Muscle Is Belief in One’s Self

The difference this time around was, I believed in myself. I KNEW I HAD TO DO IT…”

Christa Sierra

Activities: Weightlifting, Cardio, Running

Social Media: @CDSierra

Career: NASM CPT, Fitness Bootcamp Nutritional coach, FNS, PFTA-CPT

Life Accomplishment: Natural weight loss- dropping 200+lbs

Song: Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

A couple of months ago, I was scrolling through the feed on IG, when I flipped pass this photo that made me stop dead in my tracks, and scroll back. It was a side by side, before and after comparison of Christa and I was amazed at what she had accomplished. Out of curiosity, I scrolled through her page and it was full of inspirational quotes, and photos of her putting in work. She was honest and candid about where she’d been, the journey she had taken, and the decisions she made to change her life and why. Her posts were raw, no nonsense, no bs, no excuses, you are not a victim thoughts and she had that platform to stand on, because her struggle with weight started as a small child. I knew that I wanted her to be a part of MCBMI, so I reached out to her several weeks later and to my surprise, she said,”YES.”

I was able to connect with Christa and talk over the phone. I wanted to do this, because other than what I read on IG, I had no idea who she was, and so I didn’t know which direction I wanted to take her interview. Speaking with Christa reiterated to me, what I have always believed. Our gifts to the world, are hidden within the pain and struggles we go through. They strengthen us so that we can in turn help someone else through their struggle. It’s how we give back. For Christa, her pain and struggle has lead her to encourage others to believe in, and love themselves enough, to change and live healthier lives.

Please take the time to read her interview, then go to her IG page and follow in support! Thank you so much Christa for being so open and candid with me for this interview!

Q: You grew up in Texas, the second of four children. What were your childhood and elementary school years like? Did you have a good childhood?

My childhood and elementary school years were fun but difficult. I remember I loved playing basketball but I was obese, so it was really challenging for me. I used to get teased often as a child about my weight. I hated it.

10 yr old Christa with her aunt at her first communion

Q:  Were you body conscious as a child?

As a child I was body conscious. I knew I was fat and tried to hide it under big boy clothing. 

Q:  At what age did start dieting and why?

I started dieting at the age of 5 because I was already overweight. I didn’t fit into clothes little girls my age were wearing. 

Q:  If you had to estimate, how many diets had you tried by the time you got into high school?

By the time I got to high school, I had tried dozens of diets, pills, and shakes. I mean, everything you could think of, I tried it, even acupuncture. 

Q: In hindsight, do you think diets are the best course of action for children? Why or why not?

Looking back now, I don’t think that children should  even know what a “diet” is. They carry  such a negative tone, and children shouldn’t be subjected to that. However, I do think it is important for children to know the importance of nutrition and eating healthy.

Q:  At age 14, you experienced your first real health scare. Can you share what it was and what led up to it?

At the age of 14 I had a huge scare. I had to have surgery to remove a cyst that was wrapped around one of my ovaries. It was the size of a basketball and needed to be removed because it was about to rupture. . You couldn’t see the cyst because of how large I was. When I woke from surgery, my doctor said to me, “you are diabetic( (although i was never diagnosed as one) and if you don’t change your ways now you won’t make it to be 21.” 

Q:  At the age of 18, you experienced your second major health scare. Can you share that experience?

When I was 18, shortly after I graduated high school, I started community college. In that same year, I began feeling super sick and thirsty. I couldn’t figure out why I was so thirsty all the time, so I ended up going to the hospital. I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic and was sent home on two types of insulin. 

18 yr old Christa after diabetic diagnosis

Q:  At 21, you spent your birthday in a hospital bed. Can you talk about what led up to that point and what you experienced during that time?

I ended up turning 21 in a hospital bed with MRSA. As a diabetic you are prone to infections and I ended up getting a bad blood infection. I stayed in the hospital for nine days and left with a PICC line. 

21 yr old Christa with her best friend celebrating her 21st birthday

Q:  During that time, what was your frame of mind? Do you believe you hit rock bottom?

That was the worst time of my life because with that infection, for some unknown reason, I was using a walker because I had pain in my pelvic area. Doctors said I was just too fat and needed to lose weight. I was embarrassed and upset. They didn’t even want to have me examined for anything, because according to them, I was just “too fat.” That was my rock bottom. I felt useless… I couldn’t walk muck and was in so much pain. I felt it was my fault I allowed myself to get that big.

Q:  How and when did you make changes? What if anything was different this time around?

As soon as I left that hospital I started changing my eating habits because that is all I could control. When I started feeling better I slowly began doing 10 minutes of activity, the elliptical, once a day EVERYDAY. Then I built up my endurance to 10 minutes twice a day. The difference this time around was, I believed in myself. I KNEW I HAD TO DO IT TO LIVE

Q:  It’s been eight years since your lifestyle change. What has kept you focused and motivated?

I think what has kept me motivated throughout these eight years is just wanting to help so many more people by motivating and encouraging them not to give up and end up sick or worse. Also, the fear of diabetes has kept me focused. I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I have come a long way.. 

Christa feeling good after a workout

Q:  Do you still struggle with old habits?

I don’t  really struggle with old habits that much. Maybe wanting a drink or two from time to time . But I’ve never FALLEN OFF AND NOT gotten back up. I’ve never not worked out consistently. 

Q:  What does your workout consist of?

My workout right now consists of a mixture of cardio and strength training. I lift 5-6 days a week

 Q:  What dietary changes have you made?

As for dietary changes I’ve made, for one, I cook all my food myself. I eat a lot of lean proteins and complex carbs and veggies. If I am craving something, I  try to make a healthier version of it. I am not perfect but I try to stick with this plan most of the time.  Once a week, I also  allow myself a meal that I want.

Q:   How did quarantine affect your training and mind set?

Quarantine definitely affected me in the sense that I didn’t have my fit family to see daily. I didn’t have my clients to train or help for a good eight weeks. However, I have a garage gym and  was still able to lift daily. 

Q:  How has your personal journey affected your family?

My personal journey has affected my family in such a great way. They all have transformed themselves, together we’ve all lost 550 lbs . We lift together from time to time  and we kind of hold each other accountable . 

Christa with her two of her brothers

Q: If you could write a letter to your 14 year old self, what would you tell her?

If I could write a letter to my 14 year old self, I would tell her to give me a chance. I would tell her to reach for the stars and to not give up. I would tell her to take it one day at a time. It’s hard, yes but you can do this. 

Q:  What are your plans for the future?

As of right now my future plans consist of continuing to train part time and getting into law enforcement. 

Q:  Why did you agree to be a part of MCBMI?

I agreed to be a part of this because I think, if I can help inspire just one more person and that person inspires someone else, then I’ve done my job. 

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