Growing up, Cristina Castillo never liked sports or physical activity of any kind. Little did she know that she would end up working as a personal trainer. We met up with Cristina to talk about health, happiness and passion!
By: Henriette Danielsen Photos: Private
Cristina Castillo’s days are spent at Balance Training in the heart of Stockholm, where she helps people of all ages to reach their goals and maintain their health. But it hasn’t always been like this for Cristina herself.
– I used to hate sports and I don’t even remember if I had a gym membership, but if I did I wasn’t using it, she says while laughing.
So, what happened?
– Four years ago I was invited to a pool party and I decided I needed to lose some weight first. I started doing cardio and those extra kilos fell off pretty quickly. Sadly it became an obsession, but my family and friends got me back on the right track before it got out of hand, she explains.
Cristina then realized she started for the wrong reasons and should be doing this the right way, so she hired a personal trainer to learn more.
– During my sessions I always remember thinking he had to have the greatest job in the world! As my interest for health grew I started to hobby-coach my colleagues at the real-estate company I was working at. It was when one of them told me I should quit and start coaching fulltime I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do!
She quit her job, completed her education and started working at Balance Training, where she is able to do what she today is so passionate about. But working in the fitness industry has its ups and downs.
– I love the fact that I am able to help people take care of their health and get stronger. I also like that so many women have come out of their comfort zone and into the weight lifting section at the gym. But like every other industry, we need to remember that it’s in fact that; an industry. And like any other they want to make money. We just need to use our common sense and not buy into everything they’re trying to feed us, she says.
You told us earlier that you came close to an eating disorder and was obsessed with your looks. What kind of view do you have on body pressure now, working in an industry often blamed for promoting that certain pressure?
– Personally I feel this matter is evolving in two ways: on the one hand people are focusing more on the functionality of their body, to be able to use it as it is supposed to be used, without any pain or restrictions, which I think is a good thing! On the other hand there is a huge amount of focus on how we look, and social media has such a big influence, especially on the younger generations. I can only imagine how much pressure it puts upon them. But I think people will always want to look a certain way and I just hope that we can enlighten everyone on how to do it in a healthy and sustainable way.
Cristina emphasizes that health is a balance between good sleep, nutritious food and a balanced mind.
Why do you work out?
– Because I love the feeling of being able to do things I literally couldn’t do before. And I’m also very fascinated by the fact that I can shape my body the way I want to. It’s up to you and only you, and if you’re in need of any help, motivation or guidance, hire a personal trainer! Because we love to help you reach your goals!
Before we say goodbye we just have to ask: What is your favorite exercise?
– Right now is the Romanian dead lift. It hits the entire backside of your body and you can really feel how it hits the glutes and hamstrings. But I think I need to slow down a little, because my butt almost doesn’t fit into my jeans anymore, she says with a smile.
Name: Cristina Solange Zurita-Castillo
Occupation: Personal Trainer and Nutritionist at Balance Training
Lives: Uppsala and Stockholm
What gets you up from the couch? Goals! Or more precisely, goals with deadlines.
Follow Cristina on Instagram or her blog.