Here’s our Happiness Series Q & A with Natalie Magee, our fitness contributor and blogger. Natalie is expecting her first child soon and has created a pregnancy workout & a post-pregnancy workout series for Happiness Series. She will also be sharing the peaks and valleys of her life as new mom, working in the air, as a flight attendant, and on the ground.
Q: Why did you become a yoga/spin/fitness instructor?
A: This became my way to give back to the fitness community that I felt had given so much to me. I enjoyed taking classes at Qi so much that I found myself trying to talk my friends and family into attending classes with me as well. I realized that teaching for the gym would allow me to reach an even wider audience because I had to teach friends and family classes before I could teach for the public. I saw such positive changes in both my mind and body that I wanted to share the benefits with others.
Q: What inspired you to work in fitness? Why is fitness important?
A: My initial yoga, spin and sculpt teachers are the people who really inspired me to work in fitness. I would see them walking around the gym and think – “How awesome to be able to wear workout clothing all day and get paid for to kick other people’s butts?” These women were my first role models, and I looked up to them because they were both strong and friendly, and they had amazing bodies. I soon came to realize however, that fitness isn’t just about the body it’s about the mind. Fitness is so important because it’s something you can enjoy your entire life no matter where or when you start. Once it becomes a lifestyle you will never go back to your old bad habits.
Q: Do you have another job besides teaching fitness? What have you learned from that work?
A: I am also a flight attendant for Skywest Airlines. Through this job I have learned an incredible amount of patience. I work with different personalities every week and deal with a variety of passengers and weather conditions. You have to take care of yourself because you can be on your feet for hours at a time and if you don’t pack healthy food or take time on the road to work out the pounds can quickly pile on.
Q: What in your day makes you happiest?
A: If I can start and end my day with a workout it’s been a wonderful day. Even if it’s something as simple as taking my dog for a walk or meditating I just have to carve out some time for myself to reconnect and refocus.
Q: What’s your happiest moment in a relationship, romantic and otherwise?
A: My current goal is to finish hiking all of Colorado’s 14er’s and so anytime I can hike with my husband or with a friend I am incredibly happy. I enjoy everything from the camping and sleeping outside to the 4am wakeups and the long journey up and down the mountains. There is nothing to do while hiking but talk and enjoy nature. I can find out more about a person from 10 hours of hiking with them than spending a year just hanging out with them. Anytime my husband or friend wants to hike a 14er with me I feel fortunate.
Q: What’s your favorite workout?
A: Yoga sculpt, because it combines yoga which I love and weights which make me feel strong. When I can make it through an hour of intense work like that while maintaining my form and trying not to put down the weights I feel successful.
Q: What makes you feel good?
A: Writing and sometimes a long cry.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your work?
A: Whether I am flying or working in the gym I enjoy meeting people. Everyone has a story and if you just take the time to get to know the passenger next to you or the student who’s on the mat beside you in class you will learn some amazing things. I am a huge talker so I really enjoy the simple art of talking to people and making new connections.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given re: health & fitness?
A: That your body is never in one constant state. You can work very hard on your physique and one injury can set you back. So appreciate what you have when you have it AND don’t be upset when changes occur because they will. It helps me to remember not to be so fixated on what my body looks like and appreciate myself as long as I am healthy.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve been given re: making a relationship work?
A: You don’t always have to be right but you always have to be kind. This works for me in any relationship because sometimes the arguments just aren’t worth it.
Q: Is there anything you’ve struggled with or continue to struggle with (ex. weight, depression, etc.)?
A: All my life I wanted twiggy legs and one day I had to accept I’d never have sticks for legs so I needed to focus on working with what I had. I began to work on toning them and working with the shape I already had. Becoming pregnant has been a struggle for me to accept the weight gain and the disappearance of a waist line and abs. When you work hard all your adult years for your body to let go of control and let it do what it does to prepare for a baby was, for me, very difficult. I still struggle with the changes week to week but I’ve moved into acceptance that I won’t be pregnant forever!
Q: You’re expecting your first child. Did you always want to be a mom?
A: I knew I would have kids at some point in my life but I was also ok with the thought that if it didn’t happen for me I wouldn’t be upset. I kept putting off becoming a mom because I felt like there were so many places to travel and things to accomplish first. This was not something I planned for myself but I realize the universe gives you everything at the perfect time. So now is my time to give my life to raising another human being and pass on the things I’ve learned so far. I can only hope I am as good of a mother as my mom was for me!
Filed Under: Blogs
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.