What’s Up #RIPPEDFamily! Last week we had the pleasure of introducing you to Season 35 participants Pj Bondoc and Lily Albright. And this week, we’re excited to share the stories of the other half of our honored cast members of the Transformation Edition of R.I.P.P.E.D—Angelique Angel de Nava and Michael Pinson.

As we spoke to these game-changers we knew that someone would be inspired by their journeys enough to start one of their own. Angelique joined our family in 2011 and became certified to teach R.I.P.P.E.D. in February 2013. She currently teaches R.I.P.P.E.D. and RUMBLE at Anytime Fitness in Santa Fe and The Santa Fe Spa. Michael joined us in 2014 at Shake Senora Fitness of Pikeville, KY and became an instructor two years later. He currently teaches four classes per week.

Angelique Angel de Nava

R.I.P.P.E.D.: Let’s talk about your transformation. What motivated you to change your lifestyle?

Angelique: “On New Year’s Day of 1980 my father suffered a massive heart attack and passed away. I was 8 years old and in 3rd grade. If you look at my school pictures between 3rd & 4th grades I must have gained 30lbs in a year. I remember not wanting to cry, especially in front of my mom because then she would cry more. So I began eating to control my emotions. I progressed each year gaining more and more, reaching just under 400lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight and smoking a pack of menthols a day in my late 20’s. I recall walking across a hospital parking lot to visit a relative shortly after moving back to Santa Fe, and when I got to the entrance I could barely breath. I was sweating and dizzy and I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to die of a heart attack just like my dad if I don’t do something now.’ I went to a local gym and requested a trainer and I decided to try Whole30. I was facing diabetes with an A1C of 5.8 and I knew I didn’t want to go down that road. At 380+ pounds I had a long road ahead of me but there was one thing I had on my side, I had my faith.

I began taking R.I.P.P.E.D. classes when I was still around 330lbs, I remember the first one I attended was the rollout of this class in Santa Fe and I walked into a class filled with fit fireman & policemen and I thought “I DO NOT BELONG HERE!” But thankfully the instructor was a friend and she showed me how to modify everything. I fell in love with the class and began attending regularly.

It took years of therapy to deal with my father’s death the root of my eating disorder. There were many days along the way that I wanted to give up. I come from a Hispanic family where food is the center of everything we do. How do you learn to sit amongst everyone and not eat? Learning to deal with the loss of the social aspect of food took me through many depressed days until exercise became my outlet.

The endorphins became my drug. I knew I needed to replace the food with something healthy I just didn’t know what until I found R.I.P.P.E.D. I quit on my trainers time and time again but the community of people I surrounded myself with didn’t let me give in. I’m beyond blessed to have regained my health but more importantly, I am blessed to be surrounded by a community that has supported me and helped me accomplish this goal.

I’m proud to say that now I am a R.I.P.P.E.D. instructor here in Santa Fe and I am now able to help others like the many that helped me on my journey to fitness.”

R.I.P.P.E.D.: How was your experience shooting with Terry and Tina?

Angelique: “Getting to know Tina and Terry and convey to them how much of an impact this program has had on my life was such a blessing. An even bigger blessing was getting to know my fellow cast mates. Hearing the incredible stories they each have. We have a bond through our fitness journeys that made us like family.”

R.I.P.P.E.D.: What message would you give to someone who wants to change their lifestyle but isn’t motivated or thinks it’s too hard?

Angelique: “Find the right community of people, wherever you are. Maybe the first place you go won’t be the right one, but don’t be discouraged! I promise the right people are out there and want to help you. If you can’t find the right home, reach out to the R.I.P.P.E.D. fans page or the R.I.P.P.E.D./RUMBLE Fitness Family Fun Group. I know someone will help. This is your journey and no one else’s. So if you have to start with push-ups on the wall then that’s where you start. One step at a time!”

Michael Pinson

R.I.P.P.E.D.: How does it feel to be included in the Season 35: The Transformation Edition of R.I.P.P.E.D.?

Michael: “I feel truly honored to be a part of Season 35. I still can’t believe that the experience is already over. We had an amazing time shooting this season, and I definitely made new friends for life with my cast members!”

R.I.P.P.E.D.: Let’s talk about your transformation. What motivated you to change your lifestyle?

Michael: “I was 30 when I started my transformation and over 300lbs on blood pressure meds. I couldn’t sleep well and got tired easily. I literally woke up one day and decided I wanted to live a long healthy life. I started out by changing my diet alone. Then started walking and that led to running, then taking group fitness classes, including R.I.P.P.E.D.! I’ve never regretted any of it, and almost eight years later I’m down 140 lbs and I feel great! I love my new lifestyle.”

R.I.P.P.E.D.: How was your experience shooting with Terry and Tina?

Michael: “My experience with Tina and Terry was awesome. The fact that my friends came along to support me and they wanted to include them in this season should tell you what kind of people they are. They never treated us any less than family and I’m so grateful for this experience.”

R.I.P.P.E.D.: What message would you give to someone who wants to change their lifestyle but isn’t motivated or thinks it’s too hard?

Michael: Trust me, if I can make it on this journey, anyone can. I used to be that person, sitting on the couch, watching TV, snacking all day long. It’s one day at a time, but worth every minute and every drop of sweat it took to get here. Stay strong and remember why you started and never give up. You got this.

The Season 35 Sizzle Reel has been released and we’re so hyped up to see you guys in action!

In the meantime, get more inspiration to set and stick to your 2019 resolutions by reading more motivating stories on our blog.

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