Inspirational Story: Natalie Lerma – How I Battled With Osteoporosis

 

Natalie shares her life story on how she managed to stay fit while being diagnosed with brittle bones (osteoporosis) at the age of 29.

 

I’m a fitness model and bikini competitor who makes health a priority while holding down a full-time job as a medical device sales rep; I help women via implantables get their mojo back from prolapse and incontinence.

I have Osteoporosis, but I refuse to let this disease wear my bones. To prevent this disease from progressing any further, I’m determined to keep my muscles strong in order help compensate.

As a Southern California native, I was lucky enough to be raised by parents that had health and fitness on their mind.  I was raised as an athlete from the time I could walk. Sports and fitness was a must!  As a youngster I kept busy with soccer, softball, gymnastics, and tap dancing.  When I reached high school I concentrated on platform diving, it became my passion, whereas I earned an MVP award.

When I married few years ago, my husband’s job relocated us to Northern California. I became comfortable in my marriage living skinny fat.  But I wanted to take my fitness to the next level. That’s where I enlisted the help of a personal trainer and was fortunate enough to meet fitness model and WBFF Pro Chady Dunmore.  She is now my mentor and my inspiration.

I had an unfortunate accident last year while training, breaking my right foot. It was broken for 3 months and I had no idea. I kept working out on it until it became too painful. After numerous tests under full body scanners, I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at age 29. Doctors said my bones were like of a 60-year-old.  Bruises would last for months and I knew why.  I knew I had weak bones, but ignored it. My twin sister was diagnosed 2 years before me after breaking her collar bone. I can no longer live in denial. I chose to take care of myself by lifting weights, increasing my cardio, and adding plyometrics to my workouts to keep my bones strong as I lose bone mass density.

My success story began in January 2011 with weight lifting and H.I.I.T. training. I lost 20% body fat in 6 months by eating clean meals every 2 hours and working out 5 days week.   By June I had taken my first steps on the stage at the WBFF U.S. Championship in Boston, MA.  I placed in the top 10 and wanted more!  Two months later I competed at the WBFF World Championships where I placed 6th. Being on stage in front of thousands of people showing off my hard work is pretty awesome! But nothing can replace the feeling of a healthy mind and body.

Determination is the key to my success.  When I started on this journey people questioned my decisions and some even made fun. However, those same individuals are now asking for my help and want to know how I reached my goals.

 

“Determination is the key to my success.”

I found determination and inner strength I never knew I had.  Driving your mind and body to the edge of exhaustion really shows the type of person you are.  At the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I have given 100% dedication to this lifestyle.

At the end of the day you can only rely on your family and friends.  All my accomplishments would mean nothing if I cannot share this journey with them.

It’s also important to have a strong support system.  My husband has been there through this whole process…he is my rock! He has supported me through tough times and when I thought I could not go any further.  Find those people in your life that’ll be there for you!

 

“Be in the best shape of your life, you only get one!”

 

Even with all my training and athletic background, I’m destined to lose bone density as my condition progresses. I’ve accepted my Osteoporosis, educated myself and found ways to train smarter. I refuse to let this deter me; in fact I have taken this disease head on.  With my reinvented determination and inner strength I will continue with tough workouts in order to keep my body strong.  I want to be an inspiration to women who are also suffering from Osteoporosis.  I live by this motto “Be in the best shape of your life, you only get one!”

 

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