To those reading this, and who are meeting me for the first time, let me introduce myself. My name is Chinweoke Asagwara; many people call me Chinwe, and even more people, lovingly, call me Chi. I come from a large family; I have 4 siblings in total with 2 older sisters, a twin sister and a younger brother. My mother and father emigrated from Nigeria to Winnipeg over 30 years ago. I grew up outside the city in St. Norbert in a Nigerian influenced home. This cultural influence mainly came from food as my mother cooked traditional Nigerian meals throughout my childhood. The essence of these meals, traditions and values were all instilled in me from an early age and they continue to seep into my daily life today.
I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer. I share my expertise in nutrition to not only help my clients improve their health status, but also to increase their nutritional knowledge, and to enrich their health, wellness and emotional connection with food. Food is deeply engrained in social relationships, culture, family, friends and love. I feel this aspect of food and nutrition cannot be ignored. On the other spectrum, I also teach my clients to strengthen their bodies by learning to incorporate exercise as a natural part of their everyday lives.
I want to connect with all of you on a personal level, and my new blog, Just Being Chi, is my way to do just that. People often ask me how I got into fitness competitions as a physique competitor, and where my passion for fitness and nutrition stems from. I can’t say that I ever really thought I would be drawn to bodybuilding in the ways of a sport. Rather, it has been a series of life events and relationships that have brought me to this point in my fitness career. I decided to start my blog to finally answer these questions and share why I am so passionate about fitness and nutrition.
The truth is I have not always loved my body. At times I hated my athletic build. I think back to when I was in elementary school when I was teased by boys, who called me ‘man arms’ (which led to many summers of long sleeve shirts and hoodies no matter how hot it got). Even today I stop and consider the way my arms will look in certain clothing…it’s amazing how words can stay with you for a lifetime. Moving on to high school where I embraced my athletic side and played group sports; I felt good about my abilities. I had coaches who encouraged me and taught me how to improve my skills, and I felt proud of my body back then. Next up was the real world of university. I stopped playing group sports and focused on school. Looking for the active living in my life I started going to the gym, specifically, the weight room. I had many feelings of insecurity when I started, which was of course a normal feeling. It was at that time when I found Oxygen Magazine, a women’s fitness magazine that displayed fit and strong female bodies. I loved the content I saw in those pages. I wanted that for myself, and that is when I signed up for my first fitness modeling competition. While it took immense amount of dedication and hard work to change my body, I was able to do it. After the first time I was on stage, I was hooked. I built muscle, improved my strength and confidence. I learned how important weight training is to a balanced training program. Seeing how my abilities in the gym improved from my hard work, created motivation to continue with my training.
My nutrition continues to play a crucial role in getting my physique stage-ready. At times the diet I follow can be restrictive, which is something I struggled with as a Registered Dietitian. I felt I should hide this side of who I am and my sport, out of fear of being judged for this decision. I now know that the decision to compete and the diet plan that is typically followed is a choice and educated decision I make for myself. And I believe it gives me a greater knowledge for my clients who want to make physical changes to their own physiques. As a Registered Dietitian and physique competitor I can help them find a realistic, maintainable balanced approach to this goal.
So who is Chi? I am a physique competitor, a Personal Trainer, a Dietitian, coffee addict, chocolate lover, baker and self proclaimed chef, a sister, daughter and friend. I have learnt that I should not hide any one side of myself,f but rather embrace them all and just be me.
I look forward to sharing more of my life with you through all things food, fitness and fun right here on my blog, so stay tuned!
Until next time
In Good HEALth,