If there's one thing our 2X Ms. Bikini Pro Champion Nati Castillo has learned from all the hard work and sacrifices is to "never apologize for having high standards... People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them"
'11 Ms. Bikini America and '11 Ms. Bikini New Mexico Champion Jordan Candelaria spent a few years out of the scene focusing on family and life but she is back training hard in the gym. She says, "I am working closely with my great friend and coach Steven Horwath to prepare for the 2015 Fitness America show where I will make my Ms. Bikini Pro debut!" Jordan will also be co-hosting the Fitness New Mexico Show May 16 at the Alburquerque Convention Center - Kiva Auditorium.
Figure Texas Champion Cindy Canas has two weeks before she moves to the Physique Division. The mother of 4 who will compete at Fitness Lone Star in Galveston, Texas, says, "Over the last year, I made improvements and added some size since my Figure Universe Natural Pro debut in Las Vegas in November. I'm super excited to take the stage and my favorite part is being entertaining and putting a smile on the judges faces. I've overcome a major injury last year to my left wrist where I tore the ligaments that hold my ulna & radius together and was in a full arm cast for a couple months as well as scheduling around my 4 kid's and sports and family time - it is possible but not easy by any means. I'm also looking forward to meeting back up with many friends I've made along this fitness journey and hoping to make Team Texas proud."
14’ Ms. Bikini Overall Champion Shannah Baker says,“Everyone faces challenges in life. It’s a matter of how you learn to overcome them and use them to your advantage."
Always an all around athlete from team sports to extreme sports, Trisha Platerito is taking her athleticism and beauty to Ms. Bikini Universe in June. The 5'3", 120 lbs., 36 year old Floridian says she currently practices bodybuilding, yoga and sprint triathlons. But, Trisha says she also coaches kids soccer teams in weekends. "I love sports and even though soccer wasn't a team sport when I participated in during school, I enjoy showing the kids how to work as a team," she explains. Happily married to a wonderful, supporting husband, Trisha has 5 year old twins who keep her busy. She says, "When I give support and love to others, it comes back around. Leading a healthy lifestyle and teaching our kids by example is very rewarding especially watching them make healthy choices on their own." Trisha will be on stage in Miami / Ft. Lauderdale on June 19-20.
’14 Ms. Bikini America Competitor Erika Strimer takes her stand and knows when enough is enough. She says, “Throughout your lifetime some people will discredit you, disrespect you and treat you poorly for no apparent reason at all. You don’t have control over what others think about you, but you do have control over how you decide to internalize their opinions. Leave them to their own judgments. Let people love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be.
- Photo by: JWAtherton
Fitness Universe™ Bethany Nelson quoting, "Don't ever take a job because it pays well. Too many of us focus on dollar signs instead of focusing on our passion. A good paycheck will be a side effect of a deep love for what you do. Perfect your craft and you will have all the money you need." She explains, "Even though I don't have it all, I have enough. Most of all I get to spend my days doing what I am most passionate about - breathing life into people, making new relationships, using my talents and giving back with a positive example."
2014 Ms. Bikini Universe Master Champion and Figure Pro Ann Hubbard Says "Ladies, NEVER give up the fight as your body goes through hormonal changes as you age. If you are patient and consistent you will WIN." As she fought 15 years of infertility and 12 documented miscarriages, her body was stretched back and forth like an exercise band. "All I wanted was to have children." Says Hubbard. She couldn't understand why, but believed that GOD had to have a reason. After her 3rd miscarriage she knew she needed to do something about the excess weight and to feel better both physically and mentally. This is when she started her journey in Fitness 19 years ago at the age of 29. After numerous treatments finally she gave birth to her MIRACLE baby Hunter Jośe Hubbard. "After each miscarriage she accepted her out of shape body as the starting point and worked from there to RECLAIM her health, wellness and body. "It is amazing how our bodies can transform through training and natural clean foods and specific nutrition to achieve a certain look. Bodybuilding, figure, or bikini I have done all three. There doesn't have to be fad diets or any drugs just hard consistent and disciplined actions that can be duplicated over and over at every age. Your body will respond but it takes time. "2012 it was my first Pro Figure competition at Fitness America in Las Vegas at the age of 47. No age, no height or weight classes in the Pro Division. 4th Place overall and I was over a decade older than these other beautiful ladies in the winners circle. It proved to me once again that AGE, pregnancy, or hormonal changes does not have to be a reason to let yourself go. Just believe in the process and never give up on yourself and it will work throughout your lifetime." Says Hubbard.
As a mother of two, Melissa Ioja is an active lady. But the 36 year old, Huntington Beach, California resident is even more active in the gym. She's an athlete, on-line workout and Athlean-XX Training System trainer, has done Krav Maga martial arts for a couple of years and former host on Bodyrock.TV. Now Melissa is moving on to her next challenge by competing at Fitness Los Angeles show in April. "I am so excited to get on stage for the first time," Melissa says. "Its almost like a culmination of putting all of my experiences and hard work and showing the world. It will be some special for me."
’14 Ms. Bikini and Model America finalist Samatha Symes is nervous of her goals for this year. She says, “Can I actually do this? I'm going through a roller coaster of hesitation. Going through the time effort if I fail. You know what this means? It means I have learn to take chances and step up."