Interview with Fitness Model Kat Ostroumova
Today on What On What’s Good with Host Jovin Tardif, I am here with Fitness Model Kat Ostroumova. In our interview, topics include the importance of staying active, her struggles with hypothyroidism, and much more.
1. Can we discuss the importance of staying active?
Aside from improving your health and reducing the risk of several diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease it also has a huge positive impact on mental health. It reduces anxiety, depression, negative mood, and improves cognitive function. The endorphins released that make you feel better will also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp. Your sleep gets better, stress level gets lower, energy gets higher and resilience gets stronger. And of course, it is a huge confidence booster.
2. Could you describe your struggles with hypothyroidism? How did you change your life around?
At the age of 17, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism – an overactive thyroid disease – that causes the heart to beat fast and irregularly and the person to feel nervous, anxious, and weak amongst other severe symptoms. After many tests and numerous visits to the doctor, I was put on a pill which my body rejected.
My Endocrinologist suggested doing a “radioactive iodine” treatment which lowers the thyroid hormone level to its regular production. Unfortunately, the first treatment did not work and it had to be repeated. That, in turn, has completely destroyed my thyroid gland, production of the thyroid hormone and turned it into “hypothyroidism” – an underactive thyroid disease, in which symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, slowed heart rate, joint and muscle pain, cramps, weakness, recurrent urinary and respiratory tract infections just to name a few.
The only way to get hypothyroidism under control is by taking one pill a day called “Synthroid” for the rest of ones’ life. That too comes with struggles since side effects are not pretty and doses have to be monitored by ongoing blood tests every 3-6 months.
After years of struggle, major weight gain, and weighing 183lbs at my heaviest at the age of 29, I said to myself “Enough is enough! There must be a way to lose weight, there must be a proper hypothyroidism diet I can follow and exercises I could do and proper supplements & vitamins I could take to stop the weight gaining process” So I set a goal to compete with the WBFF in the transformation division in July 2018 in NYC.
Six months of intense workouts, clean eating, zero alcohol, proper thyroid support supplements later, and 40lbs lighter I was ready! It has completely changed my life and I was finally able to take control back of my body and mind from Hypothyroidism. It will never go away but at least now I know how to deal with it and not let it run my life. For me it really came down to “how bad did I want this change?” Oh, and I wanted it BAD!
3. You were featured in magazines such as Fit & Firm magazine and Inside Fitness as Canada’s top Hot and Fit 100. Can you describe these experiences?
It almost felt as if I was having an out-of-body experience. Looking at this girl, this woman who has fought and worked so hard just to get her health back on track is all of sudden being featured in these amazing publications…it was and is still very surreal. It is such an honour and a celebration of my transformation journey. I am forever grateful to be featured in them next to other amazing, inspiring women.
4. How do you typically prepare mentally and physically before and the day of a Bikini and Wellness competition?
Preparing for a fitness competition is one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.
The behind-the-scenes journey to the stage is insanely hard and takes way more willpower than just choosing a salad with chicken over burgers and fries.
It becomes my only focus. My workouts consist of cardio six days a week and weight training five days a week. I eat five meals a day which has to be prepped every Sunday for the week and eaten every two-three hours-most days out of Tupperware.
Rest is just as important since recovery and sleep is when your body goes through major changes so I need at least eight hours of sleep every night.
As for my mindset, I value discipline and consistency over motivation. I make a commitment to myself and I do not deviate from it-simply put it’s called integrity.
5. Did it feel any different doing WBFF Virtual Online Competitions during the pandemic?
I am so thankful that WBFF has come up with this idea of a virtual show. It brought all of us together, really motivated and inspired us to keep going, to keep fighting and to never give up. It was really amazing to see how it all came together and how creative we all got to still bring the glam to our TV screens from our living rooms.
But yes, it felt very different! Having to completely readjust and adapt to at-home training with minimal equipment was a bit of a setback. Cardio was very challenging for me and extremely hard on the knees since I ran 1440 flights of stairs in my condo every single morning. And of course, part of competing with the WBFF is the whole production. It truly is best of the best with live judges, fellow WBFF competitors, glam team, lights, music, costumes, after party. We had none of that this time around.
7. Where can we see you next?
I had no idea I am inspiring others by simply bettering myself. The number of people that have reached out asking for help and guidance with hypothyroidism, weight loss, a goal to step on stage, or simply get their confidence back has been overwhelming and so inspiring.
I recently launched my own personal training and online coaching company and brand KAT International Fitness. We are working on some very exciting launches. Stay tuned for announcements and keep up with all the latest news by following me on Instagram: @katostroumova
As for your question of where can you see me next – it really depends on where you are looking. I have a few interviews, podcasts and magazine features coming soon as well as a WBFF bikini competition in 2021.