Meet Cristina B. from Toronto, Canada.
As the Director of a homeless shelter and soup kitchen as well as a single mother, Cristina is incredibly busy in both her professional and personal life. Yet, after confronting a health scare two years ago, Cristina knew that no matter how busy she was, she needed to prioritize being healthy. With the help of Argus, Cristina has not only found the balance between being busy and being healthy, but she also discovered a new part of herself. This is her story.
What started you on your fitness journey?
It started 2 years ago when my family and I were going through a really stressful and traumatic time. I weighed over 200 pounds because I was using food to cope with the stress. When I went to the doctor, he said my cholesterol was out of control and that I was pre-diabetic. I didn’t want to take medication so the doctor said he would give me 6 months to do it my way or I had to go on the meds. I went to a nutritionist who helped me focus on fixing my diet first. Doing this, I lost a lot of weight, but I eventually plateaued. I then started focusing on my fitness.
About a year later, I discovered Argus, which completely changed everything. In 2014, my brother experienced a heart attack brought on by diabetes. Thankfully he is alright, but this further motivated my drive to get healthy and be held accountable. I began realizing Argus’ full potential when people started sending me messages from all over the world.
Meeting people and learning about their incredible stories motivated me. I’m so thankful for finding Argus because it opened a whole different area in health and fitness that I never knew existed.
What is your typical fitness routine?
During the past 8 months, I had the most transformation, losing at least 35 pounds. I’m now 130-131 pounds. Since October of 2014, I’ve been doing hardcore fitness workouts like Insanity, which was given to me by a fellow Argus member and colleague, Miranda M. Insanity has completely reshaped my body.
I’m now doing Tony Horton’s P90X3 workout. I also have a Fitbit and do stepping challenges with many Argus members. I try to do at least 20,000 steps a day. Because Canada's winter is so harsh, I do a lot of dancing and run flights of stairs at home. Now that the weather is nicer, I'm going to condition myself for sprinting and improve my upper body strength.
I work out pretty much 6 days a week. I’m also training with my co-workers for the Spartan Race on July 18, 2015 in Toronto. I enjoy doing challenges with other Argus members, like the 30-day plank challenge and now the 30-day squat challenge. These groups of dedicated, health-minded people are amazing at encouraging each other to keep going and to break out of our comfort zones. I’m loving it!
What motivates you to stay fit?
I want to be a good role model for my daughter. I don’t want to be diabetic. To this day, I am not on any medication. My blood pressure is perfect. My weight is what it should be. I want to maintain that for the rest of my life and not for a moment. I have a second chance at life and I want to be as healthy as I can for whatever the next chapter my life turns to. It’s not about losing weight; it’s about being strong, lean, and fit. And that takes time.
How do you fit working out in your life?
If I can work out in the morning, I do. At work, I have an office job where I’m sitting most of the time. So I adjust things in my lifestyle to keep moving. I walk during lunch. I don’t take the elevator. I park far away. I do workouts at home. I dance and do cardio for an hour and a half. I try to workout for 2 hours a day. The P90X3 is a good workout because it’s only half an hour. I also try to buy everything fresh so I can whip up salads quickly. I keep things simple. It is a bit of a juggle.
My weekend is where I really catch up on things. I really enjoy taking time for myself, so that was a conscious decision I made. At my work, I deal with people with extreme issues in their lives (such as mental health or addiction) and I can easily burn out. I've learned to separate who I am and what I do. My daughter is also now more independent so I have more freedom to be on my own.
What are your health/fitness plans for the future?
Right now, my focus is on Spartan in July, but I may do the Urban Mud Hero in downtown Toronto in May as a prelude to Spartan. I am a goal-oriented person. I just want to get that done, see how I do and how I manage. After that, I haven’t thought about it, but I will need another mountain to climb.
How long have you been using Argus?
I started using Argus in late June of last year. I was looking for a pedometer to measure my steps, and when I researched it, I came up with tons of stuff. I tried a few different apps, but they weren’t connecting with me. I then came across Argus in the iPhone commercials.
Using Argus, I started realizing its potential. Argus embraces your mind, body, and spirit. It’s about taking care of your inside as much as your outside. Everybody is positive on it and for the most part, no one is a naysayer, and if we do come across a negative or abusive person, it’s dealt with quickly by the Argus community. It’s great encouragement.
What are the top 3 things you track using Argus?
I track everything like all of my exercise, whether it’s dancing, stepping, running, kickboxing, yoga, or housekeeping, and all of my food too (I’ve also become vegetarian recently, partly due to Argus member influence). It’s a platform where I can really be me. I’m goofy and I love to laugh. I incorporate humor on my Argus account and people do too. There’s nothing like making somebody laugh; it is encouraging and thought provoking. I love seeing what other people write and I hope people enjoy what I write.
What advice do you have for new users of Argus?
Think about what are your personal goals are and once you have that, start really utilizing the different aspects of Argus. Before you know it, you’ll start finding like-minded people. There’s an incredible support system on Argus that goes beyond fitness, it really is a community and for some, an Argus family. I’ve been touched by their victories and struggles, moved by their concern and compassion, and driven by their love for life and health. I have spoken to amazing men and women from across Canada, home and around the world. I would encourage Argus newbies to empower others as much as focus on self because in the process, you may just learn something new about yourself. I know I did.The Argus community is full of wonderful and inspiring people embarking on their own unique fitness journey. If you, or someone you know, have a great story to share, we would love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.