In her earlier years, Christina’s fast metabolism led her to believe that she could eat whatever she wanted, without any consequences. “I was always super skinny,” she recalled. “This is disturbing to me now, but I would swing by McDonalds every day in the summer for two double cheese burgers, fries, and sweet tea. I ate two lunches at school when they served pizza or anything covered in cheese! I have three brothers who could have made some solid careers in competitive eating, so I grew up just like them. I am no stranger to pie eating contests.”
While Christina was a cross country athlete in high school, in college, she went to the gym for the sole purpose of meeting boys — without any knowledge of using exercise equipment apart from the treadmill. “Right after college, I realized that I was gaining weight in my stomach and love handle area,” she remembered. "After looking at pictures from my honeymoon, I realized that I gained 20-30 pounds throughout my 4 month engagement (stressful wedding planning will do that to you). That was my wake up call."
To start out, Christina exercised at her local gym every day and made an effort to develop a balanced and well-rounded workout routine. “I had to make some uncomfortable steps towards figuring out what I was doing,” she admitted. "I began to go up to girls who were fit and asking them to help me. I think a lot of people can relate to that fear and gym-timidation but everyone was so nice! I lost the all of the wedding weight and slowly have been gaining weight back...but in muscle, not fat!"
To sustain her motivation, Christina joined the PumpUp community. "I love Instagram, but I wanted a place to post only about fitness and talk to people with that same interest,” she said. "To be honest, I thought I invented the idea of PumpUp. I started looking through the app store to see if there was anything already created and of course some (other) genius had already come up with PumpUp! The PumpUp support really encourages me to work harder. I am inspired by so many people who use the app. It's really refreshing to see so much positivity on social media."
Every week, Christina does 4-6 workouts. She makes workout plans for herself and she eats a lot of natural, protein-rich foods. “I always do two leg/glute workouts and spend two days on arms, back, shoulders and chest,” she shared. "For the past few months, I have been doing IIFYM (if it fits your macros) also known as flexible dieting. Basically, you can eat whatever you want as long as it hits your numbers for calories, protein, fats and carbs. The MyFitnessPal app makes it counting macros easy and I get to enjoy a cheat meal (or two) a week. For my body, I have noticed the quickest and best results with IIFYM, but you know what is best for your body."
My go to grocery store list typically consists of egg whites, turkey sausage, protein powder, almond milk, ground turkey, chicken, almonds, spinach, quest bars, greek yogurt, protein granola, fruits, veggies and a gallon of water for each day of the week.
Christina’s Best Advice
There is SO much to learn about healthy living and I feel like I am just now getting the hang of it. It takes time. The learning. The results. It requires patience. Personally, I hate cardio so I enjoy weight training with a lot of rest in between sets. I pretty much stick to Zumba to make it more enjoyable. My husband Andy hates typical workouts. He would rather be playing sports, hiking or snowboarding. Figure out what you love and do that! DON'T be afraid to look stupid and ask for help. I promise, people love to answer questions and feel needed!
Christina’s Greatest Source of Inspiration
I look up to a lot of fitness competitors and models but the most down to earth fitness inspiration has got to be Jenna Fail. I stumbled upon her Instagram (@Jenna_Fail) and felt so inspired. I asked her to train me and she went out of her way on vacation to murder my arms! She's incredible!
Fun Fact About Christina
I'm currently a Third Grade teacher, so why not know the alphabet backwards right? I also know how to rap the Alphabet Aerobics. Listen to it if you haven't yet! It's so fun!
Keep Christina pumped! Find her on PumpUp and Instagram @tinajade11.