Transformation Tuesday - Caterina De Lorenzo
Over November & December, Caterina De Lorenzo took part in our 'Advent Abs' programme and was crowned winner - along with Sharon McGowan - after witnessing an incredible transformation in the six week period. Read below to find out more about Caterina's story and to view her before and after pictures.
1. Tell us a little bit about you, and why you decided to join Advent Abs.
I have been an NL Leisure member since 2015 and attend Broadwood Leisure Centre and tried to stay “active” as much as I could. In November 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent grueling treatments throughout 2017 (surgery, chemo, radio, the whole lot!). It’s unbelievable to think that such a toxic treatment actually saves your life! The list of side effects from such a heavy regime is incredibly long and something I will probably have to live with for the rest of my life, nonetheless I am so incredibly grateful to be alive.
Since finishing the treatments I’ve been trying to get back into fitness but have been struggling a lot. My body has considerably changed compared to my pre-diagnosis life and have aches and pains everywhere. While one part of my brain was telling me to get back into training the other was giving up, thinking “this is it, this is what I have to put up with from now on, this is what cancer treatment does to you”.
I can’t exactly remember how I came across the “Advent Abs” programme but I thought “what’s the worst that can happen?” Perhaps just embarrass myself by being so incredibly unfit, which in the grand scheme of things (after my 2017 nightmare) was really nothing! So, I went for it, hoping that the programme would motivate me to start a new healthy chapter in my life
2. What was your goal and did you reach it?
My main goal was to break the unhealthy mental thoughts that I could not “fix” the unhealthy body that I was left with. I wanted to feel stronger and of course wanted to lose some weight! I genuinely did not expect to see much of a difference in such a short period of time! While the weight loss is quite slow (I am being a bit impatient, I know!), I do feel that my strength has improved considerably. I felt so happy when I realised I was lifting heavier weights compared to when I first started. However my greatest achievement is that I can now do a plank properly! This is something I struggled with forever so it was unimaginable for me to think I would be able to do it post-treatment! These “little” achievements do wonders to your motivation, I hope I can keep it up!
I cannot finish this section without thanking Thomas who has been very patient with me and designed exercises to suit my needs - THANK YOU!
3. How has your 6 week journey impacted on your life for the better?
I feel happier mentally which has a positive impact on every aspect of my life. The programme has helped me to break the cycle of negative thoughts and helped me to believe that I can always improve and achieve my goals.
4. How do you plan on continuing your new healthy outlook?
I’m hoping I will continue to have the motivation to attend the gym and carry on with the plan I have been following for the past 6 weeks. Perhaps a similar programme in the new year would be helpful?
All of us here at NL Leisure would like to say congratulations to Caterina on her achievements, Caterina's story is hugely inspiring and we wish her all the best for the year ahead!