No final destination
BY OLIVIA AMOURGIS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES PATRICK
There are days as an adult when we are more impressionable than we would like to admit, allowing others – consciously or not – to influence the way we see ourselves, the life choices we make and the ultimate paths we choose. But no matter how vulnerable we are today, we were never more impressionable than we were as children.
Growing up we observed intently, adopting the mannerisms and phrases of our loved ones and familiarising ourselves with the events that caused positive and negative emotions. Celebrations and family gatherings were filled with food – we licked our plates clean because our parents reminded us of the starving kids in Africa and Grandma filled us up with sugary sweets when we visited. For many of us, food has been instilled as a symbol of love, good fortune and happiness, and thirty-four-year-old Rita Catolino’s upbringing was no different.
Growing up in an Italian household, food played a large role in Rita’s life. Her father’s way of showing love and providing for his family was through food. Each meal consisted of three courses and they remained at the table until their plates were bare. The person who most influenced Rita’s life choices, however, was her mother.
“My mother was large,” Rita says. “I watched her jump from diet to diet and saw her struggles and pain throughout my childhood. A smart, beautiful, successful woman, my mother was imprisoned by the world of dieting. I realised this at an early age and I knew that I didn’t want to follow in her footsteps.”
While Rita is in the epitome of health now, there was once a time when the self-confessed foodie and social butterfly had little time or interest in leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. Music, people and food were her priorities, and she spent much of her time watching television, studying, socialising over food and wine, or discovering new recipes to create. There was no single moment that made Rita question her life path but she came to the conclusion that training, healthy eating and respecting her body were the only ways to become a better person.
“There was the realisation that I was literally hiding my emotions in baggy overalls and humour,” Rita says. “Then there was my year abroad in Spain where I couldn’t fit into the largest size of their clothing stores. There was the newborn in my arms, so helpless and depending on her mother to set a good example for her; all of these moments were pivotal in my decision to start making a positive change.”
Cover Girl Workout
Since Rita first began, her training has evolved into a much more personalised style that focuses on specific body parts or movement patterns. She lifts a lot heavier now, trying to increase strength gains constantly. Rep ranges are kept between 6 and 12 the majority of the time and she keeps cardiovascular to a minimum with an interval style of training.
Monday – Legs and abs
· 5 reps, 8 sets (5x 8) squat (heavy and low)
· Superset: 4x 12 unilateral leg press with 4x 20 walking lunges
· Tri-set: 3x 12 leg extensions with 3x 10 side-weighted step-ups with 3x 20 jump squats
· Foam roll
· 3x 15-20 lower ab work (leg lowering, flutter kicks, hanging leg raise)
· Yoga in afternoon
Tuesday - Upper body (emphasis on back and biceps) and HIIT
· 5x 10 lat pull-downs
· Superset: 4x 8 seated row with band-assisted pull-ups 4x 10-12
· Superset: 3x 12 bent-over barbell row with 3x 10 alternating dumbbell curls
· Superset: 21s (3 sets) bicep cable curls with 3x 6 concentration curl
· HIIT: 15 minutes of bike sprints (30s sprint, 60s moderate)
Cover Girl Diet
Breakfast (pre-workout) - Depends on training, either coconut flour pancakes (see full article) with some boiled berries on top or some shredded chicken with coconut oil, walnuts and warmed blueberries - so good!
Post-workout snack - Chicken, fish or eggs (I don't use powders) with carbs (sweet potato or a gluten-free, wheat-free waffle) and some fruit. For example, a waffle with shredded chicken, strawberries and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Hits the spot!
For the full article, weekly workout and diet, check out the latest issue of Oxygen in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
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