Mia Sanchez - IFBB Bikini Pro

My fitness journey began when I was thirteen years old when I knew it was time for a change. I grew up asthmatic and overweight and was in the beginning stages of becoming diabetic. I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder which made my armpits sweat profusely. That quickly escalated to depression and more weight gain. I wanted to feel good about myself so I began walking an hour a day. I remember reading on Cosmo that walking was healthy. I grew up with chronic asthma so doing anything that made my heart race was not of my liking and that included sweating. I stopped having two or three plates of food during meals. I've always eaten a lot but this time I knew that if I wanted to lose weight I couldn't eat like typical Hispanic diet of white rice, beans and chicken x3 a serving at times so was reduced to one. I added more salads and fish.


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I brought myself to experiment by trying diets and reading magazines, books, googling stuff as silly as it sounds. I also began to be more active I did anything that felt good. Dance was a big part of my childhood so I took it more seriously but other than that I did not used to participate in any school sports until I tried out for swimming and track. Running for resistance not speed. Swimming helped my asthma a lot. Never been a fast runner or swimmer. I laugh because now I'm an avid sprinter and love getting my heart rate elevated any chance I get! Add sweat and you know it's definitely a good session. Ever since then, I've lost over 60 pounds.

However, it wasn't until 2008 until I started staying more consistent with my diet. During my weightloss and the years of trying different diets and eliminating certain foods based on random diets and an uneducated approaches nor guidance; I ended up becoming Pescatarian now more so plant based diet. I also started doing more fitness classes and cardio back then which made me realized I wanted to gain more muscle as I became thin and boney hitting a low of 112 lbs.

In 2011 I started learning about supplements and lifting to actually get closer to my boyfriend and his passion for fitness. He had lifted weights for quite some time before we met. He taught me appropriate gym etiquette like good form and how to designate and train certain body parts into groups because I would go to the gym and train a full body session until I got tired at first which wasn't working for me in attempts to gain muscle. I can say that it definitely has brought us together throughout the years when I originally couldn't run a mile nor pick up 3lbs dumbbells nonetheless meal prep. One day we were sitting at our friends supplement store and I picked up a fitness magazine and said "babe I want to do what she does" pointing at a random pro bikini photo; he laughed. Ever since he has supported this crazy idea of mine.

In 2014 helped me hire a coach to begin my competitive journey. I've done so far 7 amateur shows: two first places one third place, 2 national qualifying shows earning my IFBB pro card and one Pro show. We both went into this world I knew nothing about and has supported me ever since. Fast forward to now I have transformed my life completely and still continue to.

Becoming an IFBB Pro has taken me from the corporate world into Bodybuilding and I couldn't enjoy more what I do. My life is that one of an athlete. I love learning and recently have become more invested into holistic nutrition. Fitness is present every second of the day with moderation and balance. Nothing is perfect but a constant process of progressing into a better physique with the mentality that "I'm going to be better than my best" rather than "I need to look like this" perfect photo of a model or like anyone else's body in the bikini world. I am still writing my journey. The maturity I've emotionally gained is unreal. I am very excited and I continue to train daily and my commitment to this sport cannot grow any fonder and stronger by the minute.


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Diet

I eat mostly plant based. It's fun to explore with how my body reacts with plant based foods! As my body continues to change so does my nutrition. I add white or fatty cuts of fish as most of my protein intake on the daily paired with a very clean plant based protein powder. Supplements change and range accordingly. I like to check my blood consistently to level out any deficiencies and visit my chiropractor often. I do incorporate a variety of foods year round but attain to a more consistent plan when I diet for a show. I would say that my diet is very expensive and vast. I am allergic and intolerant to many foods for over ten years so have to take a specific and careful approach when it comes to preparing and ingesting foods properly. A lot came from being malnourished and uneducated at the time I started trying any diet that wasn't tailored for my life, body and metabolic capacity. It has taken me years to get here nutrition wise and still I continue to discover things about my body I didn't know or that turn to work best for me.

I think that is such a broad and relatively ever changing process or experiment. Not that something has failed or been ineffective at times but more so implemented the wrong way and at wrong times. I think that it's highly important to reverse diet as much as dieting for a show. I highly believe on feeding myself as much as possible nutrient dense foods on and off season. I believe that I excel at my training the best when there's that balanced intake so that the body can perform at its best. Eliminating food groups nor excessive amounts of cheat meals or refeeds are needed when you are eating properly for your body.

Training

I follow a split based on what I need to work most to least. I really break it down to two body parts per day. Cardio and or HIIT depends on what my goals are. My coach oversees my training and nutrition year round. I found that even with how well I know my body having that guidance there is crucial for me to keep taking my body to the next level. Conditioning is something I love manipulating with diet and training. If I want to look a certain way, I put in the work and balance my diet along with it. I follow my plan and communicate with my coach about all the feels. I think that it's so important when it comes to bodybuilding.

On stage

My background in dance and performance in college helps my stage presence a lot but self-confidence is something that has to practice daily. I think that our minds are so powerful and we can do anything we commit into making a valid effort into turning into a habit. Talent and genetics is one thing but having a strong mental foundation is crucial coming into the world of bodybuilding. You have to have those people that keep you grounded and remind you of that when you seem to fall into a state of mind that can become unfruitful. I think that you can find happiness in those things that make you struggle mentally. Self-confidence grows as you trust yourself into knowing you can accomplish something versus allowing doubt to take over. The best thing I can do is control those things that can affect my self confidence and once that's out of mind-sight then you become unstoppable and happy because you will see changes, growth and blessings you didn't see before.

Contest experience: How can't I not look back into earning my procard last year at Team Universe. The best moment for me was when my number was called. I could hear my team and coach screaming while in my head I kept telling myself omg can't believe you are being called out to waiting for hours anxiously to receive my trophy. It all happened too fast! It definitely opened my eyes into believing I could compete in the IFBB. I felt so fortunate to be able to bring a well balanced physique, endure a long prep too because I had gone to Miami Nationals the year before in November which was such a big show, then I was back on prep for Puerto Rico amateur then quickly prepped for Team U right after. It was my second try at a National show and many spend years in the hopes of becoming a pro. I was shocked. I didn't grow up being an athlete nonetheless I thought of taking my body where I've been able to so far. It's a blessing and a privilege. Only then I knew how much I wanted this lifestyle and the passion it took to get there and improve.

I wouldn't say that being an athlete does influence my daily life and everything I do and who I am surround myself with. I've become very structured in terms of meal timing during reverse dieting or dieting for a show. I journal about my journey a lot. I keep alarms on my phone and reminders on when to supplement and when to eat. My water intake doesn't stop or changes just because I'm not preparing for a show. Some may think that this isn't balance or it's too restrictive in a way but for me it gives me a routine and order. Coming from the corporate industry taught me that it was important for me having order, an agenda. Since having chronic food intolerances and megaloblastic anemia, for the past year, I have been very focused on building a stronger physique and immune system for me to heal but also building a stronger foundation that can allow me to compete without hindering my nutrition. Bodybuilding has completely changed my life and continues to expand my experiences with every preparation for a show being approached differently. Very blessed to have a coach whom I trust in all this process and a family that supports me.

I am currently preparing to compete at the IFBB San Antonio Classic in October; it's Very exciting since I've yet to step on stage this year. Also it's in Texas where I currently live. From then it's still the same goal: to become better than my absolute best!

Contact:
IG @miaifbbpro
Email: miasanchezifbbpro@gmail.com


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