How and when did you get started training for a healthy and active body lifestyle?
After having my son I realized I had hit a brick wall. I became “That Mom” who still carried post pregnancy weight, didn’t like what she looked at in the mirror, living off of no sleep, not eating a balanced diet, and no time to work out. I knew I needed a change. I needed to take care of myself so then I could feel more confident and happier. I decided to set a goal and compete in my first Figure Competition. That way I was held accountable to live a healthy lifestyle and focus on getting fit. I signed up with a trainer/ team and learned quickly that the fitness lifestyle isn’t just great for your body and health, but empowering for your mind and well being. Since that day I haven’t looked back. I keep striving to achieve all of my dreams and keep competing to get better and better. With hard work and dedication the life I live now is a life that I thought only other people lived. So grateful I have found and chosen the fitness lifestyle.
Do you have goal setting techniques? Short term and long term goals?
I have a goal board that helps me with staying on track. At first I felt like it was something I would have done when I was a “teeny bopper” but then I got really into it. I posted pictures of inspirational fitness models, motivational quotes, and just even daily reminders to just be happy. Fitness goals are all short term goals that become long term goals. Make everyday count!!!
How do you remain motivated? Any tips for anyone wanting to get in great shape and or thinking about competing in your sport?
I stay motivated by staying balanced. I know that competing isn’t my whole life and that the stage will always be there. My motivation is knowing that I can live a life as a mom, wife, co-worker, friend and still have an active body lifestyle that allows me to compete and rock the stage.
How do you keep track of your progress?
I keep track by having a log book where I track of my changes/measurements/pictures on a weekly basis. It’s very rewarding to look at the changes over a period of time.
What types of cardio have worked best for you?
I’m more of a weight junkie so doing cardio isn’t something I always enjoy. I choose to do cardio interval/circuit style to keep my brain active and body going.
What’s your favorite healthy recipe?
MMmmmm my favorite healthy recipe is soooo easy. I love making Yam Chips. I thinly slice my yams, sprinkle with sea salt, and zap it in the microwave on my dehydrator and BAM: an amazing snack!
What does your diet consist off?
Currently I’m on season so my diet is very strict. I eat a lot of chicken, tilapia, rice, green beans, and asparagus…good fuel for my body for training.
What do you do to deal with craving for salty foods, sweets, and junk foods?
I’m guilty of being a big time gum chewer. There are so many yummy sugars free dessert gums out there that I get giddy when I find a new flavor. I also have a cheat day in my plan so it keeps me going knowing that I can reward myself.
My favorite 3 exercises are of course my 3 strongest
– shoulder press
– 1 arm side laterals from floor
– lat pull downs
Do you listen to music while you train?
Yes I need my music pumping while training!!! I often will pick one song and play it on repeat for my whole workout for weeks on end and never get tired of the song. Awolnation is my go to band for music!
In terms of your training schedule, how many days a week do you train and what would be a typical training regimen for you?
I weight train 5 days a week. I target a specific muscle group each day. On weekends I do a boot camp with my team and take a rest day following.
Do you have any role models or athletes you look up too?
I look up to women that I can relate to; the everyday moms who have chosen to become extraordinary. Fitness model Ashley Horner, Nichelle Laus, and Jillian Michaels who all live balanced lives filled with fitness, family, and fulfillment.
What do you enjoy the most about competing in figure?
I love competing in figure because I love muscles and feeling strong. I admire all the women in figure and always feel honored to be standing on stage with them!
What supplements do you take?
Women pick up the weights and no you won’t start to look like a man!! Follow a clean eating food plan where you can eat lots of good fuel for your body. If you don’t know how to even “start” research a personal trainer, go online, read a magazine or book…there’s so much information out there, it’s just a matter of starting!
Name: Natalie Coutu
Year of birth: 1982
Weight: Contest weight 125lbs, Off-season weight 140lbs
Facebook fan page: Natalie Coutu
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