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From Fat to Fit: Read One Womans Amazing Weight Loss Story

An Interview with Success Story, Caitlin Johnson

If you don't know who Caitlin is, you will soon. Sheappears in the June, 2005 Issue of Ironman Magazine.But Caitlin isn't your everyday super fitness competitor/model.Let's face it, many women look at women in these magazinesand wish they were blessed with their genetics. They think theydon't have your problems, or your metabolism and they don'thave to work nearly as hard to look as good as they do.They're just lucky.

Well, no more excuses. Cat worked extremely hard to getwhere she is. And I had the pleasure of interviewing thisamazing young woman. After you read this inspiring interview,you can go to my site and see some wonderful before and after pictures.

1. Cat, you've managed to lose 70 pounds of fat. This is phenomenal and I congratulate you once again. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished. Many people are unhappy with their weight, their job, etc. What was it that finally motivated you to get in the gym and start eating properly? Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you are like most people, you must've been unhappy with how you looked for some time before making the committment to do something about it..

If this is accurate, what do you think kept you from taking action all that time?

A. 1) When your stuck in a lifestyle that is unhealthy but familiar it has to been something exstreme to motivate you to change your life. For me it was the scale and me making 182lbs, which was 20 pounds away from 200 pounds. In my mind 200 lbs was too heavy and I decided I could never make that weight and be able to live with myself.

Second I had just taken a kickboxing class from a teacher that had the ultimate physique and I could relate to her because she was short and a female.

Every day I trained with Denise Hart I worked hard because I was striving to look like her. What kept me from really putting my whole heart into training before is I didn't relate to the other trainers because they were men and I couldn't relate to them. Even now as a competitive athlete my trainers relate to me because they've all been athletes.

2. How did you get started with your new liftestyle? In other words, what changes did you make, or planning did you do, to give yourself the best chance at success?

A. 2) To get started Denise gave me a plan and I tried to follow it the best I could. Small meals, no sugar or fat, lot's of cardio and two full body circuits.

3. What problems did you have to overcome in order to stay on track with your new fitness program? You obviously must have been living a dramatically different lifestyle than you had lived previously. Some of the popular excuses I've heard from people I've trained include "not enough time"(both for exercising and eating right), "eating healthy is too expensive", "don't see results fast enough", "weights will make me big and bulky", "have trouble sticking with an exercise routine". What were the obstacles you had to overcome?

A 3) For me if I have a plan to follow I'm fine. It's when I'm not restricted I lose control. In the beginning I had to realize if I drank 3 beers a night I wasn't going to lose weight. I also have quite a sweet tooth so I had to cut my sugaryStarbucks drinks out.

4) How did you overcome those problems? What specific techniques did you use to make your dreams a reality?

A 4) Denise would be hard on me and tell me not to waste her time. She was right and the harder she was on me the better I was. She use to say "Do you want it"? In my mind that made me strive far and never give up.

5) Moving forward and knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

A 5) I would've signed on with Kim Oddo in the beginning . It took me four years because I didn't eat much protein and then for a few years did the no carb diet which was a total waste of time.

6. What would you have done the same way, and will continue to do, going forward?

A 6) CARDIO BABY! It burns calories, raises endorphins, relieves stress, etc.

7. Do you feel that ongoing feedback and motivational tools would help in maintaining a fitness program? For example, appearing in the June, 2005 issue of Ironman must be very motivational. This won't be a motivational tool most people can use. Before achieving that type of success, what types of motivational tools did you lose to keep going? After all, you don't lose 70 pounds of fat overnight and it must've taken some time before you could see the positive changes in the mirror.

A 7) What some people don't realize is a support team can be the most important thing in training to reach a hard goal. I truly believe in having a great trainer like Joanne Rubienstein, Kim Oddo, Stephen Bauer or Denise Hart.

I personally love to train so I don't need motivation to get to the gym but when the results slow down I need someone to tell me that I can do it. What kept me going was the belief that I could do it and prove the world wrong.

Sometimes it feels like my job is to prove people wrong. They talk their talk but in the end I will accomplish what I'm striving for and they'll look dumb for saying that I'll never achieve my goal. Sorry if that was a little pissy, but I get tired of people doubting me. If I can drop 40% body fat I think I can make it to Olympia!

8. If you were to advise a close friend or family member hot to follow in your fitness footsteps, what would you tell them?

A 8) Run far away and find an enjoyable job! I truly believe I did all this because of fate. I don't even really remember the time I said I want to be a competitor. The diets and training are tough and rewarding at the same time. I have accomplished a lot but I also sacrifice a lot of things in life that are enjoyable.

All I can say is I'm going after a DREAM and won't give up until I accomplish it. It's not only for me, it's for the general population that has lost belief in themselves. My advice is to go after your dreams, believe in yourself and get the right people to help you. That's the key to being successful!


See Cat's before and after phots at

Gregg Gillies is the founder of and has contributed articles to Ironman magazine and is a regular contributor to Body Talk magazine. He publishes a free newsletter availabe at He is the author of two books, also available at his site.


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