Danaji's Fitness Bio!!
By Eddie Cervantes, Muscle-4Life-Nutrition.comSpecialist In Performance Nutrition
CEO - Muscle 4 Life Nutrition LLC
I began my fitness lifestyle when I was little. My mother was a great role model for me because she had me doing workout videos, summer camp activities, etc. I was never just at home playing video games like kids do nowadays but I never was in “great” shape either.
I was lean from swimming a lot since I was part of the swim team but after high school, I started to let go a little bit. I didn’t know the importance of great eating habits or continuous exercise. I ate burgers in the middle of the night but thought working out once in a while would help.
At age 19 is when I decided to get serious. I decided to join the military. It was after September 11, and I wanted to travel, get some experience, and get money for school. I went to MEPS (military physical and entry) and they told me I should lose some weight.
I wasn’t over weight but I wasn’t in shape either. I needed to do something and I had 6 months to do it before I was sent off to Basic Training. I started by cardio and then moved on to weights. I had a couple of people from the gym lead me in the right direction but I mostly did my own research and found out what I needed to do so that I could transition into the military with no problem. I was so successful that I ended losing more weight than I needed and was one of the best athletes in my group.
After that, I was in training and moving around a lot so I let go again! I didn’t have my own kitchen because they had us in barracks so I ate fast food a lot. It was so hard to get in shape and so quick to get out of shape.
I had another epiphany when stationed in Ramstein, AFB Germany back in 2004. It was New Years and I was not happy with the way I looked. I looked good but I wanted more. I wanted to look like the girls in the fitness magazines. I wanted a 6 pack!
What was so special about these girls that made them different from me? I made it my goal to find out and do it. I gave myself a time line and plan of action. I gave myself monthly and weekly goals. I researched the diets and I followed them to the T.
I even had a small wall of the abs I wanted, motivational pictures, quotes, and bought a swimsuit I wanted to fit into. It was hard! I little by little, I started the diet, the workouts, and when I reached a plateau I found ways to challenge myself even more. I worked out twice a week instead of once, and even joined the cross country team even though I was a slow runner.
My weight started dropping, my running time started to get better. Before I knew it, I was one of the fastest, then I became Cross Country Team President. My team was one of the slowest in the base, it became the fastest. I got more people to join because they saw the transformation I was making. I was also appointed Unit Fitness Program Monitor. I was in charge of making sure each individual, in a group of over 600 people, was “Fit to Fight.”
Being a girl in the military had its obstacles because you are thought of being the weaker sex. I became stronger and faster. I wanted to be treated and be seen as an equal. I was! Because of all my accomplishments, I was promoted early in the ranks. By then I had my 6 pack, but I had more than just my 6 pack. I had discipline and an overall sense of well being.
I was training for a marathon but then became injured. I then tried other sports like boxing but I was not giving up on fitness. It was too much work to let it go to waste. I completed my 4 years and decided to come back home to my family.
After The Military
I was bored and needed an outlet to assist with my transition to the civilian world. In just 2 weeks after being back, I missed the gym and found my way into Pump Gym. I liked it! The machines were awesome and it was open 24 hours. I was stressed out about moving back and found my comfort zone at the gym, it kept me focused and in shape.
I went to the gym so much that I started to think, “why not compete?” I then started doing my research again. I talked to people, I trained harder, smarter, and put my absolute all on my diet. I was determined to start bodybuilding and there was no turning back. I wasn’t prepared at all for the transformation. It was amazing. Every effort I put in showed! I was amazed at the changes my body could make.
I thought it was only achieved through surgery or only “famous” people could look like that. I did my first show and I won. It took me a while to take in what I just accomplished. I then wanted to do it again. I wanted to take my challenge even further. I wanted to qualify for Nationals.
I started working out harder and getting even more serious. I was more aware now of what it was going to take from me to do it but I was up for the challenge. Then I competed in Plano, TX in June 2008, and I did what I never thought I would. I got 2nd place in Women’s Open Bodybuilding and I qualified for Nationals.
My biggest reward has not been the trophies. The reward is my new life, my change, getting others inspired, and coming to find that, in the words of George Elliot, “it is never too late to be what you might have been”.
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