Gluten Free Body Builder Wins Third Place in Fitness Helsinki Championship Bikini Competition

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Meet my dear friend, Christie.

We have known each other for years, but I have never known her like this.

She continues to amaze me with her non-traditional zest for life. By non-traditional, I am emphasizing that she actually brings her dreams to fruition, no matter how small or large, and has created a world rich with adventure and joy.

As a wonderful role-model exemplifying strength, discipline, love and perseverance to her two young daughters, her adventures continue to take her all over the world. Most recently, she competed in the Fitness Helsinki Championships, International Competition, and won third place in the bikini competition.

Always to return expeditiously to her beautiful girls, she is teaching them to, “Seize the day. Love the life and the body you have been given. Always push the limits to make yourself as strong as you can be – both inside and out.”

Her latest adventure included joining the 100% gluten free community on her quest for body-building fitness, and because of her amazing results, I felt compelled to share.  I asked if she would be interested in participating in an interview for Fine Cooks and she graciously agreed.

She has been gluten free for seven months.  Clearly, there are many other factors regarding nutrition and exercise that earned her the results she received. Eating gluten-free, in and of itself, is not a weight loss program.

Below is my Q&A with Christie.

1. The before and after pictures are amazing. I understand that they are taken years apart. What kind of shape were you in right before you started body building?

I was thinner, but not a healthy thin.  I practically starved myself.  My metabolism was so slow that if I ate anything, especially sugary foods, I would put on unhealthy fat really easily.  Notice I don’t say “put on weight.” Muscle weight and fat weight are two different things.

2. What was your motivation to become a body builder?

My motivation was initially for other people. After a while I realized that doing it just for me to feel great and like a fine oiled machine was the only way to maintain consistency.  After my first show I slid back to my old self – subsisting 50% on Haagen-Dazs ice cream.  Now I stay in shape for me.  This benefits everyone in my life, but in the end, if I feel personally good, I have won.

3. What was the hardest part of training?

Consistency in the diet and sugar withdrawals.  It can take months to finally withdraw from sugar.  It really is addictive.  Believing in the process and understanding that it won’t happen overnight is what is needed.  You have to set the mind first before the body can follow.

4. What do you eat every day? Are there different phases of diet for body building?

During the off-season I increase my carbohydrates and healthy fats.  For grains, I love quinoa and brown rice.  For fats, my favorite is a whole avocado.  Beans and rice make a perfect protein.  I try to eat lean meats like chicken and fish.  I adore sushi!  Dark greens and purples are a must.  Oats in the morning with cinnamon is glorious.  Don’t forget your eggs!  Natures perfect food.  I generally scramble whole whole egg with three egg whites for a lower fat, higher protein option.  Raspberries, Strawberries and Blueberries are great for body building and stimulate fat burning. I drink at least a gallon of water every day.

Preparing for a show I start to limit my carbs and increase my proteins until I’m over 60 percent lean proteins for my meals.  It is a very simple combination of oats and eggs for breakfast.  A cleansing veggie like broccoli or asparagus for my small meals, half a sweet potato and lots of chicken.  I generally use an Indian spice to make it more enjoyable since I’m not cooking with any oils at all.

5. What do you want to eat for munchies when you’re desperately hungry for a snack during training?

Today I ate an entire package of raw organic baby spinach.  You really don’t need dressing.  These veggies are way more moist than you think and you start to really crave them in the raw.  I have noticed new nuances in the taste of veggies as my taste buds aren’t overwhelmed with additives anymore.

6. How has gluten free living affected your life? Your training?

Gluten free gives me more energy.  Gluten products seem to tire me out more. Having more energy naturally lends itself to better training.  You can’t train when you are in a food coma.

7. Will you remain gluten free after training?

Absolutely – - I’m climbing Mt. Everest in the spring so my training doesn’t end after this show.

8. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into body building?

Do it for you.  Make a plan.  Meal plan and gym plan before you start.  Each day, prepare all your food for the entire day.  If you go out to a social event and bring your food.  Order a plate. Once everyone’s food arrives,  take your food out of your purse or briefcase, open the container and put it on the plate.  If there are questions, don’t worry.  People generally respect your discipline and wish they could do it too.

9. What is the first thing you ate after your competition?

I made my children chocolate muffins made from quinoa flower for a school party.  I saved one and put it in the freezer to take with me to the show in Helsinki.  I had been craving raw chocolate for a long time.  After the show, my goal is to put on healthy weight for warmth in the Himalayas.  Raw chocolate cooked with coconut flower nectar is definitely on my diet!!

Thank you, Christie, for reminding us all that intrinsic motivation is a gift often given through inspiration.

Congratulations on your success, both on stage and in real life!

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1 Comment and 0 Replies
    • Simon
    • 05.02.2014

    Great story – amazing transformation photos – Christie looks incredible and beautiful…is she single :-)

    Seriously though, the gluten free lifestyle is really hard to put in words. Once you cut out all gluten 100%, the difference you experience in terms of energy levels is really unbelievable.

    “MORE ENERGY” is the phrase you hear everytime someone goes gluten free. If you do it right, you will probably detox for a while (headaches etc), but afterwards you will start to feel GREAT.

    I know what she means by “food coma”. When I was eating wheat bread, pizza, beer etc, even when I only had them occasionally and ate loads of fruit & veggies, the affects of consuming gluten seem to stay in my body for a long time and negatively impacted my energy levels.

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