Fairhaven woman wins bodybuilding titles -- but those are just two of her accomplishments
The average person might think of tedious vegetable preparation when hearing the adjectives "sliced, cut, ripped and shredded."
Christy Resendes of Fairhaven is not the average person. She is a 27-year-old mother, wife, employee, student and -- oh, yes -- competitive bodybuilder.
And she's sliced, cut, ripped and shredded.
Following a semester off for the birth in January of her third child, son Daegen, Mrs. Resendes resumed her studies as an exercise science major at Bridgewater State College this fall, enrolling in seven courses.
One of her professors, Dr. Ellyn Robinson, urged the busy mother and longtime weight lifter to enter a bodybuilding competition. "My teacher inspired me to compete again," said Mrs. Resendes. Dr. Robinson helped develop a posing routine and find a nutritionist, David Lyford of Bridgewater, for her student.
Mrs. Resendes had four weeks to prepare for the competition.
"That's ridiculous," she noted of the task before her. "You normally need 12 weeks to diet before a show."
Her dedication and sacrifice did not go unrewarded. Clad in a bikini, down to between 7 percent and 10 percent body fat (14 percent to 25 percent is average), Mrs. Resendes won first place overall in the Women's Open and Women's Novice classes at the New England Natural Bodybuilding & Figure Championships in North Smithfield, R.I., on Oct. 30. After a day of posing and judging, she was also named best poser.
At the end of the competition, a director of the American Natural Bodybuilding Conference, the show's sponsor, approached Mrs. Resendes. Impressed, he suggested that she compete in the national contest.
Mrs. Resendes and her husband, Dino Resendes, agreed. On a Friday night, one week after her Rhode Island success, they boarded a flight to Albuquerque, N.M., for the ANBC United States Natural Bodybuilding Figure & Fitness Championships taking place the next day. The last-minute decision proved fruitful.
Competing in the women's tall class, at 5 feet 5 inches and 142 pounds, Mrs. Resendes won first place in class, which qualified her for a pro card. She can to compete professionally for cash awards in the future.
Mrs. Resendes' love of bodybuilding began as a teenager after watching her mother compete in the same sport.
"She inspired me to do a competition the following year," Mrs. Resendes said. Jean Souza, 44, Mrs. Resendes' mother, still lifts weights but no longer competes.
At 15, Christy trained and dieted for three months before entering the Whaling City Classic. She won first place, best poser and overall.
Another love was born the day Christy watched her mother compete, though. That day, Mrs. Resendes met her future husband, a bodybuilder who was also participating in the local competition.
"I handed him his trophy," Mrs. Resendes recalled.
They started dating three years later. While weight lifting remained an activity they enjoyed doing together, neither competed again until the late October event Mrs. Resendes entered and won.
The years between competitions were highlighted by the births of the couple's children -- Darian, 8, Cyan, 4, and Daegen, 10 months -- and their marriage nearly three years ago.
Mrs. Resendes' daughters are big fans. "They're excited. They get inspired by it. My 4-year-old wants to go lift."
Mrs. Resendes works full time at the Acushnet Co. as a manufacturing associate.
In February, she will take an exam in Boston, seeking personal training certification from the American Council on Exercise. She hopes to build a clientele as a personal trainer and, ultimately, would like to own a fitness facility.
Asked where she finds the energy to work, study, raise children and compete as a bodybuilder, Mrs. Resendes responded humorously, "Not (from) my food, that's for sure. I don't know. Maybe coffee?" She will admit to being disciplined, noting that to juggle her many responsibilities, she has to be.
Mrs. Resendes plans to compete at the Musclemania Atlantic Natural Bodybuilding Championships in April. She hopes her performance will attract the attention and support of sponsors. She hopes, too, to qualify for the November nationals covered by ESPN.
Mrs. Resendes, an advocate of natural bodybuilding, will be subject to a polygraph test and random urine tests at this show. If she does not do well at Musclemania, Mrs. Resendes will compete professionally for the ANBC.
"Without my husband's and family's support, it would have been impossible for me to have done this," she said.
Mrs. Resendes may have the opportunity to return the favor soon. Her husband plans to compete with her at the Musclemania event, his first competition since handed a trophy by his future wife 14 years ago.
"He said that I inspired him to compete again."
By MICHELLE STUART POIRIER Standard-Times correspondent