“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Bob Marley
My name is Catherine Rampersad, I’m 24, and I’m from Vancouver. I come from a big family where food is a big part of our lives – every meal is a home cooked meal and my mother’s cooking is incredible, but the food hasn’t always been the healthiest. Growing up, my mother would cook just about everything – we never had to ask her to open a bag of cookies or chips. We were allowed to eat whenever we wanted and as much as we wanted.
Ever since I could remember to the age of 10 I have struggled with weight issues. I’d look at girls in my class and think to myself “Why am I not skinny?!” Growing up “skinny” was all I ever wanted to be – I remember being asked in grade 6 what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said “skinny” – all the boys and girls laughed at me. It grew worse with time – in grade 8, I started taking dieting pills; by grade 10, I was skipping meals, only eating dinner and one piece of gum that would last me all day. I had even started cutting myself because I wasn’t happy with the way I looked.
After high school, I tried eating right and was doing good and I was a lot happier I had even started dating for the first time, things however would take a turn in the wrong direction for the worst. I was raped during the summer of 2008 – and even thinking back to that day haunts me. I tried to hide it, and not let it show or let anyone know. I even started dating & juggling between guys so I wouldn’t feel the pain. I was doing all I could to hide the hurt, the pain and the anger I felt on the inside.
After a while, I decided I would take things slow and see just one guy. It was going really, really well… but it didn’t work out in the end. I was extremely depressed. It took me a while to recover, and when I did I began dating again it seemed to be even better. We dated for a year, we talked about marriage and having children together. I was so happy… but he took off, only leaving a text saying he would never return as he moved out of the country to be back home with his family. I turned to food as a way to hide my pain – eating pizzas, burgers, fries and just about everything else you could think of! I knew the next months to follow would be some of the hardest.
I remember walking into the doctor’s office, tears in my eyes and being given a prescription for antidepressant medication. In an attempt to try and save myself, I started eating right again and focused on my studies – I even threw out the prescription the doctor had given me because I was too embarrassed about it. I became severely depressed and was sleeping up to 17 hours a day to hide the hurt and pain I felt on the inside. With everything that happened to me, I felt completely shattered, lost, broken and all alone. I was terrified of living, and my heart hurt so badly from all the pain I had to endure.
I still remember the night when everything spiraled out of control. Me, laying on my bedroom floor, tears streaming from my eyes, mascara marks covered my face, screaming into my pillow asking God over and over again “Why does no one love me?”. I felt like no one liked, or cared for me…and at that point I didn’t like or care about me very much either. I didn’t see the point of smiling, or the point of laughing I didn’t even see the point of living.
I took a handful of different pills that night, tossing them into my mouth and swallowing hard. Laying back on my bed and wiping my tears away, I thought “This is it”. I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
You’d think I would’ve passed away… but I remember waking up that next morning. I thought I was in a dream, but when it had all hit me and I realized I was still here the only words that came out of my mouth were ” God… why did you let me live to see another day?” Those words would replay in my head for the months to follow. I had hit rock bottom. There must have been a reason he didn’t let me die that night, for it wasn’t my turn to leave.
That being said, I knew I had to focus on getting better. I saw a counselor for a few months – but when that didn’t help I tried focusing on myself. I started writing poetry again and I found a passion for canvas art. Slowly but surely, I was feeling better and I knew it would ultimately take time to get strong again. But I knew I had it in me.
Fast-forward to Christmas Day in 2013. I woke up, made my bed, and then looked into the mirror at myself. I stared at myself for the longest time – looking at all my imperfections. I saw everything I hated about me – thunder thighs, flabby arms, a fat face, a double chin, my back fat and a fat stomach. I was seeing everything I didn’t like. I didn’t like the woman I saw staring back at me. I finally gave in, and it was that Christmas Day when I decided I would change my life forever.
And so my journey began! I knew it would be hard, but I figured that time was all I really had. I set goals and tried to demolish them. I started off slow – focusing on becoming healthier not just mentally, but physically as well. I started eating all the right foods in the right portions. Going from binge eating to eating healthy was hard – I had to limit my foods, especially my sugar intake. I cut back, but was allowing myself to have one bad type of food a day as opposed to eating over 10 bad foods a day. The journey wasn’t easy, but I had no intention of backing down or giving up. Now, what I want is to continue living a happy and healthy life.
I became happier and was posting all my updates to my social media pages – whether it was how much weight I was losing or what I was eating. I had a girl message me and tell me to try using protein powder. I eventually did buy protein powder, but while I was looking around the guy at the store showed me Quest Bars… and the moment I tried one it was literally love at my first bite. They were tasty, they were good for me, and they kept me feeling full while satisfying any cravings I had. I tried every flavor and loved them all!
After a few months of eating right, I made the decision to join the gym. On March 17 this year, I joined Golds Gym. I’ve never looked back on that decision. While working out at the gym, within one month of training I found a new passion for weight lifting! I’ve been working out for about 8 months now and I absolutely love it! I try to workout every day, and the gym has been my blessing in disguise. I started out being 200lbs, I’m currently at 160lbs, and my ultimate goal weight would be 140lbs. Being skinny is the furthest thing in life that I want now. Now, what I want is to continue to live a happy and healthy life.
You can find Catherine at:
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