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Kate's Story...


Hi, I’m Kate. I’m a soon-to-be 42 year old multi-passionate creative: professional photographer (Kate Pope Photography), writer and part-time sales and event coordinator at The Cloth Mill in Hillsborough. 


I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life, but as a small business owner who has made the bulk of her income in the events industry, the stress, unpredictability and drama of 2019-2020 left a noticeable mark on my mental and physical health. I, like many others, gained the infamous “COVID-15” and struggled to manage my depression and anxiety in the face of so much turmoil and uncertainty.


By mid-2020, I was carrying more than 90 extra pounds on my 5’6” frame and my obesity began to become a real problem. For the first time in my life, I found myself pre-diabetic, medicated for high blood pressure, prescribed a CPAP for mild sleep apnea, and worried that I would die from a heart-attack before I reached my 45th birthday. 


Finally, I got tired of worrying about an early demise and instead decided to do something to prevent it. I was desperate, but still so scared that I would fail to lose the weight (yet again) and that being obese would be my destiny. Nonetheless, on December 7, 2020, I began a formal, doctor-created and coach-supported nutrition program.


After 9 months of focusing only on my nutrition, I was able to lose a little more than 80 pounds. I began to see improvements in all my vital stats, was able to reduce my blood pressure medication, stop the CPAP, and was ready to add in a regular exercise routine. 


I’ve worked with the amazing trainers at Beyond Barriers a couple of times over the years and I’ve photographed the team from time-to-time, too. So, when I was ready to create an exercise habit, I knew my first call would be to Tricia and her team. Tricia and I talked about my goals to build my strength + core, and I began working - via Zoom - with an amazing trainer, Melissa, in October, 2021. 


During our first meeting, I told Melissa that my training goals were to build Carrie Underwood legs, Jennifer Garner shoulders, and a J.Lo’s butt. Luckily, Melissa was totally up to the challenge. But after my initial fitness assessment and I think we both realized how much of a challenge attaining those goals might be! I couldn’t do a full sit-up and an unassisted push-up was a no-go. I was beyond out-of-shape. I was weak. Yikes. But, Melissa was undeterred and got busy creating a program that would help get me work towards those goals. 


Melissa and I have been meeting via Zoom twice a week since that initial October meeting (a little over 4 months). Since the sessions are virtual, there are no excuses for missing a workout. Most often, the entire 30 minute workout happens on the floor in the middle of my messy kitchen complete with occasional interruptions from my husband and/or my curious dogs. I’ve also been able to take training “on the road” during vacations, which has been key in helping me remain consistent and build a regular exercise habit! 


During our second month working together, I reached my total weight loss goal of 90 pounds, and I firmly believe that it was the combination of strength training and quality nutrition pushed me over the finish line. 


Today, I am stronger than I have ever been in adulthood. I stand taller. I am confident. I am especially proud of my incredible shoulders, triceps and biceps, and find any excuse to show them off - something I’ve never felt comfortable doing before! My core strength has improved exponentially and, if you look closely, you can actually see the tiniest hint of what I think might be a growing six-pack (woo hoo!). But, more than anything, I am having SO MUCH FUN! I genuinely look forward to our sessions and I’m even starting to enjoy the renegade rows and burpees (but, please…don’t tell Melissa!)

Website: http://www.KatePope.com

Blog: http://www.didyousaycake.com

Photography Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/katepopephoto

Photography Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katepopephoto

Personal Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kate.t.pope

Email: hello@katepope.com

Phone: 919-818-9536