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Nutrition and Fitness

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Exercise becomes labour of love

Written by: Cary Castagna, QMI Agency
Jun. 28, 2013

Katryna Fermaniuk was a blushing bride.

But perhaps that was partly due to embarrassment over her weight.

“The morning of my wedding day, I made the mistake of stepping on that stupid scale,” the 28-year-old Sherwood Park resident tells Sun Media.

Fermaniuk, five-foot-eight, weighed in at 201 pounds on her wedding day. It was her heaviest ever.

Intent on not letting anything ruin the special day — June 25, 2011 — and marrying the man she loved, Fermaniuk tried to stuff her bodyweight woes into the back of her mind.

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And for the most part, that’s where they stayed — until she got her wedding pictures.

“For a lack of a better term, that was sucky,” she recalls with a laugh.

“My husband (Mike) is incredible. He never said anything. He never alluded to the fact that I was a little bit on the chubby side. None of my friends ever did. I really had no idea. I just saw the pictures and I couldn’t believe how terrible I looked.”

Fermaniuk says she was “devastated” by her size 16 figure, especially since she hadn’t always been overweight.

“In high school, I was this tiny little twig,” she admits.

“University catches up to you, and studying and partying and not working out and late-night runs after the bar for junk food … it all just caught up to me.”

Not long after what she could call her big fat wedding, Fermaniuk recruited a personal trainer and then signed up at GoodLife Fitness in Sherwood Park.

Her trainer, Lisa Parker, put her on a sure path to fitness success by sending her weight-training workouts and setting her up on a nutrition plan.

“Before that, I went about it misinformed. I did all those dumb, expensive crash diets,” she admits. “You know, 10 pounds here and 20 pounds up the next week. It wasn’t beneficial.”

Fermaniuk says Parker helped her to be cognizant of what she was putting in her mouth.

“I was still eating lots — just really clean food,” she adds. “No starvation, all the food groups, carbs, everything — just the proper amounts in moderation and at the proper times.”

And a funny thing happened in the gym: Fermaniuk fell in love with pumping iron.

“I never lifted weights before. (Now) it’s my favourite,” she says. “And it wasn’t as hard as I thought. There’s something really crazy powerful about being able to lift.”

Bolstered by perspiration and good nutrition, Fermaniuk’s progress was relatively swift.

So swift, that she entered an all-natural fitness competition (the INBF Canada Calgary Cup) in May 2012 — a mere 10 months after changing her lifestyle. Weighing a lean 130 pounds, she placed third in the “female fitness model tall” class.

She competed again that November, winning her class at another natural show (the INBF Canada Alberta Cup).

These days, the ultra-fit 135-pound Fermaniuk — who just signed on with Numa Modeling Agency — continues to train six days a week with her hubby.

On Sundays, her lone day off from the gym, Fermaniuk will either go for a run, do yoga or lay on the couch — depending on how hectic her week has been.

She also eats clean for six out of seven days. Her diet staples include chicken, fish and veggies.

“I’m allowed a weekly treat. I can go and splurge. I’m never deprived,” she explains.

“My lean muscle mass is through the roof, my body-fat’s down and I’m really happy in general. It’s amazing how that works out.”

Fermaniuk, a size 4 fitness model, now hopes to inspire others.

“I feel that I have to give back in a way. I’ve been very lucky,” she says. “I’m very grateful. This could all be taken away at any second.”

Fermaniuk recommends hiring a nutritionist, even just for six months to get going in the right direction. She also advises being patient and staying grounded.

“Other people are uncomfortable when you find yourself changing. So it’s maintaining your sense of self. That’s the only way you’re going to be successful in this,” she says.

“People are going to try to sabotage you and make comments, and that’s going to be the first thing you’re going to want to do is go eat or not go work out. So you’ve got to remain consistent and focused.”

 

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