fitness

What it really takes for a Sydney mum-of-two to become a bodybuilder.

After the birth of her second child, Sydney mum Catalina Levitt wanted to get fit and healthy and in early 2017 set herself the goal of competing in a bodybuilding competition.

This month the 37-year-old participated in the iCompete Natural Fitness Model NSW State Championships – an achievement she’s thrilled about.

Catalina said her incredible 18-month body transformation took motivation, planning, discipline, resilience and commitment, as well as immense support from her family.

“Fitting in an exercise routine six times a week is not easy when you have a toddler and a four-year-old demanding your attention. At times I felt like giving up,” she said.

Catalina in 2013 and in October 2017 when she competed in the Fitness NSW State Championships. (Image supplied.)

"But it helps me keep my emotions in check to give me some time away from the madness. I believe I am a better mum if I have some time for myself to train.

"Life is extremely busy; I have to fit exercise in with school drop offs, pick ups, grocery shopping, meal preparation, working and sometimes the days are long; but if you are disciplined and have a positive mindset you can make time to achieve your goals."

She said training for the competition also took sacrifices, not just from herself, but also her husband Jeremy and two children, Benjamin, four, and 19-month-old Rafaela.

"There are days that I just want to take the kids for play dates - I do have to reject playdates or day trips when I have to train instead. My kids have supported me and they're happy in creche," she told Mamamia.

"I'm lucky I have a family that supports me."

Listen: Rebecca and Robin talk about all things food and whether we can consider it our friend or foe.

Catalina, who works freelance in digital marketing, said her husband will take care of the children of a Saturday morning while she trains, but during the week she relies on her gym's creche.

"I always thank the girls at the creche. They take the kids for 90 minutes and I make the most of those 90 minutes," she said.

"My gym has a nice relaxation area, and sometimes I think I could just read a magazine for those 90 minutes, but I want to be effective with the little time that I have."

ADVERTISEMENT

Catalina said that during her intense training sessions with coach Steph Parsons she glued her mind to the goal she wanted to achieve instead of the other things she'd rather be doing.

"When you're exercising to compete in a fitness competition there's a little voice that talks you down. It whispers 'I'm exhausted, my kids want me at home, I'm feeling down today' and you want to pull up the doona and have one more hour of sleep."

Family time????‍????‍????‍????????????

A post shared by Catalina Levitt (@catalina_levitt) on

"But here's the thing: if you learn how to defeat that little voice you'll also learn how not to quit when life gets hard."

Catalina said it's the goal she set of competing in the state championships that kept her motivated - to exercise, and to take time for herself.

"For me, that's when I took it to the next level. I didn't want to let myself down. Having the goal for me was what made a difference," she said.

"When you are a mum, you spend the majority of your time giving and serving others; it is the most rewarding job in the world, but it can also be very selfless.

"I need to do something for myself at least one hour a day in order to be a better person the remaining 23 hours.

"But achieving goals when you are juggling the many pressures of life is not easy; it takes motivation, planning, discipline, resilience and commitment."

Despite the sacrifices and the hard work it took, Catalina has committed to competing in the ICN competition this time next year and has set herself the goal of taking home a top-three trophy.

"I’m just passionate about making the right choices for myself and my family and if you make good choices and set a plan in stone, anything is possible.

"I believe next time I can win a place in the top three and that is what I am setting my mind on."

00:00 / ???