Name: Caty Pasternak
Location: New York, New York
Why I decided to transform
I was chubby growing up but really packed on weight during high school because I used food as an emotional support base. By age 17, my eating was out of control.
My parents were active, but their attempts to get me to exercise were useless. Then, one day, I was sick of being the funny, fat girl. I wanted to shop at stores with my girlfriends and get asked to prom.
My fitness journey started slow. I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes per day and cut back on junk food. When I saw the scale go down, I became more motivated to stick to it. My parents were thrilled and I was happy for myself.
During the next couple years, I continued to challenge myself on DVD workout programs, yoga, and spin classes. Fitness replaced food and became my new healthy addiction.
I'm much happier now and do whatever it takes to encourage others to make changes for the better. I'm a personal trainer and take great pride in transforming the lives of others.
How I accomplished my goals
In the beginning, I only utilized cardio for weight loss and switched between walking, jogging, and the elliptical. As I progressed, I added in circuit weight and core training and group fitness programs. I got my weight down, but lost lots of muscle from too much cardio and inadequate nutrition. I needed a new challenge and turned to lifting.
I thought lifting would make me big and bulky, but it actually gave me curves and wasn't boring. I challenge myself by adding more weight and volume to stay continuously engaged. It made me feel strong inside and out. The confidence I gained from lifting is the biggest benefit.
What aspect challenged me the most
Dieting is the most challenging aspect because I love food. It's hard to turn down my favorites, but I'm not hard on myself anymore. I got over the fear that I will gain the weight back and let myself splurge on occasional cheat meals. Meal prep can be tedious, but it's worth it.
My future fitness plans
I became a personal trainer in 2013 and it has been the most rewarding endeavor of my life. It allows me to challenge myself and gives me power to challenge others.
Maintaining health comes first, but I've become a more aesthetic-based trainer. I would never have dreamed of entering a bodybuilding competition before but am happy to say that I will enter one this year.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Be patient. It's hard advice to swallow, but it's the truth. You didn't gain weight overnight and you can't expect to lose it overnight. Keep your goal in mind and set small goals to stay engaged and hopeful. If you want to lose 50 pounds in six months, focus to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com provided me with great supplements to fuel my body and is an indispensable source of education. When I first started lifting weights, I learned from Bodybuilding.com videos, tutorials, and the forums. I recommend Bodybuilding.com to my clients and will be an avid user for life.
Caty's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Where The Hood At" by DMX
- "Down With The Sickness" by Disturbed
- "Get Back" by Ludicrous
- "KNAS" by Steve Angello
- "Pump It Up" by Joe Budden