Touche of dieting also called for

Cathy Whitehead hard at work in a practise session with coach Scott Rawlins. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d404199
Cathy Whitehead hard at work in a practise session with coach Scott Rawlins. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d404199

At 131kg, the 43-year-old Wembley Downs mum knew she would need to lose weight to tackle the gruelling training required.

With the help of The Biggest Loser Club, Mrs Whitehead is now able to train seven days a week to qualify for the 2014 event in Germany.

Pentathlon combines show jumping, fencing, shooting, swimming and running.

Mrs Whitehead said she had needed to lose 20kg just to get on a horse, then learn to ride and show jump.

‘I will have to qualify but that won’t happen until January or February next year,’ she said.

‘World championships don’t happen overnight. I’m training to make sure that I qualify.

‘I’m pretty good at all of the sports but the two that come easiest are the horse riding and swimming.’

Mrs Whitehead said she had battled to control her weight gain most of her life.

‘I was around 65kg when I met my husband at 21 but by my late-20s I was heavy again ” nearly 100kg after my daughter was born.’

Her now 19-year-old daughter Dee competed in youth modern pentathlon while growing up and Mrs Whitehead often juggled work and daily training sessions.

‘I wouldn’t eat breakfast or lunch, then I’d have a packet of chips around 3pm and dinner was often takeaway food,’ she said.

‘I’m an Olympic selector in the sport and an international judge. After years of involvement through my daughter I thought ‘hang on, I know a lot about this, I can do this ” I want to do it for myself’.’

Mrs Whitehead lost several kilos in the first week of joining The Biggest Loser Club, using an online diary for the calorie counter.

She needed a walking stick when she first started training because of her fibromyalgia ” an autoimmune disease affecting joints and muscles.

‘I get up and train for the pentathlon every day, even though it hurts,’ she said.

– The World Masters Modern Pentathlon Championships will be held in Germany in September 2014.