WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE. THAT BURN OUT TRIGGER WHERE YOU ARE JUST EXHAUSTED; BE IT CAREER, PERSONAL SITUATION OR JUST LIFE IN GENERAL. News Reporter Cath Turner hit that point in 2013 while living in New York City, and it was at this turning point that she put her focus on her wellbeing, starting a fitness journey that was equally about the mind as it was the body. As a news reporter, her work schedule requires her to travel at a moment's notice, often disrupting commitments & routine..... We recently spoke with her on how she does it.
Why is being active important to you? Fit body, fit mind. If I am stagnant and don't move around, exercise or work out, my mind slows down. I feel sluggish and I make poor food choices. Conversely, if I feel strong and healthy, I am much more alert, mentally sharp and focused. Each feeds the other in either a negative or positive way.
Have you always been into fitness? No. Fitness is something that has evolved and has become more important in my life as I've gotten older. I can no longer rely on genes or metabolism. For a long time, I was doing the bare minimum just to maintain my body shape and prevent a blow out. I used to drink and party pretty hard, which usually meant I ate crap food, shovelling whatever was nearby and convenient in my mouth or ordering fried bar food.
After I reached burnout level in New York in 2013, I stopped the excesses and started focusing on my diet and working out. Once I started seeing the results, I continued investing in my health and haven't looked back since.
What is your weekly fitness regime? I aim to workout with my personal trainer at the gym 4-5 times a week. We work on different parts of the body on different days: legs, chest and shoulders, biceps and triceps, core and abs.
It's not for everyone, but having a trainer is the most effective way for me to stay fit and strong. They have training and knowledge and experience that I will never have, which I'm happy to pay for. I don't want to have to think about what exercise to do next, how long to do it or which muscles to isolate. I respond well to being pushed in a one-on-one environment and love the feeling of working together on a project (i.e my body) and seeing the results of our hard work.
On the days in between the gym, I go for a light run outdoors. The coastal walk near where I live is breathtakingly beautiful, so it's easy to get motivated.
How much do you focus on what you eat? A lot! I'm not a foodie though. I see food more as fuel for my body to turn into energy and get me through each day, but I have to consciously think about eating healthily and every few hours, so I don't get hungry and eat rubbish. I have an extremely sweet tooth too, which doesn't help at all.
In the past year, I've really gotten into food preparation for work. I get up early to make 4 meals and some snacks to take with me, which I eat every couple of hours. It prevents impulse buying and saves me a lot of money.
What are some of your favourite easy meals to prepare? Oh god, my cooking and cuisine abilities are a genuine embarrassment. As per Q5, I eat the bare minimum and I do so with absolutely no finesse or flourish. My meal plan is very protein heavy (fish and chicken) supplemented with fruit and vegetables aaaaannnd... that's it. Boring, yet effective. Sorry!
How do you combine your fitness regime with your job? With great difficulty! I'm on the road every day and my hours vary. This is partly why I prepare my own meals because I could be stuck somewhere in a remote location for hours, with little if any food options. The unpredictability of my job also means I sometimes have to cancel my training sessions at short notice. Luckily, my trainer is understanding and flexible. Whenever I travel for work, I always pack my gym gear and sneakers and hope the hotel has a gym or a park nearby. If not, the hotel room is better than nothing.
What is your work out playlist? Rihanna, Jay Z and Eminem never fail to push me into beast mode. Lately, I've been getting a steady heart rate going with Medina, Demi Lovato and Tove Lo.
When are you most de-motivated to work out? (Do you succumb to this & start again the next day? How do you motivate yourself on the low days?) When it's cold or when I'm tired. I don't punish myself if I skip a day here and there but I make sure I don't let myself slide into prolonged procrastination. With each passing day that I don't exercise, it becomes harder to get back into it. When I'm struggling to get to the gym, I put on some fast-paced pop music and pull out my gym gear and sneakers. It sounds weird but those sights and sounds are usually enough to cause my brain to shift gears. Without fail, I feel extremely euphoric after exercise and ready to take on the world (or collapse in a heap!).
When is the last time you regretted working out? Exactly. ▣