Tips for Gauging Your Body Transformation

Over the past few days, the winner of the second ever TT Transformation Contest, Catherine Gordon, has been sharing her body transformation story with us. And whether you’re a newbie to the training scene or you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to resistance training, Catherine has undoubtedly shared some fat loss nuggets you’ll want to check out.

Here’s par t 5 from the inspiration herself.

Now for today, getting down to 22% body fat has been a challenge for the former winner, but Catherine has managed to figure out what works best for her body while harnessing the power of self-discipline. Read on to learn some great tips to help you get started on your own body transformation story.


Craig: Why don’t you talk about your ultimate training environment that helps you have so much fun and that keeps you sticking to it?

Catherine: I like the gym, I really do. Even when people in the gym bug me, which sometimes they do. For example, the people who move slow. I am like, “Please, just move faster.”

I am not one of those who wear makeup to the gym or anything like that, but I am celebrating this new body….

…I love it, I love being in it, and so I like to take it to the gym and working it out.

My schedule is where my weekday workouts are at the gym, and my Saturday workout was at home. I do love working out at home, but I don’t work out nearly as hard. I guess this says that I’m a presentation exerciser, well, so be it. However, I do find that if I am in the gym, I work a little harder, and my form a bit better.

I don’t know, it’s almost as if you feel like you’re representing something.

Craig: I personally am the exact same way as you. I like going to the gym, and I definitely have better workouts at the gym. Mostly, because when I work out at home I’ve got my dog jumping on me, so that’s one of the things that stops me from having a great home  workout, but I really like going to the gym too.

I think you’re kind of right that you’re out there. Basically, when I’m training at the gym, I’ve got kids beside me. I’m trying to represent and show that I can keep up with the kids.

Catherine: Yes, that’s true and I’m sure you can. Remember, I’m 45 and I’m amazed at what I’m capable of at this age. Of course, we have Ma, who is 74 doing well. She is such an inspiration to me, and that’s one of the things that keep me doing my workouts and eating right.

I’m thinking to myself, “I’m going to be on this planet if all goes well. If I can do it at 45, I could very easily be on this planet another 40 years, maybe another 50 years.”

Craig: Yes.

Catherine: I want to take the feeling that I have right now into the future and make it better and keep it as long as I can. So, I think that’s another thing that can help you in those moments of weakness.

At some point, I don’t know where we are, we do need to talk about plateaus before we finish. I think that’s one of the big issues that we see even with Turbulence Training.

Craig: Absolutely. We’ll get there but I think a couple of things you covered in the last answer are really important to touch on.

First, what were the things you did to track your progress and to keep you going? Was it putting the measuring tape around your waist or was it looking in the mirror and taking photos, could it have been performance only, or was it stepping on the scale?

Second, you must have been approached by people your age and even those younger than you who were inspired by what you’ve done. So, why don’t you tell us how great that feels to inspire other people and how it has motivated you as well?

Catherine: Let’s start with gauging progress. Of course, I did the pictures for the contest. One thing slightly unique with me is that I’ve had an item of clothing, and it was a pair of jeans for both Turbulence Training contests, and that is really huge for me to have that, because I tend to carry most of my excess weight below my waist.

To have a pair of jeans that you can’t fit into, and to see you get closer and closer to zipping them or even buttoning the bottom button is really amazing.

Actually, I need to get them back out. I have a pair of jeans, button fly 501’s from my senior year in high school, and I’m in them again.

Craig: Oh, wow.

Catherine: Yes, it’s really amazing. I do weigh myself during the contests, and sometimes I’m weighing myself every day. I try to keep it to once a week, because I feel that’s a better gauge, and it’s almost like, “You get to weigh yourself this week, yay,” rather than every day. However, I admit a lot of times I weigh every day.

I love the measuring tape. It is my friend because it TELLS THE TRUTH a lot better than the scale does. The other thing that tells the truth, and I post this to other people, is that hips don’t lie. If you’ve got that pair of pants that keeps fitting better and better, then you know you’re making progress.

So, those would be the things. I absolutely measure myself. I also have the trainer at the gym measure my body fat with calipers, I think every four weeks. I’ll tell you one thing. The body fat measurements that we’re getting at the gym are definitely higher,  then I would have expected, and they’re also higher than some of the stuff that you find on the internet where you measure your waist, your hips, height and weight.

I want to say she’s doing at least five sites, and let me tell you, when she’s pinching the back of my biceps it hurts.

Craig: Yes, you want to have much back there.

Catherine: I’m getting so lean in my upper body, but then she goes to the iliac crest, whatever that is, and it’s like, “oh yeah, there it is.” So, yes I’m having the same person measure me every time.

Craig: Very good.

Catherine: So, when you see those drops in my body fat those are brutally honest. I think for this contest, I got down to 22%; I think I may have been a little lower than that. I don’t know, maybe it’s right.

Ultimately, I want to be at 115 and 20 percent. I don’t want to go much lower than that, because at my age what happens to be is your face starts to look little older when you get really super lean.

Craig: Yes, it does.

Catherine: So, I think about 20 is lean enough for me. What was the second half of the question?

Craig: It was about being an inspiration to people at the gym.

Catherine: Oh, that’s because I have to brag on myself. Yes, it’s fun. I do have people asking me some that are younger, some older, and some literally cornering me with a notebook and saying, “Okay. What did you do? Tell me exactly what you did?” I’m like, “Okay. I’ll tell you what I did.”

I always tell them that the workouts are a BIG thing…

…The bodyweight exercises, and yes, sometimes there’s weights along with resistance training and you pair that up with interval training. Then you add good nutrition along with the right mindset and support.

I’ll tell you one other thing that is there will be a different kind of attention from men than women.

Ladies will need to come to terms with this. The place that you deal with that is when you’re visualizing your ideas, and you really have to come to grips with, “How will I handle this? Am I afraid of it? Does it concern me?” You really have to deal with that.

I think for women out there who want to transform, take a look at Carla and at Emily and the change that happened with Robin, some of these women are just becoming incredibly beautiful.

They need to approach that with a sense of fun and a sense of humor and I think that also helps you to keep from sabotaging yourself.

Craig: I think a lot of women really, especially in the essay contests that we have on the blog, people are really talking about it and guys too, and they’re talking about their significant other almost all the time. It really is a deep emotional reason for so many people to get started here.

It’s something that they want to do for their spouse. A lot of times the spouse really doesn’t care, they love them, one way or the other, but certainly that is something that is in their minds, and it’s really good that you did touch on that.

Catherine: It’s a wonderful thing, it’s a wonderful gift that you give yourself and it’s also a gift that you give the people who really love you. When you get to the point that you’re becoming the best that you can be it really has great things attached to it.

However, it can be very difficult. So many of us, I do it myself, there’s a tendency where you get to a certain height, and you start to achieve things, and it gets a little scary, and you can sometimes sabotage yourself, whether it’s with Doritos or chocolate cake or whatever it happens to be.

You’re entering uncharted territory sometimes, and it can be scary. That’s another thing that the forums are great for. I’m here to tell you it’s fun, go ahead change, you’ll love it.

Craig: Absolutely.

Catherine: It’s turbulence, it shakes up the plane, but it doesn’t take it down.


Join us tomorrow for part 7 where Catherine discusses more workout plateaus and the importance of staying consistent with your programs.

And finally, here are more TT transformation success stories for you to check out…

=> TransformationContest.comTurbulence Training for Fat Loss