Student spotlight: From fries and shakes to squats and weights

By Dominique Vinas

Frat parties, drinks, and trips to the diner at three in the morning are routine for most college students across the country. It’s all fun and games until the freshman 15 turns into the sophomore 30 and so on.

“I had gone on a vacation to Aruba and, when I came back, I was looking at the photos and didn’t like how I looked,” said Cody Cavagrotti, 21-year-old communication major.

She felt insecure in her own body and wanted to make a change. She wanted to be a healthier version of herself, and this took self-discipline, dedication, and support.

Prior to her lifestyle change, she was just like any average college student.

“I would go out twice a week, go to parties, and I went out to eat a lot and ate tons of junk food,” Cavagrotti said.

The progress she has made didn’t happen overnight, it was a gradual process but well worth it for Cavagrotti. She started off with the basics: running and switching up her diet, cutting out all junk food and drinking less and less alcohol.

“The more I saw results, the more dedicated I got, and the cleaner my diet became,” said Cavagrotti. When she had worked up enough strength, she started weight lifting. She is also completely sober now.

At first her priority was to just get healthy, but once she saw results, she wanted something more out of this lifestyle. So, she set new goals for herself. She is now a bikini competitor.

For her first competition she flew out to California and did an eight-week prep, which is considered short because most competitors do 12-week prep, but her coach had more than enough confidence in her.

She placed third in novice bikini out of 23 girls, and sixth in open bikini out of 30 girls. This was a life changing experience for her, and she can’t wait to get back on stage.

She chose to compete to challenge herself, and she plans to keep pushing herself to new heights each day.

“I am part of a team called 730movement and my main goal is be a pro by 2015,” said Cavagrotti. Her aspirations don’t end there. Cavagrotti is also currently training to become a personal trainer.

How does she stay on track? For her, it’s really a simple concept. Fitness is just as important to her as her homework. She makes time to go the gym and preps her meals so they are ready to go, making it easier to stick to her clean diet.

“Every day I go to the gym,” said Catherine. Her schedule is never the same, and it gets hectic with all her schoolwork, but her dedication to her fitness is very precious to her.

She expresses how Kean helps her out a lot by having a gym, it saves her money and they have pretty good equipment that she puts to great use.

Right now Catherine is on what they call a “cutting diet” because she is prepping for another competition but a daily meal plan for her consists mainly of proteins: ground beef, chicken, fish and lots of green vegetables.

Catherine feels that it is so important for people to take proper care of their bodies, because it is the only thing humans truly own. She feels great after choosing this lifestyle although she does struggle at times to stay on track with her diet. After all, she is only human.

“If I do cheat I don’t let it take over me I just start all over the next day,” said Catherine. She gets cravings from time to time and admits to being obsessed with peanut butter.

Support has been huge for her along this journey. Her family shares this whole process with her mainly because they not only encourage her, but they also actively try their best to eat healthy as well.

“It is a blessing to have them by my side,” said Cavagrotti.

Her support system doesn’t just end with family. She has a boyfriend and a great group of friends, who cheer her on and believe in her. At first her friends weren’t too thrilled about her change but eventually they understood.

“When I stopped drinking and partying it was hard for them,” said Cavagrotti. Today they are completely supportive and routing her on.

She is now considering minoring in global fitness or nutrition since she has learned so much about it and has developed a passion for it.

“Fitness means so much to me; it’s completely changed my life,” said Catherine. “It’s a mental and physical challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”

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