(Courtesy of Carola Della Mattia)
(By Brian Reilly of West Studio)
Name: Carola Della Mattia
Location: Brampton, ON
Occupation: Retired advertising sales representative
Before my transformation, I did zero cardio or weight training. I ate three meals a day and my peak weight was 138lbs. I suffered from anxiety and depression and had little energy, often needing an afternoon nap.
In 2012 I stumbled across Tosca Reno’s The Eat-Clean Diet. I started eating six meals a day, making sure each meal had a balance of proteins, carbs and fats. Within eight weeks my weight dropped to 126lbs and I maintained it without any exercise.
In January 2013, at the age of 51, I needed a personal challenge. I started an online training and fitness program. It wasn’t long before I started seeing results. Many of the ladies were working towards a figure competition, but I couldn’t imagine getting up on a stage. By October, one of my teammates convinced me to compete with her in grand masters bikini (age 45+). I realized I didn’t like how thin I looked on stage and decided I wanted to put on some muscle.
My results were amazing at first and then slowed. Trusting the process became difficult. I followed the plan set out by my coach, but I wasn’t noticing changes. I switched coaches and worked towards gaining muscle, man-aging to gain eight pounds of clean weight.
Three and a half years after starting my fitness journey I still eat six clean meals a day and train six days a week with two days of kettlebell training and four days of weight training. Fitness and clean eating is a lifestyle change, not a diet. I still enjoy a glass of wine or a “cheat” meal and don’t feel guilty. It’s hard to believe that at 54 years of age I’m in the best shape of my life!