Lifestyle Prior To Change
I’m a stay at home mom of six and wife to an active duty Army soldier who was facing a C1/C2 spinal fusion to repair a hangman's fracture of his Odontoid. His injury prevented him from doing anything around the house to help with home or children so the responsibility for everything fell squarely on my shoulders leading to feelings of being overwhelmed, anxiety and depression.
What was your low point or turning point?
I was so rundown and depressed that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I went to get dressed and realized my super fat pants weren’t fitting anymore and that I was going to have to buy new ones. The same day a stranger asked how much longer until I gave birth, as apparently, I gave the appearance of an extremely pregnant woman since a good portion of my fat was being carried in my stomach.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
Gym time was almost impossible to find. My husband couldn’t take care of the kids for me to go and his military schedule changed from day to day to day. Being stationed far from home also meant that there was an extremely limited support system in place for me.
- Transformation Start: December 4, 2010.
- Milestone: February 14, 2011 - Started training with Shannon Dey’s Team Bombshell.
- Milestone: March 26, 2011 - Began prepping for first figure contest.
- Transformation End: Don’t plan on it ending.
Katherine's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
I started with a basic Upper/Lower split with two days on and one day off. After four weeks I switched to a push/pull/legs, and then towards upper/lower circuits. I’m currently on a five day split, varying constantly. I find my body responds well when I change things up frequently and prevents me from getting bored. Every workout is new and exciting for me.
- Monday - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
- Tuesday - Chest, Back and Abs
- Wednesday - OFF
- Thursday - Shoulders and Calves
- Friday - Triceps, Biceps and Abs
- Saturday and Sunday - OFF
|Monday - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves|
|Squat||3||15, 12, 10|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift||3||15, 12, 10|
|Leg Extension||3||15, 12, 10|
|Low Cable Glute Extension||3||15, 12, 10|
|Seated Leg Curl||3||15, 12, 10|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Tuesday - Chest, Back and Abs|
|Incline Bench Press||3||15, 12, 10|
|Machine Bench Press||3||15, 12, 10|
|High Pulley Cable Crossover||3||15, 12, 10|
|T Bar Row||3||15, 12, 10|
|Wide Grip Lat Pull Down||3||15, 12, 10|
|Rope Straight Arm Pull Down||3||15, 12, 10|
|Butterfly Crunch||3||15, 12, 10|
|Decline Sit Up||3||15, 12, 10|
|Stomach Vacuum||3||15, 12, 10|
|Thursday - Shoulders and Calves|
|Parallel Press||3||15, 12, 10|
|Bent Over Lateral||3||15, 12, 10|
|Dumbbell Lateral||3||15, 12, 10|
|Front Dumbbell Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Upright Row||3||15, 12, 10|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Friday - Triceps, Biceps and Abs|
|Dips||3||15, 12, 10|
|Skullcrushers||3||15, 12, 10|
|Tricep Kickback||3||15, 12, 10|
|Barbell Curl||3||15, 12, 10|
|Preacher Curl||3||15, 12, 10|
|Concentration Curl w/Band||3||15, 12, 10|
|Crunches||3||15, 12, 10|
|Lying Knee Raise||3||15, 12, 10|
|Stomach Vacuum||3||15, 12, 10|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
My body responded well to fasted cardio. Again I found it important to switch it up to keep it fresh and effective. One day might be 25 minutes of HIIT on a treadmill, another day might be 40 minutes on the elliptical at a steady clip. Every few weeks I added a second cardio session after my evening strength training to keep my body guessing but made sure to adjust diet to reflect it.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Always change it up. Your body will figure things out quickly and a fresh workout gives you more motivation and better results.
- Go heavy or go home. Those last few reps should be hard. If they’re not, you’re not lifting enough and you can’t make changes if you don’t challenge yourself.
- Keep a detailed journal. You can’t go in without your plan in hand and expect a good workout. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I’m currently training with Shannon Dey’s Team Bombshell. My training has gotten more intense for sure but I’m reaping the results. I’m currently doing cardio six days a week and strength training five days a week. Being a member of a training team with a supportive coaching staff has helped provide a lot of support. There are days that I just don’t feel like getting up early to go to the gym, but my teammates are already encouraging me to get off my duff and go challenge myself.
Katherine's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
As clean as possible. Lean proteins, complex carbs and lots of fruits and veggies with every meal and plenty of healthy fats.
Can you provide us with a sample eating plan (please be specific):
- Breakfast: ½ cup of oats with 3 egg whites and one whole egg for breakfast.
- Meal 2: 3 oz of white fish, ½ cup of broccoli, 1 tbs of olive oil and ½ cup of brown rice.
- Meal 3: 3 oz of chicken breast, ½ cup of peppers on a low carb wrap.
- Meal 4: 3 oz of salmon, 3 oz of sweet potato, a cup of fresh spinach with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Meal 5: 1 scoop of protein powder, a plain rice cake and 1 tbs of natural peanut butter.
- Meal 6: 1 cup of cottage cheese and 1 cup of spinach before bed.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Beware of carb cycling and PMS combining. Be prepared to apologize. A lot. The fact that my husband didn’t divorce me or move out is a sign of how much he loves me ;)
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- You should eat as clean as possible. You’ll feel much better and your body will thank you.
- Hydration is SO important! I used to be a total soda addict. I’ve had a can of Coke Zero in my fridge since December 15th I still haven’t touched. By the time I finish my gallon of water a day I’m not thirsty.
- Make sure you eat enough calories. Too many people jump to 1200 calories a day and think that will work. You have to sure that you’re eating enough to cover your activities. Sometimes to lose weight, you have to eat MORE, just make it MORE of the right things and not all calories are created equal.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
Yes. Once a week within reason. It kept me from binging and made me work even harder to earn them. I stopped referring to them as cheat meals because the word cheat had too much guilt associated with it. They’re my reward meals.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey, and occasionally Optimum Nutrition’s AmiN.O. Energy if I felt bogged down and too tired to go to the gym. Beyond that just standard multivitamins and a slow release iron tablet. I’m prone to anemia so getting enough iron is so important for me.
Advice For Others
What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Just get active. It doesn’t matter what you do really as long as you do it. Fancy gym memberships won’t do you much good if you won’t use it.
- Don’t use your family as an excuse. If you are not 100%, you can’t give 100% to them. They deserve a healthy mom or dad, husband or wife. When you take care of yourself, you feel better about yourself and your happiness will reflect. Not to mention the fantastic example you’ll set! Nothing makes me prouder than watching my two youngest children make double biceps and yell MUSCLES! At me when I get ready to go to the gym. I know that I’m setting them up for a healthy lifetime by showing them how important it is to me.
- Get plenty of rest. You can keep your diet clean, bust your butt in the gym and make NO progress if you are overdoing it and aren’t getting enough sleep.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
Find someone to be accountable to. Tell EVERYONE your goals. Plaster it on Facebook, tweet it, tell your church friends, your family. Create a support group for yourself. The more people know your goals, the less likely you are to quit, so get public about it. And be proud, because watching you make your transformation might inspire your friends to do the same.
More From Katherine Wilburn
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
It’s amazing really. The gym gave me an outlet for my frustrations and my fears, especially regarding my husbands surgery (he came through with FLYING colors by the way and is currently looking forward to a time when we can hit the gym together). I used to have a hard time getting up in the morning, which led to kids missing the bus and frantic rushes to the car line. I never ate breakfast which left me tired and weak…it was awful. Now I’m up at the crack of dawn, refreshed and ready to GO. My nutrition and workouts give me the energy I need to keep up with my children and my house, and have left me happier, easier to be around, more likely to laugh and less likely to cry and stronger all the way around. I would never go back to that life again.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
Competition! I’m going to realize my dream of competing in the NPC. This summer I plan to compete in the figure division in several shows in the state of Louisiana, where we are currently stationed. At the end of the day it’s not going to matter if I take first or 16th. Just by stepping on that stage, I’ll have proven to myself that I can and will walk away a winner.
Anything else you would like to share?
If you don’t have supportive people around you in person, go online. There are so many supportive groups out there, and never be afraid to dream big.
How can people contact you?
I can be reached via my email address email@example.com, or via my blog, http://incredibleshrinkingmom.wordpress.com/, and of course on twitter @fit_mama_kayti.
What exactly is a stomach vacuum?
Absolutely great! I copy pasted your pics on my training log to remind me that this can be done.
Thanks for sharing your transformation. You've really accomplished a lot!
Can you tell me what you mean exactly by white fish? I see that a lot...and, it looks like you taper your carbs near the end of day. Is that right?
By white fish, literally white fish. Flounder, tilapia, orange roughy, cod. Most are high in protein, low in carb and low in fat. I never intentionally tapered my carbs, it just kinda happened. Since I work out at night the rice cake and whey are my post workout food, and I don't go to bed hungry. Cottage cheese digests slowly and keepsmy blood sugar steady over hte night
Thank you SO much for sharing. I am going through my own transformation and find it very frustrating at times. You have inspired me to not only continue, but amp up my workouts.
Good luck in your competitions!
This is an incredible story. I just started working with Team Bombshell myself (well, soon enough) and you have given me so much hope and inspiration. Thanks for sharing=) Keep up with it, and good luck!
Thank you for sharing your experience. Nice work! And you ROCK! kids, house work, caring for husband wow. Hat is off to you. :-)
Great transformation and story!