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“Today is the Day it all Changes!”

After years of struggling with difficult pregnancies, depression, and weight gain, Natalie Barry decided she’d had enough.

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From the Beginning, My Relationship with Food Wasn’t Healthy

In elementary school, I was never a part of the “in crowd”, and spent most of my days dreading going to school because I was constantly made fun of. I started to gain weight. Come my high school days, I remember my dad saying “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips”. I know he meant well, but that stuck with me for years. I was young and we’ve been told as young women that the way to lose weight is to just eat less and do more cardio. That’s all I knew as a teen. I would do cardio in my basement at home and eat next to nothing.

After high school I met my husband. We would go out to eat all the time, and slowly the weight started to creep back up. I didn’t even notice at first. We moved across the country, and I was suddenly a young woman in a management position with a company that took full advantage of my work ethic. Needless to say, the stress piled up — and so did the weight. We got married a few years later and decided to start a family.

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My Weight Kept Me from the Life I Wanted

We continued trying to conceive for five years or so but were told by Doctors we would just never have children due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can prevent some women from ever conceiving, and makes losing fat almost twice as hard as it is for someone without. I became convinced it was my weight that was part of the issue. I decided to try to lose some, hoping that would allow for a chance to carry a child.

I joined a gym and started running. I lifted a little, but cardio was king for me. I would eat but I would eat less and less once I noticed the weight start to drop. We tried to get pregnant again with a new doctor — and it worked, we were finally pregnant! I couldn’t have been happier. We were finally going to have our child we wanted.

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Difficult Pregnancies and Depression Made Weight-Loss Even Harder

It was a rough pregnancy, and she was stillborn at 5 months. I was devastated, and so began the downward spiral into depression and more weight gain. I didn’t know how bad the depression was until we ended up pregnant again a few months later. It was another incredibly rough pregnancy. I was restricted as far as the activities I was able to do, so more weight was gained. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, and although I was more than in love with her I found myself falling more and more into depression. I tried to hide it, but I was eventually diagnosed and put on medication. It helped, but it wasn’t how I wanted to live.

I literally woke up one morning and looked in the mirror, tears running down my face, and said: “No more!” I knew I needed to do something, not just for my physical health—depression was taking over my life. I needed to change. I took a before photo, looked at myself and said: “Today is the day it all changes!”

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What I Didn’t Know about Fitness Held Me Back

I started making small changes this time, like in my diet. I started walking every day with my daughter. I started working out at home with some light dumbbells and using my treadmill. And slowly things started to change. I started running outside and it felt amazing to be able to do that. I decided to join the  one and only gym in town. Was I intimidated? Absolutely. I did what I think most women do at first, and exactly what I did with the last gym I joined: I went right to the cardio equipment and started there.

I got the feel for who was who at the gym. Before I knew it, I was lifting more than running. I had a friend at the gym approach me and start talking about supplements. He mentioned JYM Supplements, and after a bit of research, I decided to try it.

I continued to train with my own programs using the supplements, but I had reached a major plateau in my training. My friend saw I was getting frustrated. I had just stalled. No matter what I tried to do, I wasn’t making any more progress. He suggested I try Shortcut to Shred. So I said: “What do I have to lose?”

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What I Learned from JimStoppani.com Made all the Difference

Until then, I had just made healthier food choices. I had no idea, before finding Jim Stoppani’s Dieting 101 and Shortcut to Shred program, how much of each macronutrients I should be taking. I shed fat and started gaining muscle. I absolutely loved it! I learned that instead of spending hours on the treadmill, if I lifted—and I mean lifted heavy—and gained more muscle, my body would burn more calories throughout the day. So began my love for lifting!

I have been doing Stoppani’s programs ever since. I’ve done HIIT 100, the Daily Grind, Down and Up Mass, and of course Super Shredded 8. I’ve learned how to adapt these programs to meet my needs and goals. Getting the right information has literally changed my life. I can’t stress enough just how much the gym has changed me for the better, and I’m not talking appearances—mentally, I am stronger. I am happier.

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JimStoppani.com Helped Me Overcome My Struggles and Transform My Life

It hasn’t always been easy. I have had to fight through nerve damage, back pain, degenerative disc disease, knee issues, and more. I'm insulin resistant. I have PCOS. But I have never once let any of those factors stop me from pushing forward. I want more people to know it is possible to get healthy.

There is no quick fix to weight loss—no teas, no wraps—It's hard work. It takes dedication and discipline—and it's absolutely worth it. Taking care of myself is important not only for my own well-being but for my family's as well. I have an amazing little girl who motivates me every day. I want her to see just how strong her mother is, to grow up with the same strength and fight I have found in myself, to know that women can be strong and have muscle, too. I want moms out there to know it’s okay to take care of yourself first.

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Fitness has literally saved my life. I look back at all I have overcome and I am most proud that I never let any of it stop me. It takes time, consistency, dedication, hard work — in and out of the gym — but it will happen with the right mindset, and a good education like I’ve gotten from Jim Stoppani.

Start Your Pathway Follow Natalie’s pathway by clicking below to set out on a path of your own. Select one of the programs Natalie used and follow the steps provided to start your transformation.