This week on kenNERDdy I interviewed a friend I went to high school with who is now a Registered Dietician and Fitness Instructor. Her name is Natalie Boss (you don't want to try and pronounce her real last name) and she is a true role model!
Here is a photo of our cherub faces Sophomore year of high school in our potato sack uniforms! Nat is obviously front and center and I'm lingering in the back with my chunky, purple glasses.
Before jumping into the interview, I did want to share something about me that I've only told a handful of people at this point in my life. I mention my health problems quite frequently - that is nothing new - but I never talk too much about what is specifically going on with me. I'm asked a lot to talk about what I'm going through - I truly don't like pity so I normally avoid talking about it because people typically feel bad for you if you have any type of health issue. I have realized though that holding things in just is not good for my mental health so I want to put it all out there to help inspire YOU if you have something going on with you too. I've discussed my heart problem and other ailments that I've had since I was young but my most recent diagnosis has been a cancerous tumor in my intestine. Unfortunately I cannot get chemo or have it surgically removed because my heart would not survive either option - it's about a 4% chance of survival so I would never opt for either one of those things unless I am literally on my deathbed. I have had to drastically change my lifestyle with this news and of course my mindset. Natalie is a firm believer, as am I, that mindset is a huge factor in overcoming really anything that life shoves up your ass. With all that I have survived at this point in my life (You can read an abridged version of my life story here ) - this news didn't really startle me, to be honest. It's not easy - I deal with constant bathroom runs since my body cannot really process most things (yay vomit and diarrhea!), a strict diet, constant severe pain...ect but.... everything will be okay. I shouldn't even be here now with what I have been through, so this is just another mountain to climb - a pretty permanent mountain..but it's climbable! I wanted to share this with you all not for pity but because I know we can get in our heads about something (aka anxiety, a broken bone, a traumatic experience -- and so on) becoming a barricade to living life. Nothing can stop you from living the life YOU want to. Yes, some situations make it difficult to do so - but never do those situation make it impossible. Staying strong, persistent and rolling with the punches is the recipe to succeed in this short life we have. I hope this interview helps you realize that when your mind is absolutely set on a goal - only you can achieve it!
**I caught Nat up on my life and she gets extra brownie points for still calling me Jules**
OMG Jules, I can't believe you suffered through all that. That is truly inspiring! You are an awesome human and no one would ever know about your past with how you present yourself! That is truly amazing! I'm even more honored that with everything that you went through you find ME to be inspiring! I can't tell you how honored and thankful I am! I think your blog is an awesome idea and am secretly jealous (bc I could never stick to making blogs lol) ....what inspired you to make your website?
Well thank you! I just love writing and sharing my life/ideas/ect. I'm artsy too so I enjoy designing it and the tech aspect behind it. I want to help others get through the obstacles of their life because it's possible, with the right mindset, to overcome absolutely anything. There's no cookie cutter way to do it either - I do it with a dry, morbid sense of humor but with a core of positivity.
Of course I find you inspiring! I was in almost every class with you at Huberts (For those of you not lucky to know - that's our high school!) and I love the direction you took in life. You emit a lot of passion and I remember you were never sure where you'd want to pour it. Tell me about what you went to school for and what made you put all your eggs in that basket.
You are so right! MINDSET is everything! I try to emphasize and preach that to people! Because it truly is the difference between being able to reach and surpass your potential vs falling into the trap of the negative ideas in society.
I went to West Chester University in 2010, right out of high school. I knew graduating from Huberts I wanted to go to school for nutrition.
Growing up, my family did not have much money and we lived on very little. I never ate healthy; I always ate fast food and junk from corner stores. The one thing hat saved me was sports. I was always outside playing sports as well as started taekwondo at age 7. I believe if it wasn't for having that fitness aspect imbedded at such a young age, I may have very well been very overweight.
However, my interest in health, fitness and nutrition sparked in 6th grade when I had a personal transformation that changed my life and led to my passion for living a healthy lifestyle. As an 11-year-old “tomboy”, you generally don’t care about your weight or how you look; but my realization that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle came to me one day on a casual shopping trip with my mom. I realized I had gained weight when I couldn’t fit in my usual size pants and had to go up 2 pant sizes (putting me in women sized clothes)! I was absolutely horrified and from that moment on, knew that I had to make some changes to my life so I could get back to my old jean size.
I didn’t know where to start, but I knew I had to start by researching anything I could about “how to lose weight”; I educated myself through reading various nutrition books and articles and watching documentaries. I was committed and driven to getting “healthy” and nothing was going to stop me. Fast forward months later (post changing my eating habits, cutting out junk food and daily exercise) and I met my goal; I was back down to my original jean size and I couldn’t have been happier! What surprised me even more was that in addition to losing the extra weight, I also had more energy, was performing better in my sports, and gained more self-confidence! This experience enlightened me to the understanding that I have the ability to make positive changes in my life, based on the decisions I choose to make daily. This intrigued me further and thus began the beginning of my passion for living a healthy, fit lifestyle that led to where I am today, A Registered Dietitian.
My life has been nothing but a journey of finding self love and balance.
I’ve had many ups and downs that developed me into the strong, healthy and confident woman I am today. One of the most important ones being, the eating disorder I had. Yes, you heard right. I, a self-proclaimed health nut, developed bulimia in my high school years due to my over-obsession with nutrition and fitness as well as the social pressures around me to “be thin” and “have a thigh gap”. This was an absolutely debilitating time in my life and took me a long time to recover from, both mentally and physically.
I totally can relate to that. I was bulimic and anorexic throughout high school. It's something that is almost impossible to overcome 100% and is a huge problem in today's society - ESPECIALLY in high school.
It's wonderful you surpassed it and are where you are now.
What advice to you have for someone suffering from an eating disorder?
Through every struggle I had, what remained the same, was the fact that I WAS IN CONTROL OF MY LIFE. It was up to me to make the daily decision to treat myself with respect, including my mind and my body.
I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others do the same. Finding peace with yourself and loving yourself is the most powerful force on the planet (in my opinion). Everyday I feel unstoppable and invincible... and quite frankly its because everyday I wake up I tell myself that I am exactly that. We are all human and can only try our best in this crazy life. I just want to help people and inspire people that with just simply living a healthier lifestyle, so much more of life will fall into place
My advice for someone with an eating disorder would be to buy positive, self-help books. I healed myself through flooding my mind with nothing but positivity. The more positive energy I fed myself, the more self-love and self-worth I began to develop. I recommend developing a positive mantra to tell yourself every day when you wake up, go to sleep, or at any point in the day where you are feeling "weak" and discouraged. Also, I got rid of all the negativity in my life. At the time of my ED, I was doing some modeling gigs, which is whatI believe, really triggered my obsession with looking "skinny". These three small tweaks helped me dramatically!
Also, the more I learned about nutrition and how the body and mind works, the more appreciation I felt for my body and life in general and didn't want to be the one who was purposefully destroying my body. I learned that everyone is different and we all need to love who we are at any point. Looks fade. Its how you feel on the inside that truly matters, both physically and mentally.
I totally agree. I'm so happy you were able to pull yourself out of that tornado of negativity. It's more difficult then it sounds! Do you have any specific books that you recommend since you mentioned getting some reading material?
Yes I do!
They are all extremely powerful books… They truly put my mind on the right path of positivity and success
Yes I love those books and have all hard copies of them lol ...& yes I do count calories, but only when I'm doing so for a competition… When I'm in "off-season "I just follow my instincts and intuitively eat choosing healthy, mostly vegan Whole Foods.
Oh okay. Yeah I was wondering because before getting diagnosed with my growth I was always still mindful of calories but now I can only have about 1000/day because that's all my body will digest and process.
Speaking of competition - you were in one recently, right?
Oh wow that's crazy! But yea it's important to know your unsocial body and what it requires nutritionally!
& yes! At the end of May, I did my first figure competition
Yes! So my diet is mainly fruits, veggies, beans and some carbs.
That's awesome! How was that? What was it like?
It was an amazing experience! I actually did it to test myself and my mentality. I knew that it was going to be something that was going to require a very strict nutrition and very strict fitness regimen… I knew my weakness with my previous experiences counting calories and exercising excessively and wanted to test myself. I went into the competition with zero expectations as far as trying to win anything. I really just wanted to use my knowledge of nutrition and fitness to manipulate my body and see how well I could transform it in a short amount of time. I knew it was a gamble with how I would react post competition with the mandatory and necessary weight gain back to a healthy weight. A lot of people have trouble assimilating back to a healthier weight because they are on stage and super shredded and get caught up mentally withstanding to look that way forever . It was an awesome feeling to be all dolled up and super muscular, but my true test of character was to see how I would respond after the competition was over. It was an amazing experience that gave me so much confidence. I am not a girly person at all, and I wasn't sure how I was actually going to like being on stage and being on "display" and critiqued by judges. But like I said, I went in with zero expectations and I just want to have fun and enjoy the process of showing off everything that I worked really hard for. I actually placed 2nd in both my division and the open. I also became what's considered nationally qualified in the figure category, which means I can compete in national competitions if I wanted to! That was a super surprise and that experience taught me so much. It reinforced to me that it's more important to have fun in life and be happy than to be in a constant competition with others. The more you enjoy the process (the ups and downs), The more benefit you will gain!
Dang! Well CONGRATS, I am not surprised you placed - you are a Bambie afterall :.(W(Wff
I do plan on competing in the future but Im currently focusing on building my business, competing in jiujitsu,and just enjoying life😊
Lol thanks that means a lot! ☺️
Once a Bambie, always a Bambie 🙌🏼
That's amazing. I'm so stoked to see where else you go.
Well we have covered so much in less then an hour!
Did you have anything else you'd like to add?
I know it's been really fun to talk about my life experiences with you! & I just really wanna thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about me and why I do what I do. I'm really on a mission to teach as many people as I can about living a healthy lifestyle including positive and finding balance! I'm really honored to be featured on your website and hope that my story will inspire many more people!
So what do you for a living now? Out in Cali? How do you like the west coast?
That's a part of my message too! It's IMPERATIVE to take into account living a healthy lifestyle..it's helped me drastically. My doctor says if nothing gets worse - I still only have about 10 years maybe. So, living the most healthy life could possibly prolong that :)
I love the West Coast. I am in school full time (finally), I work full time as an Assistant Manager at a puppy store and run my blog. My dream is to make a full time living off of my blog though. :)
That's amazing Jules! If you ever need anyone to talk to or lean on, you can always reach it to me! I meant that! There needs to be more support and positivity in the world.
That's awesome! Good luck in school!! And I'm sure in no time, you'll make that blog your full-time job! 😊👌🏼
Thanks Nat! :) I will remember that. I totally agree with you - the world needs more happiness.
Well I always wrap up my interviews by asking what's the nerdiest thing about you? (my slogan is #staynerdy after all cause I'm kind of a huge dorkus.)
What makes me a nerd? Well, I love to collect magnets and foreign coins 🤓 & I am also an avid lover of crocheting and doing brain games/mind puzzles, like Sudoko!
I'm also obsessed with everything nutrition-related...& always try to stay the most up-to-date with the most recent research 💪🏼
THE BOSS IS ALL OVER THE DOT COM:
CLAWS OF THE MONTH
I had an emergency and had to get my claws redone as one fell off unexpectedly the other day and with my OCD I couldn't handle looking at it not matching the rest of my nails. I went with a base of sea foam green and a top coat of a darker, sparkly green. I love this combo! #rawr
MERCURY NEWS OF THE WEEK
My Mercury is a big girl now! She has all of her puppy shots now so she is free to interact with other dogs so she's getting leash trained. Look at that pretty girl - I basically dragged her around the block since she doesn't understand what going on a walk is yet but...progress is being made nonetheless. & why yes - that is a Sailor Mercury themed leash and harness.