Meet Desiree' Cabinatan

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m 28 and currently living in San Antonio, Texas. I was born and raised in Arizona, then did my college years out in Honolulu, Hawaii. From an out-of-gym perspective, I have a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in History and an M.S. in Cybersecurity Studies. My 9-5 job is being a cyber security consultant.
I started weight training in high school but that was all mostly for sports and of course a lot of running with cross country. It was during college that I came to my senses about putting on muscle mass and gaining weight. You see, in high school, I was a twig, and at most, 85lbs by the time I graduated. By the time I graduated college, I was 95lbs! So, back in Arizona I had a group of high school friends that competed, and so I started eating more and lifting heavier.
I did my first NPC show in 2016, took 2nd in Novice and Open and instantly was hooked into the lifestyle. I did a GBO in 2017 and received my Pro Card and competed as a paid GBO Beachbody competitor for a couple of years. Back in 2019, I decided to go back to NPC and took 1st at the Phil Heath Classic and sat on my qualification.

My fiancé and I are currently planning on getting married, so my lifting life is there mostly in order to fit into my wedding dress and to hold onto the little definition I have during an off season. I’ll hit the stage again after our personal life settles down, and I can better juggle a prep season.Text

What is something about you that we might be surprised to know?
I considered starting my own clothing line! Legit from start... I even sewed my first pair of leggings in some awesome fabrics I found at Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s. It had a side pocket and super elastic waistband as well! (Tiny waist life, you know). But it was really because I always have a hard time finding clothes that fit me.
What inspired you to begin your fitness journey?
I grew up being the typical straight, skinny, twig girl, so I finally decided that I wanted to have a butt or at least some shape to my body! I started looking towards competitors like Stephanie Ayala and Andreia Brazier for motivation.
Has your motivation changed? If so, what continues to motivate you to move forward?
My motivation has definitely changed as my goals changed. When I first started weight training, it was mostly, “how to grow your glutes” or, “how to eat to have abs.” As a competitor and in an off season, it’s “how to retain muscle mass” and “iifym recipes”. Now that I don’t have any shows coming up until maybe next year, my motivation is surrounding healthy eating habits, making time for self-care and working out, and of course focus on building up size little by little.
Whether I was in the office or working from home, I could work a 6 hour day or a 12 hour day. Right now I try to focus on maintaining balance and learning when to step away from work, including feeling okay when I end up finishing a whole bottle of wine and turning to the gym as a stress reliever and as time for myself and not just getting shredded.

"My motivation has definitely changed as my goals changed."

What is the best thing that has happened to you as a result of prioritizing your health?
I have learned more about my body than I would have ever realized if I didn’t start prioritizing my health and fitness. I count my macros, so I started to eventually notice what food works best for my body and how my body actually reacts to some food! It’s science and a constant learning process, but it’s great to know how food, vitamins and fitness actually work for my body and my goals.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Start sooner! Learning how to eat and take care of myself earlier would have only been even better for me in the long run. Plus, I probably would have started competing more quickly and connected with my friends way sooner.

"I have learned more about my body than I would have ever realized if I didn’t start prioritizing my health and fitness."

How do you fit exercise into your schedule?
The further I get into my professional career, the more challenging it has become to fit exercise into my schedule, in all honestly. I could work a 6 hour day or a 12+ hour day, and I always try to add into my schedule to I step away from my desk and at least get out of the office or out of the house.
Growing up, I always wanted to be at the gym, playing basketball, doing cardio, lifting weights or just hanging out. Now that I’ve gotten more serious about it and the older I get, the more I go with my family and work out with them. They’ve always been very supportive, especially when I was on prep, to help with meals, going to the gym for cardio or lifts or just mental/emotional support.
Recently, we actually built out a little gym in our garage so even if I have a long day, I can sneak out first thing in the morning or late at night to work out and not have to leave.
When my AM schedule isn’t crazy, I’ll even try to get out for a 1.5 mile run to just get up and going.

What is your favorite way to exercise?
Weight training all day, every day. I like to add in resistance bands to shift between compound movements and dumbbells.

If money was no object, what would your ideal day look like?
Enjoying a light breakfast overlooking the ocean before training in the morning. I would get some reading in or play with the dogs at a doggie park and maybe do some baking.
What is your favorite meal, healthy or not so healthy?

A few meals that I crave the most involve hot wings, Ramen and sushi. It depends a little on what my macros look like or what I have been eating recently.

What is on your fitness playlist?
My music is all over the place depending on my mood or what I’m training. It ranges from 00s Rock, EDM, and some hip-hop/rap. I prefer the higher bpm songs no matter what.

Spotify Playlists:
00s Rock  
EDM Playlist 1 
EDM Playlist 2  

What is your favorite Purus Labs stack, and how do you use it?
My personal favorite stack includes ConDense, Noxygen, Citrulline Malate, Organ Shield and Probiotic.
I’m a huge advocate for taking care of your insides because if you don’t have your body in check, then nothing else is going to go right. And of course, making sure I’m optimizing my supps to support my training whether it’s lifting, circuits or running.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the world about yourself?
I definitely strive and encourage everyone to live a balance lifestyle. It’s very easy to get so self-consumed and put your family/friends/work/other hobbies on the back burner because they don’t seem “as important.” It’s a lifestyle that continues every day whether you make it to the gym or not, whether you hit your numbers or not, whether you have a six-pack or not. It’s about learning to love yourself no matter what and learning what’s healthy for your own body.

"It’s about learning to love yourself no matter what and learning what’s healthy for your own body."

Follow Desiree on Instagram!

Follow Desiree on Instagram!

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