Kiana, I don't know if you read personal messages via Facebook, but I just wanted to let you know how much you have impacted my life.
I'll never forget watching your show in 1998 when I was only 18 years old. That inspired me to start going to the gym, although I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. A year later I fell deep into an already existing eating disorder and became extremely underweight. Not putting blame on anyone but a lot of people would tell me when I started to put muscle on who "unfeminine" it was. Even though you were already a household name and a fitness icon, it seemed like (at least in my geographical area) it was not acceptable for women to be strong, muscular, and athletic. I tend to put muscle on very easily and in the early 2000's wafer thin seemed to be "the look"
Then I met the love of my life, my husband. He was a huge fan of yours and said he was immediately attracted to me due to my resemblance of you. (I'm Fillipina/Hawaiian, and Caucasian) It wasn't just the physical attraction however and a few years later we were married and had our son.
After my son was born I was in despair. Being 5'2 and weighing 165lbs upon delivery was to me, devastating. The worst part was trying to lose the weight which a newborn and living in a strange city with no family around to support us.
We moved a lot the first few years of my son's life due to my husband's job. Then we ended up in Pittsburgh. I started watching youtube videos of your show and my husband kept encouraging me to start lifting and working hard.
I printed pictures of you and hung them up on my refrigerator as inspiration. (my husband had no problems with that! LOL!)
In 2010 I competed in my first string of figure shows and did very well. I even landed a spot in a Magazine. Last year I decided to compete in the NPC and qualified for a bunch of national level shows.
Now although in nursing school, I am preparing to compete in the NPC Team Universe show in NJ this summer. Regardless if I never turn IFBB pro, it's been an amazing journey and you have always been my inspiration.
I am also a fitness instructor and try to be a good example and encourage others to reach their goals as you do. You are an amazing woman and if there was ever one person in this whole world I would like to meet, it would be you.
Thank you for being an inspiration and being you!! I'm so glad I can follow you on facebook and have you remain my number one inspiration!!!
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