Name: Christina Pappas
Height: 1.56 m
Competition weight: 50 Kgs
Current weight: 53 Kgs
Current city: Johannesburg, South Africa
How did you get started with your training? Have you always lived a healthy and active lifestyle?
I lived a pretty unhealthy lifestyle growing up and was quite overweight when I started university. I decided to join a gym when I started working and this led me to become more health conscious. I started eating healthily but I never restricted myself. I have always tried to live a balanced lifestyle.
Who has been your biggest influence/support in your life and how did they affect you?
My fiancè, Keenan McAdam, has been my biggest supporter on my fitness journey. He encouraged me to get a coach, which then led me to entering my first fitness competition in 2015. I wouldn’t be where I am today, without his encouragement and support.
What do you most enjoy about preparing for a competition and about the competition itself?
I enjoy the process of prepping for a competition. I love watching my body change and feeling good about how I look in the mirror. Not only do I like the physical aspect of prepping for a competition, but I also enjoy the mental focus of it all. It affects you in all areas of your life.
Instead of thinking, “ I can’t do it”, your mental state changes to, “I am going to try”. It is amazing what you are capable of, when you set your mind to a goal and commit to it.
On the day of the competition, it’s a whirlwind of nerves and excitement. It’s such an adrenaline rush! I have met many of my fellow fitness friends on social media and its even better when you get to meet them in person. I have had the privilege of meeting many inspiring fitness enthusiasts backstage and have gotten to stand up on stage with them.
As much as it is a competition, its great to see how many of the athletes are supportive of one another. I would say that the most fun I have on competition day, is being backstage with my friends. We mainly speak about food! Lol
What are some of The most common mistakes that you think many ladies seem to make when preparing for their first competition?
I would say that the most common mistake, is not educating yourself on what to expect after the competition. You need to have a plan!
Your body needs to adjust back to “normality”, but this is a process as well. It will take time and it will be hard. The fact that you reached your goal, will overcome the cons of competing.
Overall, I believe that you should love your body regardless of whether you are, “stage ready”, or not. This was the hardest lesson I had to learn. You are your own biggest critic and all I can advise (which is easier said than done), is to not be too hard on yourself.
Is it difficult being motivated some times?
Definitely. You do go through stages where you are demotivated and that is fine. You must take it for what it is, but that does not mean you should give up.
Sometimes, you should take a break from training and dieting. It may just be the best thing to do at that time.
You will get motivated again and you’ll remember why you love the fitness lifestyle. We are only human after all.
How do you manage to stay motivated through the bad days?
I train with an awesome group of friends, and this helps me get through my workout sessions, when I feel demotivated. We sing, we dance and film a couple of videos. Its great! Lol We work hard when we train, but we have fun while we do it. It makes the world of difference!
What are your future plans?
I plan on always living the ‘fitness lifestyle’ and being successful in my career endeavors.
Take us through an average day of yours:
I usually plan my day the night before so that I make sure that I get through all my work and make time to go to gym.
- I have a good breakfast every morning with 2/3 cups of coffee. Yes, I suppose you may call it an addiction.
- I check my emails and I start attending to all my tasks on my ‘to do’ list. I also ensure that my grocery shopping is done and my food is prepared so that I don’t snack on “non-nutritious” food during the day. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way, but I then try again the next day.
- I mainly workout in the evenings and it’s usually my best time of the day to train. My fiancè and I train in a group of 4-6 people. I think there is more laughing than training, most of the time! Lol
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:
I try to stick to a nutritious diet most of the time and I am less strict on the weekend. It’s important for me to be able to live a balanced lifestyle, but without falling off the wagon completely. Personally, it is important that I look good and thus feel good about myself.
Do you get a lot of cravings for anything in particular? Do you let yourself indulge in them or do you keep your diet strict?
Yes and it’s simple, I love chocolate! Lol I try not to indulge and that is why I don’t have a restricted diet. I find that if I restrict myself from eating something, I will indulge and that is why I believe in balance.
If I am prepping for a competition/photoshoot, it is a different story. If it is not on my diet, I will not eat it (I hear my coach’s voice in my head, whilst I type this! :p
What process do you follow when its time to start getting ready for a competition/photoshoot?
I stick to the diet my coach has given me. ;)
What supplements do you use and think are necessary for a beginner?
My ‘go to’ supplements on a daily basis are as follows:
- USN Blue Lab Whey protein (chocolate peanut butter flavour is my favourite).
- USN BCAAs (organge flavour).
- USN Pure Glutamine.
Yes, I recommend them to all fitness enthusiasts.
What are your top tips for the ladies looking to actually gain some quality muscle? Is it a hard process?
I personally struggle to hold on to muscle, which is why I stick to a diet that enables and maintains muscle growth.
My tips to all ladies:
- Do not skip meals and do no cut out carbs.
- Eat nutritiously rich food including all macro groups.
- Everything in moderation.
- Go to a sought-after and credible dietitian, if you need guidance.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training:
I believe that as long as you are being active i.e. crossfit, running, pilates, yoga etc., you are on the right path. You should do an activity that suits your lifestyle and it must be something you enjoy.
If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it.
Personally, I don’t train longer than an hour.
Does your training change much closer to a competition?
When I prep for a competition, I train twice a day. Weight training and cardio are split.
What are your essentials that are always in your gym bag?
My USN watter bottle (with USN BCAAs & Glutamine) and my sweat towel.
If I train on my own, I ensure that I have my bluetooth earphones and iPod (with the best gangster music ;) ).
Do you have any fit fashion tips for the ladies or any specific gym fashion trends that you love?
You can still look beautiful when you go to gym. Make the most of your appearance and wear gym clothes that compliment your body type. Why not feel good about yourself all the time? :)
And for the guys?
Wear clothes you feel comfortable in. Don’t worry about what people think.. Just focus on growing those muscles!
What are your 3 favourite exercises?
Which body part is your favourite to train?
I enjoy training legs and glutes because I want sexy legs and nice glutes! ;P
Favorite male Fitness models or bodybuilders?
Favorite female fitness icons:
Marissa Rivero McGrath, Heidi Somers and Paige Hathaway.
“Dream big. Start small. Act now.” ~ Robin Sharma
What competitions have you competed in?
I have entered two WBFF competitions, in 2015 and 2016. I entered the Bikini divisions both times. I didn’t place in my first competition and I made top 10 in 2016.
Where can people get hold of you?
- Facebook: GymGirl – Christina Pappas
- Twitter: xtina_pappas
- Instagram: xtina_pappas
- Email address: gymgirlza[at]gmail.com
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