Tips To A Wining Transformation Photo

Body Transformation Contest Winner: Catherine GordonIn last day’s post, Catherine Gordon the winner of the 2nd TT Transformation Contest referenced a video I made where I demonstrated that you can’t out train a bad diet. The key to your fat loss success is in the exercise.

Over the past few weeks, Catherine touched on the five pillars to her success. As we come to the end of our series, Catherine infectious attitude continues to inspire us which accounts for so many things.

So let’s read on.


Craig:  I don’t have any scientific data, but I really believe that people will get more results if they love the activity they are doing and that’s why people sometimes don’t get the results with cardiovascular exercise even though they burn a lot of calories, they despise it and the body just hangs onto the fat.

Catherine: Yes, I think you are absolutely right. There’s some quantum thing going on there.  It’s that “calories in calories out” sort of mystery.
However, ultimately as we wind down and wrap up the eating is so important, so you do have to find the ways.  Look at the things you really have to have in your life and things that you need to do in order to stay with your nutrition.
So much of this is dealing with things like “cravings” and “plateaus.” I have to say that I use to do the Eat- Stop – Eat method, but not that much. In the last year, I’ve maybe fasted about 10 times.

Craig: Did it help with your cravings? You did that on regular days, right?

Catherine: Yes, that’s what it did. I’ve only done it on 10 different occasions; it does seem to shut the cravings off. It’s weird; it seems to shut them down allowing you to get back in control.

I have to say that some fasts were easier than others. Some days were like, “This isn’t so hard.” And some days were more difficult. Some people take to it like a fish to water. I think I’m kind of in the middle. I like it and it works, but I don’t fast every week out of the year.

So, in order to succeed you have to figure out how you can get to a place where you’re eating well. That’s ultimately is going to be an individual decision; you’ve got to find your way. Don’t quit, just stick with it and keep doing the workouts.

Craig: Absolutely. The last question I have for you. Your photos are pretty much famous, because they’re just such great photos. What are some practical tips that you can give here to help people maximize their efforts?

Catherine: I am so glad you asked me that. If I could have help to pose Carla she would have won the contest. Bless her heart if she is reading this. I love you, Carla.

One things that I’m seeing a lot is the a bodybuilding pose where you stand straight on, and you throw your arms way back, and you suck in your gut. I don’t think it’s that pretty.

Liz talked about a way you can stand where you have one foot back and one foot forward, just the way I always stand, and that there’s a certain relaxation. You’ve got your shoulders back, and your stomach in, but you’re not in that bodybuilders pose.  You have to ALLOW A CERTAIN GRACEFULNESS to remain in the picture.  The other thing is your smile is so important.

Craig: That’s what I was going to ask you about.

Catherine: Your attitude in the picture.

Craig: Your enthusiasm shines through so much in those photos. Maybe it’s because you’ve done a little more singing and dancing than some of the other people who are a little more camera shy, but the smile really does make the photos and brings it to life.

Catherine: It’s the happiness in it, yes. Also, let me give some practical tips. You’ve got to light that picture. If that means that you’ve got to bring lamps in and take the shades off or something. One of the big things that I see is that there isn’t enough light. You’ve got to get some light in there, not so much to have it so harsh that you’re throwing shadows.

Actually, one of my winning pictures was done outdoors. The key to that is you’ve got all that wonderful AMBIENT LIGHT, but I was under an overhang so there are no harsh shadows. You can’t have a good photograph without light, so you’ve got to make sure that it gets lit.

The other thing is that if you’re doing the photograph indoors take the stuff off the wall behind you. What we did is we put up a big piece of, silk we tacked that up behind me and I stood on it.

I suppose you could use a big piece of fabric or a big sheet. I don’t know if I would go with white, like stark white might not be a good idea. Go ahead, pin something up behind you and stand on it so that YOUR’RE THE FOCAL POINT, making sure there isn’t something behind your head. I think that’s really important.

If your transformation is fantastic you’re going to win no matter how you stand. If your transformation really isn’t that impressive you could stand on your head because it isn’t going to make a difference. Oh, I can ask you a question!

Craig: Sure.

Catherine: How do you pick the finalists? Does it just jump out at you, is it obvious? Is it really easy or is it hard?

Craig: No. It literally tears me up inside. It’s one of the hardest things. It’s certainly a great problem to have. When I did the first one I didn’t know if I was going to get one person even doing this, but it’s exceeded my expectations more than anything else in the world.

It is really tough, because I know personally how much work has gone into each one of these transformations. Fortunately, I’m assured by everyone when I speak with them after that just the journey itself is winning enough for most people.

Catherine: Yes.

Craig: That always makes me feel a little less guilty, but it’s really hard. I would say that there are always at least twice as many people that I’d like to pick than I do pick. I’ve just found that in order to be fair to the final contestants it’s really important to have as few people as possible in that final voting, because if you spread it out too much then it doesn’t become a real good selection process.

So, it’s hard, but we cut down to as few people as possible and then allow for that voting to be very significant. But, I guess it’s not any mathematical equation for picking, we take a look at all aspects of it. The essay certainly is an important part to me as well. I’m not going to say it’s an important part in the final voting, I think people really are voting on the pictures, but when I’m picking the finalists the essay certainly does play a major role.

Catherine: I’m glad I asked you that question, because I think there are a lot of people who want to know. I’m really glad to hear that the essay is important and that the journey is important.

Just one more question on that. It isn’t just you picking them, you’ve got colleagues that you respect, I know that I’ve read that in the rules, they’re helping you out as well?

Craig: Yes. It’s the majority me, but I certainly run it by Brad Pilon and Holly Rigsby. I say, “Hey, can you take a look at all these ones?” Or, “Can you help me decide between these last couple?”

Catherine: It’s nice that you have a gal in there too.

Craig: I use them to take some of the pressure off me, because like I said, it’s just such a difficult task because everyone does such a great job. I just want to say thank you to everybody for doing such a great job and I want to say thank you to you for sharing these tips.

Most importantly we want to do this call for people that are trying it out for the first time and to show them what is possible and to show them what to expect and to show them some of the secrets of a champion. So, thank you so much, Catherine.

Catherine: It’s been a great pleasure.

Craig: This is Craig Ballantyne from and with Catherine Gordon, the winner of our second contest. Hopefully that has really opened up your eyes to the potential that you have.

If you get those five pillars that Catherine talked about, the nutrition, the exercise, the goal setting, don’t skip over that, the mindset, and the social support and you really will succeed and truly change your body and change your life.

I look forward to hearing about your results at