Name: Maribel Fuentes
Location: Orlando, Florida
Why I decided to transform
During my second pregnancy, I gained baby fat and saggy skin, experienced restless nights, and had little time to work out. I bought a jump rope to start my transformation when the doctor said I could work out after delivery.
I was determined to get a fitness model body and compete in my first bikini competition. I wanted to prove to myself and others that it's possible. I liked to work out, but wasn't dedicated. I was never an athlete or played sports. I thought being fit required athletic experience and enhanced genetics.
It took seven months to return to my pre-baby weight with 20-40 minutes of in-house HIIT combined with resistance training 3-4 times per week while my baby slept. At first, I couldn't do a push-up or jump rope for more than a few seconds, but it got easier.
I was a flight attendant and had to get workouts in around my crazy schedule. It also required me to eat in the back of a small aircraft galley area next to the bathroom.
A year later, I entered a bikini competition and prepared for 16 weeks. I saw fitness magazines with amazing women who competed, which really fired me up. My goal was to lose fat and gain lean muscle to achieve a fitness model look: athletic with sexy, feminine curves. I recorded my training and meals in my journal, including supplements and cheat meals.
My journal helped me to stay on track and see improvement on paper. I had inspirational photos in my journal of fitness models and bikini competitors I wanted to look like. I also looked at Bodybuilding.com for training and nutrition advice, and success stories.
My transformation made me more confident. Best of all, I can ride bikes with my children because I have more energy. I'm thankful for my health.
How I accomplished my goals
I had to make many changes to compete, including getting up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the gym while everyone in my house slept. I joined a gym to vary my workouts and lift heavier. I trained 5-6 times per week for one hour and ate 6-7 times per day, which was the most difficult because I had to bring my own food to family gatherings and parties.
There were days I thought about quitting, but knew I would regret it. I kept my eyes on the prize. My goal was to compete and transform my body after my second son was born, and I did. Even though I didn't win, I felt like a champion.
What aspect challenged me the most
The diet was the most challenging. I ate every two hours and prepared meals in advance so they were ready to go. When I didn't have a handy meal, I drank a protein shake.
My future fitness plans
I love fitness so much that I resigned my position of 11 years as a flight attendant and became a trainer to help others, especially moms. I would love to compete again. It's nice to let your hair down, tan, and wear makeup. Being in a pony tail or bun every day hurts.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
- You can transform if you really want it.
- Decide what you want and define your goals.
- Don't make excuses.
- Put yourself on the to-do list.
- Be consistent.
- Stay positive and surround yourself with supportive people.
- Never give up.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
The articles, photos, and videos on Bodybuilding.com motivated me. Amanda Latona's glute and shoulder workout routines were my favorite. I gained lots of knowledge to alter my meal plans from nutrition articles and stay inspired with BodySpace.
Maribel's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Better Off Alone" by Alice DeeJay
- "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland
- "Music" by Madonna
- "Disturbia" by Rihanna
- "Boom Boom Pow" by Black Eyed Peas
- To my husband for supporting me in everything I do and for giving the best advice.
- To Jennifer Nicole Lee for being my inspiration and for being so giving.
- To my supportive family.
- To my clients and followers who motivated me.
- To God for my health and family, and for allowing me to inspire and help others.
- Gary Alexander
- Gordon J. Smith Photography