Teacher Natalie Hamblin-Walker (pictured) has shared her incredible weight loss journey
A primary school teacher has transformed her body to get a toned physique with washboard abs after she dropped two dress sizes in six months without depriving herself of the food she loves.
Natalie Hamblin-Walker, from Sydney, led an active and healthy childhood – but her weight escalated once she started dining out and drinking with friends in social settings while studying at university.
‘Over the years my body changed. I wasn’t healthy and fit anymore,’ the 33-year-old told Daily Mail Australia.
Tipping the scales at 73 kilos, Natalie ate large portioned meals, regularly snacked on sugary treats or two-minute noodles and ordered fast foods after a night out.
But determined to get on top of her weight once and for all, she made the drastic lifestyle overhaul that saw her slim down to a size eight.
Before and after: The 33-year-old has transformed her body to get a toned physique after she dropped two dress sizes in six months without depriving herself of the food she loves
Determined to get on top of her weight once and for all, she made the drastic lifestyle overhaul that saw her slim down to a size eight
Natalie shares her healthy day on a plate
BREAKFAST: Greek yoghurt with berries
LUNCH: Homemade leftovers or a salad
DINNER: Lean meat with vegetables
Before her weight loss, Natalie said she was always feeling ‘sluggish’ and ‘tired’.
‘My food portions were way too big. In a social setting, you just keep eating those fries that someone bought for the table, while you’re lost in conversation,’ she said.
‘I would snack a lot, especially during recess breaks at school, a packet of chips. When I got home from a full day of work, I would starve and end up cooking two-minute noodles or having leftovers, before dinner.
‘I simply didn’t know what was healthy and what wasn’t. I would buy foods I thought were healthy because the packet implied so, but I didn’t understand that those foods were full of sugars and things I shouldn’t have eaten.’
Natalie said she hardly exercised while she ‘didn’t think twice about eating fast food, especially after a night out’ or drinking sugary drinks.
‘Some days I would try to eat healthy, but I didn’t really know what that looked like, so I’d buy things like muesli bars thinking I was making a healthy choice,’ she said.
Tipping the scales at 73 kilos, Natalie ate large portioned meals, regularly snacked on sugary foods or two-minute noodles and ordered fast foods after a night out
She now feels healthier and happier more than ever – and she still treats herself to pizza night with friends or desserts whenever she’s craving them
Her turning point came when she wanted to ‘go back to being healthy, fit and full of energy’ after she felt self conscious with the way she looked.
She signed up to 28 by Sam Wood – an Australian weight loss program designed to encourage people to exercise just 28 minutes day at home.
‘I started seeing results in just a few months. This motivated me to keep going. I lost 12 kilos in six months and have managed to keep it off,’ she explained.
‘The program provides me daily exercises I can follow all in the comfort of my own home. It’s easy, it’s just 28 minutes, four per cent of my day. If I don’t have the time, I can follow the 10-minute workout or 20-minute yoga session. I just get it done.’
She also joined Susie Christie Coaching every Sunday where she performed a fast-paced group session that combines strength and functional movement.
The school teacher now feels healthier and happier more than ever – and she still treats herself to pizza night with friends or desserts whenever she’s craving them
From there, Natalie tweaked her diet by cutting out fast foods and limiting her alcohol intake whenever she was out with her friends.
‘I started eating all the colours of the rainbow, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Real foods,’ she said, adding: ‘My body now feels lighter and I have so much more energy.
‘I also took note of the portion sizes as well. Once I started eating healthier, my snacking stopped. I’m rarely hungry.’
She now feels healthier and happier more than ever – and she still treats herself to pizza night with friends or desserts whenever she’s craving them.
‘It’s all about moderation. I’m only human. I just make sure that my workouts remain consistent. I always feel great after a workout, which was a surprise to me. I thought I would feel tired and sore, but I actually have way more energy for my day,’ she said.
‘If I miss a workout, for whatever reason, I don’t make myself feel guilty about it, I just think “that’s totally ok, I’ll pick it back up tomorrow”.’
By sharing her story, she hopes her transformation inspires other women to get on top of their weight or tweak their unhealthy eating habits
Natalie now works out just 28 minutes a day, five days a week and does light exercises on Sundays – while she gives herself a ‘day off’ every Saturday.
‘When I look in the mirror, I feel confident. I’ve always loved myself no matter what my body looked like but now I feel proud of myself to see how far I have come,’ she said, adding she now weighs 61 kilos.
‘I used to believe that I needed “the perfect body” but I now realise that there is no “perfect body” and the thing I needed was confidence in myself.
‘Working out stopped being a way to “lose weight” and it became a normal part of my daily routine that made me feel proud and happy with myself.’
By sharing her story, she hopes her transformation inspires other women to get on top of their weight or tweak their unhealthy eating habits.
‘First things first, you are beautiful no matter what your body looks like but if you are wanting to change and would like to get healthy and fit for yourself, find a program that works for you, whether it is at home or the gym,’ she said.
‘If you feel as though nothing is working, take a picture of yourself and compare it to when you first started, you will be surprised. Consistency is key.
‘I want people to know that there were days I felt like I didn’t have the energy or the time, I felt disheartened. That’s normal. But I just made sure to stick with it and trust in the process.’