A:I grew up in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Yes, I'm a Jersey girl but raised in a Puerto Rican home. Both parents are from Puerto Rico and I would spend my summers on the island when I was young. Lots of people think I'm Italian or Greek but no, I'm 100% Puerto Rican proud of it.
Q:Describe your first time in the gym...
A:In my 20's I always went to the gym and did the cardio and aerobics thing. I was scared of the free weight room and didn't' understand the grunting that was going on in there. So my first time really training at a gym was in January 2012. After being sick in bed for a week and having a pinched nerve in my back, I decided I need to get myself in shape. I'm a mother of a 5 year old and I was worried of the example I was giving her. I wanted to show her what it was to be passionate about something and to show her that even if you are married and with children you can still do something for yourself. I had signed up to do a Tough Mudder and I had no idea how I was going to do it but I was determined. I had a nice body but not one oz of muscle on me and couldn't do a pull up or run for more than a couple of minutes. My friend Clary agreed to train me and so the pain began!!! The first day of training was so emotional and overwhelming. Emotional because I felt like quitting but kept thinking of my daughter and overwhelmed because I didn't know how I was going to get through this training. It was an intense workout and to this day I'm not sure how I made it through. Now I go in the free weight room and I'm doing the grunting now! My daughter looks at me and tells me "mommy you are so strong" and that in itself is better than any trophy I can take home. Its a freeing experience and I wish all women could have that.
Q:How did you get involved in the NPC?
A:My trainer Clary Fernandez suggested I try to compete in the bikini division. She had already shown two girls in an NPC competition which I helped with posing, I loved the idea but the clean eating scared me!! But once again I thought of my daughter and thought that maybe this would be another great example of determination. Also after I did the Tough Mudder I wanted more and I signed on to my next challenge. I started to research more online about NPC and the bikini division. The competitors bodies were amazing! I had a hard time thinking that could be me one day but I liked what I seen and was in love with the sport ever since. My first competition was in October 2012, Golds Classic in New Jersey. I placed in open and in masters. It was a good day! Today I'm still an NPC Bikini Competitor and I just completed my 5th show. I'm done for the year but I already have my eyes on a couple of shows for next year.
Q:Describe your diet and workout routine pre contest...
A:CLEAN EATING!!!! If you compete you know that your diet has to be 100%. No room for messing around. I do my six meals a day which consist of 4- 6oz protein, 1/4 cup carb, and tons of veggies. I do protein shakes pre and post workout but sometimes I prefer an actual meal. And don't forget about the water. I drink about a gallon of water a day so if I even think about or see a bathroom I'm going! At times I wish I could just wear a diaper but I wont cause that wouldn't look too sexy. HA! My workout is different for every prep. My trainer and I look at my last competition and see where we can improve. My last contest prep was all about glutes and I hardly hit my upper body. Regardless of what I'm working on its usually 5-6 days in the gym with a track workout. All workouts are 2-3 hours and I wonder how I make it through them every time, intense!! When I get closer to the competition I throw in the morning and evening cardio but that depends on how my body is looking. Then you have the dry out a week before the competition which is a whole other challenge. You say to yourself, "I'm not sure if I can do this again" and then after you finally step on stage you say, "ok when's the next one?". HA! It's so true.
Q:Lol I’ve heard! When you're not competing, what are you usually doing?
A:Well I try to maintain as much as possible in-between shows. My shows are spread out through the year so most of my time is spent training. But when I do have some off time I like to spend as much time with my family. They put up with a lot with my training and I am so grateful for them. Also I love to go out dancing so any opportunity I get I put on my lashes, pair of heels and paint the town red!
Q:Sneakers or high heels?
A:HIGH HEELS!!!! If there was a safe way to do walking lunges with heels I would!! Don't get me wrong, I like comfy sneakers and I'm not one of those girls that go camping in heels but any opportunity to wear some sexy heels I'm all for it!!! I would do an intense leg workout and then go out that night in heels wake up with my knees hurting but I don't care. I think I feel my best in a good pair of heels and the higher the better. When I hear a woman say that she doesn't really wear heels I have this confused look on my face, Haha!
Q:Favorite movie ever?
A:Let's see. I love a good scary movie but my favorite movie is Legend (1985). Not because of Tom Cruise but because of Tim Curry and his character Darkness. It’s a very magical dark story. People laugh when I tell them but I just love it.
Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A:I don't like to look too far ahead. I like to live in the moment but I hope competing is still something that I like to do and maybe actually turning pro. One thing I know for sure is that whatever I am doing it will be with passion and love.
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
Facebook Estrellita Caligiuri NPC Bikini Competitor
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven.com