Health And Family

Beauties with a winning attitude

WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit - The Philippine Star

Beauty queens Cindy Madduma and Nancy Leonard each possess their own unique charm.  

Cindy is bubbly and outgoing with a positive energy as contagious as her smile is dazzling. The 5’7 stunner has a beach body and golden skin, which are gorgeous reminders of her home province Palawan. A nurse by profession, Cindy reigned as Ms. Global Philippines in 2014. 

Nancy is graceful and reserved, with flawless ivory skin set against hair as dark as ebony and a stunning smile. The Filipino-American beauty hails from Zamboanga where she won the regional pageant back in 2011. She was 2nd runner-up in Ms. Philippines Earth 2013, crowned Ms. Philippines Water, and later on promoted to Ms. Philippines Air.

Although their personalities and looks may be quite different, Cindy and Nancy have one thing in common — their determination to win. For these beauties, the desire to win pushed them to overcome insecurities and make sacrifices in order to bloom into the best that they could be. 

“You have to be dedicated and committed to do everything to win,” Cindy adds. A big part of their training was getting fit. Both girls amped up their exercise routines in preparation for their pageants. They let us in on health, happiness, and pageant prep: 

PHILIPPINE STAR: Were you ever fat or skinny? How did you overcome it?

CINDY MADDUMA: After college, I gained a little weight. I decided to lose weight because I had knee and ankle problems. I went on an all-fruit diet in Manila, but I did not work out right away. I noticed that I still wasn’t getting fit so I started doing intense workouts. I would spend around half a day in the gym and altered my diet.

NANCY LEONARD: When I was still joining local pageants in 2008–2009, I was a little chubbier. My handlers would tell me to go to the gym, but I was afraid I would become too skinny to compete. When I started joining national pageants, I became more conscious and realized I had to stay fit and exercise regularly. Working out is important and you really see improvements in your body.

What is your workout regimen?

CINDY: I usually do ab workouts and squats. I do 40-kilo squats, 25-pound crunches, and 30-pound side bends. I always try to push myself to the limit.

NANCY: At home, I do weights for my arms, crunches, lunges, and planks. I’ve also been going to the gym regularly since 2013 where the personal trainers help me out.

How important is being fit for a beauty pageant?

CINDY: Being fit helps because there are so many activities and it’s hard to withstand puyat and pagod (lack of sleep and fatigue) while wearing heels when you aren’t fit. It also improves your appearance. It helps improve your health, both physically and mentally. 

NANCY: As a beauty queen, one of my functions is to be a role model. Being fit helps me become a better role model because everyone wants to look at a model who’s fit and not flabby. People want to be represented by the best. You have to be fit to fit the role. 

What’s it like preparing for a beauty pageant?

CINDY: You spend many months preparing both your body and your mind. You have to have great mentality and health. You have to be dedicated and committed to do everything to win. You really put in a lot of effort and training on the catwalk and other things that could give you an edge in the competition. You also make a lot of sacrifices. I don’t eat rice and I take a lot of kamote (sweet potato)egg whites, and coffee without sugar. 

NANCY: People don’t actually know what we contestants have gone through and sacrificed. It’s a misconception that to join a national pageant, it’s enough to have a pretty face — there’s really a lot more to it. You have to be fit, protect your skin, face, and dignity as a woman. You need to go through personality development, learn to socialize and attend events. I had the hardest time with socializing. I was homeschooled and used to dread even just reporting in class. I had to develop my confidence. It was only when I moved to Manila that I really learned to mix and approach people at events.

What advice would you give to aspiring beauty queens?

CINDY: Always be comfortable with your own skin. We’re all beautiful, sexy, and have what it takes. Just trust yourself and trust God.

NANCY: You have to really know yourself. You have to know if you really want to join because you’re going to compete with a lot of beautiful women. You have to be willing to sacrifice opening your life to the public eye, especially with today’s social media. Nowadays, social media has a really great impact on a person’s life.

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Thanks to Raymond Saldana and Gold’s Gym for the photos used here.

Post me a note at mylene@goldsgym.com.ph or mylenedayrit@gmail.com.


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