“I took back my life 7 years ago”
At the age of 58, Cynthia Stewart is in the best shape of her life physically and mentally, however it wasn’t always this way. New Years Day is a staple for millions to set their yearly health & fitness goals, but this day in 2012 was the day it all changed for Cynthia. “Enough is Enough” she proclaimed while feeling stressed, depressed & miserable in the mirror. Being overweight had finally gotten to Cynthia, a former athlete as a young girl.
“Who knew that I would end up competing at my age?”
Most people fail with their New Years Resolution within 45 days, however this wasn’t an option for Cynthia, and she did the unthinkable at the age of 57…She signed up for a women’s physique competition! “I began this awesome ride to lose weight and regain my confidence!” with the help of her coach, her 100% dedication to the goal and support from loved ones, Cynthia was on her way to greatness!
How did you take up bodybuilding as a sport?
“I was already active in the gym and needed to take my Journey to another level. I was recovering from a hysterectomy (December 2016) and put on a little fluff, ok fat. In July of 2017 I spoke with my doctor who recommended the KETO Lifestyle. I researched it and started right away. I not only lost fat, I gain so much energy and my muscles were popping. I looked in the mirror, (the mirror is my scale) and said I wonder if I could build my body. I again spoke with my doctor and he introduced me to the most amazing trainer, Mr. Fransisco Fontanez. We were a match made in Heaven.”
Tell me about your journey so far. I know you did very well in a recent competition!
“I became a member of the NPC a year ago this past December. So I guess one can say I’ve been a Bodybuilder for one year. Although I had been working out nonstop I knew I needed a challenge but I had no clue that bodybuilding would be it and change my Life.”
On any given day, what is your training schedule like?
“Currently I’m training 5 days per week for 1-1.5 per session. We train: arms & shoulders; chest & back; legs by themselves and cardio (walking incline treadmill) 2-3 days for 20 mins.”
How strict is your diet while preparing for competition?
“This Journey is tough! I have such a new found respect for the sport as I had no idea of the sacrifices one makes. It’s more than weight training as at some point the nutrition portion of the program can be gruesome. I’m not a meat eater therefore not having the of adequate amount protein was concerned me. I’m pescatarian and was eating tons of salmon. My Coach expresses his concerns about my protein intake and asked me to consider adding beef & eggs to my diet. Well I did and I tell ya it really made a difference. My muscles were growing and the pump during our training sessions was amazing. It’s also a challenge when it comes to bulking. Now there’s carb cycling and that was really a challenge since my Lifestyle is Keto. Having a knowledgeable Coach helped me to get pass my issues with carbs.”
What do you do when you are not at the gym to keep you focused on your fitness goals?
“I find that inspiring others keep me focused. I also train those who are working to become fit and feel better about themselves. I have to stay on point while assisting them as they are watching me. This holds me accountable.”
What training do you undergo to bolster your mental strength?
“I enjoy being alone. I use my alone time to meditate, breathe & stretch. I’ve been practicing Yoga to release the stale energy. I also have a strong circle of support via my family and friends and of course my spiritual base is unbreakable.”
You are seen as an inspiration. Who has inspired you in bodybuilding and life in general?
“Honestly my Coach is my first line of inspiration in bodybuilding. He has been active in this sport for 40 years. He has trained competed with the best. He’s also a baby boomer and understands what it takes to get me where I wanna be whether is to compete or to maintain. I’m quite Blessed to have him as a Coach and a Friend. I was raised by some very strong women who taught me to “Stand Strong.” This is a family motto. I knew that I would get through the grueling preps as long as I continued to do what I was taught.”
What’s next for you with fitness & bodybuilding?
“The night of May 11th (2019) was my second attempt to place 1st and let me tell ya my Coach and I didn’t leave a stone unturned preparing for the contest. I did EVERYTHING that I could to be number 1. I’m not disappointed one bit for not taking home the first place trophy. NOPE!!!!
I won my trophy way before I stepped on the stage. My trophy was earned during The grueling early morning hours at Quads Gym. Eating small portions of food, missing holidays, my birthday & celebrations of important individuals in my life. Saying No and refusing to fall off of my square. I didn’t take home that trophy but let me tell ya the turn out for me was award winning!!!!! When I stepped on that stage, I heard MY name echo like no body’s business! That was my trophy!!!! My Coach Mr. Francisco Fontanez believed too! He expressed how proud he is and that’s ALL she wrote!!! Cause, when you know you’ve done your Best that’s ALL that matters!!!! I’m now working to create a Brand and continue on my Journey to assist others On their’s. “
TheLeeGonzalez would like to thank Cynthia Stewart for sharing her inspirational story with us and our readers. We wish her all best in her future goals.
“I Aspire to Inspire and I ain’t done yet!!” -CS
Cynthia has a group class she teaches, email her at CynthiaCStewart@gmail.com for more info!