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Kristina Moore, left, competes in the Figure category in the ICN Great Lake Classic. Photo: ROB CAVEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Building body confidence on national stage

A mum-of-three who lost her athletic identity after damaging both her achilles tendons is now breaking barriers and redefining perceptions in the world of bodybuilding.
Kristina Moore, who lives in Katikati but works for Hauraki District Council in Paeroa, is a 47-year-old mum and a competition-winning bodybuilder.
She recently competed in the ICN Great Lake Classic, winning the women’s bodybuilding category and qualifying for the New Zealand Nationals this October.
But it’s nothing she could’ve ever envisioned for herself back in 2021.
“A lot women may have sporting backgrounds, but they kind of put things on the back-burner after they’ve had kids, and they gain weight, and life just carries on until there’s a specific moment that makes them think: ‘I actually wouldn’t mind spending a bit of time on myself’.

“I used to be a runner and damaged both my achilles,” she said, “and since I was a die-hard runner, I thought: ‘If I can’t run, I can’t do anything’.”
Kristina said she ended up weighing more than 100kg and suffered from health conditions such as fibromyalgia and herniated disks.
When a colleague encouraged her to take part in a free gym class, she said she was embarrassed to show up because she knew the gym owner from school.
“He only ever knew me as being really fit,” she said. “I did the class and just went really hard and I ended up in the gutter throwing up. Two days later, I joined the gym.”
Kristina then discovered the world of bodybuilding, but she only started competing on the national stage in September, 2022, after a postponement caused by Covid-19.

She said her perception of the sport changed completely after learning that female bodybuilders didn’t have to wear high heels while competing.
“True women’s bodybuilding is dying, and the perception is that you can’t be beautiful – that you’re like a man if you’re wearing bare feet – but it’s not like that,” she said.
“You can still be glamorous and wear the jewellery and a bikini like everybody else – you just don’t wear shoes.”
Kristina’s children – aged 19, 18, and 13 – all support her while she’s on stage, which she says makes a big difference. And not only has she lost weight – she was 58kg while competing on May 27 – she has also built up her confidence.
“Over time, when you start training, your confidence will build. You see women out there who have cellulite, who have stretch marks… they’ve got everything that a woman gets after they’ve had children, and it’s part of being a woman,” she said.
“Nobody goes out there absolutely perfect… and the tan covers a lot.”
Qualifying for the New Zealand nationals means Kristina will now mentally and physically prepare for the October 14 event, and that includes training and practising posing for at least two hours a day, six days a week.
She also has to maintain a strict diet.
“I never, ever dreamed I would do this. I always had a perception that [bodybuilding] was just for butch women, and now I look back and realise that was me, uneducated,” she said.
“I am proud of myself. My kids all came and watched me compete, and I could hear them saying ‘go mum!’ in the background.
“It’s really cool to have the support of your family.”