Mitchie and I first met through FMI (Fitness Model International), an organization that I volunteer my time as a photographer and mentor to those aspiring to enter the fitness entertainment industry. As we chatted, I quickly notice her calm, soothing demeanor coupled with a very focused mind (must be because she works as a Large 5,000+ Event Coordinator). Mitchie’s transformation and accomplishments amidst a few life challenges makes her very inspiring in my book.
We met up again a few weeks ago to do a full day shoot in beautiful South Bay’s coastline and she also sat down with me for a few Q&As about her background, fat loss journey, struggles, favorite recipes, how she maintains and drives forward.
I was born in Pasay City, Philippines and moved to Los Angeles when I was a year old. I am Filipina and Puerto Rican and the youngest of 6 kids. I graduated from Long Beach State University and earned a Sociology Degree with an emphasis in interpersonal relations. Currently, I am an event planner and plan large-scale conventions for 5,000+ attendees. I enjoy riding my motorcycle, boxing, body boarding and swimming at the beach, cooking and working out.
2. What got you started into fitness? What made you change your lifestyle?
Fitness became an important part of my life after two major life-changing events. After high school, I gained over 60 lbs and weighed 208 lbs. After realizing that I was heading towards a path that would lead to diabetes, hypertension and many other potential ailments, I realized that I needed to lose weight to stay healthy. I began to lose weight and maintained my weight for several years. Then, in 2007 my mom passed away from the ailments I tried avoiding. She had diabetes, hypertension and many other ailments that lead to a massive heart attack. After her passing and going through a season of grieving, I was even more determined to commit myself to live a fit lifestyle and by doing so, inspire and encourage others to do the same. I began to train my body so that I can become an NPC bikini competitor, lost 30 additional lbs in the process, I am now a fitness model, writer and love to be involved in the fitness industry.
3. When did you make the decision to compete in Fitness Competitions?
My first competition was March 2011. I decided to compete after I wanted to try something I never thought I could do. I wanted to challenge my idea of “I can never be” and chose “I can be.” I went to a local show October of 2010 and watched the competitors. After seeing the competitors on stage, I knew that I wanted to do it. I never put on a bathing suit in public prior and to push myself beyond my comfort level and do it on stage was my chance. Ever since my first show, I’ve been hooked on the discipline and determination involved to compete.
4. What was your experience like for stepping on stage the first time?
I felt pure joy! I did it! I know every one has a different reason to join a show. But for me, the first moment I stood on stage was pure delight. I know my mom would have been proud of my dedication to commit to something so phenomenal. I was proud of myself for sticking to my goal, facing my fears and showcasing my hard work. After all, it was the first time I wore a bikini…let alone on a stage!
5. What is your diet and training program like during your transformation?
During my body transformation, I trained 5-6 days a week. I limited my carbohydrates and included more vegetables and protein into my diet. I managed to adjust my recipes to be healthier and didn’t feel deprived. Once I began to train for competition, a second body transformation occurred. Dieting for competition is much different than your everyday diet. I eliminated dairy, carbohydrates were limited to meal 1 and 3 and my training increased.
I use Cellucor Sports Nutrition products. I take a stack of D4 Thermal Shock, T7 Extreme and WS1 Extreme for weight loss. I also take a pre-workout supplement called C4 Extreme, which is new by Cellucor. I absolutely love the quality of their supplements.
7. What were the challenges that made your transformation difficult? What problems did you have to overcome in order to stay on track with your fitness program?
Personally, I found it difficult to go to happy hours and dinners with my friends at first. Eating was a social experience and many good times involved food. It’s true…food brings people together. What made it difficult was that I didn’t want to offend my friends when they offered to split desserts, share an appetizer sampler or go to a buffet. After I learned how to navigate around it, share my intentions for a fit lifestyle, I found it easier to pass on desserts, and how to politely say no without feeling bad about it. I overcame these hurdles ultimately by not going to happy hours. I’d journal my food intake, plan ahead of time by eating before going to a dinner party and choosing water or a diet coke over alcohol.
8. What are some of the mistakes you’ve made in training and diet/nutrition and what did you learn from them?
I learned that rest is just as important as exercising. Having a busy schedule, I would not allow my body much rest and would not have adequate sleep. Now I know I need to have at least 6-8 hours daily. I learned that during sleep, I’m giving my muscles the time it needs to build. As far as nutrition, I learned the important role water plays in cleansing your body. Not only does drinking enough water keep you hydrated, but also it aids in cleansing your body from toxins and helps with digestion.
9. What were the unexpected benefits you gained from this transformation?
Aside from being healthier and feeling more alive, I didn’t realize how much of an impact my transformation would inspire others to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Now, I would describe myself as a fitness cheerleader encouraging others to find their fit body.
10. Favorite skinny recipe.
I love my breakfast and there are so many great recipes I enjoy making. But most recently, I’ve been a fan of egg whites mixed in quinoa and a splash of salsa or hot sauce. It’s delightful.
11. What inspires you to always achieve and push-forward?
I think of two things. First, in scripture, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I audibly remind myself of this verse often. Secondly, I think of my mom and her insurmountable strength. I know that if I have an ounce of her strength in me, invest in myself and believe I can achieve anything I want, I can take my life to a new level.
12. What are your tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
I would encourage someone to see the transformation as a journey and be realistic with their goal setting. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will their body. The transformation requires patience and persistence. Be relentless no matter the circumstance.
13. What’s next on your plate? Future plans, etc.
I plan to continue competing, build my brand as a weight loss success story and make my fitness modeling endeavors come to life. I am looking for sponsorships that relates to weight loss and healthy living.
14. A favorite quote or saying.
“Our deepest fear is that we are not inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…”-Marianne Williamson
15. Last words.
I’m considering sponsorships with companies that involve weight loss and healthy living. I’d also like to be involved with companies that relate to diabetes, hypertension and heart health. Please contact me.
16. Where can we find you on the Internet? Do you have any services that you would like offered to the audience by chance?
Feel free to connect with me!
Facebook Fan Page: Mitchie De Leon Fitness
If you would like to try Cellucor Sports Nutrition supplements, you can get free shipping and 10% off your order by using code “Mitchieds” when you order online at www.cellucor.com or mention the code when you call 866.927.9686.