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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Maria was a competitive cheerleader at Penn State. Once she didn’t have cheerleading anymore she began weight lifting her new form of exercise. She wasn’t sure what she was doing at first but took baby steps. Maria received her personal training and nutrition certification since she believes they go hand in hand. Soon, Muscle By Maria was born: a platform created by Maria where she offers personal training services, nutrition services, and many more options found on her website

Maria came to Her Campus for the health and fitness theme week. She answered the group’s questions regarding nutrition, and fitness, and even enlightened the group on her favorite chicken recipes.

Maria explained to Her Campus that she was an “uneducated eater.” She thought she was eating foods that were healthy, but she was approaching nutrition all wrong. She learned it’s important to eat foods that work for her body and make her feel good. “I adjusted and tried eating about 80-90% clean and fresh with 10-20% less nutrient-dense foods,” Maria explained how this benefitted her body in the most optimal way and allowed her to listen more closely to what her body was craving. 

The Her Campus team asked Maria how to begin weightlifting if you are new to the gym. Maria believes it’s important to ask for help since weightlifting can be a scary endeavor. Reaching out to someone who is knowledgeable about the correct form and workout plans can make a huge difference at the gym and point you in the right direction when beginning a new fitness routine. In a male-dominated space, the gym can feel intimidating to some women. “You belong there as much as everyone else in there- you’re all working on the same thing!” Maria said. Maria advocated for exuding confidence in the gym and that no one is paying attention to what you are doing, as long as you act as if you belong.

In a world filled with influencers, it can become difficult not to compare our bodies. Maria recommends cleaning your feed. If who you follow doesn’t make you feel good, she says to unfollow or mute their account. “Every time you workout or eat right, you’re putting a deposit into your ‘long, healthy life’ savings account,” Maria said. Working out and eating right should be done to improve how we feel on the inside and the outside will come later. Work out to improve your well-being not just to achieve a certain look. Once you shift your mindset the rest will come in time. Maria’s inspired all of us to work out for our mental and physical well-being and to ensure we live long healthy lives.

Taylor Gurtman

CU Boulder '24

Taylor is a senior at CU Boulder and is majoring in journalism. Besides writing articles, Taylor enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and laughing with her friends.