Today I had the pleasure of meeting Natasha Gilson and I don't think I've ever met a more inspirational woman! I'm not a gym goer myself so when Natasha suggested we meet at 'Fusion 3 Fitness' where she coaches I was a little intimidated, but I needn't have been. Natasha and all the staff members were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at ease. There was a huge array of equipment and there is a mezanine floor for private sessions or floor work so I can imagine it's a really adaptable place to work out.
Natasha was a paralegal living in Manchester when she met the father of her little girl. She was always in to fitness, but it was more so she could keep up with 'work hard, play hard' city lifestyle that all her colleagues enjoyed. 'I had a personal trainer as that's just what you did. I got in to a bit of weightlifting at 24/25 just so I could eat what I wanted!'.
5 years in to her law career Natasha fell pregnant and everything changed. She suffered from HG (Hyperemesis gravidarum) and was incredibly ill throughout her entire pregnancy. 'Everyone kept telling me it would be fine after the first 12 weeks. Well I was just waiting for that magical time but it went on for the next 7 months, amongst other complications'. Unfortunately the birth of her daughter was just as horrendous. 'I thought I'd be all Mother Earth, chilling out in the birthing pool but after 30 hours of labour, more complications meant I had to have an epidural and then an emergency C-section. Nobody tells you how long recovery after the surgery takes either. I went in to shock, it was mental'. And 6 days after giving birth Natasha was admitted to hospital again, this time with sepsis. We spoke about how hard breastfeeding is (because it really is,no matter what the experts say!) and how she felt judged for buying formula, even though when she was in intensive care in hospital she was still trying to breastfeed her little girl.
During her maternity leave Natasha started to go back to the gym and a body builder friend told her about a competition she was entering in 8 months time 'Fit Factor at the Body Power Expo in Birmingham'. Intrigued Natasha signed up too and found herself in a completely alien environment, surrounded by tanned and toned body builders in sequins while she came armed with her Topshop bikini. She had 60 seconds to tell the judges why she should win and her entire pregnancy and birth story flowed from her lips. Her determination clearly shone through as she was offered a place in the finals. She kept her training quiet and laid low from the other contestants, returned to the competition in fantastic shape and won!
After putting in all the hard work Natasha decided she didn't want to return to law and that building up a client base of her own would give her better flexibility to bring up her daughter. She gained quite a following after her win at Fit Factor and even had communications with ITV's 'This Morning' about bringing back a Mr Motivator style segment to the show. I think she would be fabulous at this, she is just so passionate about people's well being. I'll let her tell you in her own words -
'Essentially I just want to empower women in particular to lead a healthy and balanced life and to ditch believing that a number on a scale will bring happiness. I also don’t believe in diets because unless you’re an athlete or training for a particular event, the majority of the population can achieve their fitness goals by just making better choices and not having to calorie count, which just becomes consuming and miserable and leads to binges and guilt etc. I found that lifting weights and becoming stronger in the gym, crossed over in to feeling mentally stronger about decision making outside of the gym. It was one of the things that gave me the push I needed to go it alone as a single mum, rather than staying in a relationship that wasn’t serving me.'
Not only is Natasha a Personal Trainer, masseuse and Reiki instructor, she also writes poetry and mantras over on her instagram account www.instagram.com/the_real_natasha_louise. She is currently working with someone to create a range of products with her work printed on. I got to see a sneaky peak and they look great!
'I'm a healer, that's my thing. I like being strong but I feel like people come in to my life for a reason. People like my energy and my manner. And more than anything else, I want to be a good role model for my daughter'. Believe me, her daughter couldn't ask for better. Natasha is an amazing woman and if you're looking to make a positive change in your life I would highly recommend giving her a call. Even I'm considering signing up to some sessions! You can contact her here -