• We talk to sports model and personal trainer Natasha Hutchinson

Natasha went from being the large girl in the school yard to a personal training fitness model. Today we talk to her about the struggles she faced with her weight, life and how she managed to overcome it all to compete in multiple INBA shows.

When did you first realise you wanted to be part of the fitness industry?

I guess for me it all began with wanting to make a change. I was extremely overweight as a teenager and tried to lose the weight too quickly and became very ill. I ended up suffering from anorexia and bulimia for 5 years.

It got me nowhere and it wasn't until I joined up at the gym and hired a personal trainer did I actually start to learn about my body. I learnt that you actually HAVE to eat healthy nutritious foods, exercise to lose weight and most importantly have a healthy functioning body.

I wanted to be able to help other women and also men with similar issues.

What was your biggest fitness achievement in 2013?

Placing in my first show of the season at INBA. I had just gone through a devastating breakup and instead of backing away from the comp prep it drove me harder and focusing my energy into that instead of going off the rails.

It made me realise just how strong I am mentally to be able to continue a comp prep whilst sleeping in my car and having no family or friends to support me.

What's the one meal you could never live without?

Steak. I am a dead set dinosaur when it comes to a good eye fillet!

What does your current weekly training routine look like?

I change it up all the time! It depends what sort of pressure I'm under at work (I'm a nurse). Sometimes I'll manage to get a full 5 days of training in, focusing each day on a specific muscle group. Sometimes I have to do just upper body all together. It really depends on my work schedule.

What exercises do you love and hate the most?

LOVE Stiff Legged Deadlifts and Barbell Hip Thrusters!

I hate anything chest, the fact I have an enhanced chest (no secret there haha) means that training chest is a NO-NO. It is my weakest point which makes it my biggest hate.

What's the nicest random act of kindness you've seen at the gym?

I actually made a Facebook post about this the other night as it was just SO adorable!

There was a young maybe 16/17 year old teenager at the gym. He was extremely skinny, one of those guys at school who would get bullied for being so skinny. He was trying to do squats with just the barbell and was failing at both form and the weight! He then attempted to do lunges with the barbell and again it was too heavy and his form was poor.

I was wondering whether to say something to him or pull up one of the floor staff to give the poor teenager a hand when a larger (MUCH larger) gentlemen who was deadlifting around 250kgs went up to him and showed him a proper form for squatting and where he can start from to build up his strength. He then proceeded to ask the teen if he wanted to train with him that night.

The look on the kids face was just pure astonishment that this massive gentlemen would offer such a thing. It was beautiful to see.

The whole session the bigger gentlemen was joking and laughing and showing him exercises and proper form, even though whenever it was his turn for a set he had to un-rack all the weights etc. he was still just in the zone and concentrating on helping his kid. It was such a nice thing to see these days. A lot of the guys in the gym would usually laugh at the teenager struggling so I was very touched.

Natasha Hutchinson: Before and After

How do you feel is the best way to maintain a social life without hampering your results in the gym?

I’m a big believer in balance in your life. Whilst obviously during comp time you may choose to focus and stay away from social events is 100% up to the individual, I cannot see any reason why you would need to avoid such social events.

I follow IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), which allows me to have flexibility with my dieting and ensuring that I can have those odd social events where having dinner out with the girls WONT make any difference or hinder my results.

I do however, steer clear of alcohol a lot. The odd glass of wine here or there doesn't bother me, you need to live, but binge drinking and partying isn’t my scene and I can't see myself ever being like that anymore.

What do you know now that you wish somebody had told you when you first started training?

I wish for my first competition I had sourced a better coach. I suffered from the WORST post competition rebound from my first show and took me months and months to get my body back on track despite the healthy diet and endless cardio I was doing in the "offseason".

I guess what it comes down to at the end of the day is learning all of these things, sharing your experiences with others to warn them of the dangers and allowing your body to change and go through what it needs to become stronger, fitter and healthier.

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