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From Eating Disorder to Bodybuilder and Personal Trainer - My Story – TotalBodyLab

My Story


Left: summer vacation photo with a friend, 2004 (I'm 12). I'm on the right.

Right: First Place Bikini Novice award and two other trophies at NPC Atlantic Coast Championships 2019.

For most of my life, I thought that I didn't have the metabolism to look good or genetics to be strong. I was jealous of the "naturally lean" people who were lucky with their genetics convinced that regular folks like us can never get there no matter how hard we try. Turns out, it is not necessary to try hard. Throughout my journey of preparing for powerlifting and bodybuilding competitions as well as training others, I have learnt that with an individualized plan and ample support - anyone can can achieve a lean, strong, healthy body.

I'm eager to share this knowledge with you and share the tools that have helped many of my clients and friends obtain great physical health, strength, power, endurance, and desirable body composition as well as maintain it for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, our economy and health systems are built to make money off of sick people who get addicted to treating symptoms instead of real illness causes. It is alarming that obesity and related diseases are much of a greater concern than hunger in the US. My goal is to bridge the nutrition and exercise knowledge gap for as many people as possible using a science-based approach to long-term health and wellness.

OCB Bikini Overall Champion

OCB Colonial Open Bodybuilding Competition, 2019: Overall Bikini Champion

Even though bodybuilding, powerlifting and other physique or athletic performance competitions are inspiring and can help an unfit reader (just like myself a little bit ago) get off the couch and start working out, running, lifting, I'm also here to remind you that this may not be the best strategy for everyone. A lot of the times being competitive with others and the need to have complete strangers (judges, audience) decide that one is "the winner" can provide an unhealthy amount of extrinsic motivation. Once you have won, and this extrinsic motivation is gone, many an athlete degrades their seemingly healthy habits back to pre-competition prep and ends up in a worse place than before. Same logic works with the folks who have set the goal to "just lose 20 lbs before the wedding", or "fit into high school jeans again", etc.

Before having educated myself in nutrition and fitness, I was young and dumb too, tried the yo-yo diets and the "most effective workout routine"s, struggled with orthorexia (fixation on eating "clean", healthy foods only), eating disorders and judging others for their poor health choices. If you have too - I feel you, and can provide tangible advice on how to snap out of this mess. It's tough, but definitely doable. We all have only got one body to live in, and need to learn how to treat it with care and respect. Motivation to achieve great health and maintain it has to be intrinsic. It has to come from within and love for yourself, your own body and mind.

If you've struggled with any of the above - don't be shy, jot a note - here, or on any of the social media channels. I'm here to listen, help, and provide a judgement free supportive environment.

Yours, Katya

Katya Gorbacheva Medals

Off-season physique, spring 2020

Learn more about my training and competition journey here: Bulk Hackers Interview