My name is Nathan Abbott and I have spent a decade immersed within the nutrition, fitness, and wellbeing space due to personal circumstances. I have spent much of this time as a motivational speaker, online coach, ultra-endurance open-water swimmer and physique competitor – we will explore this soon.
I joined NGX as a founding team member back at the beginning of 2020. I have been fortunate to welcome thousands of NGX Heroes into our Tribe and watch first-hand the benefits that personalised nutrition has had on helping people achieve their goals.
Personally, it is imperative to not only provide the best nutrition, but to create an inclusive community that feels empowered to achieve their potential. As part of this mission, I want to champion the stories and milestones of our NGX Heroes. With that in mind, I want to share my own journey, and why I joined NGX to shape the future of nutrition.
A Passion for Nutrition, Born from Adversity
I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, a facial deformity that impacts your ability to eat, speak and breathe. At the age of 24, I have had 36 invasive procedures within my mouth. As a result of each surgery, I would often have to spend anywhere from two weeks to two months on a completely liquid diet.
With each surgery, I was always offered custard, ice cream or very soggy Wheatabix – none of which offered a complete nutritional profile. With the demand for nutrients increasing after a traumatic event such as surgery, I knew to get the best out of my physical and mental wellbeing I had to take matters into my own hands!
I set a goal that with each surgery, I would see how fast I could recover compared to when I lived on custard, ice cream and Wheatabix. I immersed myself with nutritional information, bought a blender and began making my own kitchen recipes. Thereafter, I created my own recovery nutritional plans with numerous shakes for each surgery, it was incredibly inconvenient, but my recovery levels were much faster, to the point leading cleft consultants pointed it out.
By the age of 16, I was supporting thousands of cleft individuals going through surgery around the world. I didn’t just understand the impact of the nutrition we consume on our health and wellbeing, I felt it first-hand. But this was just the beginning.
Hitting my Physical and Mental Limits
At the age of 16, I set up my own charity in the effort to support others born like me to receive free cleft surgery and comprehensive care. However, to raise money and awareness I set myself a challenge to swim 16 miles in the sea. This is the equivalent of 1024 lengths of a 25m pool.
My focus on nutritional knowledge with regards to surgical trauma, to optimising physical and mental performance in an endurance setting. Despite my efforts, I fell a few miles short due to dangerous sea conditions. The following year, I came back stronger and completed a 15-mile swim against the fastest flowing river in the UK - the river Arun. By this point, I was pretty sure I had maxed out my physical and mental capabilities.
Along came NGX
Alongside swimming, I had a passion for weight training from the age of 13, it boosted my self-confidence and really helped me overcome many mental health issues. However, I had hit a wall as a young adult, and this was when I heard about NGX via a friend in the gym. Very quickly, I understood the potential power of personalised nutrition, but to be completely honest, I thought it was too good to be true. Genetically personalised nutrition sounded futuristic. With that being said, I had to give it a shot!
After taking my DNA nutrition test, I received my personalised nutrition report and I found myself in nutritional knowledge heaven. In front of me was all the information I have always wanted to understand but had absolutely no hope of knowing – it’s impossible to guess personal nutritional needs.
Closely following was my personalised BodyFuel which contained 30 essential nutrients in the quantities I needed, identified within my DNA report. From that day, I did not miss a single scoop and ensured my diet was adjusted based on this new wealth of information I was given.
Putting NGX to the Test
By this point in my life, I was fortunate to be offered many nutritional products, but I always felt like something was missing. Unsurprisingly, they were an off-the-shelf product with no real personalised element attached to it. For this reason, I had large expectations for NGX and with that in mind, I decided to try and shatter my previous physical feats.
Preparing for a Natural Physique Competition
Having previously competed in physique shows, I understood that it was not just a physical feat, but a mental one too. To train 16 -18 hours a week, on a calorific deficit for the best part of 4 months whilst working full-time is hard to say the least.
The problem I had with previous shows was the impact a calorific deficit had on my mental wellbeing. As I ate less, I was falling significantly short on numerous vitamins that played a role in energy levels and mood – resulting in fatigue and mood swings.
In 2019, I decided to enter another show, preparing using NGX. I was able to consume my personal nutritional needs without adding a significant number of calories to my diet, making it perfect for getting show ready. My strength drops, mood swings and energy dips were minimal, I felt like a supercharged battery. The result – I placed in my category against 40 others, the first time I placed.
I do want to highlight, this physique is unsustainable, and is a level of conditioning that lasts for a short period of time and monitored closely. It is something that I and NGX do not endorse as a 'normal' way to look.
Ultra-Endurance Open-Water Swimming
Previously, the best endurance I could get out of my body would be six hours of swimming – maximum. At this length of time swimming, my body would feel extremely exhausted to the extent my muscles simply didn’t want to contract anymore and would seize up.
In 2020, I dropped the weights after my physique show and set myself the challenge of seeing how far I could swim over the course of 2 months as part of a fundraising event for my charity during COVID-19.
In training for it, I began with simple 30-minute sea swims to increase my flexibility, and very quickly began to normalise 2-3 hour sea swims, even in the hardest of sea conditions with zero lactic acid, and zero fatigue - I was a little concerned I had grew gills!
As the two month window of tracking mileage came, it was game time. My training and nutrition was on point, thanks to NGX. Over this time, I completed numerous ultra-distances including an 18 hour swim, back-to-back 6 hour swims and more. I racked up an overall distance of 345 miles, the equivalent of 16 English Channel crossings, or 22,080 lengths of a 25m pool. With this, I still continued to work full-time.
Despite the immense work capacity put through my body and mind, I finished those months feeling fresh and ready for more. The lifestyle I had created using NGX was one that focused on my individual differences, and the results were real.
Starting off with simple 30-minute swims, I very quickly began to normalise a 2-3-hour swims with zero lactic acid and zero fatigue – I was concerned I may have become a fish!
Over the two months of measuring distanced completed within the sea, I completed numerous swims ranging up to 18 hours and a total mileage of 345 miles, the equivalent of 16 lengths of the English Channel or 22,080 lengths of a 25m pool. Despite the back to back swims, and little rest days, my body and mind was always ready.
Reflecting on my NGX Experience
Throughout my life, nutrition has been integral to the way I look, feel and perform. The only thing I changed was taking on the personalised approach with NGX. The benefit and value offered by NGX was so clear, I had to make sure every single person could experience it for themselves. I reached out to Jeremy, CEO of NGX to become one of the founding team members and the rest is history.
It is now my role to welcome, support and inspire our NGX Tribe to achieve the potential that I once thought wasn't possible.
I have triumphed against adversity for a significant percentage of my life. I understand what it feels like to hit a wall in achieving personal goals. The personalised approach to our goals is not just important, it is essential. For this reason, I have made it my mission within NGX to transform the lives of those who join our Tribe.