The Overweight Personal Trainer Who Got Into Shape
23 Nov. 2015
By Dayne Hudson
It takes a lot of courage to stare yourself in the mirror and admit you need to make a change.
It also takes a lot of guts to ask for help in the industry you work in, when everyone stupidly expects you to "know it all" anyway.
But without this honesty and bravery, Caitlin Macumber wouldn't wear the smile she does today.
"It was almost like a light switch moment for me when I decided enough was enough," Caitlin explains.
"If I wasn't willing to put myself first and go after what I wanted then I would stay that way forever."
Caitlin was working as a personal trainer, tipping the scales at her heaviest in June 2013 at 104kg, at just 22 years of age.
"I do remember never feeling completely comfortable with myself. I was a personal trainer and struggled to understand how anyone was even taking me seriously" Caitlin said.
"I wasn't a happy person at all. I would always see the negative in every situation and I'm sure this came from not being happy with who I was as a person. I never put myself first in any situation or did anything for myself, always trying to please others instead and as a result I was the only one who suffered" she recounts.
Caitlin decided it was time to do something about it, even though the thought of it was frightening.
She sought the help of friends Andy and Nathan Page, who work in the fitness industry preparing bodybuilders for competitions.
"Because I was friends with Andy, it almost made it even harder to bite the bullet and 'ask for help'. I was working in the industry and was embarrassed to even admit to needing help."
So then began the journey of weight loss, in the hope of entering a bodybuilding competition.
But that wasn't all...
Caitlin wanted more.
"I also made the decision that I wanted to set myself up properly for the future. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, being a business owner was what I wanted. I didn't want to work for someone else, I knew that if I was my own boss it was up to me and only me to work my ass off to achieve something great" Caitlin said.
She loved fitness. She loved business. So the next step made a lot of sense.
"I set my sights on taking a giant leap and opening my own commercial gym. Once again, after a lot of research, I decided Plus Fitness was the franchise for me."
With the hard training and help around her from friends and particularly family, Caitlin's life headed in a different direction.
"My parents have shown me with a lot of hard work, persistence and faith in yourself that anything is achievable. They have gone through more than anyone even knows and have created an amazing life for themselves and their children. They continue to inspire me on a daily basis and I know without their guidance I would not be the person I am today" she said.
"They made me eventually realise that you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others."
Suddenly everything was happening at once, the business and the hard work ahead of her bodybuilding competition.
"There were numerous moments where I wanted to throw in the towel and countless breakdowns but after watch what my parents were able to achieve I knew it wouldn't come easy. This was the hard part that would make it all worth it in the end as long as I kept pushing forward," Caitlin recalls.
The effort then paid off.
"In August 2015, Plus Fitness Nerang officially opened its doors. The hours are still long but the hardest part is behind me and I can start to enjoy what I've been able to create."
In between all of this effort, Caitlin also managed to step on the stage in her first show about 12 months later at just 63kg - after losing a whopping 41 kilograms.
She graced the stage with a very different mindset to that as an overweight personal trainer struggling to find a real purpose.
So what's Caitlin's message to others who are overweight?
"Take action. Decide what you want or what will make you happy, put yourself first for once and start working towards it. Don't wait for the perfect time to start, start now" she insists.
"Surround yourself with people that will support your goals and uplift you and be prepared to work hard. Nothing worth having comes easy but that doesn't mean you can't achieve it. The right attitude will get you wherever you want in life."
And one more vital point: "Never sell yourself short!" the now 25-year-old Caitlin insists.
And with her new weight and shiny new business, it's clear that Caitlin has done everything but that.
"Stay Fit, Stay Flexed!"
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