It took a day at the beach four years ago with her 8-year- old daughter for Christine Carlos to change her life. Then age 32, Carlos weighed 225 pounds— but it wasn’t just her appearance that upset her. “I was devastated because I wasn’t able to really play with Ysabella the way she wanted me to. I was out of breath, unfit, and uncomfortable,” she recalls.

Carlos started slowly, making small lifestyle changes. “I cut back on fast and fried foods and lowered my sugar intake.” She turned to a treadmill in her home, walking and running 30 to 45 minutes five days a week. She also started doing workouts like Tabata.

Carlos lost about 50 pounds in just five months before her weight started to plateau. But instead of becoming discouraged, she set a goal of entering a bikini fitness competition. “That meant I had to get into the gym and start lifting weights,” she says. She was nervous at first, “but then I realized that everyone in the gym is there for one purpose: to better themselves. I had to just focus on myself and not anyone else.”

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Preparing for her first competition in 2014 helped her take off another 50 pounds in seven months. “I was nervous getting up onstage, but having my daughter there gave me strength. Win or lose, I felt I had achieved something.” The experience was enough to keep her going, and she signed up for a second competition last year, where she placed eighth, and plans to enter a third competition this year.

Having a strong support system has made a big difference to her training. “I work hard to balance training and taking care of my daughter.” Most of all, she says, to achieve your goals you have to have the confidence to get out and work hard.

“Believe in yourself. If you really want to do something, nothing is impossible.”

Workout Routine: 6 days a week, 60 to 90 Minutes Per Workout


  • Warmup: 10 min. on the treadmill (walk 15% incline)
  • Back Squat superset with Body-weight Curtsy Reverse Lunge: 5×12
  • Stepup: 4×20
  • Leg Press: 4×15
  • Leg Extension: 4×12
  • Seated Leg Curl: 4×12
  • Romanian Deadlift: 4×12
  • Seated Calf Raise: 4×15
  • Stretch: 5 minutes

Sample Diet: 6 small meals a day

Clean meals: Shredded chicken mixed with green vegetables such as sautéed spinach; or ground-turkey meatballs with brown rice and broccoli.

Healthy snack: Rice cakes with peanut butter or sugar-free apricot preserves.

Favorite cheat meal: Burger and fries.

Supplements: Dymatize ISO 100 whey protein powder, BCAAs, and CLA