Meet the Hennes Family

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When it comes to fitness and health, Rob Hennes (38), a dad and a national account manager for Henry Schein Medical, wants to finish what he begins. Rob says — and it’s typical of so many of us who try to live healthy lifestyles — “I begin programs a lot, then life gets in the way and I stop and have to start over.” Natalie Hennes (34), a stay-at-home mom and former teacher, doesn’t want to keep jumping on the scale every day. She says it’s tough to be content in her own skin and after two kids (Samantha, 4, and Maggie, 2) her body is shaped differently than it used to be.

The Franklin family of four has faced health and fitness obstacles before. Natalie has underactive thyroid disease which makes it hard to lose weight and she also experienced post-partum depression (PPD) after Maggie’s birth. Today, fitness and a healthy lifestyle are her wellness tools.

“Post-partum depression affected me negatively both emotionally and mentally,” she says.

“After Maggie was born, I knew something was really off emotionally. I had uncontrollable emotions and an overwhelming feeling of ‘I can’t.’ I’m a pretty strong person, and I had no confidence in what should have been the happiest time of my life,” she adds.

“I kept moving forward,” says Rob.

“I had to; I had no choice. I had to get up, make breakfast, begin the daily routine, because the world wouldn’t stop turning,” he says. “It was hard to see Natalie go through that, but I kept going back to the fact that it would end at some point and her body would stabilize and eventually things would go back to normal.”

With PPD behind them, the Hennes look forward to helping lead the Fit Family Challenge, working with a fitness trainer at the Y and participating in community fitness events.

“I’m doing it for two reasons,” Rob says. “To be here for my kids as long as I can and to fight off the poor bad family health history that will overcome me if I don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

“Absolutely,” says Natalie. “I’m excited to support others locally and it will be great for Samantha and Maggie to be exposed to an important health initiative at such a young age,” she says.

“Getting my children focused on exercise and health will be their way of life,” adds Rob. “And of course, I’m excited to support and learn from others.”

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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