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Catherine Sandler

A serious thyroid issue hasn't kept this wife and young mother from reaching her fitness goals.

Catherine Sandler

Written by Catherine Sandler

I'm 30 years old and have been doing Jim Stoppani's programs for the last year, along with the JYM supplement line.

I have always been an active person and was in decent shape throughout college. After I graduated, though, I got diagnosed with Graves' disease, which is an auto-immune disorder that attacks the thyroid. My thyroid was very overactive; I was sick for three months and lost 15 pounds. I was unable to work out and lost most of the muscle strength that I had developed in college.

My treatment process basically deactivated my thyroid, so it is now non-functioning. I have been on thyroid replacement medication ever since. I consistently have to make sure my thyroid levels are perfect or I’ll gain weight and be extremely tired. I quickly went from underweight to overweight in a short amount of time, and I felt like I had no control over my body.

At this time, my lifestyle had changed: I had graduated from college, got married and was working full time. I struggled with balancing life and my health conditions. I tried every diet and weight-loss shake you can imagine and nothing worked.

In 2015, I gave birth to my daughter. During my pregnancy, I gained 50 pounds and I didn't bounce back like some other women do after they give birth. It took me six months to get back into the gym for only a couple days a week, which consisted of cardio and light weights. I tried another weight-loss shake and a diet that again I saw no results from.

My husband had been following Jim for some time and was doing his programs and taking JYM supplements. He encouraged me to try the programs and supplements, too, but I was hesitant because I had never worked out like that before. I had always done light weights, calisthenics, and cardio. After seeing his progress, I decided to give it a try. I was so desperate to get my life back on track and feel good about myself.

In 2016, when the Super-Man Challenge launched, I decided to jump in and give the program a try. My husband and I did it together and he taught me some of the techniques and form for the different exercises that I wasn't familiar with in the beginning.

After a couple weeks, I was able to use the app and follow the images and videos to help me with some of the exercises and the proper form. After completing the Super-Man program, I moved on to HIIT 100. Following the programs helped keep me accountable and on track.  At this point, I was hooked, and I didn’t want to miss any days in the program.

Between working full-time and being a mom and a wife, I committed to waking up earlier and adjusting the day to make this happen for myself. During Super-Man, I read Dieting 101, which was an eye-opener for me about nutrition. It gave me the tools I needed to follow a balanced diet with my training in mind. I stopped starving myself and adjusted my eating habits to support weight loss and muscle gains.

I began doing one program after another. My transformation has been over the span of one year and I have lost a total of 30 pounds. When I started out, I was about 170 pounds, and now I weigh 140 pounds.

I stopped worrying about the scale and began focusing more on inches lost and muscle gained. I have done a handful of programs, including Super-Man, HIIT 100, Daily Grind, Back and Fourth (twice), Super Shredded 8, Shortcut to Shred, and the Ripped in 6 Challenge.

After starting my first program, I quickly changed my goals from thinking I just wanted to be “thin,” to wanting to build muscle and definition. I started hitting new PRs on some of my favorite lifts, like deadlifts and squats.

I'm addicted to the process and have had to adjust my days to fit in my gym time and make good food choices. Using Jim’s programs and supplements was really a life-changing experience for me, and I can’t wait to see what else I'm capable of accomplishing along my fitness journey!


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