Learn how Cato's journey has led her to embrace who she is as a woman and a model. She went from a meat-heavy sugar-craving diet and feeling the need to go to the gym to achieve a certain body type.... to embracing a plant-based diet and exercise which felt more natural for her body.
Gone are the sugar cravings and the unhealthy desire to look a certain way. Now she embraces that yoga gives her a beautiful feminine body and that following a macrobiotic diet makes her feel more connected to herself - and couldn't imagine going back.
Watch our interview to find out more or read the transcript below.
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH CATO
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT WITH CATO
So I'm back here with Cato, Belgium model. I just asked her what she does to stay healthy in terms of her eating and exercise.
Cato: Yes. so I'm not really the type of girl who goes to the gym or is like very fit. I don't really have abs or anything like that, but I also don't really want to. So my way to stay fit is actually just by eating healthy and also by doing yoga and a little bit of meditation, mostly yoga. I love vinyasa and Kundalini yoga. Yes. You're also into yoga, right?
I am, yeah. I don't do it as much as I used to, but I love it. I loved it enough to become a certified teacher.
Yeah, of course. Amazing. Yeah. To me, it's really way to connect more with myself and I also see the effects that it has on my body, which is amazing. And then, yeah, to go back to the food part. I really try to live, I try to live as holistic as possible. So it's not only the eating, it's also the way of life, a way of thinking. But I eat according to macrobiotics.
Tell us what that is.
Do you know what it is?
I do. But for the sake of those listening.
Yes. It's very interesting. My mom has taught me all about this. Because she was really into this lifestyle and then she started studying it and then she served us. I mean, like she served the food when we were much younger. And in the beginning, it was quite new to us because macrobiotics is really about bringing your body back into balance while using the yin and the yang energy. And with that, I mean, for example, yang energies are mostly like eggs or dairy or meat, for example. And then yin energies, for example, sugar, alcohol, coffee or tropical fruits. So it's really, our purpose to stay balanced. So you have the yin and yang and we want to stay in the middle. So we eat a lot of, whole grains, a lot of vegetables, seaweeds. It's actually a kitchen that is very rich in taste. In the beginning, I was a little bit skeptical about it because I was like, "oh, I need, I need, I need my, my sugary things and all of that". But now, yeah, I wouldn't want to have others, like, how do you say, I wouldn't want to have, or want to go back to my life which was a couple of years ago when I was eating steaks and, yeah, just a lot of things that didn't serve my body. So I'm really glad that I stepped away from that and really focused more on let's say a plant based diet. Does that make sense if I explain it like that?
Yeah. You explained it very well. I love it. And I do think the food is delicious. There was a macrobiotic restaurant in Hamburg when I lived there that I went to all the time and it was so good. It's a different flavor palette for some, but there are so many different flavors and there's so many, there's such a wider variety and it really helps you focus in on listening to your body versus just eating something that you're craving. Because there's so much more to it than just a craving.
And I truly believe that you can heal your own body and all your issues that you have by eating the right foods. And I think you share the same value and opinions in the fact that... Because you're also like helping other people with that, right?
Yeah. I think you can. You can heal so many different things and a lot of it starts with, it starts with food and then it branches out from there. Once you start incorporating the right foods and you start feeling better, you can, you feel better and more motivated to go out and start meditating or start practicing yoga or finding a workout routine. And from there you can start... It just spirals from there. But I do think a lot of it starts with what we feed ourselves and that's the food and relationships.
And I think that's beautiful to realize that we have the full responsibility over our own life. We create our own life with our thoughts, but, but also with what we put in our mouths. And I really just believe that you can truly transform your life by eating healthy and having a healthy lifestyle. But then again, what is healthy? Because a lot of people think are healthy, but when you have a look at like what they are eating, and they say, "I eat granola with yogurt and lots of tropical fruits". But that's all, that's just all sugar. That is not healthy.
I know! But a lot of it is education. And that's why you and I and others are here... is to help teach people these things. Because I mean, for the longest time, I just didn't know. So now, because there are people like you and me, we can,. Hopefully people will learn that something like most yogurt with granola and you know, bologna on white bread, or wheat bread is not good for you.
No, no, no, no, exactly. I really think it's important that we shared the message. And that's what I love about Instagram, that this is an amazing tool to connect with other people and to share this knowledge or wisdom and to really connect. And yeah, I think that's amazing. I learn so much through Instagram. I know it's so weird to say but I do!
And I love what you said too, about how you have no desire to be that fit person with abs. Cause I try to show it... I happen to like those types of workouts, like that works me. But there are a lot of women that, that does not work! But just getting out there and moving your body, whether that's just going for walks in nature. And for some women, that's just yoga. I think that is so important because the feminine body is meant to be curvy. It's meant to be soft and beautiful. It just happens that I do like a different, I like more of a weight-based workout, but that works for some and whatever works for others. So I love that you embrace the fact that you're like, "I don't care about this. I like this. This is what works for me." So I really love that you brought that up.
It was a journey though because I studied sports science in high school. And then I was all about going to the gym and working on my body. But then just recently, like the past year, I realized that that wasn't me, that wasn't working for me. And yeah, when you look at you, you have like the most perfect body. And I truly think it's amazing. Like you have those abs, right? If I remember, I was like really shocked. Like, wow, this woman is like a goddess. I'm like, I tried to do exercises. And I'm just like, no, this isn't for me. I'm going to follow my own path and yeah, let's see where it takes me.
Yeah. Yeah. That's lovely. So tell me, did you have some sort of epiphany or a turning point that got you started on this journey where you switched from this gym-going, you know, body-aspiring person to this, to this spiritual, just healthy human being that you've become?
I think this has always been a part of me and it has always been inside of me. I think it's mostly because of my mom who activated this inside me. That that is the reason why I may, or I have this turning point in my life. And so it's really because of my mom, she's like, she's my everything. I would say she's my best friend. She's my mommature. And yeah, it was really her who guided me into this, all of this... When it was astrology, yoga, and meditation. She gave me just so much wisdom about myself and about my part. And it was truly special because when I was a bit younger, I was always comparing myself to other women. And that made me really insecure. But the older I am becoming, the more I realize that I'm also unique and that I have my own way of doing things and that's also fine. So now I feel more, I feel more myself and more like I'm in my own power because I found, or I finally have found my purpose and how I want to do things. So I feel way more relaxed.
It's no longer about what someone else thinks you should do or be, or what media says you should look like or do...
Yes, exactly. I'm so focused on myself and I'm only comparing myself to who I was yesterday. And that is really a true motivation now for me.
So that makes me think, how would you tell a woman... Because I hear what you're saying and I think it's beautiful. But someone might say, "Oh, but if I spent all this time on myself, that's selfish." What would you say to that woman?
I hear that, but I don't think that's selfish at all. Because you are creating yourself and you're giving all this time and energy that you put in yourself. And that is self-love to me. And self-love is not selfish at all because how do they say? You cannot pour from an empty cup. You first need to work on yourself and then can become the best possible version of yourself in order for you to, to give to other people. And yeah, I think that's kind of my vision if that makes sense. Yes. I don't think it's selfish at all. I think it's something beautiful and I can only encourage other women to do the same. Because if you work on yourself, then you attract energies that belong to you and fit, fit just better to your energy.
Yeah, I don't think it's selfish at all. I'm just curious as to your take on it. Now is there a book that you would recommend for the woman who's finding herself and maybe she wants to learn about astrology or meditation or yoga? What would you recommend?
About astrology, they have many books, but if you are starting out, I would recommend, This is the Only Strategy Book You'll Ever Need. You can easily find it online. It's really amazing if you want to start. But my absolute favorite, I actually have two. And you know Brené Brown, of course, I think she's also your queen. I also love her. It's like my Bible. But I'm still reading actually Rising Strong.
Oh, that's a good one.
It is. It is. And then, if I can have, give, another book for recommendation, it's from Louise Hay. Do you know her? It's called You Can Heal Your Life. So it's really based, about, the same, what I said with the food and everything that you can heal your own life. You are in control, you are in power. You have the full responsibility to prevent yourself from getting sick or cure even yourself. If you have a disease, which I think is truly inspiring.
Yes. That sounds very inspiring. I'll definitely have to look into that one.
Yes, please do so. And let me know what you think of it.
Well, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Maybe giving a tip to starting models? Models who are starting out. Maybe that's a good idea. Because if I compare it with my own personal journey, I had like lots of ups and downs, to get me where I am today, which is a commercial lifestyle model. And I would recommend to most who are starting out to really not give up and, just keep ongoing. And they really have to realize for themselves that the commercial market is sizeless and ageless. And I really believe that there is a market for every type of girl or every type of model. So it doesn't really matter what size you have or how you look or whatever. It's really about finding the right person or the right agency that fits, you and that really, how do you say believes in you? It's really about finding that one person and then just, yeah, if you find that, then you just keep on going. That's how it all starts really.
Don't give up.
Yeah, don't give up because I didn't do that. And I'm really glad I didn't. I'm really glad. So yeah, that would be my tip. Is that a good tip?
That's a great tip. I love it. Alright, well Cato, it was so lovely to see you and chat with you. We had a very, very good conversation. To everyone who's watching again, this is Cato, Belgium model. This interview will be on my website and it will also be on, Instagram TV. So you can go back and rewatch anything if there are any points that you want to reiterate. And definitely, if you go to my blog, you can rewatch it and I'll also have information for you to find Cato, her website, and her Instagram, and things like that too. So thank you again!
Thank you so much for inviting me and it was so nice to see you.
You have a good rest of your evening!
ABOUT CATO VERMEULEN
Cato is a Belgian freelance commercial and lifestyle model. She enjoys vinyasa yoga and living a holistic macrobiotic lifestyle. She is just starting out her career in Evolutionary Astrology (birth chart readings) while currently finishing her master's degree in Communication Sciences.
You can find her on Instagram via @catcaitlinn. Visit her website here.