Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Tag Archives: motivation



It’s been almost a month since I last blogged. I have been busy working my butt off! Here’s a recap of what I’ve done since we’ve talked :]


I bought fun workout clothes :]


My transformation has surprised the hell out of me!



October 26, 2014: same shirt, 1 year difference



October 26, 2014 (night lifting): got called manly in the gym, pssh manly my butt!


October 27, 2014: 5 day out from show. 150 pounds.



From June to October: 24 pounds down!


I had a few rough weeks (Week 4th and 3rd out from show) where I was having a hard time mentally handlingmy contest prep. It took a lot of conversations with my friend Monolina and sleeping to get over it and push myself to the next level. I’m the lightest weight I have been in 5 years, and I’m a size 6 again, almost a 4. The last time I was a size 6 I weight 25 pounds lighter than I do now. My body composition is so different than it was before and I have a lot more muscle. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I have proven to myself that I can do. There’s a few shows this spring and since I’m 15 pounds away from my weight goal, I think I’m going to work over the winter to shed more fat, and then start training for a second competition.

I’m officially 4 days away, and while I knew in the beginning I wouldn’t be the smallest woman on stage, I’ve learned that my size doesn’t completely matter. This has been a journey about myself and trying new things. While the competition part is about my body, this is an experience not many can have. I’m 91 pounds down in 34 months and I couldn’t be happier.


❤ Cristina


Short and sweet. Tonight’s post is all about the important numbers on mind.

5 weeks until my show. I can’t believe it’s almost here. I’m practically in disbelief. I have been busting my butt like crazy all summer.

23 pounds down. I can’t believe that since June 12th I’ve lost 23 pounds. I’m now a lover of heavy lifting and I will never be a cardio bunny again.

2 weeks until my boyfriend comes home. He lives 900 miles away and we get to see each other every few weeks. He’s supportive, but doesn’t completely understand that this show isn’t about beauty with weightloss, but strength and the ability to accomplish something powerful that many can’t do.

151 pounds. The weight I currently am.

145 pounds. The weight that I am determined to be in time for my show.

95 pounds. The amount of weight I will have lost when I hit 145 pounds as my new weight.

40 grams of fat I eat each day in order to burn fat.

140 grams of carbs I eat because I need fuel.

157 grams of protein I eat because my muscles need to rebuild once I tear them apart.

Cheers to kicking my ass for another 5 weeks. I can’t wait to post photos over the next few weeks!


❤ Cristina

I’m going to start out by saying that when I started bikini prep in June, I was optimistic, but terrified. I am driven by deadlines and goals; I thrive on a challenge. However, I was worried that I was my goals were hefty. I originally wanted to get down to 135 for this competition. I started at 174 pounds and have lost 19.5 in 13 weeks. At 154.5 pounds I am wearing a 6/8 depending on the article of clothing and a small or medium top, again depending on what it is. I have clothes from my freshmen year of college that fit better now and I weight around 30 pounds heavier. I never realized how much lean muscle mass I actually have or had the potential to build. With that being said I re-evaluated my goals and decided 145 pounds for this show would be considered success. I have 9.5 more pounds to go until I reach this goal and 8 weeks until the competition. I believe I can do it, 8 weeks is a ton of time.

In the first 85 days of competition prep this is what I accomplished:

  • 19.5 pounds loss
  • 3.5″ loss in waist
  • Down 1-2 dress sizes depending on article of clothing
  • Gained knowledge about nutrition and food as fuel
  • Learned even better time management
  • Built relationships and developed connections with other gym lovers
  • Gained confidence in and out of the gym
  • Increased strength

There are so many other things I have gained from lifting that are not physical. I smile way more often than I used to and I have learned to love myself through my ups and downs. While I have been working on self love for a while, lifting has really pushed me to understand myself better. This summer has been amazing and it’s sad that it’s over, but this fall is going to be equally awesome.

So my question for all of you is, if you had time or if you learned to make time, what could you or would you do with it? I never would have thought that in 85 days I would lose almost 20 pounds and be on my way to my first bikini competition.

Below are some new photos of my progress. Bring on the next 8 weeks!



September 5, 2014. 154.5 pounds. Size 6/8 pant.


20140906-171008-61808182.jpg❤ Cristina

I’ve posted about products that I’ve found that I fell in love with, and I’ve shared a few other blogs that I think are amazing. But I’ve never really shared my outlets for motivation from other social media platforms before. I found @FITGYMRATS last week and thought it was the coolest handle I had found yet. It had two owners: Ashley and Nicole, and they each have a take on health and fitness. After talking to Nicole, I asked if I could do a Q and A with them because I think others should follow them too!


Why did you and Ashley start a joint fit Instagram account?

We both have a passion for fitness and health. We both wanted to share our journey and knowledge about what we’ve experience so far in hope to help others reach their goals. We both have very different goals we are working to achieve and different workouts [we use to reach those goals]. We hope that diversity can help all types of people.


Why do you believe it’s important for people to find support through social media?

Let’s be honest.. social media is life these days. We evolve our lives around what we want to post and what others think of it. It’s easy to find motivation from others who share the same dream as you do. Even if you don’t have any friends that share that passion with you, you can find it through social media. We both follow a lot of power lifters on Instagram who motivate us to keep working and pushing hard. They remind us that everyone starts somewhere and give us hope that we can reach our goals. We can be our own worst enemies and our biggest supporters. It’s great to have others to look up to and also be a role model for other people.


Why do post the pictures you do?

[We post] videos on how you properly lift, to help women feel less intimidated about lifting. Progress pictures, [for the] obvious reason being not trust[ing] the scale alone and that sometimes you don’t see a day to day change so pictures are helpful. Food pictures to show good nutritional meals. Just to give an idea on how to eat all types of food, good or bad; they all play a role in keeping a balance in enjoying life. Also that it’s not as hard as one might think to meal prep and not all healthy food has to be bland or unsatisfying.


What do you hope people get out of following you on IG?

Motivation to be healthier and follow their dreams.


What got you each interested in fitness?

Ashley: I was a high school athlete, but after graduation I ate whatever I wanted and was very lazy. One day during Christmas break when I was on an al- day cookie binge I decided I needed to make a change. I started out by changing my diet & slowly started adding in exercise. Two years later I’m still working at it, but I allow myself to eat what I want in moderation and typically stick to weights.

Nicole: I was also a high school athlete; Ashley and I were swim teammates. After graduating I also had no exercise and ate fast food every day. After gaining 50 pounds over the course of 2 years I finally accepted that my clothes no longer fit and that I needed to change. I started out by just going to the gym and not really changing my diet too much. I haven’t had fast food in over 2 years now. I started eating healthier, but I still enjoy dinners out with my friends. I upped my cardio to 5 days a week and finally started to see and feel a change. I’m still working on my goals but I’ve come a long way and I get re-motivated every day.


What’s your favorite healthy meal?

Ashley: Homemade street tacos (chicken, cilantro, chipotle sauce, guac)

Nicole: 6oz sirloin steak, house salad & a sweet potato.


What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Both: pizza, wings and fro yo!


Do you have a supplement you can’t live without?

Ashley: no, I use a pre workout, but I can do without them.

Nicole: Fruit punch C4.


Cardio or weights?

Ashley: weights.

Nicole: a little of both but mostly cardio. Zumba and Insanity are my go to workouts when I’m not lifting full body.


Advice for people starting their weightloss journey?

Ashley: Only do it because YOU want to feel better about YOURSELF. Not for other people or to fit an unreasonable idea of what your body should look like. Eat healthy, get your fill of nutrients but also enjoy the foods you love in moderation. Find a fitness hobby that you really enjoy, make goals and achieve them.

Nicole: Trust the process, don’t lose focus, ignore negativity and keep pushing forward! Everything takes time. You will have slip ups, but don’t have regret. Don’t skip a workout for any reason. You will always feel good after working out. Set goals and accomplish them, then set another goal! Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by anyone, everyone was once a beginner. Share your progress & be happy!


About the micro-bloggers:

Ashley and Nicole met their freshman year of high school and have been best friends ever since. They were on the swim team and ran track together. They were jocks! They enjoy going to the gym and challenging each other to be better. They love to hike, but unfortunately in Arizona they can only do that in the winter. They love to eat pizza and wings every Thursday for their cheat meals! Ashley is finishing her last year at ASU with a photography/art education degree. Nicole is almost ready to transfer to ASU to finish her degree in occupational therapy. They love to travel… their favorite [place] is Vegas! They just want to help others reach their goals and help empower other women!


Follow them on Instagram: @FITGYMRATS

❤ Cristina

I’ve lost about 12 pounds in the first 35 days of this crazy adventure, and with 28 pounds to go and a little less than 16 weeks, I’m deciding to be a little daring. I’ve always relied heavily on cardio to shed pounds, but aside from my new Beachbody DVD set, I’m going to be strict with my weights. I’ve also been experiencing some knee tightness lately, which my chiropractor said is  from over working the muscle. Her example was the muscle around the knee is in something like a Charlie Horse, which causing it to tighten depending on the movement.

Most of the problem movements are squats and hard cardio. So my goal for tomorrow is to mix up the 10 different circuits I do over the course of my typical 3 days of lifting, but remove the cardio elements in between each set. While I will do some leg work, I’m going to avoid deadlifts and leg curls because those aggravate my knee the most. I’m going to add more core strengthening, and hopefully increase some of my weights. Here’s to new PR’s!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some interesting shots and do my weigh in! Until then here’s a gem from the other night’s lifting session. I am awful at pull ups and I’m still developing my upper body strength, so this is a big deal for me!


❤ Cristina

I never thought I would run a mile.

I never thought I would lose 70 pounds.

I never thought I would survive like clean eating.

I never thought I could do pull ups.

I never thought I could lift weights.

I never thought the changes I made to help myself would inspire other people, but now I want to inspire other people. It’s all about baby steps and finding what works for you. When it gets tough don’t look at the road ahead, look at how far you’ve come. As for me, 6 am comes a little too early and tomorrow is a double lifting day. Two circuits of shoulders, biceps and triceps before work and another two sets on my lunch hour. If it’s important, you’ll find the time. Have a great Sunday night and Monday morning :]

inspire❤ Cristina