We recently spoke with our resident health and wellness enthusiast Coach Cathy about her journey into physical and mental wellness and how you can do the same.
Taking the first step to better your life can be challenging. This is especially true when you are stuck in a lethargic routine. But for those that are truly determined to make that transformation, it can be life-changing. This was the case for fitness expert Coach Cathy, who when she saw she needed to completely shift her daily routine, did so.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your journey.
I am Cathy, and for the longest time, I suffered from severe eczema. During that period I experienced a lot of challenges. I was unhealthy and eczema took hold of my life. My physique changed and my outbreaks constantly affected my mood. My social life became dysfunctional.
Because of this, I consulted many different doctors and consultants and tried many ointments and treatments. However, nothing worked.
There was a point where I said: "enough was enough." and I changed. I started to exercise. I’ve always wanted a healthy body from a young age so I cut down on processed foods, sugars and started to eat clean and exercise religiously.
“After 2 months, I saw a positive change in my figure and mental wellness. This initiative restarted my life and I’ve been keeping this lifestyle for almost 9 years.”
What led you to become a wellness coach?
After my newly discovered lifestyle, I decided to work to change others’ lives. In 2017, I left my job to be a digital health coach and help people to achieve a healthy lifestyle. A year later, I started freelance coaching and that’s how I started being a wellness coach. I also create content (wellbeing and mindfulness) on social media. I believe health is the foundation of happiness and harmony in life, and I wish to share this with others.
How did you treat your eczema? What are some remedies and lifestyle changes that helped you?
I did so by essentially leading a fitness-centric lifestyle where I kept a balanced diet and regular exercise. I avoided processed foods and the exercise gave me a constructive break during the day. It made a hectic day a little bit better because it melted my stress away. Overall, I became a more positive person.
What’s one piece of advice you can offer someone who wants to give up on their fitness or lifestyle transition?
The ultimate fear that I had once I was waist-deep in eczema, was that I can’t wear a beautiful bikini and stroll down on the beach. I felt uncomfortable with people looking at my skin.
I remember when I prepped for my first bodybuilding world championship in 2018, my goal was to fight this fear factor.
I was excited at first to plan my diet and exercise routine. However, the 6-month program was grueling. It was much harder than I thought! After a few months into the training, I wanted to give up. The boring diet and strenuous training were very taxing on my body and it was very stressful.
But then I asked myself, training has been ongoing for months, was it worth it to give up halfway now? No, I was never a quitter. I wanted to stand up on that stage, to see how far I could go, how much I could push myself.
In the end, I am glad that I didn’t give up. I attained a bigger picture when pushed to the limits of training. It opened my eyes to a version of myself I never dreamed of. It was a bittersweet but valuable experience.
“My advice to others who are on the verge of giving up is, keep asking yourself questions such as: Why you started? Did you want to change? Is your goal realistic? Review your goals regularly, and make changes if needed and act upon them.”
Do you have any tips to help people kick-start their health journey and how to successfully maintain a healthier lifestyle long-term?
For anyone who wants to take the first step on their health journey, goal setting is important. It gives us direction and destination. These are the ‘SMART’ goals that I follow:
Specific: “losing weight” is vague while “lose 10 lbs in 3 months" is clear
Measurable: set goals that can easily be measured, for example, workout 2 times a week, or reduce 5% of body fat
Attainable: goals should be realistic
Relevant: goals should be relevant to your particular interests, needs, and abilities
Time-bound: give your goals estimated timelines, and hold yourself accountable
You can use it for short and long-term goal setting. A small step each day is progress towards your destination. Of course, there is also keeping a healthy diet, which I begin with a good tea! ReadySlim detox tea blend is perfect to freshen me up every morning!