Two Belizean women living in the United States of America are making a name for Belize in the bodybuilding arena as they have stepped up to the challenge of transforming their bodies to healthy works of art. Both have recently participated in top competitions and garnered trophies for their hard work.
Up first is Zarifa Liseli Waight, a 27-year-old mother of two living in Santa Monica, California. She competed in the NPC Grand Prix held on April 13, 2013, in Culver City and placed fifth in the largest class of the entire competition. Zarifa explains that this was a huge milestone for her as she trained by herself in the basement of her house.
Zarifa says that she fell in love with the empowerment that body building gave her and the more she researched, the more dedicated she became in keeping healthy. After feeling confident in her progress she decided to ‘hang with the big dogs’ (as she said it) and sign up for the muscle competition with no professional training at all.
“Overall, I'm very happy that I decided to compete, mostly for the proof that we don’t need fancy gear or trainers, or to be genetically gifted; just passion and perseverance,” commented Zarifa to Ambergris Today.
“My friends know I was the girl with the spoon in the Betty Crocker frosting tub, so it’s a lifestyle change than ANYONE can do. It was easy to be doubtful if I had let myself think about it too much, especially since most competitors have trainers, posing coaches, nutritionists aiding them. But I wasn’t in it to win it - I just wanted to feel like I too belonged on the stage.”
Zarifa was surprised that she placed fifth in her very first competition. “It was very inspiring,” she said.
She does not know where she is going after this competition, in relation to bodybuilding. Zarifa says it was just one on her bucket list to check mark, but she has been picked up by the supplement company ProSupps that sponsored all of her supplements and has been supportive of her.
“ProSupps just recently submitted pictures of me for a spot in Natural Muscle Magazine, so that’s exciting for this basement training mommy,” stated Zarifa.
Zarifa works full time along with her husband, Nathan Funk, with his production company Funk Factory Films, the creators of the popular Belikin commercials. Ambergris Today congratulates her and wishes her the best.
Cricel Castillo Shines In Florida Figure Competition
And while Zarifa is making waves in California, another Belizean bombshell is taking trophies across the United States in Florida State. Cricel Castillo also made Belize proud as the 24-year-old took the first place trophy in the Figure Competition at the Diamond Classic, Boca Ranton Florida.
Cricel is in the United States pursuing a master’s degree but she started to seriously work out while in Belize with her instructor Mr. Jones. She continued her body building routine when she went to the US, increasing the size of her petite frame to near muscular perfection.
And it was her hard work and dedication that was recognized as she came out ahead of a group of 50 competitors in her first major event.
"I was really scared out of my mind because I was really fighting for this dream so long and so hard but because it was all coming into place, it kind of scared me and I began questioning my body,” commented Cricel Castillo to News 7 in Belize City.
“Was I big enough? Was I ready? Will I make a fool of myself on stage? Will I represent Belize in a wrong way? All of those questions crossing my mind and at that point my coach handed me over these little Bible stories. So I prayed to Him for strength and for faith in myself. To be quite honest I think all of that exuded force throughout the day of the competition and that was actually something I was judged on so well. The judges all told me how confident I was and I had so much poise. They told me they could tell I was a dancer. All of this is for Belize."
Cricel Castillo was a delegate at the Miss Belize Pageant in 2010 and second daughter o the UDP politician Santino Castillo. She now moves on to compete in a much bigger event in Orlando Florida called the Europa; all the best to Cricel in her studies and body building career.