Name: Bela Santos
Birth Date: 05/03/1975
Birth Place: Luanda, Angola – AFRICA
Current Residence: Stoughton, MA
Height & Weight: 5’4″ & 118 lbs.
1. What made you want to compete?
I have always had a passion for sports and fitness. I played soccer growing up and as an adult. Along with that I fell in love with going to the gym at the age of 16! I’ve always admired the beauty of the human body and wanted to challenge myself to get in shape like the amazing fitness models I’d admire in magazines.
2. What do you do to stay inspired?
I find inspiration in every day life! I like to follow various blogs and social media pages of amazing woman in this industry that I admire on a personal and professional level. As a business owner and Fitness Trainer/Coach I also find inspiration in my clients and seeing them succeed at their goals, so matter how big or small! It makes me want to become a better role model each and every day!
3. What shows have you already been in or plan to be in in the future?
I’ve been competing since 2003 in the FAP organization. In that organization I’ve placed Top 5 in Fitness, Figure and Bikini America categories. Most recently, in April 2013, I competed at the WBFF Fitness Atlantic, placing 3rd in Diva Fitness category and 4th in Diva Bikini category.
4. Who got you started?
I was encouraged by a colleague and gymnastic coach, John Brescia to finally take this on as a goal in 2003.
5. Who do you look to for help now?
I work with Janelle Nicolo of Body Ambition. I also incorporate my own training techniques and tricks into my program. Janelle’s diet and nutrition advice by far has been the best I’ve had in years!
6. Where do you usually workout?
I train at Fuzion Sports Club in Canton, MA and also at my fitness studio, BelaBody Fitness.
7. Do you use any suppliments? If so, what ones (brands, names, etc)
I use Isagenix for supplementation, but most of my nutrition is from clean whole foods.
8. What are your most noticeable results?
I have been working really hard on enhancing my upper body, especially my shoulders. I feel like that is coming along well for the WBFF Fitness New England Show in November!
9. Has fitness changed your life? If so, how?
Absolutely! I discovered early in my teen years that Fitness is the best therapy! To this day it continuously confirms that, so that’s why I chose it as a full time profession to inspire and help others!
10. What personal fitness goals have you set for yourself?
I am 100% aiming to get my PRO CARD! I have followed and watched the Pro’s and am taking in every bit of advice that has been given to me. I aim to continue to bring the best package I can every time I step on the WBFF stage!
11. Describe your diet.
I eat a high protein diet with starches, limited fats, veggies and low-glycemic fruits. I reorganize and cut down macro nutrients throughout competition prep season. I stick to one Isagenix meal replacement shake per day (non-dairy) & one Whey Isolate per day. I get most of my nutrional intake from clean whole foods (Lean Proteins such as: chicken, haddock, cod, extra lean turkey, Lots of green veggies such as: asparagus, kale, green beans broccoli, Starches such as: quinoa, sweet potato, butternut squash, whole grain rice and oatmeal, Fruits Such as: Green apples, strawberries, blueberries, and “good” fats such as: Udos Oil, Flax Seeds/Oil, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil)
12. What does your workout schedule look like?
I train 6 days a week. My workout routines change month-to-month. Strength Training Split Muscles Groups, Abs and 45-60 minutes of Cardio each day. Common cardio routines I perform are machine cross training, HIIT body work routines, Plyometrics and Sprints.
13. What do you do for a living?
I have been a Certified Fitness Trainer and Instructor since 1999. I also am an Isagenix Product Manager. I run and operate my own fitness studio/nutrition center called BelaBody Fitness in Stoughton, MA.
14. What are your personal non-fitness goals?
Pursuing Make-up Artistry! I have always had a passion for cosmetology and have set that as a goal for next year. Along with that, I’m always continuing my courses in my fitness career, so I am pursuing additional Nutritional Certifications. I would like to get married and have a child some day soon!
15. Have you participated in any other sports?
Yes, I played soccer growing up and in adult leagues.
16. Here you can mention your family/thank you’s.
I’d like to thank all the amazing inspirational athletes in this sport! There are too many to mention and I don’t want to single anyone out… They all bring their own amazing style to the stage and to the industry. In addition, I’d like to thank Janelle Nicolo for all her amazing years in this industry, for believing in and re-igniting the fire in me! A special thanks to my parents for raising me right, for always being there to pick me up when I fell. An extra special shout out to my mother for helping with food prep during competition season! Also, I’d like to thank Bela Collins and Meredith Barry, CPT’s, who work for me at the studio and see the BelaBody Fitness vision. In addition, thank you to all my friends who all hold such a special place in my heart! And a big thank you to my clients for trusting in me and for their patronage! I love you all! xoxo
17. Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I like to cook! I like to decorate and read… But most of my hobbies are surrounded by physical fitness activities (yoga, running events, dancing, etc..).
18. What are challenges that you face that may keep you from reaching your fitness goals?
Being self-employed certainly comes with it’s challenges, because your schedule can get thrown off because work has to come first! I personally have run into some injuries that have presented some challenges this year.
19. What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are?
I’ve had to deal with a few injuries to my knee and Achilles tendon that have affected my leg training through the years. Certainly nothing life threatening, but a definite challenge when your so used to being active and are trying to achieve a symmetrical physique. The biggest emotionally challenge this year was and has been my mother’s health. Her battle with lupus took a nasty flare this year and it was scary to watch. I am so happy that she is doing better now and pray that this will be the case for many years to come.
20. Is there anything else you would like to add that you think we’ve missed?
I am just so happy that some of the most reputable promoters I have know through the years are involved with WBFF! It certainly was a catalyst for my deciding to compete in this federation this year! These events are showcased and produced so well that they truly make you feel like a star!