*Results may vary from person to person
When she was a teenager, Cathy dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal in sailing. That dream slipped from her grasp, largely due to her struggles with weight gain — something she never conquered until she discovered The Biggest Loser Club.
“I was overweight most of my life. There are pictures of me at six months old and I was huge,” she says.
"I tried to control it. Mom and dad are doctors so we ate healthy food, but I remember thinking it was so unfair.
“On both sides of my parents’ families — we are not small people. Some body types are predisposed to holding onto weight and some aren’t.”
She can vividly recall her tall, lean brother eating bowls and bowls of ice cream with no adverse effect.
“But if I even looked at a tub of ice cream, there’d be ten pounds right there!”
Before The Biggest Loser Club
In her early 20s, Cathy managed to keep her weight in check.
“I was around 145 lbs when I met my husband at age 21, but by my late 20s I was heavy again, nearly 220 lbs after my daughter was born.”
As Cathy's daughter got older, she became heavily involved in youth modern pentathlon, which meant Cathy had to juggle work and daily training sessions.
“It was just easier not to eat, or to order takeout,” she says.
Around Cathy's 30th birthday, her weight was down to 154 lbs, but unsurprisingly, she could not maintain it.
“I wouldn't eat breakfast or lunch, then I’d have a bag of chips around 3pm. Dinner was usually fast food,” she says.
As it turned out, Cathy’s daughter’s interest in modern pentathlon was to have a life-changing effect on her.
“I'm an Olympic selector in the sport and an international judge. After years of involvement through my daughter, I thought, ‘Hang on, I know a lot about this, I can do this — I want to do it for myself.’”
Dreams of distinction
Pentathlon combines show jumping, fencing, shooting, swimming, and running. Cathy had to lose 44 lbs just to get on a horse, and then she had to learn to ride and show jump at 42 years of age, only one year ago.
The next World Masters Modern Pentathlon Championship is to be held in Germany in September 2014. “I'm going to win. There is no alternative.”
It took Cathy 15 months to lose 136 lbs with The Biggest Loser Club.
“In the first week I lost several pounds. That was incredibly motivating. There were a few weeks where I had a small gain, but most weeks I lost weight,” she says. She used the online diary for the calorie counter and the charts to ensure she kept to the recommended guidelines.
“I finally started eating the right foods, keeping my protein high, carbs moderate, and saturated fat very low.”
Compared to her diet before, she says she now feels like she never stops eating.
Immeasurable life changes
“The biggest change for me is being able to compete. It’s been my life’s dream. When my daughter turned 18 I thought, ‘I've done my job, now it's my turn.’”
Aside from her weight, Cathy has had to overcome other obstacles.
“I have fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease which causes all my joints and muscles to hurt,” she says. She was using a walking stick when she first started training.
“I get up and train every day, even though it hurts. The medications I take cause weight gain and my immunologist is amazed that I can lose weight at all, but I can, because I'm passionate.”
Cathy’s top weight-loss tips
- Pick a goal and just go for it!
- Eat 1200 calories daily in the recommended percentages; eat only nine grams of saturated fat per day; and burn 500 calories before breakfast, five days a week.
- Congratulate yourself and celebrate at certain milestones.