Like many Americans, 20-year-old Nebraskan Natalie Strawn has struggled with her weight all her life, but her story is definitely an extraordinary one. Three years ago, she had dropped out of high school and reached a point where she could barely move, topping the scale at 552 pounds. But from that point on, she made up her mind to turn her life around, joined Weight Watchers, and hasn't looked back. She appeared on Good Morning America today with her mom, Rita, to talk to Lara Spencer about her 282-pound weight loss. Her journey is incredible, to say the least!
You've got to wonder what motivates and keeps someone like Natalie motivated, when the challenge that lies ahead seems crazy uphill. Although she told Lara that she has her faith and is determined, she also has one specific trick up her sleeve that seems to be making her fight to the finish breezier all the time.
Natalie's secret? Her mom, Rita, who she sees as her partner in her weight loss journey. They blow the whistle on one another -- like a time when Rita bought a brownie at a gas station, and Natalie chucked it out the car window, ha! As Lara put it, the two are approaching weight loss as "a family affair."
I love this, because not only does a partner help keep you in check, but then you also have a responsibility to them to stay on track yourself and to keep them on track. You both make an effort to keep "junk" out of the cupboards, and you schedule time to go to the gym together. There's a reason Biggest Loser does whole seasons devoted to "couples" -- the setup is win-win. A completely underestimated boon to weight loss is the support of loved ones. If you have it, it can make a world of difference. If you don't, it can be one more battle in an already stressful war. I've known women who have said their families wouldn't eat the healthy food they were trying to cook themselves to stay on a plan, whose husbands refuse to get on board the "let's get healthy" train. That's gotta be so rough, so disheartening!
So Natalie definitely is lucky to have her mom working with her on this journey. If they both stay committed -- and from the looks of what Natalie's accomplished so far, it seems they really will! -- I have a feeling they'll have nowhere to go but down (in a great way).
What do you think about Natalie's story? Do you agree having loved ones' support is integral to weight loss success?
Image via ABC