In the last two years, Charla Carpenter-Ortiz has become a new person in more ways than one.
And it’s not just because of the obvious fact she is wearing five dress sizes down what she used to wear before.
“I definitely have more energy. Even my attitude has changed. I feel more positive because I don’t feel, like, sluggish which, in turn, makes you feel kind of grumpy. When you’re feeling good, you’re happy,” said Carpenter-Ortiz in a statement that sounds more like a testimony.
Carpenter-Ortiz is, in fact, a living and walking testimony to what a consciously adopted and well-rounded healthy lifestyle can do to any person.
For the Manteca born and raised Manteca High graduate, her healthy lifestyle is a combination of faithful physical regimen and choosing healthy eating habits.
It all started when moms of cheerleaders attending Victorious Elite Allstars in Manteca invited her to the VEA Core Performance Fitness Center. She is not affiliated with the non-profit cheerleading organization, but she decided to give the fitness center a try.
“So I started going with a friend,” Carpenter-Ortiz said. During that time, Core Performance – which was just starting at that time – was located in the VEA facility off of East Highway 120. For about a year and six months, she went to the studio three days a week for a 60-minute workout each session. Today, she trains five days a week. She goes to the 5 o’clock session for three days, and to the evening sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Getting up before the sun is even awake to work-out her still-sleeping muscles is a big challenge, Carpenter-Ortiz admits. But the pluses and positive points of being an early riser outnumber the negatives, she said.
“I’m not a morning person at all, and I hate mornings. But to be honest, I like it,” she said about getting up at the break of dawn to get physical.
For one thing, since it’s still six o’clock in the morning when she gets home after finishing her workout, she has plenty of time left to do various home chores, prepare breakfast for the family and do whatever errands that need to be done before she goes to work.
“My body feels great and I’m energized!” she said.
Besides the physical training she gets at Core Performance, she also receives counseling about proper diet from her trainer, Robert Iniguez who does the same thing for the members of the small group. Carpenter-Ortiz said the groups are small which enables Iniguez to provide a personalized one-on-one training. She also likes what she calls “the accountability” that the each participant develops with the group, which is similar to what one gets as part of a “support group.”
“It’s a positive gym. The program is great,” Carpenter-Ortiz said.
Even members of her family are now part of the workout regimen at Core Performance.
“My dad goes and he’s 63. And my daughter (Katie Clemons, 20) goes; she started when she was 19. The training is really intense but (Robert) makes you perform at your level. If you’re 19 years old, yours is going to be harder than for a 63-year-old. It all depends on your athletic level, so my athletic level may be higher than my dad,” Carpenter-Ortiz said.
She also learned from going to the training center “about what to eat.”
Being fit and healthy is not always being on a diet; “it’s a lifestyle,” she said.
“As soon as I feel (my weight) creeping up, then I know. And here’s another thing, (Robert) says never to go by weight or by your clothes. I’ve only lost probably 15 to 20 pounds, but I lost five (dress) sizes. So you go by your body shrinkage more than how much you weigh,” Carpenter-Ortiz said.
“I’m not on a diet every day, but I’m more conscious about I eat. If I go out to dinner, yeah, sometimes I splurge. But I choose to have healthy habits. I choose healthy eating habits, but there are going to be those days, like the holidays, when I can eat my mom’s chocolate,” she added.
— ROSE ALBANO RISSO
209 staff reporter