20 kilos lighter and feeling fabulous

Cathy is considered part of the furniture here at Tribe and is dearly loved by all the trainers and members.  Here she shares her unique journey with us.

As a 50-year-old, I live a very normal life, married to fellow Triber Richard.  I was busy with Rotary and my two beautiful children (Adrian 36 and Sarah 33).  And now, I’m also the proud ‘super nan’ to Juliet (7) and Caleb (5), who between you and me are the absolute lights of my life.

In 2006 I had a serious melanoma in my leg which required 25 stitches.  In 2008, I was diagnosed with a second one on my face that required plastic surgery, soon followed by a more significant growth requiring the need for a hysterectomy.  It was at this time that I realised my body develops cancer and I gave up.  Yep, I’ll openly admit that I mentally gave up.  I started making poor lifestyle choices like drinking and bad food choices which meant I put on a stack of weight.

In 2009 my daughter signed up to a gym and she wanted me to go with her.  At the time I was thinking, ‘I don’t need to go to a gym, but I’ll do this for you’.  And this is how I met trainer Pete.  I had a bad back, bad knee and I used every excuse in the book on Pete and in fact, I ignored everything Pete said.

My turning point was my daughter’s wedding.  After her wedding, she came over to show me her photos and I hated every picture with me in it.  I thought ‘who is that’….. So, back to Pete I went, but this time I was ready.  I was ready mentally, I listened and I was ready to take control of me and where I wanted to be.  I followed everything Pete asked me to do.  I’ve never been a fan of cardio, but have always loved weights.  But Pete had a sneaky way of doing hidden cardio with me, he bought my strength out.

I have a lot of respect for Pete.  He encouraged me to get into Olympic Weightlifting and undertook his level 1 certificate in strength and conditioning to ensure he could coach and mentor me.  I could never get to where I am today without the support of Pete and all the Tribe.  Pete and I have worked closely to achieve all my goals.  The thing about weight lifting is, it’s not about lifting more weights, it’s a mental game, it’s a tactical game. We are so in tune with how my body reacts, we can take my body weight up and down so I can compete in different divisions.  My coach has said to me, ‘you are now an athlete’ and I was very proud to recently win gold medals at the IWF Australian & Oceania Masters Weightlifting in Melbourne.  That’s pretty cool.

Olympic Lifting can be a pretty lonely journey.  I can’t always do classes as it disrupts my body physiology.  But that’s what I love about Tribe.  When I’m warming up, the trainers and members will ask how I’m going and Free Coffee Friday at Tribe and Coffee Morning with the girls at Tribe is really special to me as it helps me to build friendships and connect with everyone.

My training has helped me in so many ways.  I have better balance, greater bone density and my energy levels are through the roof.  My grandkids are so proud of me.  Whenever we drive past Tribe they say ‘that’s your gym nan’ and there’s been plenty of times I’ve caught them doing squats.  It’s great to role model that health and fitness is a natural part of life.  My son says I’m the only person he knows who can empty a boot full of groceries in one trip!

What I love about Tribe is all the trainers and all the members are ‘real people’.  It’s not a place filled with pumped-up bodybuilders.  Everyone is lovely, friendly and always greet you with a smile.  The facilities at Tribe are first class.  The equipment is modern and clean (yes, the owner Mark is a clean freak) and is updated frequently so there is always something new happening.

I’m inspired daily by the members at Tribe.  It’s lovely to see women feeling empowered to lift weights…..as they say, strong is the new skinny.

For me, my journey is not just about weight loss. Yes I’ve had a 20kg journey and I’ve maintained it for 9 years, but it’s a way of life.  It’s about making better choices and living a happier and healthier life as a result.

Cathy, we love having you at Tribe.  You have a heart of gold – always helping other Tribers and our community.  Congratulations on all your weight lifting achievements, you’re an inspiration.