BIRTH OF BODY BY CATHY
The seeds for Body by Cathy were planted more than 10 years ago when I started battling my own weight issues, they've grown as I've kept the weight off and they've blossomed as I've gotten stronger. Now, as I share my journey, I hope to inspire others to get fit and dramatically change their lives and their bodies.
Bullying, undiagnosed dyslexia and low self-esteem fused together, forming a bond that riddled me with shame. Unaware of the cause and feeling helpless to change, I ate my way to a UK size 24, which became a vicious circle as every pound made me feel even more powerless.
When I finally decided I had enough of being fat, and I knew I had to change or risk disease, I didn't know how to start. I was too ashamed and embarrassed to join a gym or even walk outside. I didn’t have a support network or someone to advise me. Instead, I read a lot and tested popular programmes (you know the ones you see late at night or in fashion magazines that promise miracles—I tried them all). Of course I failed many times, always reverting back to binging and punishing.
UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTIONAL LINK
Shrinking to a UK size 8, and staying there for the past 10 years was not easy. I made a lot of mistakes in my quest to get fit and I often went to extremes, risking my health, but that was because I didn't understand nutrition and I didn't know the link between my weight and my emotions. When I became aware of my emotional connection to my weight, I became empowered and began to take control of my life. Coaching is core to our Get Fit programmes because I know it would have benefited me when I was trying to lose weight.
As I shed the weight, I shed the shame and emotional baggage I’d been hiding under. I was lucky because I've always been a fighter and I knew that if I could lose the weight, I could be happy and I could love my body. Now, I wear my stretchmarks as a badge of honour because they remind me that I am strong and I can accomplish anything.
NOT JUST A FAT GIRL'S STORY
My story isn't just a fat one, it's one about overcoming adversity (no matter what form it takes), believing in myself, fighting stereotypes and connecting with other people. When people ask why I continue exercising and why I ask for fruit instead of cake at parties, they don't understand that being healthy is a conscious choice. After I reach each goal, I set a new one. I never stop because I know how good it feels to succeed.
WHY I CREATED BODY BY CATHY
The overwhelming response I received after I first shared my story inspired me to share more. So I did. People from all over the world sent messages to me, telling me thank you, that they too, had suffered from bullying, dyslexia and other problems and they too, turned to eating to hide their pain.
For years, I kept my story and my journey private, not out of shame (at least not by the time I bought my first size 8 dress and it fit), but because I didn't think anyone would be interested to hear it. I was wrong. I was so wrong that in response to demand, I also offer motivational speaking to share my story and inspire others to start their transformations.
WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN BODY BY CATHY
Take control of your life. You're not the first person to finally address that nagging feeling inside, knowing you must change something in your life, worried you will fail. I've been where you are. It's terrifying. The only difference is that when I stood where you are now, there was no one to help me. Your journey will be different. For your journey, I will be your coach, your cheerleader, your counsellor and even your guard (if needed). I will help you reach your goals and share in your joy when you do.