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.
"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."
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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."