“Life has a funny way of making you pay attention to the things that truly matter.” Nataly Valenzuela said after recalling the time when life took a pivotal turn.
It was about five years ago that Valenzuela, now social media reporter, television host, and radio personality, found herself at a stagnant zone in her life.She was working a job that was nowhere near what she intended to do, and she was in a relationship that had long run its course. But she says her “wake-up call” came after routine checkup when she was diagnosed with mild cervical dysplasia, (this is when cells change in the cervix and could potentially lead to cervical cancer if left untreated).
“I knew I had to do something, I needed to change things up in my life.” Valenzuela said.
Fearing that the removal of the abnormal cells would damage her reproductive organs, Valenzuela rejected her doctors procedural recommendation and decided to take a more natural approach to a path of wellness. She embarked on a holistic lifestyle, a lifestyle that properly pushed and help turn the wheels of her life again. She began working out, and completely changed her diet. She started the raw diet regimen (this is where about 80 percent of the food eaten is plant-based foods and never heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit), and she eventually became vegan (a type of diet where a person abstracts from eating animal base products). Valenzuela also began meditating, and became a Buddhist practitioner.
“I did everything in a year to heal mentally, physically, and emotionally because at the time, I realize my emotional and mental health were contributing to my physical health.” Valenzuela said.
At the six-month marked, her condition hadn’t gotten worse but it hadn’t improved either. This did not deter her, she continued with her new lifestyle. Her relationship with her boyfriend strained during this time, and it eventually ended. A little after the break-up, she decided to quit her unsatisfactory job.
“I realized that it is not just about what you eat but it’s also about everything else in your life… My job and the relationship I had with this guy was the very thing that catapulted me into being unhappy.” Valenzuela said.
Her holistic lifestyle change, coupled with fitness, had improved her health and outlook to life. A year after being diagnosed with cervical dysplasia, it had vanished. She says this was the result of, “Combining physical, mental emotional, and nutritional health.”
Valenzuela decided to take a program to be certified as a holistic health coach. She also created a blog, where she blogs about living well. “Life is about putting yourself in the rhythm of the universe… and helping others.” She said.
Taking on this type of lifestyle was uncharted territory for Valenzuela. The T.V. host and radio personality battled with self esteem and body image issues most of her life, something that dates back to her teen years.
“I remember feeling sad and being depressed because I was picked on because of my weight.” Valenzuela said.
In her blog, she talks about trying every diet pill, starving herself and even making herself throw up after meals. She said it only happened once or twice because, “I was so grossed out by it that I never did it again.”
While in high school, she worked at the dean’s office of her Jr. High School. One day the dean asked her what she wanted to do when she’d grow-up. Valenzuela replied she wanted be an actress, something she wanted to do since she could remember. “You know you have to lose 20 pounds or more, and actresses smoke to appetite down…” She remembers feeling devastated hearing those words from the dean, but but she this did not deterred from her dream and she was determined to make it happen.
Valenzuela studied communications and theater, but she soon realized, she didn’t want to pursue acting anymore after a friend introduced her to the world of radio.
She’s currently a social media reporter for Time Warner Deportes, where she covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the L.A. Galaxy. She’s also a T.V. host for Unimas’ Lanzate and a radio personality for Univision’s K-Love. But how does she managed her holistic lifestyle and the superficiality side of her job?
She says there have been instances where she’s had producers suggested her to lose weight and former coworkers commenting on what type of shoes she should wear and the type of car she should drive.
“I just don’t let it affect me. I stay grounded, and try to stay true to myself. I still have an issue with food but this is something I constantly work on.” She said.
As a social media reporter, she sees how social media can be both a good thing a bad thing. Valenzuela says, “There is a subculture of young girls being half naked telling other younger girls how they should look like.”
This lead Valenzuela to start a social media campaign, #lovebeyond. She says the entire idea behind the campaign is to promote empowerment and encourage women, especially young women to, “Love themselves beyond anything else.”