Transformation Tuesday with Karina

I'm constantly gobsmacked by the incredible transformations of these beautiful people and this one is no exception. Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to the lovely Karina who has managed to shed almost half her body weight after suffering a life changing health scare. TT-Karina

How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date? I'm 35 years old. A mother of three from Melbourne, Australia. I decided to change my life and look after myself 'on the inside' after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in 2009. After finishing treatment and a second scare with a possible diagnosis, I cleaned up my diet and decided to appreciate this second chance. And I haven't looked back since!

What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then? Being from a South American background, my mother was always cooking beautiful meals, however, they were very heavy with rich sauces and loaded with all the carbs under the sun. As a young adult, I quickly fell in love with processed foods and fast foods. Now, I love cooking. I love preparing healthy foods that taste and look naughty, but are on the opposite end. It's very important to me to keep my diet new and exciting with different foods and flavours, or I tend to get bored, give up, and turn to processed fast foods again. So now, I keep it fun in my kitchen!

Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching? I LOVE dancing! I'm so in love with Zumba fitness. It's the only workout I enjoy without looking at the clock every 5 seconds. Zumba helped me through my chemo treatments in a form of a fun distraction. I'd walk through the steps just to feel that freedom and joy for the 20 - 30 minutes I could muster. Straight after treatment, I became an instructor teaching up to 6 classes per week! I loved it! Since then, I've had to slow down. My body is not the same as it was pre cancer, however, I still get up and do my 1 hour of partying hard in my living room! There really is no excuse when it comes to fitness and looking after your body and wellbeing.

What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile? Zumba! 100%.

What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change? My cancer diagnosis in 2009 - 2010, and then a second diagnosis in 2011 kicked my butt into 'wanting to live!' I was place on what they call a watch and wait, which is to observe if a tumor grows from the detected cancer cells. I took that as the opportunity to read up on nutrition - and change my lifestyle. The follow-up scan 4 months later showed no trace of cancer cells. Did what I do work? I will never know, but I have faith that nutrition plays a role in illness and disease.

What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months? I love inspiring people, so I guess that would be a major goal. To use whatever means I can to inspire people not just to change dietary habits, but to enjoy life and live every moment with joy and appreciation. Because it really is a gift.

What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation? Take each day as it comes and go with the flow. The minute stress takes over is the moment you're likely to give up. And the biggest one? Don't be so hard on yourself. So what if you have a bad day, keep going! Keep living! Life is beautiful. Take the struggles as they come and see them as little stones in your path. Don't let them side track you. And smile! The world needs more of that.

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What an inspiring story and it's so wonderful to see Karina regain her full health to live a long and healthy, happy life.

I’d love to feature YOUR transformation story, click here to share your journey.

Much love and friendship,

XxDani