Posted 08 August 2012 by Interview:

Kimberly De Jesus Alfonso

How/when did you get started in training
and living a fit lifestyle?

I’ve always been very athletic. I have way too much energy. When I was in first grade, I had problems sitting still in school for being too energetic. My parents took me to a psychologist who recommended putting me on ADD meds. They did not want me to take meds so they asked for other alternatives. The doctor then recommended them to put me in several sports. Problem solved! I’ve practiced a wide variety of sports ever since then, track and field, softball, swimming, martial arts, among others. I even practiced ballet for 12 years. I was successful at sports and they calmed me down. I started lifting when I was 16 years old. I was in my school’s track and field team in which they would make us lift twice a week. I was a sprinter. Honestly, I was scared of getting bulky at first. Everybody told me not to lift because I would end up looking “manly”, but I’m too stubborn. ☺ As soon as I started seeing what lifting was doing to my body, I was hooked. When I was fourteen, as any teenager, I wasn’t very happy with my body. I actually had an eating disorder for about a year. By changing my lifestyle, I was so much happier with my body and much more confident. I started lifting more days per week. In terms of nutrition, I did a lot of research on how to eat healthy. It took me years to slowly change my eating habits.

How do you stay motivated?

I am fortunate enough to have great people (family, an awesome boyfriend, and friends) in my life who support me in every crazy thing I do. :p They believe in me. They inspire me to be better and I strive to make them proud every day. I am also a sponsored athlete. They have been a great support. I also like reading interviews and articles on and keeping up to date with other fitness websites to stay focused. That really keeps me motivated.

I am dedicated, hard-working, and disciplined. I’m too stubborn to allow myself to fail. I try to incorporate physical activities on everything I do, even my rest days. I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself and conquer my fears. Whatever I’m afraid of, that’s what I go for. For example, stepping on a stage was pretty scary to me because I am a little shy, but there is nothing more satisfying than being able to say: “I did it”. I truly believe that “discipline is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t want to.” I live by that principle. However, this is not something you do alone. I am grateful for all the support I get.

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

I do something different every day not to get bored. I do running (on the treadmill or at the beach), Taekwondo, kickboxing, Muay-Thai, biking (at the gym or outdoors), HIIT Intervals, Elliptical machine, Stairmaster machine, jump rope, bleachers, you name it!

Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?

Yes! That’s a tough question. One of my favorite recipes is egg whites with green and red peppers, spinach, and organic coconut oil seasoned with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. The coconut oil gives it a slightly sweet taste. Mmmm!!!

What does your diet consist of?

I love cooking and eating. ☺ I can’t eat boring food all the time. I stay on track of my diet by incorporating different healthy recipes. I find some of them in fitness websites like yours. I also come up with my own ideas of recipes that turn out to be delicious, most of the time, otherwise my boyfriend lets me know lol. He’s brutally honest.

I eat 5 to 6 meals a day. As long as I’m full, I’m happy. I drink a lot of water. I eat pretty clean. My diet is high in protein, good fats, and carbohydrates. I avoid salt and sugar. I eat protein pancakes (with 1 tsp of peanut butter and a few thin slices of banana), oatmeal, egg whites, fruits, chicken, steak, turkey, salads (spinach and lettuce, mostly), brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread, sweet potato fries (baked with cinnamon), nuts (especially unsalted almonds and walnuts), Greek yogurt, cabbage wraps, all kinds of veggies, etc. For the meat, I use different seasonings, which do not contain salt or contain a very low percentage of it. I love doing chicken and spreading 1 tsp of peanut butter on it. Can you tell I love peanut butter? I can’t eat seafood, as I’m allergic. This is why I did not include any fish or anything like that, which is great for you, by the way.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods,
sweets and salty food?

Oh boy! I’m not going to lie. I love my pepperoni pizza and my pralines ice cream, but I love my body even more. It’s all about respecting your body and your goals. If you can’t keep a promise to yourself, how can anyone believe in you? It takes a lot of self-discipline, but it’s not impossible. I deal with the cravings by having a variety of healthy foods in my diet. Eating the same foods every day can be monotone. I don’t get bored of my diet because my diet is not boring. I don’t keep junk food at home. I also have one or two cheat meals per week in which I can eat WHATEVER I want (except a month before competition). Thank goodness for cheat meals! I have to earn them by working out hard and sticking to my meal plans.

What are your top 3 favorite exercises?

This is another tough question. It’s hard to pick. I would say:

  • Squats (What girl doesn’t love squats?)
  • Taekwondo kicks (They work your legs and abs like no other exercise not to mention that they are a great way to relieve stress.)
  • Pull-ups (I do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps on back day. They make me feel so powerful.)

Do you listen to music while you train?

Oh yes! I cannot train without music unless I’m doing Taekwondo. Music pumps me up. It gets me in the zone. I’m in my own world. I have a variety of music on my playlist: David Guetta-“I Can Only Imagine”, Avicii-“Levels”, Kid Cudi-“Pursuit of Happiness”, Eminem-“I’m not afraid”, Kanye West-“Stronger”, Daddy Yankee-“Pose”, Don Omar-“Danza kuduro”, Wisin & Yandel-“Te Siento”, any song by Blink 182, Linkin Park, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Beyonce, etc. I love listening to music in different languages (French, Portuguese, and Spanish).

What is your training routine like?

Contest prep training routine

Do you set short and long term goals?

Yes! I do both. In my opinion, life without goals is not living life to the fullest. Having goals keeps me excited, motivated, and focused. It gives me something to look forward to every day, even the tiniest goals.

In terms of competing, my short-term goal is to get better at and gain experience competing in the bikini division. The next competition I’m doing is the Tony Roman Bodybuilding Classic, which is going to be next month, in Puerto Rico. ☺ I am also getting my personal trainer certification. My long term goal is to compete in the bikini division at a national level, which I recently qualified for, but still do not feel prepared for as I am a fairly new competitor. I still have lots to learn. I aspire to get my pro card someday. I would love to have my own fitness website with workout plans, videos, and nutrition advice like Jillian Michaels. I enjoy motivating others. In life, my goals are to get my black belt in Taekwondo and do my Ph.D. to continue teaching at a higher level. I’ll take one goal at a time. I want to do whatever keeps me healthy and happy.

What are you most proud of?

I take pride in everything I do as I work hard for it. In the gym, I’m most proud of my accomplishments in Taekwondo because this is my favorite sport. I love fighting as a sport. It’s such a rush! One of my biggest accomplishments was winning three gold medals (for fighting, breaking boards, and patterns) and the super champion trophy (overall winner) at an international Taekwondo championship held in Dominican Republic a few years ago. It was great to represent the place where I was born and raised, Puerto Rico. ☺ I trained day and night for it 6 days a week while being a full-time student and working a part-time job. It was brutal. Although I’ve been lifting for so many years, competing was out of the question because I’m shy. I’m proud of overcoming my shyness for stepping on a stage. I finally did it and got 2nd place in the bikini tall class in the NPC Mississippi Bodybuilding Championships held in Jackson a week ago. Now, I’m pumped.

Outside of the gym, I am blessed with having, in my opinion, the most rewarding job ever, which is being a teacher. I love my students, especially the little ones. Last May I graduated with a master’s degree in education. That was a huge accomplishment, especially because I was the first one in my family to do so.

Have you had any obstacles or setbacks
towards achieving your goal physique?

Definitely! I’ve had a fair share of obstacles and setbacks. I think overcoming an eating disorder at age 15 was the biggest obstacle. You are very vulnerable to situations like that during your teenage years. I didn’t tell anyone. I dealt with it pretty much on my own. I had to teach myself about healthy eating, working out, and fight the negative thoughts I had then. I became stronger. I won! Besides that, I’ve had injuries practicing Taekwondo and lifting as everybody else. I always come back stronger. Last year during fall, I had to stop working out consistently for about 6 months because I was working full-time and literally all my free time was dedicated to working on my thesis to be able to graduate on time. That was extremely frustrating. I lost so much progress and gained some weight. I got it right back this year training harder than ever. Life is about sacrifices. It’s not always going to be peaches and cream.

How do you measure your progress?

I measure my progress in the mirror, with my clothes, and by performance. I know what I like to look like, and I don’t stop until I look like that. If my jeans don’t fit how I like them to fit, then I adjust and work out harder. I take it a day at a time. I’m strict, but I don’t beat myself up. Watching my performance is a great way to measure my progress, as I know what I’m capable of doing. I don’t allow myself to give 90%, when I know I am capable of giving 110%. I don’t believe in measuring progress with a scale. I rarely use them. I’m not a number. In my opinion, using a scale can become obsessive and hinder your progress.

Who are your favorite, athletes or fitness models?

I have so many favorites. I love boxing so I like Felix Tito Trinidad and Miguel Cotto. When it comes to fitness models, I like Amanda Latona, India Paulino, Jamie Eason, Ana Delia De Iturrondo, etc. I respect and admire all fitness models and athletes. I cringe when I see a gymnast fall during their routine in the Olympics, as I know how hard they have to work to get there.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

I use multivitamins, fish oil, whey protein, and glutamine.

What 3 tips would you give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, CutandJacked physique like yours?

  1. Be disciplined and determined!
  2. Don’t be afraid of lifting and getting dirty working out!
  3. Eat clean, but do indulge once or twice per week. Life’s too short!

Kimberly De Jesús Alfonso
Birthday: 12/26/1984
Weight: 121 lbs , Height: 5”5

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