuing my goal.”
It was at this point that Natalie’s friend, Dani Bosancic, provided her with some real-life inspiration. Dani began her journey to compete 18 months prior to Natalie, and this inspired Natalie to lose the extra weight and compete in bikini and fitness modelling too.
Through Dani, Natalie met a fitness model trainer who no longer trained due to his busy life, however, he decided that Natalie could train with him instead.
Tim helped Natalie unleash her inner dreams and to mentally and physically improve her outlook on life.
“Tim found what drove me; he found my ‘on’ button and, from this, taught me that every external action starts from an internal realisation,” Natalie says.
Natalie’s new outlook on life and Tim’s influence on her allowed her to stop compromising. By ending her long-term relationship and making healthy decisions, Natalie regained control of her future.
To this day, Tim is still Natalie’s personal trainer, coach, mentor, inspiration, support, and now boyfriend and soulmate.
“My friends describe us as the ‘power couple dominating the world one dumbbell at a time!’” Natalie says.
“For me, this isn’t just a journey of weight loss; it is a journey of taking control of my body, health, life and love.
“I have found happiness within myself and a love with Tim that I never knew existed. Each and every day I am creating the life I’ve always dreamt of, asking for what I want and not just accepting what others have to offer.”
Natalie has cut down to three enjoyable days working for her family business and is setting up her own consultancy company. She has time to pursue her passion of teaching group fitness classes, knowing she is inspiring others.
She won her very first fitness and bikini modelling competition, placing first and winning the most photogenic in over 30s Bikini Model in the ANB Victorian Championships in October 2014.
Natalie hopes to inspire many others through her journey.
“Take the not-so-easy path,” she says. “Don’t allow your biggest mistake to be being too afraid of making one.
“In order to create changes in your life you need to be ready, you need to acknowledge the compromises you have made, surround yourself with people who will believe in you and support you and your decisions unconditionally.
“There will always be self-doubt, and it takes a whole lot of hard work, but anything is possible if you have the drive, determination and self-belief to succeed.”