‘Any new mum can look like me if they make the ef­fort!’

Mum-of-three Natalia Ste­wart trans­formed her­self in just 20 weeks and con­tro­ver­sially in­sists that any wo­man can do the same

Closer (UK) - - Contents - By Mel Fal­low­field

With her mus­cu­lar six pack, toned W arms and long slender legs, Natalia Ste­wart, 29, has an en­vi­able body. But, in­cred­i­bly, at the be­gin­ning of the year, she felt so out of shape she’d make up ex­cuses not to leave the house. At 12st 9lbs, and a size 14, Natalia was over­weight for her 5ft 6 frame. She felt des­per­ately self-con­scious about her body so she set about get­ting a physique she could be proud of – and dropped to 9st 4lbs and a size 8 in just 20 weeks.

Now the in­spi­ra­tional mum of three, who has achieved her look with­out weight-loss surgery or pro­ce­dures, says she thinks that any­one can achieve the same – if they’re pre­pared to put in the work.

The hair­dresser – who has chil­dren, Lee-jay, nine, from a previous re­la­tion­ship, and Bobby, three, and Ara­bella, one, with her part­ner Rob – says, “There’s noth­ing spe­cial about me. I have an in­cred­i­bly sweet tooth – I would love to spend my days eat­ing jelly sweets. I don’t al­ways en­joy work­ing out, but on the days I didn’t want to train I still dragged my­self there. If I can do it, then any­one can. I cer­tainly didn’t just ping back into shape.”

NO EX­CUSE

She adds, “I had lots of gy­nae­co­log­i­cal prob­lems af­ter the birth, which were un­com­fort­able dur­ing train­ing. But as long as your doc­tor says you’re fit to ex­er­cise you can do it, too. I want to in­spire women to re­alise there’s noth­ing stand­ing in the way of their dream body ex­cept putting in the work. Not hav­ing the time is no ex­cuse. I’ve got three chil­dren and no help with them. But I got up at 6am to do an hour in the gym be­fore Rob went out to work, or I’d take Ara­bella with me and she’d sit in her car seat be­side me while I was on the tread­mill. There’s al­ways a way around it.”

Natalia, from Gateshead, hasn’t al­ways had the “dream body”. When she was grow­ing up, she rarely weighed her­self and was a com­fort­able size 12. Af­ter hav­ing her first son, Lee­jay, she was only 19, and ad­mits she had no idea about nu­tri­tion and would mostly eat quick meals like Su­per Noo­dles. She met Rob when Lee-jay was still a baby. They split briefly af­ter three years and she dropped to a size 8, which she puts down to be­ing heart­bro­ken. But the cou­ple got back to­gether af­ter ten months and she soon fell preg­nant with Bobby and put on 3st. She says, “I felt so sick when I was preg­nant with Bobby. Eat­ing bread and bis­cuits was the only thing that helped ease it.”

Eight months af­ter hav­ing Bobby, Natalia started go­ing to the gym, but she fell preg­nant with Ara­bella a year later, be­fore she’d got back into shape.

MORN­ING SICK­NESS

She ex­plains, “I put on 4st with Ara­bella be­cause I suf­fered badly from morn­ing sick­ness again, and I just ate and ate to try to stop it. Af­ter I gave birth to her in Au­gust 2017, I weighed over 13st. My mus­cles in my stom­ach had torn and there were a few com­pli­ca­tions with Ara­bella so we were in and out of hos­pi­tal. Diet and ex­er­cise

weren’t my pri­or­i­ties as I had other things to fo­cus on. But in Jan­uary this year, I took a long look at my­self. I weighed 12st 9lbs and I was a size 14. I was un­happy with how I looked and it was af­fect­ing me men­tally and phys­i­cally.

I didn’t want to go out be­cause, even though no one ever said any­thing, I felt judged for be­ing out of shape. So, I found a per­sonal trainer who gave me a good deal on block book­ings, and I saw him three times a week. I had a small amount of sav­ings and de­cided to spend them on get­ting in shape rather than clothes or other lux­u­ries.

“I would have eggs for breakfast, chicken and broc­coli for lunch, fol­lowed by salmon and rice for din­ner and a fat­free Greek yo­ghurt as a snack. I worked out ev­ery sin­gle day and on the days I didn’t have a per­sonal train­ing ses­sion, I would do an hour of car­dio and an hour of weights. I’d work around school hours, go­ing early in the morn­ing. Of­ten I’d take Ara­bella with me to the gym, too. I took pho­tos of my progress ev­ery week and, even­tu­ally, I could see my body chang­ing shape. For 20 weeks I was ab­so­lutely ex­hausted and didn’t go out for cof­fees with my girl­friends or on date nights with Rob. I was very rigid. Once I hit my tar­get, I re­laxed a bit with my eat­ing, though I’m still care­ful and I ex­er­cise most days.

CON­FI­DENT

“I want to tell other women that they can look as good as me if they want to. Peo­ple moan about their weight, but they’re not pre­pared to put in the ef­fort it takes to lose it. I am so much hap­pier, be­cause I can wear any­thing I want now. When I was big­ger I’d spend hours try­ing to find some­thing to dis­guise my bulges.”

But Natalia does ad­mit she was very hard on her­self, say­ing, “Some women say they don’t have time – every­one does, you make time. You can get up at 6am like I did, de­spite barely sleep­ing, as I was up in the night with Ara­bella. Women like the idea of be­ing slim and fit, but ex­pect some­one else to wave a magic wand and it will hap­pen. You have to work hard and some women are just too lazy to do that. It’s hard – but I wanted to feel happy and con­fi­dent again. And if I can do it, any­one can.” Visit @na­tal­i­a­jaystew­art

❛YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD AND SOME PEO­PLE ARE JUST TOO LAZY TO DO THAT❜

Natalia and her dad just af­ter Ara­bella was born

She reg­u­larly works out with Ara­bella

A big change af­ter 16 weeks

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