Name: Valentina Esteban
Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Why I decided to transform
I always dreamed of being fit so I could see what my body was capable of, but I was self-conscious about my weight as a teen. I tried many fad diets, gave the healthy lifestyle many tries, and always lost interest because I got impatient after seeing minimal results.
During the summer of 2012, my eating habits got out of hand and I avoided mirrors. At the end of summer, I weighed myself, saw that scale hit 139 pounds, and was freaked out because it was the heaviest I had ever been. When I realized how much weight I put on, I quit eating junk food and started treating my body with respect by eating healthier and exercising six times per week. I haven't stopped since.
I researched as much as possible about health and fitness and learned enough to head in the right direction and achieve my goals. My main goal was to be skinny when I started this journey, but as I kept training and adding muscle, I started to love my fit and muscular look even more. After I hit my goal weight, I kept training hard and became more dedicated. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. every morning to go the gym because I was finishing school and working full-time.
After putting lots of thought into it and being motivated by a few women on Instagram, I decided to enter my first competition. Competition prep wasn't easy, but it made me a stronger person and taught me about myself. I placed 10 out of 23 girls but felt like a winner after surviving prep and getting the courage to step on stage.
The day I decided to start this journey, I posted my first progress picture on Instagram and kept my followers updated. I motivated many family members, friends, and teens to start living healthy. I showed them that anything is possible if they set their mind to it. I love my body, feel more confident, and most importantly, I love how healthy I feel.
How I accomplished my goals
When I decided to change my lifestyle, I quit joking around and got serious. I completely cut out junk food and dedicated myself to the gym. I spent hours reading articles on Bodybuilding.com and found workout routines that would push me further. I was so strict that I didn't allow myself cheat meals until I couldn't take it anymore.
There were many days when my motivation lacked and I got impatient. When those moments came, I stopped myself, dug deep, and remembered where and why I started this journey. Most of my inspiration came from many strong and beautiful women who I follow on Instagram like Bella Falconi, Andreia Brazier, Ava Cowan, and Amanda Latona.
What aspect challenged me the most
The aspect that challenged me most was trying to figure out what worked best for me. The Internet provides unlimited resources to transform.
There's no wrong way to go about nutrition and exercising unless you aren't eating enough or are training dangerously. Listen to your body!
My future fitness plans
I'm planning to compete in June 2014. If I do well and qualify for nationals, I will compete at those shows too. I'm currently studying to get my nutrition certificate and plan to go to college and become a dietitian. My ultimate goal is to become an IFBB pro.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Don't think of your weight loss journey as temporary. Think of it as a lifestyle change. Be patient and remember that goals don't have an expiration date.
You don't have to deprive yourself from food that you love and give up your social life for the gym. Find balance and do what works for you. Make it something you enjoy so you can stick to it for the rest of your life.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Bodybuilding.com was one of the first websites I ran into when I began my fitness journey. I recommend it to people who don't have much experience in the fitness field.
I spend hours reading articles on Bodybuilding.com to help me get a better understanding of what my diet, workout routine, and supplement stack should look like.
Valentina's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Radioactive (dBarrie Remix)" by Imagine Dragons
- "Facebook Friends" by Knife Party
- "Clarity (Tiesto Remix)" by Zedd
- "Sweet Nothing (Tiesto Remix)" by Calvin Harris
- "Apollo" by Hardwell