What gives someone the right to consider themselves a successful fitness model or personality in the industry? Is it the amount of covers one can land because of their physique? Could it be how many sponsors they are able to grab to help support them? Or is it the amount of money one can make between different modeling/ fitness gigs?
Everyone will tell you something different, but if there is one thing that is hard to disagree with, it’s the ability to promote and market yourself to others. Social media has begun to play a huge role in self marketing as an athlete, competitor, fitness model or personality in the Industry. These days, you don't need a modeling agency to help promote you, or a company to take you on as a sponsored athlete in order for you to be seen in the industry.
Someone who once could have been just an average fit person now has the ability to transform themselves into a “Social Media Fitness Star!” If you put in the time, the effort, and truly have a passion for fitness, you can change yourself from just a face with a body, to a bona fide personality – someone able to inspire and motivate others on their own fitness journey!
Antoniette Pacheco, age 25, and hailing from Los Angeles, California, is proof that if you put in the time, effort, hard work in the gym AND the kitchen, and use social media as a tool to self-promote, you can turn your average health/fit lifestyle into a network that reaches out to endless amounts of people who want to take the time out to follow your journey.
Q: Tell me about your competitive history.
A: I don’t have a professional competitive history. My entire childhood I was always active; played sports, trained in martial arts, some gymnastics, etc. I moved around a lot between parents growing up, so I wasn’t able to dedicate myself to one sport; I was in eight different schools, and lived in seven different cities. I was also very active in a police training course I took in high school. On top of that, I also served 8 years in the Marine Corps. I see a lot of my friends compete, but I don’t see that for myself. Maybe one day.
Q: When did you get started on your fitness career/journey? What made you want to become more than just the average person living a healthy and fit lifestyle?
A: As I’ve mentioned, I was always active, but I started this new fitness journey shortly after having my daughter about 5 years ago. I was at high risk of having a miscarriage during my pregnancy, and was monitored by doctors every two weeks to make sure that I wasn’t exerting myself too much.
I tried walking a mile and ended up in the hospital. It was horrible. I had never had that feeling of helplessness and never wanted to experience that again. So after having her, I had to start at the very bottom of fitness; I was overweight (170 lbs. at 5’4”, and couldn’t even do a push up).
I had never eaten clean before because I was always active and burned all the calories off, so I had to completely change my whole outlook on eating and being healthy. As I learned more and more about fitness, I became so passionate about it. It quickly just turned into a lifestyle change for me.
Q: Being that you have a loyal social media following, what is some advice that you would offer someone wanting to increase their popularity in the Fitness industry? What tip can you give someone to help them build their following as well?
A: I’m not sure. I never really thought about that before. I would say to stay humble, and appreciate every one of your supporters. Make some time for them and continue bettering yourself and your training. Be the person you would be inspired by.
Q: Do you consider this as your part/full time job or a hobby?
A: I feel it’s just a way of life for me. I don’t make money doing what I do, and I enjoy everything involved with fitness. I have a full-time job in logistics, and up until earlier this year, I was part time with the Marine Corps as a reservist. So I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s my life!
Q: There are many people that motivate and are inspired by you. How does that make you feel knowing that there are people who take the time to see what you are doing day to day?
A: I feel blessed! It does make me nervous sometimes. Lol I am an extrovert, but I don’t like people all up in my business. I post as much as I like to, but I don’t post everything going on because I like some privacy. But, it is such an amazing feeling to know that the things I do share help motivate or inspire. I love reading comments and messages, and responding to as many people as I can that supports me, and my family.
Q: How does it feel knowing that somewhere, you are actually helping someone by motivating them to achieve their personal goals, just by posting your personal life and achievements on social media?
A: It’s a gratifying feeling. It makes me feel like my life has a purpose. If there’s a way for me to help anyone, I will. That’s why I’m so thankful that I can do that just by posting on social media.
Q: Is there anyone who has motivated or inspired you to become the person you are today?
A: There have been a few people to come in and out of my life that have helped bring me to this point, but I can’t pinpoint a specific person at the moment. I stay motivated with all the friends I have made in the industry and from all my supporters who share their stories with me.
Q: How does your family feel about your lifestyle? What would you say to someone whose family does not support their lifestyle?
A: For the most part, they’re not very supportive. Even now, my dad gives me every excuse to quit… because I’ll get hurt, or to eat “normal”.
I’ve heard everything from friends, family, and co-workers. At first, it really bothered me, but I still did what I felt I needed to do. Now, it doesn’t bother me at all.
Some people just won’t understand no matter how you explain it to them. And that’s what I tell people struggling. If you’re family isn’t supportive, then be your own support system and surround yourself with people who feel the same. With people who are just as dedicated to this lifestyle and understand why you train that hard, or eat that clean.
Q: Of all the social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), what do you think is the most effective to use in order to market yourself in this industry?
A: It just depends. There are some individuals that have marketed themselves really well on all social media outlets, and have gained a large following. I know that Instagram has helped my following too, but I would say my favorite is Facebook. It’s easier to post, share pics and videos, see ALL of your notifications, and really engage with your audience. Instagram is convenient, but it’s a small window. Same goes for twitter. In the end, you also have to have something to market… something that sets you apart, for you to be noticed.
Q: What is your diet like? Do you eat clean all year round?
A: I don’t really have a diet. I eat pretty clean all year long. After having my daughter, I changed my eating style and enjoy eating clean because I found what I like and just stick to it. Eating clean doesn’t feel like a chore, or make me feel like I’m missing out on anything my friends and family are eating.
Meal 1: Oatmeal with almond milk/water with sliced banana, strawberries, walnuts or sliced almond, cinnamon, and honey, topped with Chia seeds.
Meal 2: Bowl of two sliced apples with chili powder and a pack of mixed nuts and dried cranberries.
Meal 3: Portobello Mushrooms, quinoa, and veggies (broccoli/asparagus/mixed salad), with hummus or avocado.
Meal 4: Homemade protein bar
Meal 5: Orange soy chicken with avocado mango salsa.
Meal 6: Organic PB&J sandwich (optional)
Q: What is your favorite cheat meal? How do you control yourself from going overboard when you decide to treat yourself?
A: Hmmm… I’m not sure anymore. I guess my favorite cheat meal would be frozen yogurt. I don’t think about cheat meals anymore. When I started losing weight, I was notorious for eating junk. Never drank water, ate tons of pizza and soda, and anything that just tasted good. So I trained myself to quit it cold turkey by putting hot sauce on everything. It killed cravings, and I lost the taste for a lot of bad foods.
My advice to those wanting to control themselves from going overboard… put something you don’t like on something you crave that isn’t good for you. For me, I can’t stand hot sauce, but it is a natural thermogenic, so it was a bit of a win during that first bite. Now, I like a little chili powder on my fruits and veggies, but I still won’t eat that junk I ate before. Now, I don’t really get cravings.
Q: Do you take any supplements? What do you think is one of the most important supplements someone should take who is training constantly?
A: I only take creatine, BCAA’s, and protein (as a supplementation, not as a replacement for food.)
I feel the most important would be BCAA’s. They build cells and repair tissue. Branch Chain Amino Acids are the building blocks of the body. They make up 35% of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth and development to take place. Eight are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition).
Q: What’s your social media/contact information?
YouTube: Antoniette pacheco
Q: Special thanks to:
A: To everyone that supports me! <3 Every one of you is special to me!