Mornings and milestones
By TERESA HAMMOND
Madden Roberts has never been more herself than she is right now.
Co-host of the popular KHOP weekday morning show “Madden and Riley,” airing Monday through Friday on 95.1 FM, Madden has lived a very public transformation the past two years.
The most exciting of which has found her this past year, as she pursues adding Pilates instructor and Health Coach to her résumé of achievements and offerings.
“Pilates literally pulled my whole life together,” she stated.
Earlier this year, after months of digestive pain Madden learned she suffered from Celiac disease. She turned to close friend and Studio V Pilates owner Victoria Popoff for nutritional guidance as she began altering her dietary intake.
“I had to completely change my diet,” she said.
Prior to learning of her Celiac diagnosis, Madden had already discovered a love of Pilates, as well as a strong sense of self. She attributes an invaluable friend circle of strong, successful women, as well as her morning show co-host and best friend Ian Riley for much of her transformation.
“Pilates was changing my body; my mind was loving myself and that’s when I knew exactly what I can do to change my entire life.”
That change – working to become an instructor and coach – is just the next step in the process.
Madden now wants to take her newfound joy, passion and authenticity and do one better than just bottle it, but pay it forward. As she has journeyed through the past two years, she notes becoming aware of women struggling with self-love for fear of judgment. Something she now works at publicly modeling for listeners, as well as young women.
“We should be allowed to be proud of anything,” she stated emphatically.
“I feel like I’ve never been Natalie (her birth name) and Madden at the same time like I am now,” she shared. “I am the same exact person off the air as I am on the air for the first time ever in my life.”
Choking back emotion, Madden shared her joy in authentically being who she is regardless of setting. She describes it as a freeing feeling, after going through a rough time in her life.
“I don’t have to pretend any longer,” Madden said of the next chapter in her journey.
“I feel that women … people … should know about the hard times too and I’m the most vulnerable person,” Madden said. “I know where I’ve messed up.”
Madden gives much credit to the strong women of her friend circle for both supporting her and giving her a bit of tough love as she spun. She also became an active member of the not for profit group WELL (Women’s Education & Leadership League), an opportunity which empowered her to help other women as they searched for their own voice and independence.
“Alana and Victoria are the least judgmental people,” she said of WELL board members Alana Scott and Victoria Popoff.
Her budding friendship with the two women began to not only affect her personally but physically as well. Madden began spending less downtime drinking and more time at Popoff’s Studio V Pilates studio in Modesto.
“I started spending more time at the studio and I was happy,” Madden shared. “The energy there and the support is amazing. I want to share that with as many people as possible.”
Yet life isn’t all work and no play for the morning star. Madden shared she’s enjoying being single, not rushing to the next thing and the opportunity to meet new people.
As for her future, she shared she’s enjoying the current chapter of her life novel.
For now, her primary love revolves around her two children, her posse of strong women and her best friend Ian, whom she happens to share studio space with every morning.
“It’s the greatest job in the world,” Madden said of her morning show gig. “I wake up happy to go to work every single day. I get to go and be with my best friend for five hours a day.”
“Once I realized I had a voice and I could help people, that’s when WELL came along,” she continued. “Radio helped me find myself. It helped me find my voice again. I always knew I had one, but now I believe it.”