Don't wish your life were easier? Wish you were better? Wish the day had more hours? We are the generation that wants it all: the body of a fitness model, a career, to be in love like Jay Z and Beyonce… AND most importantly to have a loving family to support you along the way.
If you are tired of reading fad diet stories and following impossibly beautiful instagram models, then this story is for you. Mum of 2 young kids Catalina Levitt posted her photos on her Instagram account recently that struck a chord with her family and friends because of how real her story was. Naturally people wanted to know how she managed to completely transform her body, compete in her first Fitness Modelling competition after having given birth to 2 children within the last 5 years, and doing freelance work in Digital Marketing.
"I will confess: I need a substantial goal in my life to feel happy and motivated. When you are a mum, you spend the majority of your time giving and serving others; it is the most rewarding job in the world, but it can also be very selfless. I need to do something for myself at least 1 hour a day in order to be a better person the remaining 23 hours."
"But achieving goals when you are juggling the many pressures of life is not easy; it takes motivation, planning, discipline, resilience, commitment and … did I say planning? These are skills that will lift your life to the next level. And funnily enough, they're also skills you learn when you're trying to be healthy and juggle the demands of a busy life."
"When you're exercising to compete in a Fitness Competition there's a little voice that talks you down. It whispers 'I'm exhausted, my kids want me at home, I'm feeling down today' and you want to pull up the doona and have one more hour of sleep. But here's the thing: if you learn how to defeat that little voice you'll also learn how not to quit when life gets hard.
Catalina now looks dramatically different and at age 37 with 2 children that need her from morning till night, she weighs the same now as she did 5 years ago, which is a reminder that it's not important to obsess over weighing yourself and numbers.
'My diet is all about balance. I eat much more than I used to; I have 5 or 6 meals a day with protein, carbs and good fats; I still eat junk food once a week. I love chocolate. I just know now that decent food is not processed and that you need to fuel your body with the right amount of good food to achieve change; fad diets that get you eating 1,200 cals a day for long periods of time are only more damaging to your body and metabolism than anything else."
"When you eat 6 times a day you see a big impact in your wallet. But after some trial and error at the grocery store, I learnt that you can also eat good food on a budget. We shop at Aldi or Costco to keep the family budget in check and you can eat to compete in a Fitness Model competition and feed a family of 4 for under $500 a week (with recipes like this one).
Levitt credits coach Steph Parsons for her transformation and opportunity to compete in the ICN Fitness New South Wales State Championships. Having a coach that guides you through the process is key; I believe every body is different and you need a customised plan to create change; I would definitively stay away from cookie cut diets and training routines.
She explains that fitness keeps her functioning when taking care of her kids - particularly with her 18 month old who requires her to bend over 50 times a day to pick up dropped toys and food.
'Fitting in an exercise routine 6 times a week is not easy when you have a toddler and a 4 year old demanding your attention. At times I felt like giving up."
"But it helps me keep my emotions in check to give me some time away from the madness. I believe I am a better mum if I have some time for myself to train."
"Life is extremely busy; I have to fit exercise in with school drop offs, pick ups, grocery shopping, meal preparation, working and sometimes the days are long; but if you are disciplined and have a positive mind-set you can make time to achieve your goals."
Catalina is now planning to compete again. 'This was my first time competing as a fitness model. Will I compete again? Yes, I would love to. Competing just gives me a goal and something to focus on. I'm just passionate about making the right choices for myself and my family and if you make good choices and set a plan in stone, anything is possible. I believe next time I can win a place in the top 3 and that is what I am setting my mind on".