Introduce yourself! Who are you?
It’s me! Natalie Carey! I’m a body positive personal trainer, a competitive pole dancer, and a lover of cats, wine, and gummy bears. My mother raised me as a feminist, and I believe in women supporting other women. There’s enough success for all of us.
Have you always had confidence in yourself?
I’m the person who’s been performing on stage their whole life and adores being in the spotlight, but behind the scenes I didn’t figure out I was worthy of love, from myself or others, until a few years ago.
What do you love most about yourself?
If I make up my mind to do something, I go out and make it happen. Also, I’m really good at apologizing when I screw up.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Supporting size-acceptance and that you can have health at every size, is a pretty radical stance to take in the fitness industry. Being hired by the fitness platform Tonal felt like a big win for me because growing up, I never saw workout videos of women who had cellulite or body fat. I hope that some people see me in the Tonal workouts and realize that exercise can be about appreciating our bodies as they are, and not necessarily about making them look a certain way.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Oh wow. No pressure! I think being yourself is actually a really hard thing to do, but accepting who you are attracts a lot of love and beauty into your life.
What has your journey towards self love been like?
One thing I used to be really ashamed of is that I like to be the center of attention. A lot of people think that’s an ugly quality, so I denied it for a long time. But once I realized that a lot of my issues stem from wanting to be the favorite, the best, the most popular, I’ve actually fallen in love with that part of myself. I still want to be the center of attention, but knowing that about myself also allows me to let it go so that I can support others and show them love as well.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
You can’t make everyone happy. As long as your closest friends and family love and accept you, that’s the best you can hope for.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Whenever I’m upset about something, my dad will ask me “Is this the hill you want to die on?”. It basically means, is this really worth getting upset over?
What would you say to 16 year old you?
I’d tell her she’s doing a pretty great job. I’d tell her to be nicer to her girlfriends. I’d tell her, in a few years, Sex and the City is going to make you want to buy a lot of high heels that are uncomfortable. Spend your money on cool sneakers instead.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
On a daily basis I make sure I eat vegetables and wear sunscreen, and I do my best to be nice to others.
Natalie Carey is a certified personal trainer in San Francisco, and the owner of Barbell Blondie Athletics, which makes fitness inclusive to all bodies. She wrote a best selling book on improving body image and shortly after was hired as the body positive Coach on the AI-driven fitness platform Tonal. She grew up in ballet and musical theater, has medaled in both regional and national pole dancing competitions, and has great hair.