My Fitness Journey
Hi! I'm so glad you made it here. My name is Karina Santiago, and here's my story in a nutshell.
I used to be overweight, and didn't feel good physically or mentally. I started gaining body fat when I turned 15, and the fat piled on year after year, until I was 19. At that point, I was in college. I was VERY insecure for the longest time. I wouldn't wear certain clothes, participate in certain activities, and just overall held myself back in so many aspects of my life.
One morning I woke up and thought to myself, "I can't keep living this way. I can't feel sorry for myself when I'm doing nothing to help myself. I'm tired of not feeling good physically or mentally." In that moment, my life changed forever.
Although I was in college and had a packed schedule, I made the time to get to the gym. I started to workout 5 times a week. I strength trained and added cardio at the end of every workout.
I knew that I needed to fix my nutrition as well. With so many different options in the dining hall at school, I knew I had to fight any temptation to over consume all the least nutrient dense foods that was available. I ate foods that were nutrient dense; the foods my body actually needed... what I was depriving it for years.
I went into a calorie deficit and counted my calories on the My Fitness Pal app to help keep me on track with my goal. Although I primarily focused on more whole foods and less processed, I still fit in some of my favorite snacks here and there. At the end of the day, everything in moderation is ok!
Pairing a calorie deficit with a workout routine was a game changer. I stayed consistent with that routine for months, and my body fat melted off like butter, and I gained more muscle than I ever had before.
Fast forward, I had reached my goal. I lost 40 pounds of body fat, gained muscle, and felt the most confident I ever had. I had a physical AND mental transformation.
Through my journey, I fell in love with fitness and health and I'm now a Certified Personal Trainer helping thousands of women WORLDWIDE. I still can't believe it!
I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to help others on their journey. It truly means the world to me.
I wish I could go back to my younger self, give her a hug, and let her know that everything was going to work out and there were brighter days ahead. That I'd be in a position where my story...my journey...would inspire others to become the best versions of themselves.
But, for now, I can tell you... if you're just starting your journey, don't be scared, and don't give up on yourself. Take the leap in the right direction for your mind, body, and soul. Taking care of your health is more than just physically getting better, but mentally as well.
Take the first step by recognizing your true worth. You are worth every good this in this life, whether you believe it or not. Make sure to practice self care; whether that's working out, reading a book, watching your favorite Netflix show... whatever self care is to you, DO IT. You are WORTH IT.
Thank you for being here.