I’ve been involved in fitness for a lot of years. I started lifting weights when I was 15 for the first time and it became really consistent by the time I was 17. I loved how quickly I became stronger and could see results. I used to smoke in high school, and I had a lot of unhealthy habits that I needed to overcome. I decided to compete to really clean up my life and get more structure to my diet and training. At the time, I kind of thought I already knew everything. I entered my first competition when I was 27 well past the average age of being a model. I was inspired by the older fitness models I saw in fitness magazines and wanted to live up to my own potential.
I wanted to be in my best shape. I was always at a healthy body weight, but the diet was challenging for me because I love food so much! Eating out and socializing were a big part of my life, and the extra calories add up.
I wanted to compete to see how far I could push myself and since 2007, I’ve competed in 7 fitness competitions and learnt so much with each experience.
I’ve had many challenges over the years. Most recently, I hurt my ankle at work in some work boots and blew out my ankle. I was unable to barely walk for more than 20 mins for almost a year. Going grocery shopping was even a struggle! I didn’t do cardio for a year and a half and had to modify my diet and training to maintain my physique.
I started to shoot a booty challenge series for my YouTube because I could still do exercises on my knees and seated weight exercises for my upper body or legs. I did a 6-day split, and it worked really well. I focused a lot on the booty workouts, and I grew my glutes substantially. I learnt that the specific exercises I was putting in my challenge in fact do grow the glutes more than squats or any standing exercises along with limiting cardio and a clean diet. I guess when you get lemons you got to make lemonade?!
Fort McMurray, Alberta
Fitness coach, Author of The Bikini Model Cookbook and Business Owner of The Ultimate Physique & The Bikini Model Challenge / Commercial ATPL Pilot.
Many people struggle with losing weight. Is it a fitness issue or a health issue?
A lot of my clients do have underlying minor issues. Almost no one is 100% healthy. There’s always something, and that goes for me too. So, it’s important to assess people to determine what they are capable of and work around it. That’s why customizing the programs per individual is so important.
When people follow my program, they lose weight. So far, it’s been all dietary and lifestyle changes that made that possible. People do make up a lot of reasons, for why things are the way they are but a shift in mindset is important to see that we hold ourselves back from our true potential.
What would be your top 3 tips you would provide to someone trying to lose weight?
- Clean up your diet and switch to whole foods more often
- Watch your cheat meal calories. Actually, add them up each week so you see how much junk food you are really consuming. (Aim for 1000 calories max for women typically)
- Cut out alcohol those empty calories add up.
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?
- Fitness level: 50
- Health level: 50
Share your unique training coaching methods
I train people to believe in themselves with mindset techniques and positive affirmations. My programs are customized to the individual and I make changes as needed on each coaching call, so they never plateau. My training methods and techniques are changing all the time and I like to mix things up, so they don’t get bored and keep them guessing!
For the last year or so I’ve been doing The Bikini Model Challenge workouts with my challengers and designing 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 workout plans. So, I do the workouts as I need to shoot the videos or just keep cycling the days of the week I’m on. Typically, it has been a 4-day split with cardio ranging from 20 to 60 mins of cardio 4-6x per week.
I’m currently decreasing my cardio and upping my lifting days to 6 days as I’m developing the ultimate physique workout training program and playing around with new ways of training which are working well!
Right now I’m doing The Bikini Model Challenge with my clients so I’m eating whole clean foods. My calories range from 1500 to 2000 calories per day depending on how hungry I am.
I change my diet up somewhat around PMS which is to higher carbs with high-volume veggies and fruits and it’s been working really well. My diet along with my training does change up through the year depending on my goals. Right now, I just focus on whole clean food most of the time with 1000 cheat cals a week and that works pretty well for me.
I take greens powder, fish oils, Vitamin e, Vitamin d, multivitamin blend, calcium magnesium, probiotics, coq10, collagen, and protein powder.
Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And why?
I’m actually sponsored by Nutrishop USA so I use their supplements! Typically, I use protein shakes and occasionally a protein bar. I do top my waffles with maple syrup but if I was in prep, I’d do frozen blueberries boiled into a warm sauce up until about 6 weeks out. I like to keep my diet clean and the Nutrishop sups have been working well for me.
Please describe the importance of mental health
Mental health is so important. I saw in a documentary with a psychologist that 75% of his clients were cured of their mental ailments through diet and lifestyle changes. That really hit home with me. I had a client go off anti-depressants within 2 weeks of doing my program because she felt so good!
When you are eating the wrong foods, it can affect your mental health. She was eating a lot of food from fast-food restaurants with low nutrients, and it was affecting her. I really do believe in the power of fruits and vegetables they are so powerful.
What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
I’ve been reading Status for over 14 years now! I remember having this Status calendar with all the top fitness models in it on my wall in 2009 with the IKONS of fitness. It was so inspiring to me to see their physiques motivate me to keep pushing myself to higher levels of fitness. The name “Status” features models at the highest level and it seems to be very focused on competition fitness models which have been a fascination of mine for years. I love that!
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
Are you looking for a recipe creation writer for the magazine? I have lots of fun recipes to share!
Status fitness runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnolds classic for the status cover. As part of the status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you about this opportunity?
Yes, that’s great! I would be so honoured to be on the Status cover! I can’t wait to hear more details. I know the Arnold is usually in March so it’s coming up! I competed at the Arnold a few years ago so I am familiar with it. Can’t wait to hear more!
Describe your coaches and the impact they have had on you
I have worked with a lot of the top coaches in the industry. I worked with Annette Milbers, Paul Anthony, Mark Anthony Flex, and Kim Oddo to name a few. I find that hiring a coach to motivate me and push me past my normal boundaries has been so impactful.
Do you have a sponsor and what do they mean to you?
My sponsor is Nutrishop USA. They are great to work with and the supplements are fantastic!
Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
I am currently writing a couple of books. One of them is my men’s and women’s bodybuilding cookbook and another sweet treats recipe cookbook. Once I’m done with that, I am planning on competing again. A lot of exciting things are on the horizon for 2023 in my business that I am excited to share, and it will be interesting to look back at 2023 to see how it unfolds. I am looking to keep expanding my challenge and photoshoot retreats and making a bigger impact on people’s health and fitness.
I am also getting involved in some charities in the community of fort McMurray to help out with the devastation that the fires of 2016 still have on many locals. I’m looking forward to that especially as I was here for the fire and did see first-hand the impact that really had on the community.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt? I’ve learnt a lot of tough lessons over the years. The biggest lesson is to forgive. And when in doubt forgive again. Nothing is worth your peace.
Who inspires you and why?
I think watching fitness competitors and Olympia-level athletes really inspire me. It’s amazing to see the perfectly shaped bodies. I always feel extra motivated to clean up my diet n training after any events.
What’s your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
To be consistent. One bad day or week isn’t a reason to give up. Being consistent and consistently aligning back to the path is the way.
What does success look like for you?
I think having the financial freedom to live anywhere and be anywhere at the same time is the ultimate success in my opinion. I enjoy travel so it’s a big part of my vision. Success is always ever-changing. I think success is about being content and happy with what you have and have achieved and the good friends and family around you. It’s more than business or health or relationships it’s all of it together and combined. Ultimately it’s being happy every day with your choices and your life path. I’ve been through a lot in my life, so I see it as a successful day just being happy and grateful for the life we have, the air we breathe and the ability to help others in a way that impacts the world in a positive way.
What’s your favourite quote to live by?
If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Connect with Cathleen: IG
Photos By: Kiera Jesslyn