Gold’s Gym West Covina Member Profile: Q&A Interview with Maribel Contreras
In the sixth grade, Maribel Contreras faked sick on gym days. She never thought that at age 39 she would be considering boasting a bikini for a body building show. A key part of Maribel’s transformation was the 2016 Gold’s Challenge.
For 12 weeks, Maribel buckled down on her workout schedule beside her personal trainer at Gold’s Gym West Covina. By the end of the challenge, her 42-inch waistline was down to 32 inches. Proud, she took her place as a Gold’s Challenge winner.
Laughing, Maribel explains that she never expected to go on a fitness journey. People told her she would never make it. She tried Gold’s Challenge in 2014 but gave up.
Her other keys to success?
Q: Why did you take the Gold’s Challenge and what role did Gold’s Gym West Covina play in your journey?
Maribel: I actually took the Challenge in 2014, but I just quit back then. I needed to change my attitude. I kept working out, but I wasn’t losing weight. So I took Gold’s Challenge again in 2016 with the goal to change, not just lose weight.
Gold’s Gym West Covina is a community. When I walk in at Gold’s, they are my family. My trainer knows me, he can tell when my knee hurts and finds answers to my questions. I’m not a client at Gold’s, I’m a member.
Because they really care about me at Gold’s, I could commit to those 12 weeks and stick to it. I knew my trainer was behind my goals and would help me figure out what was next. Having a personal trainer is worth it because of the relationship you gain and all of the support.
Q: What’s the biggest daily challenge you face in fitness and how do you work to overcome it?
Maribel: Mindset and motivation. I used to say I was too busy or didn’t have time. If it was morning, I just wanted to sleep and told myself I needed it. I acted like there wasn’t a best time of day to work out, but I was just making excuses. Then I stopped making excuses. Everyone struggles with that.
You just have to tell yourself to get up and do it. Once you start, you’re like “Oh, I’m fine.” Get 10 minutes into your workout and you’ll feel better.
It also helps to just try. You have to make that your goal. For me, my journey started with just working out. That was my goal. Then it was to lose weight. I did that. So okay, time to set new goals. What’s next? You start off slow and you try. You have setbacks, but you just keep asking “okay, what can I do now?” You need the mindset “you can do it.” Then you just do, every day. You keep trying.
Q: How do you stay motivated? How have your goals changed over time?
Maribel: I don’t have to tell people about the change in my life. They see it. Knowing I can inspire people motivates me to keep going.
I have 3 kids. My twin girls are 7. Recently, I took them on a 4-mile hike. We started and they kept saying they weren't going to make. I just kept saying "you can do it." And you know what? They did. We got to the end and I asked them if they thought they weren't going to and they said: "no, but you did it."
That’s what I want. People look at me and say “you did it, so I can.” So my goal kept changing. I wanted to lose weight. Then I wanted to be able to jump and play. I wanted to be able to pick up my girls and carry them around on my back. Now I can. My girls are in the Challenge now. We do Zumba and group exercise classes together because it’s fun.
I’m 80% convinced I can do this bodybuilding show. I have to wear a bikini (I’ve never worn a bikini!) But I’m going to try. I’m working now to add some inches on my glutes. Building muscle now that I lost the fat. I’m going to get tight and firm. That’s my goal now.
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