She began working out three times a week, as well as doing 45 minutes to one hour of cardio each morning.
<img style="max-width: 620px" src="http://www.ladyandwoman.
“I’m very open about my age, because who made up the rules about who should be doing what?
“We don’t have to hit 50 and feel dowdy, like it’s all over.
“I still have so many things I want to do, and plan to train into my 80s and 90s.
Bikini body at 73
“I was doing my job to the best of my ability, but I forgot about investing that same energy into my own wellbeing,” she said.
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“I’d heard about someone I knew who’d been in a similar job passing away,” she said.
“We’d both worked in stressful environments, and this person was younger than me.
“I remember thinking that, unless I did something, I’d be going out the same way.
“I found someone who was a career bodybuilder, still competing himself in his 60s.
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“But that’s not the way it works. After being chubby and not taking care of myself, there wasn’t a quick fix – it was a lifestyle change.
Explaining that she does not class herself as a bodybuilder, she said her ideal ‘show weight’ when she takes to the stage is 51kg.
In between shows, she works hard to maintain her weight.
“Because I stay within five pounds (2.
2kg) of my show weight the rest of the time, I don’t have much to lose in the run up,” she said.
“I limit my sugar and alcohol intake all year round, but about a month before a show, I will eliminate them completely and have absolutely no cheat meals.
“Around that same time, I will start planning what to wear, how to have my hair and make-up and what routine to do.
“Being presentable in these competitions is just as important as the actual muscle definition of your body.
The following year, she scored four first place prizes in both INBA and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) contests.
She also took to the stage to represent the 70+ age bracket in swimsuit, classic figure, bikini and sports model AAU competitions, winning all four.
Now, Cristina wants to share her age-defying secrets, and works to help other stressed out CEOs and high-flyers – just like she used to be – to live a vibrant life and look and feel their best after 50.
“I feel amazing now about my energy levels and the shape I’m in – and life in general,” she said, adding that her best fitness advice for older people is to pick up some weights, as she believes walking alone – which they are often encouraged to do by medical professionals – is not enough.
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“I’ve lots of things I still want to do, from horse riding and learning the piano to flamenco dancing.
“There is a real joy in being fit enough to do these things, and not feeling I have to be huffing and puffing all the time.
People may think you can only get to competition levels by spending all day in the gym – but I don’t do that, nor do I want to.
Who can’t give three hours a week?