Changing Lives: Natalia Trotter’s Story

Natalia Trotter, fitness trainer and fitness public speaker, was born in Kursk, Russia, until she moved to Kharsysk, Ukraine with her parents. Trotter said her mother was not set on her moving to the U.S. at 19. Trotter wanted to come to America to advance her college degree after spending three years at Dniepropetrovski’y Academy of Business and Law majoring in Finance. Trotter said her trip to America was: “My opportunity for change and adventure.”

However, the program Trotter tried to enroll in was too advanced compared to her studies in the Ukraine. As a result, Trotter moved back home, and she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Finance. While visiting her aunt and uncle, she met her husband, Wilson Trotter, who is from Hinds County and works in an insurance business. He helped her become a U.S. citizen.

While Trotter’s parents lived in the Ukraine, her grandparents lived in Russia, and she only saw her grandparents every year or so. So, Trotter’s parents sent her and her brother to live with their grandparents for the summer. Her grandparents were alive during WWII times, a harsh time where individuals starved. Trotter believes her grandparents were afraid that if they did not stuff themselves to the brim they would starve again. Their terror over starvation and not stuffing themselves could have potentially given them panic attacks.

“I was a skinny kid up until age 9.” Trotter said she weighed around 160 pounds when she started school.

Trotter said her plate at age 9 was the same as her grandfather’s, who worked on a farm all day. She could not leave the table until she finished her food, as a result, she attended school overweight. On the first day of school, students were required to take their school picture, “All the girls stood up front, and the boys in the back.” Trotter said she was short at the time. “Because I was fat they put me in the back. All you could see was my head and my eyes.”

Eventually, Trotter thought it was fun to eat faster and more than other people. She would run to lunch, and if she ate her meal fast, overeating did not cause her discomfort. The other children in school dared her to eat their food, and overtime they began bullying her. That is when Trotter realized her eating habits were not normal. “I started to become ashamed of myself.”  Instead of making friends or finding love, Trotter became withdrawn and focused on her studies.

Today, Trotter believes that women feed off each other’s confidence. “I never had the understanding of beauty or confidence,” she said the cultural difference in Russia is parents do not focus on vanity. Therefore, they do not shower their children, friends, or strangers with compliments like individuals may hear in the United States.

When Trotter met her husband, she tried not to think about her past struggles with being overweight. She acted more confident, and she learned how to think more positive. Although he did not help her find her confidence, Trotter said he treated her well. “I fell in-love with his personality.”

Today, Trotter has two children, her 13-year-old daughter, Alena Trotter, and her nine-year-old son, George Trotter.  

After her son was born, Trotter became depressed. Her son fell ill for seven months with colic, and she could not go to local events because her son cried and screamed in public places. Her husband traveled for his job often, and individuals would judge her son for screaming when they left their home. Trotter could not go to restaurants or the gym.

While Trotter was depressed she consulted with her doctor, and her doctor recommended she go on vacation. However, Trotter knew there was another solution.

On days Trotter shopped at Kroger, she would stop and stare at women on the cover of fitness magazines, smiling brightly with their radiant skin. She had to know their secret. She wished she could be like those women, until one day she thought: “maybe I can.”

Trotter knew how fitness benefited individuals bodies. Trotter could not take her son to the gym based on how active he was, so she began working out at home. “I knew that I could get in control of my life, if I got in control of my body.”

Trotter signed a contract with her husband, and she promised to meet her goal. Her husband agreed with her as long as she got paid for her work. “I said obviously,” Trotter said with laugh.

Trotter said at her darkest moment she prayed for contentment and a resolution. “I found a book by a Russian immigrant.” Trotter believed this was God leading her, she said some sort of electric force shocked her, and changed her mindset. “Change your body, change your life.” That became her new mindset.

The book by the Russian immigrant contained a story of the author’s life and how she became a body builder. The author gave an example of workouts and diets, so Trotter started to workout in her backyard. Trotter sprinted back and forth to her gate, in between doing bicep curls and lunges.

Her thoughts about her past, on being overweight and unloved disturbed her, and motivated Trotter during her workouts. “I claim their health, their beauty, and positive outlook on life.”

After seven months, she lost 70 pounds. “I ate more than I ever ate in her life.” Her diet consists of various meats, poultry, and vegetables. After Trotter’s fitness success she decided to become a personal trainer. “I knew there could be more women that felt the same way, and I could help them.”

In 2009, Trotter got her AFAA, Group Fitness certification, and she shared her story with every person she trained. Her story helped them have a different perspective on fitness. “It’s not just a program but a lifestyle.”

She became involved with the Writers Guild of America, and they thought her story should be written into a novel. Now, Trotter is quarter into her book, and she plans to write her book similar to the Russian immigrant’s.

Trotter said library officials told her the author’s book is no longer in circulation. Trotter cannot recall the author’s name, but she remembers the writer was not into fitness before writing her novel. “She got interested in body building because of the same issues.”

Trotter and her family currently reside in Clinton. She keeps in touch with her clients through email and social media. She plans to keep encouraging others and to finish her book.  “If you apply a positive outlook on life, it changes your life.”


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