Overcoming Obstacles: Fitness Is The Best Medicine


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Life poses many obstacles and challenges throughout its course, many of which can evoke great changes both mentally and physically. For 23 year-old Christina King, anxiety and panic attacks posed as an on-going challenge in her everyday life. Christina used the gym as a means of treating her anxiety and reaching mental clarity.

NAME: Christina King,
AGE: 23
LOCATION: Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
OCCUPATION: Warehouse Operative


As a child, I had always been active. After finishing middle school, I went from actively participating in many sports to doing very little physical activity- a huge change for both my body and my mind. When I turned 16, I began experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, which changed my life from what I once knew it to be. Desperate to triumph over my anxiety, I tried everything to clear my mind. Ultimately, I found that exercise was a great outlet and allowed me to focus better throughout my daily routines.


In 2009, I was surfing the net when I saw a picture of Jamie Eason (now Jamie Middleton) and thought to myself, “Wow, I wish I could look like that.” I began researching her and other fitness personalities, reading everything I could about training and nutrition. I decided to take a big leap outside my personal comfort zone and step foot inside a gym for the first time. I had never been in one before nor used any sort of fitness equipment; it was all new to me. I began by working out two to three times a week for 30 minutes at a time. I started to feel more comfortable in the gym setting and even noticed my mood had began to improve. I felt less anxious on a daily basis and actually felt passionate about something for the first time in a long while.  I started to set goals, one of which was to become a certified fitness instructor, and felt that I had finally found some direction in my life. After much studying, I earned my fitness instructor certification in May 2012.

My next goal was to compete in a fitness competition. After seeing the new bikini division in the IFBB, I decided I wanted to give competing a shot. When it was introduced into the UKBFF, I started following the shows online and contacting pros for advice. In particular, I contacted Michelle Brannan (IFBB PRO) for more information about competing and advice on how to get started.

After training for a little over a year, I stepped on stage for the first time at the UKBFF Muscletalk show on June 24th 2012, where I placed 11th out of 13. Considering it was my first show, I was happy with how I looked, felt, and even how I placed. Above all else, I valued the stage experience and was proud of my personal journey to the stage.

What’s next for me? I am currently working as a Warehouse Operative, a job that includes much heavy lifting and can sometimes feel more like working out than employment. My next goals are to obtain my personal training certification and dabble in the world of fitness modelling.

Personally, competing was an experience that helped me overcome my anxiety and, more importantly than look good on the outside, feel great on the inside. My transformation has taught me that people are built resilient; I know that I can work through any struggle that comes my way even if it takes weeks, months, or years.


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Christina King
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Editor-In-Chief Lisa-Marie Assenza is a Kinesiology student, former competitive gymnast, and fitness enthusiast. An avid reader and writer, Lisa-Marie's high language proficiency coupled with her passion for health and wellness provide her with a unique and impressive skill set that has made her a cornerstone to the Training & Fitness team.

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