Angela Chavez likes to have goals. There always has to be something she can move forward to and accomplish.
After leaving CSUB her freshman year, she decided to obtain her license as an esthetician.
“My greatest fitness accomplishments are running my marathon last year and competing in my first National Physique Committee (NPC) show and placing top 5 in my first show,” said Chavez.
After following fitness models and professionals on Instagram and becoming inspired, Chavez spoke with her friend of several years, Nicole Banda. The two decided to enter a NPC competition and get into the best shape of their lives.
The two began following programs, such as Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer from Bodybuilding.com, and eating healthy. Their goal was not only to become fit but to inspire others to do the same.
“In high school, we were the last ones when we ran the mile and now she’s running marathons,” Banda said with a laugh. “She inspires me.”
Chavez began training intensively with her partner to prepare for the competition, which was 16 weeks away from her start date. She sought out her nutrition and fitness coach, Omar Ventura, whom she found through Instagram.
At this level of competition, there aren’t any cash prizes. However, after becoming a nationals competitor, Chavez could receive cash prizes, fitness-related gifts, her pro card and a sponsorship.
Chavez’s eating habits changed dramatically due to her exercise regime. Her diet no longer consisted of fast food, but rather of complex fats, carb cycling (switching around high carbs one day and low carbs another), vegetables and lean meats high in protein. Her workout sessions became habitual.
“I mentally prepare myself before I go [to the gym] that I’m just going to get the best workout that I can and that I’m training for a goal,” said Chavez. “I only have a certain amount of weeks so I just try to use every minute that I’m in there to work towards my goal.”
It wasn’t easy for Chavez to stick with her meal plans and her workout routines. She started her competition training in October and had to avoid the troublesome weight-packing holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, her family was supportive of her and very proud.
Her daily routine shifted into waking up, working out, going to work, working out and then finally going to sleep so she could repeat it all the next day. Her biggest supporter was her live-in boyfriend, Mitch Moretti.
“He’s just really supportive and encouraging,” Chavez said. “You need someone who sees it other than you,” she said.
“I kind of have to be a house wife,” said Moretti. “She has definitely come a long way-her knowledge and how she works out.” Moretti said he was “pretty loud” when he cheered on Chavez at her competition.
Chavez competed in the bikini division of the NPC competition on Feb. 11, 2013 in Culver City. The bikini division is judged on a similar look to the Hawaiian Tropic Pageant, an overall toned look rather than too muscular, and stage presence. The other divisions require more muscles such as physique and bodybuilding. Chavez plans on sticking with the bikini division and said she doubted she would ever do figure competitions.
“That’s a lot of muscle for me. I’m 5 foot and 1 inch”,” she said with a laugh.
She competed in Class B, a class for girls that fall within the height range of 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 2 1/2 inches.
After entering the auditorium, she put on her competition swim suit and had it glued into place to ensure it wouldn’t slip. She then received a coat of spray tan. The rest was a waiting game. Bikini was the last category to go on stage.
“When you’re standing behind the curtain and hear the heels walking across the stage, that’s when my nerves started going,” Chavez said.
“You work four months in the gym for 10 seconds on stage. You want to go out and show all the hard work you’ve done,” Chavez said. She was confident about being back on stage, remembering her days as a Hawaiian Tropics pageant winner. Her adrenaline was pumping and then it was just her on stage, confidently showing her hard work as she posed in a manner that would show off her muscles and her curves. She showed her front side and her back side, striking different poses to exhibit certain muscle groups.
Number 40, Chavez’s competition number, was the last to be called when placing was announced. She achieved fifth place in her first competition. She said, “It was awesome. I was so excited.” She received a bronzed trophy of a fit woman striking a pose, resembling Chavez’s well-crafted physique.
She later celebrated her victory with pizza and a lot of peanut butter, her greatest cravings during the time she was “eating clean.”
However, there were many times throughout her training when Chavez would question herself and feel the stress. “I remember one time I was sitting in my car thinking, ‘It’s so hard. I’m tired. I still have to go home and cook for two hours to prep for the week.'”
“I remembered I do it because I love working out and being healthy. When you get back to thinking like that, that’s when you can really push yourself further.”
Chavez certainly has pushed herself. Not only is she now enrolled in another competition and back to training devotedly, she has recently obtained her credentials through the National Academy of Sports and Medicine (NASM) to become a women’s fitness and nutrition specialist.
While she doesn’t want to be a personal trainer, she does want to make workout programs and meal plans for others with similar goals. Similar to her coach, Ventura, she would like to send personalized meal plans and workout routines through e-mail or through her own website and start a business. She wants to encourage others to send her progress pictures because she believes tracking progress a vital motivational tool.
“You have to give it 100 percent because it takes time,” Chavez said. “You’re not going to see results in a day, a week, or even a month. It took me a good month to notice results.”
“I have seen her totally transform herself. What she’s doing with that, is also transforming other people,” said Margie Chavez, Angela’s mother. “It’s inspired me a lot too.”
“I’m very proud of her. I knew in my heart she would make it,” Margie Chavez said.
Chavez said this was something she never expected and it was “an amazing journey.” Although she had her ups and downs, she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“You just have to be a little bit better than the day before,” Chavez said. “I didn’t lose 200 pounds. That’s not my story. It’s just being the best me that I can.”