#028 – Fitness is a journey, not a destination. In this episode, Naté-Janine Williams shares her fitness journey along with a very personal story about how she needed to take a break to take care of her family. Fitness is a part of your life and we explore what to do when you need to pivot and focus on other areas of your life.
The phrase “Mindset, Consistency, Dedication” in the trilogy literally and figuratively expresses my views on my journey through what I have accomplished and what I still strive to achieve. One of my goals was to establish my own brand of apparel called New Journey Wellness (NJW) which I was successfully able to launch in November 2020. I live to inspire the empowerment of women. I strive to be an advocate and cheerleader in encouraging them to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. My motto, “ Invest in you and put yourself first! ” fires my willingness to help others find the better version of themselves.
Richard Conner 0:00
Welcome to Episode 28. Today’s guest is going to share her amazing fitness journey. But within that, a story about a very challenging time in her life, and how she had to put fitness on hold to take care of her family. Hope you enjoy. Here’s what you can look forward to on this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast.
Nate-Janine Williams 0:22
I felt like I was letting not only just my family down, I was letting my clients down. I was letting down people that expected me to help them to the point where it wasn’t even that I was denying people I was just ignoring people I wasn’t responding. And people knew they all knew. You know what she’s having a rough time right now we have to give her space but at the same time, we need help too. So then it got to the point where I had to shut everything down. I just had to push everybody away and said I need this. Let me finish. I tried I as much as I tried to still fit it in there. It just kept going back where then I started becoming a failure to myself because not only was I putting the weight back on, I’m not I wouldn’t say that I have anxiety or depression. But at that time I became depressed.
Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. Whether you are new to running or seasoned. Get tips in the inspiration that you need to achieve your health and fitness goals. Now, here’s your host Richard Conner.
Richard Conner 1:30
Hi, everyone. Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. I am here with a fellow runner Nate-Janine Williams, that’s a is a wife and mother of five, who tries to find time to juggle it all. while balancing family life and professional life. She is proud to share her story on how she shed over 100 pounds and created her own journey towards becoming a better version of herself. This led Nate to continue her education, and earning a certification in health, wellness and recreation. Then opening the door to certifications and personal training and nutrition coaching. Currently in Nate, operates New Journey Eellness, primarily specializing in summer boot camps, as well as personal training and nutritional coaching. I’m really excited to have Nate here with us today. So welcome to the show.
Nate-Janine Williams 2:21
Thank you for having me.
Richard Conner 2:23
So Nate, I have to say that I’ve seen all of your posts, you’re super fit, love life and energy and inspiration for so many people. So let’s just kind of jump into the conversation and tell us a little bit about like the start of your journey.
Nate-Janine Williams 2:40
Wow, okay, I’m going to say the start of my journey goes back to 2010. Like I’ve always been, I wouldn’t say fit before then. But I was you know, high schooler very popular in with everybody do what I need to do. And then you know, the high school years took over and I lost control of all that entered into early 20s. I was still doing managing, you know, okay, then babies started. Then babies started. And my first child, I actually deemed that, you know, I was gonna say I’m gonna make this the most healthiest pregnancy I possibly could ever have. And I did. I was in better shape after I had my baby than I was before. Then the struggles. So that was in 2001 was my first child and I pretty much bloomed up and down between 2003 all the way up to 2010. So that’s when my new journey began, literally. I went to see a doctor one day. And she pretty much said, you know your blood pressure is through the roof. your cholesterol is super high. I really don’t want you leaving my office because I fear you may stroke out. But I have a feeling that I think you are now series to take on this new journey. And if you can even Promise me just to lose 10 pounds, then we have something to work with. Three months later, I entered into her office, and I was 30 pounds lighter. And that was just by dropping soda and pasta completely cut it out of my diet.
Richard Conner 4:15
Nate-Janine Williams 4:16
30 pounds. I was in in her office and she didn’t even she was calling my name. And she didn’t recognize me because I literally was down back. She’s like, Whoa, what did you do? And I said, Well, you told me to do what you told me to do, and it just went from there.
Richard Conner 4:31
That’s amazing. That’s amazing. And I’m just thinking soda and pasta are probably really difficult things to drop. And was that was that the only thing that you did during that time
Nate-Janine Williams 4:41
for the most part, like as far as nutrition because I I always knew how to eat. I’m not going to say I raised myself as a teenager but I had in my mother was ill. So I had to do a lot for myself and my sister. So I learned the tricks of the trade and how to cook and stuff like that. So that was never Really my issue, my issue was moderation. Right? So I knew that my biggest vices were soda, and pass that I couldn’t just have the, you know, glass of soda, or a small portion of path that I would have the whole two liter bottle and get up at three in the morning because I was thirsty and chug it from the fridge. Or I would have double sided pasta up that I knew those were things that I needed to cut out the most. So I knew that I had to tackle that first. And then the fitness started.
Richard Conner 5:34
That’s, that’s excellent. And I love how you started there. Because on the show, we talk a lot about running and fitness. And we kind of lead with that. But you’re right, nutrition is such an important part. And the fact that you started there, and you see that great success is that that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s awesome. So so let’s, you know, let’s transition a little bit and then talk about the fitness part. So you do you went and you got the the order from the doctor, you need to make a change in your life. You started with fishing, you drop the 30 pounds. So what happened next?
Nate-Janine Williams 6:08
And then so from there, I said, Okay, there’s there’s more to it. Besides the nutrition aspect of it, I started finding just different online programs that did keep my body moving. I was into sports as a kid, but not heavily, and definitely not as an adult. So I basically had to find out what worked best for me. And that meant I worked out sometimes three, four times a day by doing videos and programs online, because that’s what I felt that I needed to do. Thank God, my husband was highly supportive. I had family members that were highly supportive, and they knew that I was serious. And I just did what I needed to do. So I just and then then entered, running. And running started because mainly, my son is an athlete. And at the time he was, I don’t know, four maybe, and I’m not I’m that sideline parent who has the cameras, she’s messing everything up, because she jumped on everything, jumping up and down and screaming and hollering. And I just felt like I need to be doing more than that. And I don’t know why I just felt like I want to go run with him. Even though he’s a sprinter. I’m gonna spread her. I feel like I need to run with him. So I just started walking, walking and walking. And then one day I was walking down the street and my husband actually drove by me at the time. And he’s like, what are you doing? And I said, I’m walking and he laughed so loud. I’m like, what do you do, and he said, I’m making fun of you. He’s like, why he said, because you’re running, like you’re pretty much running, pick up your feet, and run. And so I did, and it felt okay. And there I vowed that I was going to run a 5k and I started my own training plan. That was my very first 5k. And that was in May, we our big event that we have here in Nova Scotia, Canada is called the blue nose. And I started to train for that all on my own by myself didn’t know anything about running. But computers are fantastic. That then I’m not sure if it was Google, but it was some kind of internet server that I was trying to find things on. And I just put everything together trained for a 5k and I killed that 5k I ran a 30 my very first 5K. So with proper nutrition, and you know, doing the right thing, you know, run into that phone post. And, you know, one minute on one minute off all that kind of stuff. I did it all. And then from there on, I was hooked with running and any running event I could find I was signing up for. And basically that’s all I did. It wasn’t even about gym programs or string training. It was just run, run, run. And that’s how it all began. Yep.
Richard Conner 8:52
And you know, people would say I might say, Well, I’m I’m not a runner, or I don’t like running. And I kind of feel like you need to get to that point where you’re running and you do a race and you get that sense of accomplishment to really know like it was something new you like or not, and it feels like you your reset point. But I’m wondering, why didn’t you do it in the first place? Like it kind of felt like you were you were kind of already on your way, but you didn’t know it. So.
Nate-Janine Williams 9:18
I think it was fear. I think it was fear.
Richard Conner 9:20
Nate-Janine Williams 9:21
And I’m not saying I’m a judgy person, but I can admit I was that person like and one of our bridges that we have, you could run in walk back and forth along the sides from one end to the other. And so I was that person, you know, who’d be driving across the bridge and seeing people running across and just laughing and I didn’t know why I was laughing at these runners that are running across the bridge. Right? Then I became one of those runners that was running across the bridge. And I said, Now I get it. Now I get why they were doing it. And I just think mainly it was just out of fear. I felt that other people were watching me, right. And then after a while, I was like yeah, they probably are Who cares?
Richard Conner 10:01
Nate-Janine Williams 10:02
Richard Conner 10:02
That’s great. That’s great. So So, you know, there’s something that you had mentioned a couple of times that I want to talk about is the support from your family, in particular, your husband. So tell us a little bit about that, like, you know, what kind of support did he provide to you. I mean, it sounds like it was the encouraging words like you can do this you can run, but what other kind of support that he provide?
Nate-Janine Williams 10:28
Basically, what I’m the main thing, stepping up around the house, with regard to the children. Getting into running and fitness in any kind of goal like that takes time, and takes commitment. It takes you away from other priorities that you may have. So he knew that this was something that I wanted to do at the time. And he’s pretty athletic himself. So he totally understands. And so him being you know, raised by an excellent mother, he knew how to cook, he knew how to clean had no problems doing it, picking up kids from sports, school, whatever he was there, and let me do whatever I need to do when I need to do it at that meant, I wanted to work out at nine o’clock at night, while he did something else, that that’s what I did. Because there were times where I was working out 9/10 o’clock at night, or first thing in the morning, or at lunch after work whenever I could find the time I fit it in. And there was no rhyme or reason to it. And he just let me do it.
Richard Conner 11:28
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And that that’s probably something that we don’t talk about enough on the show is the support from spouses and family because not only the the motivation, or the accountability piece of it, but it’s also just helping out in life to give you that time and space to to prioritize your fitness. Yeah. So that’s, that’s great. So you’ve had the motivation to run, you had the programs in order to kind of train you and teach you to run, you had the support from your husband. So like, talk, let’s talk about like, what did you enjoy most about running? Like when when you got to that point, you’re doing these races? And you say you’re hooked, like, what do you enjoy most?
Nate-Janine Williams 12:08
I was I may not, but I say I was hooked. I was hooked from day one. I don’t know it’s invigorating the rush the high that you get for it knowing that you finish and people say, Oh, it’s only a five, there’s no such thing as only as a 5k. Some people can’t even walk a half a mile, right? So that feeling of accomplishment, especially when it comes to a race and you cross that finish line and knowing that you did it. And especially for me, I had no coaching. I did it all on my own. I did it and I thought it was a pretty good time for somebody that did it on their own no walking, right. So definitely that feeling of accomplishment. And that rush that just passes through you. I think I might even cried a little bit to be honest with you. Because knowing where I was coming from, and knowing that I was going to be going further also it just amaze myself like I was totally floored. That’s it. You know what this is it. I think I’ve found what I love to do.
Richard Conner 13:12
Awesome, awesome. So what was your like either your favorite race or your favorite place to run.
Nate-Janine Williams 13:20
I’m going to say my favorite race series, only because during that first run that I did, I actually found this series that’s local here. It actually grew across Canada. But at the time that was local. It was for women only it’s called soul sisters. And I tried to get in on that their first event and at the time again, they were only doing five K’s. But it’s sold out. It became popular so quick. Within its first year it sold out I missed my chance. The second year, I got in just in time. And from there on. That became my premier event to the point where the run director signed me up as ambassador. So I became an ambassador for that race series. We then ran from 5k all the way up to half marathons and became the largest women only umm women’s only race in Canada in Eastern Monteral. So that was our highest we’ve had 3500 women run this event. That series alone is what changed my life as a runner, and as well as within my fitness because I felt like in order to be a better runner, I had to become more fit because I’m putting myself on display for all these women. And this the the motto of soul sisters back then it wasn’t about finished. Finish times. It’s just the finish line. Just the fact that you got across that line who cares how fast you did it, how slow you did it. We’re women. We’re doing this together. We’re empowering each other. Let’s go and that’s why that was mine. That my favorite event
Richard Conner 14:59
That’s excellent, that’s excellent. Thank you for sharing that. And just what a wonderful running career I’ll say from from when you first started to, to kind of where you were at that point in time. And then how you got there, that kind of progression to how you got there. So let’s, you know, switch gears a little bit, because you’re, you’re doing great, you’re in your routine, you’re having a great time. But, you know, things things happen in life. And I know in recent years, that you had to kind of hit the pause button on fitness to to take your family. So why don’t we switch gears a little bit and talk a little bit about that?
Nate-Janine Williams 15:36
Well, you know, running has always been, I guess, my passion since 2000. And I can’t even put the date on it. Now. It’s been so long. But if I still felt like I needed a bit more, so that’s when I started training, did that for a year, so whatnot, then that’s what I lost all my weight, got into the best shape of my life, was doing that news company, no news stories, based on the weight loss that I went through running running tips for winter tips on the news, stuff like that. Doing great. And then one day, it was Christmas Eve 2014. And I normally have my mother over for Christmas. So we were me and my daughter were out shopping and let’s go get nanny early. So we went over to her apartment at the time. I have a key for the main lobby, but not to her her actual door but her door was unlocked. And we went in it was dark Christmas music was playing first thing in the morning type thing. And, um, but it just seemed too quiet. And I thought okay, well maybe she’s just you know, in the laundry room or something like that. So my daughter went to go use the bathroom and she’s like, no, Nanny is in the tub. So I was like, Okay, no problem. Just give her some time. Whatever. Okay, now I’m gonna go talk the nanny. Okay, sit, you know, talk to her while she’s bathing or whatnot. She goes in? Oh, no, no nanny doesn’t look well. So what do you mean? So I go in, and yeah, my mother, I’ve, we’ve found my mother in the tub, she had a stroke. From there, I spent the next and I’m not even joking about the time, the next six months straight in the hospital, because not only did she have this stroke, she then had a heart attack, then she had kidney failure. Then she had all these other illnesses that just kept popping up, popping up popping up popping up all the time she was in the hospital. I lost me. I lost me, there was no time for fitness, there was some days there was not even time for my family. Because I literally slept in the hospital, I would get up first thing in the morning, head over to the hospital. And I would stay there all night, all day, come back home, sleep and go back. And this went on for six months. And during the six months, on came the weight. I had no activity on eating hospital food, you know what I mean? Like it was just everything I knew not to do. I was doing. But at that point, I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking about the health and well being of my mother. And that’s what happened.
Richard Conner 18:14
And that’s, you know, I think that’s really important to share. Because I mean, like what was your What was your feeling during that time? I know a lot of us have things that are going on in our lives and whether it was related to work or related to family. Yeah,
Nate-Janine Williams 18:27
and right on. Right. Absolutely. And the thing was to me at that point, I had already gotten my certification. And so I felt like I was letting not only just my family down, I was letting my clients down. I was letting down people that expected me to help them to the point where it wasn’t even that I was denying people I was just ignoring people I wasn’t responding. And people knew they all knew, you know why she’s having a rough time, right now we have to give her space, but at the same time, we need help too. So then it got to the point where I had to shut everything down. I just had to push everybody away and said I need this. Let me finish. I tried I as much as I tried to still fit it in there. It just kept going backwards, then I started becoming a failure to myself because not only was I putting the weight back on, I’m not I wouldn’t say that I have anxiety or depression. But at that time I became depressed. Because here I have my mother that who’s very ill, and at the same time, I’m now becoming ill.
And that was what I was fighting not to do. So it was it was a really rough time. It was a really dark time.
Richard Conner 19:43
I’m sorry to hear that. I know that. I believe she’s recovered now and things have gotten better as though you know what, what happened after that. So you meant this was a six month period of time. So as you started to recover like what what happened then from from your side.
Nate-Janine Williams 19:58
So then from there, once we She got finally got settled enough that I had to put her in a care home because she just has too many conditions that I could take care of it. If I were to have her come live with me, it would just be too much knowing that I already have young children, you know, my own family, I needed to get back to me. So it took a few years it took, you know, that was 2014 2015. By 2019, I finally felt the dust was starting to settle. It was only then that I thought the dust was our trials and tribulations and starting and stopping, starting and stopping, starting stopping her still having things happen in my husband, then had cancer, that so much went on, in that short time period. But it was 2019 that I said, You know what? Okay, and it was the end of 2019. Okay, I feel I feel calm. Now. I think it’s time to get back to me. And then came January 2020 is when I began.
Thank you for sharing that. And you know, what was that? Like? Kind of kind of getting back into it? Did you feel like you were starting over? Did you feel like, you know, it’s just like riding a bike. So so no challenges there? Like, what was that like for you kind of getting back into it.
Be honest with you like riding a bike, because I already knew I already had the tools. I already had the mindset. It was just actually getting up getting motivated and doing it. You know, I basically I taught people this story all the time that that day was January 6, I remember the day and everything. And I basically stood type of the mirror because I I’ve always had self love for myself always, even during all this time. As much as things were going on. I’ve always had self love for myself. So this is what happened on January 20. I looked in the mirror and I said you say you love yourself? How can you say your love yourself. And now you’ve gotten to this point, right? So I basically said, Okay, now you know better get moving, go down to the kitchen and do what you’re supposed to be doing. Go to the gym and do what you’re supposed to be doing. Put on your shoes, put on your run here, do whatever it is you need to do, and get going. And that’s basically what I did. I started by taking my dog on longer walks, is how it started went from there, and I’ve always had a gym space in my home. So I again, I’ve always had the tools available. So there was no excuse. And I knew there was no excuse, and I just once I hit go, I hit go. And I haven’t stopped.
Richard Conner 22:29
Yeah, and you I was gonna say and you’ve been going ever since and, and like I said, you know, the posts that I see I love what you’re doing. And you’re definitely an inspiration for for all of us. And so that’s great. So, you know, let’s talk a little bit about like this, this next phase, so you’re back into fitness. It’s like riding a bike. And and now you’re back into it. So tell us a little bit about your life. After this time. I you know, reading your bio, you started this, this company, New Journey Wellness, like tell us a little bit more about that and what’s going on in this phase.
Nate-Janine Williams 23:02
a new journey. wellness actually began during the earliest days, like before my mother even got because when I got certified, that’s when I started New Journey Wellness went back that that’s when I go back on my certification, all that kind of stuff. But again, like I said, I stopped everything halted everything. But then once I became back, I felt like I had to bring it back. Bigger than it was before. I changed it because when I first started it, I also had my own run group. So I had had, you know, I think was 1213 to time women under me that I was training to run or training those that ran before and lost the passion for to learn to love it again. Right? So but when I came back, I didn’t bring that part back. I just felt like I still needed to work more on me. And not so much. I’m not saying not help others, because I’ll always help others, but not put so much focus and attention because it took away from me. It took away from me. So when I brought it back, I just stuck with the boot camps, the personal training and nutrition aspect of it. And then from there I grew into I’m now adding apparel and fitness wear along with it because I started doing something else on the side to add to it. And it just it’s just seems to be taking off. So this is where we’re going. This is what I decided to do.
Richard Conner 24:32
Congratulations. That’s awesome. And what a great way to kind of get jump back into things in a way that worked for you. You know, given kind of your situation, everything that you’ve been through.
Nate-Janine Williams 24:41
Richard Conner 24:41
Nate-Janine Williams 24:44
Richard Conner 24:44
So you know, I know that you have this philosophy, you know, in general about running and fitness. So I’d love to kind of touch on that for a moment. You know, tell tell us a little bit about I think it came out a little bit in the conversation. But if you could just tell us a little bit more about that.
Nate-Janine Williams 24:58
Basically, I I hate to be cliche when it comes to certain things. But when it comes to running, just do it. Because it’s like me, I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking so fast. My husband says, I look stupid, just do it. Just do it. Don’t be afraid. If other people are watching you, if anything, take that, learn from it and grow with it. During my major running years, I don’t even know how many events I’ve run, I can’t, I lost track my all my bibs and metals, I used to collect metals. Now they’re all in a box. And I don’t understand why but they are, except for my favorites. But that’s how I started my fitness journey, by running. And it opened up my eyes to fitness in general. Right, I knew there was so much more. And I know that I knew that I needed to add strength training, to my running career. But it got to the point where now strength training, I do more than running I do running now for cardio. I love it, I still love it. But I don’t have that passion for it, like I had before it, that passion is now within strength training. Right? So it’s evolved into a different chapter. Still, they’re just not my end all be all, if you know what I mean.
Richard Conner 26:19
I do I do. And I think that’s great. And, and that’s what we’re inspiring our community to do is to incorporate running as part of their fitness, overall health and fitness. And in your case, you’re focusing now on strength training, and you’re still sticking with the running as part of your cardio. I think that’s great.
Nate-Janine Williams 26:35
Absolutely. And I probably I think I still run probably, because I train five to six days a week, cardio tends to be my, I do an hour of cardio every morning. It’s 90% running, sometimes I’ll do like a HIIT class, or I’ll do the bike or whatever. But it’s still 90 90%. Right? Because again, that rush that high, I can’t let that go. I just can’t do it.
Richard Conner 26:58
Mm hmm. And of course, all the benefits that you get from from running as well. But yeah, the runner’s high is definitely definitely one of those key benefits. So so that that’s great. I mean, thank you so much, you know, for sharing your story. And I love the different phases of your life. Because this is real life, you know, you want one point made that decision to take your health and wellness seriously, and then you started with with running. And then you had to kind of hit the pause button and take care of your family, which you know, happens and many of us have to go through that from time to time, and it’s okay, right to take that time and, and, and spend time with your family. And then this this next phase of getting back into running and fitness in a different way than you had before. But still, to some some extent, keeping up with your running and focusing more on strength training. So just just an awesome story. And I really appreciate you sharing that with us. So you know, just kind of as we wrap up here, I’d love to ask you if there’s anything that you want to kind of share with the community to to inspire them to either start running or stick with it. There’s anything you want to share here.
Nate-Janine Williams 28:04
The one thing that I share a lot with people lately, specifically women because women’s my major demographic and young girls, you have to start with a healthy mindset that can do mindset. Never, ever feel like you can’t do something, even if it’s something very, very small. Start with I can do mindset grow from there, right. And as long as you stay dedicated and consistent with it, it all works out in the end, it all works out in the end, because that’s I always say that’s my equation, you have to have a healthy mindset. You have to be dedicated, you have to be consistent, but at the end of the day, it still has to go back to that mindset. And that’s my motto.
Richard Conner 28:43
Nate, thank you so much. This has been awesome. I really enjoyed this conversation. And I appreciate you coming on the show and sharing your story with our community and you know how you got back on track so, so thank you very much. So kind of like as we wrap up, how can the Inspire Virtual Runs community, find you and follow your journey online.
Nate-Janine Williams 29:05
My main journey that I share is on Instagram my Instagram handle is heat_life.natejanine. And as well. I do allow people to follow me on Facebook, I only share the group like an album. And that’s where I put all of my journey, my current journey into that one album and that one album is public, so everybody’s free to go in there as well.
Richard Conner 29:30
Okay, all right, perfect. Well, as always, we’ll put the information in the show notes to make it easy for our listeners to find you. Again, thank you so much for coming on the show and have a great day.
Nate-Janine Williams 29:43
Thank you so much for having me. Have a great day.
Richard Conner 29:45
I’d like to take a moment to thank that say for coming on the show and sharing not only her amazing fitness journey, but her personal story about a very challenging time in her life. And we hope this story will inspire any of our listeners who are going through something similar. So here are the three key takeaways that I got from the conversation. The first one is start with a healthy mindset that Nate talked about this, that this is where you need to start, before you can really progress in your fitness journey. And it’s not just about running, but it’s also about nutrition, and really taking care of yourself. Second takeaway, which is really interesting, was having that support system we talked about accountability group or accountability partner, but also having that support system at home. And then the third one, which is the core part of the story, is that fitness is a journey, not a destination. Nate shared with us how she started her fitness journey she was doing so well, and then had to hit the pause button because she had to pivot and take care of her family at that point in time. So just give yourself the grace and the space for those important things in life. Really hope you enjoyed this episode. Please leave a review on iTunes or come to inspirevirtualruns.com let us know what you think and let us know what else you’d like to hear. So with that, thanks again and have a great day.
That’s it for this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review. Also, be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks for listening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai