Christina was one of the first few people I started following on Instagram. I have always been attracted to her personality and fun loving energy. After struggling through some personal goals in her life, Christina has finally realized what healthy living really means for her. Her story is quite capturing and expresses a sense of freedom for anyone feeling pressured by the aesthetics in the fitness world.
1. Hi Christina! First of all, thank you for joining me and opening up to us about your personal life. I understand that you have always had a dream of competing as a body builder one day. You had recently decided to take the plunge and started your contest prep but something changed. What happened?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me, Chantal! I'm very excited to share my story and help anyone going through the same things.
Yes, I've always admired figure competitors! I love the look of muscle on a woman and their body types are just amazing to me. I started working with a trainer just to lose some weight and then out of nowhere I thought competing would be awesome since I was already following a plan. It was great- for about 5 weeks.
I was never LITERALLY starving (because I always had a good amount of calories) but I was always hungry. When you're trying to lose weight, especially for a competition, you have to be in a caloric deficit and obviously your body gets hungry. It was AMAZING seeing the changes my body was going through from following such a specific plan. I saw something change on a daily basis and I was fascinated. However, I started to become obsessive- constantly stepping on the scale, pinching whatever fat I had left to loose, freaking out about not being able to bring my food places. I understand that obsessive is seen as a "good" quality for a body builder to have but I began to realize it was not a good quality for ME to have and that I probably wasn't meant to compete.
I thought about quitting for a while. It was hard for me to work up the courage to tell my coach, my friends, and co-workers that I wasn't going to compete anymore. They had all seen me getting smaller, they knew what I was training for and were expecting me to complete my plan. When I finally was able to tell everyone, it wasn't as bad as I thought. The people who really matter to me were so supportive and understanding. I had quite a few people unfollow me on Instagram but its social media so I didn't mind.
2. Was there a moment where you ignored what you knew you should do? How did you overcome that and come to realize what was the healthiest choice for you?
One thing I kept ignoring was how hungry I was. I understand that's what it takes to compete but I have never let myself go hungry! I kept ignoring the hunger pangs and just drank water. Again, I know that's the sport of bodybuilding but that's when I realized it wasn't for me. I hated the feeling of being hungry and I was getting so preoccupied with thoughts of food. I mean, I was dreaming of food almost every night! It was getting ridiculous. Finally, I got tired of the stress of counting my food and being hungry; that's when I decided to stop my competition prep.
3. How are you feeling now since dropping the contest prep and just focusing on maintaining a healthy balance?
It's been hard, actually. I got to be the leanest I've ever been in my life following that diet plan. I wasn't stage lean yet, but I was small. The day after I told everyone I wasn't competing, I went crazy with food. The next day when I woke up, I was sore because I had literally gained weight really fast from all the food I ate the night before. I've binged a lot in the past, so I knew right away what was happening. After that night, I told myself to not focus on my appearance but rather focus on my health. I wanted to eat foods that were beneficial to my health and not have to worry about counting anything. It's been a rough road and I've had several bad days... But for the most part, I feel good. I eat what I want and exercise whatever I want each day. There's a certain sense of freedom you get from not worrying about your appearance and just focusing on health. I'm not saying that I am 100% comfortable with my body yet but I'm definitely working on it.
4. Where do you look for motivation and support when you are having an off day?
To be honest, I admire my best friend Karina so much. I don't think she has any idea how much she motivates and inspires me; this girl has never let society's idea of beauty dictate her life. She proudly wears her super curly hair, no makeup face, and size 9 body. She's never apologized for being her and has never wanted to look any different than she does. I love that so much. If others love you for who you are, why can't YOU love you for who you are?
Another big supporter in my life is my boyfriend, Andrew. He's always been sweet to me and that has never changed regardless of my weight. I love that he sees me as more than a body.
5. What is your favourite part about being a personal trainer?
My favourite part of being a personal trainer is helping people feel empowered. One of my favourite types of clients are the ones who need a bit of confidence. I love showing people that working out is more than just to look a certain way; it's to FEEL a certain way. When I get a client to understand that confidence comes from within and not from their appearance... That's when I feel like I've done a good job. When my clients walk into the gym confident and excited to workout, I'm happy.
-Life with Christina-
1. What is your/a favourite quote?
2. What are your hobbies?
I love traveling to new places having no plans once I get there. I'm very type B personality so I don't like knowing what I'm going to do more than a day in advance. Ha-ha. If anyone is up for a spontaneous trip, let me know. ;)
I also like reading mystery novels, practicing makeup, painting my nails, and singing while driving (I rock out).
3. What is your favourite healthy recipe?
I really love oatmeal! I think my favourite mix is oatmeal with peanut butter, instant coffee, and banana. YUM!
You can follow more of Christina's fun filled journey on Instagram: @DAT_BALANCEDLIFE
Has anyone else had an experience like Christina's? If so, what struggles did you overcome once realizing your dream at the time was not a right fit for you and your health; mental and/or physical?