Name: Elizabeth Ortiz
Birth Date: 04/02/1981
Birth Place: Rhode Island
Current Residence: Warwick Rhode Island
Height & Weight: 119, 5’5″
1. What made you want to compete?
On January 1, 2006, almost three years after I had my second son, I decided that I needed to change my eating habits and my lifestyle. I lost 45 pounds in six months with diet alone. I never really enjoyed working out, mostly because I was intimidated by the gym. In May of this year, I decided to sign up for Crossfit Providence’s summer boot camp classes. Coaches Gerard Labonte and Joanne Pora were amazing! They motivated me and pushed me to discomfort that over time turned into strength. At the time, I was going through some personal challenges and working out showed me how strong I truly was physically and mentally. I attended the WBFF April and June 2013 shows to cheer on one of my best friends, Alyssa Cassino and my cousin Steven Ortiz. I was so impressed by the dedication and hard work that the competitors put into preparing for the shows. I decided sometime in July that I did have the discipline, strength and support system necessary to compete in the November show.
2. What do you do to stay inspired?
To stay inspired, I think back to where I started before I began my fitness journey in May. I was barely able to do a push up, a burpee or run a mile. I think back to how I felt (physically and mentally) before I took my physical fitness seriously, and I know that I do not want to go back to that place again. I feel stronger than ever.
3. What shows have you already been in or plan to be in in the future?
This is my first competition. I want to focus on getting stronger and see where the future takes me.
4. Who got you started?
Before I made the final decision to compete, I sat down with Kelly Palumbo. Kelly has been my neighbor, but we never really talked about competing though I knew she competed in the past. I asked her what competing would entail and with her blessing and commitment to take on the challenge of being my coach, I decided that it was something I could do.
5. Who do you look to for help now?
My coach Kelly Palumbo is my go to person. Anytime I have a meltdown or have a question about anything, I go to her. My personal trainer keeps me on track with my workouts. My close friend, Alyssa Cassino and my cousin Steven Ortiz, both competing in this show, get at least a daily text from me. They have all kept me sane and on track.
6. Where do you usually workout?
I train with my personal trainer, Dave Estrada, at WOW. I am also a member of Gold’s in East Greenwich and attended Crossfit Providence’s bootcamp over the summer.
7. Do you use any suppliments? If so, what ones (brands, names, etc)
I take a multivitamin everyday as well as Rawfusion vegan protein for my protein supplement (I am not a vegan, just lactose intolerant).
8. What are your most noticeable results?
Since losing weight in 2006, I always maintained a healthy weight. However, I never lifted weights or did any strength training. It really is amazing what the body can do with a little work and dedication! I now have definition in my back and my arms!
9. Has fitness changed your life? If so, how?
Eating clean and training hard bring me an amazing sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Grinding through workouts makes me feel strong both mentally and physically. I can’t imagine my life without working out.
10. What personal fitness goals have you set for yourself?
I would like to run the Tough Mudder and Spartan Beast in 2014. Someday after lots of training and dedication, I hope to be strong enough to take part in Crossfit competitions. The women who compete in the Crossfit Games amaze me with their strength and amazing athleticism.
11. Describe your diet.
I eat every three hours. My meals are comprised of lots of chicken, fish, vegetables, greens, good fats and sweet potatoes.
12. What does your workout schedule look like?
I strength train three times per week with my personal trainer, Dave Estrada. Up until the end of August, I went to Crossfit Providence’s bootcamp three times per week religiously. Most recently, I started taking regular crossfit classes at Crossfit Providence (or take some sort of plyometric class) at least once per week and do 3-4 days of high intensity cardio. I also do bi/tris on Saturdays on my own.
13. What do you do for a living?
I am a divorce and criminal defense attorney . I am also an adjunct professor at the Community College of Rhode Island where I teach courses in the Paralegal Studies Program.
14. What are your personal non-fitness goals?
My number one priority and most important job is being a great mom to my two boys, Robert and Shawn. They have been my motivation and greatest support system through college, law school, through the bar exam, in establishing my career and now in my fitness goals. I love being a lawyer and making a difference in peoples’ lives. Providing a great life for my children is my number one goal and being a great lawyer helps me do that!
15. Have you participated in any other sports?
I played soccer and softball as a kid.
16. Here you can mention your family/thank you’s.
First and foremost, I have to thank my kids for putting up with me through this process and my mom for always being there to help me achieve all of my goals. My coach, Kelly Palumbo, my trainer Dave Estrada, Dave Finelli, Crossfit Providence coaches Jerry Labonte and Joanne Pora all helped me achieve my fitness goals and helped me get stronger and stay on track. My cousin Steve Ortiz, Alyssa Cassino, my brother and sister in law who are driving up from Virginia to cheer me on, my assistant Brenda Reyes who put ups with me day in and day out and all of my friends who I bombarded with text messages and listened to me whine about all of the things I couldn’t eat.
17. Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy yoga, reading and traveling in my spare time. I already have a few vacations lined up for after the show!
18. What are challenges that you face that may keep you from reaching your fitness goals?
Time is always an issue when balancing a high stress career and children, but I always make time. Being fit and healthy is now a priority in my life and it sets a great example for my children.
19. What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are?
I became a mom at the tender age of 18 and was married not long after that. By the age of 22, I was a mom to two boys, a wife, a full time student and full time paralegal. Oh, and I owned a restaurant too! Maintaining a balanced life was never easy, but I somehow always managed. In my first year of law school, my ex-husband and I divorced. At the time, I was not sure how I would juggle everything on my own, but I did. My goal was to be a lawyer by the time I turned 30, and I did just that. I will never forget the smiles on my kids’ faces at my swearing in ceremony. They sacrificed more than anybody to watch me receive my license that day.