Real Women, Real Lives
Who inspires you? Who do you use as your motivator to get things done or to make valuable changes to your life?
There are thousands of women who stimulate our need for greatness. They appear on our television and movie screens, we listen to them on the radio, or we read their encouraging stories in articles or books. It’s easy to put a celebrity on a pedestal and desire their lifestyle, skillset and strength of character, but we don’t need to turn to the glossy magazines, or the big screen, to find inspirational women who can motivate us to succeed. They live next door, work alongside us, and talk to us at the supermarket.
The Real Women, Real Lives feature highlights the incredible individuals who have succeeded on their chosen path, or turned misfortune into positivity. Ladies who have conquered illness or gone above and beyond to help others, and made a difference. Women who have stepped out of their comfort zone and launched a business, or ventures that have an impact on their environment, or community.
These remarkable women are your friend, co-worker and neighbour and I’m delighted to be able to share their stories with you.
Today, I am delighted to invite Izabella Natrins to share her story.
Tell us a little about you and your story.
I’m a mum, a grand-mum and a partner. Although I was born and brought up in Warwickshire, but my family is European; my parents and sister came to the UK as displaced people to make a new life.
After having my children and nursing for several years, I ‘returned to learn’ as a mature student and studied for a degree in psychology at Warwick University, then worked at Birmingham Medical School as a Research Psychologist.
After a further nine years as an NHS/Department of Health Programme Manager, I completely changed direction! I trained as a Chef in Ireland, became a GAPS (Digestive Health) Practitioner and finally, a Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coach. It always takes me by surprise that I’ve been in the health space for over 30 years!
I now run a Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching practice, coaching programmes for women and a food, health and lifestyle education website for women. And, I’ve just written a book and in the throes of setting up an independent publishing company.
What’s your biggest dream in life?
To leave a legacy of better health and happiness for those whose lives I’ve touched, by inspiring, motivating and being a catalyst for change – it’s the motivation behind my book ‘Once Upon a Cook – Food Wisdom, Better Living’.
If you chose a power word for this year what would it be and why?
Contribution. In his book ‘Flicker to Flame: Living with Purpose, Meaning, and Happiness’ Jeffery Thomas Parker wrote: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
In an increasing disconnected world, contribution is powerful in moving us closer to repairing and rebuilding communities.
Who inspires you and why?
Women! Women are hard-wired for nurturing and for caring – we hold our partner, children, family, community and indeed, the world in the palm of our hand. Our archetypal roles of ‘Queen’, ‘Mother’, ‘Wise Woman’ and ‘Lover’ call on us to be deeply intuitive and intensely concerned with our young, our mate and our ‘pack’ and by extension, our planet. It’s a huge responsibility and one which is increasingly demanding in our busy and often overwhelmed lives.
For me, older women, like Joanna Lumley, Judi Dench, Michelle Obama, Susan Sarandon and Dr Christiane Northrup are particularly inspirational; comfortable in their skin, grounded, intelligent, articulate, strong and not afraid to stand and speak for what they believe, they represent the strong soft power that the world really needs right now.
In traditional and First Nations peoples, for example the North American Indians, older women were respected for their spiritual and mental strength, wisdom, experience and guidance. I think we’re witnessing the recognition of these qualities and the re-instatement of the role of older women in the West. Get ready ladies, we’ve a lot to look forward to… and to live up to!
What, in your experience, motivates you best? Can you give an example?
Oh goodness – just one?! I’m motivated by powerful words like these, by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.”
Music motivates me – depending on my mood and what I need to do: If I need to focus, I’ll put on a soothing classical melody, an energising pop anthem if I’m flagging, or something ‘country’ if I want to chill.
And without question, nothing is more motivating than seeing the fruits of my labour have a positive impact on the lives of others.
What actions/events/environments would adversely affect your motivation? Can you give an example and how you coped?
It was hard to envisage a useful future after I was diagnosed with a progressive autoimmune disorder, on top of a succession of knee surgeries. But in spite of my low spirits I was absolutely determined not to face the rest of my life with a painful disability, depending on immuno-suppressing medications and unable to walk very far.
I threw myself into intensive research on my condition and learned all I could about unconventional and ‘out-of-the-box’ approaches that might help me to restore my health. Slowly, I put together a ‘food-and-lifestyle prescription’ and committed to following it. The small improvements I began to see, soon snowballed and within 18 months, I’d managed to put my disorder into remission, get off all medication and walk five miles. I’m not ‘cured’, but taking responsibility, learning to trust my body and self-belief were key.
How do you ensure that your personal level of motivation is high on a daily basis?
This may sound a strange – I thank my illness every day and I check in with my body to see how it’s doing! I could have accepted that life-as-I-knew-it was over, but in committing to help myself, the opposite happened: I found my purpose in wanting to be of service to others. And embarking on study and learning is also sustains my motivation – it’s like a never-ending journey of discovery!
To find out more about Izabella you can connect with her here: (Include links)
Website: https://www.izabellanatrins.com /
Twitter: @isabelnatrins / @femergy40 / @OnceUponACook