We had the good fortune of connecting with Christianne Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christianne, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I actually don’t love using the word “balance” alone. Primarily because of its implications, especially for women, that one needs to simultaneously and effectively juggle multiple things in life: work, family, hobbies, relationships, self care, passion projects, etc. I just don’t believe true balance exists for most people, especially those like me. Not that its impossible to try or achieve, but rather why would we want to?
Instead I like to think of approaching life with a “dynamic balance,” in that there is an ebb and flow with all the aspects, demands and elements that FILL UP life, take space in our days and consume our most precious resources: attention, energy and time.
There are days when work will get most of our resources. Then there are the weeks when family does. Perhaps there’s even a whole season to hand over to a passion project. So balance becomes a dynamic shifting of resources in and out of all the pieces. For passionate people like yours truly, the ability to spread it all out among everything, on any given day, is just not feasible.
Especially when my boys were younger, I felt guilty spending time away from them – be it teaching classes when it was bedtime or working on weekend mornings when they had playdates. I tend to dive in and give 100% of myself to projects, work and people. I can’t be fully mom, creator, wife, and competitive athlete every single day or even week of the year. SACRIFICES HAPPEN. I can’t help it! Its who I am. Coming to this understanding was like gifting myself forgiveness and was one of my best lessons of 2021.
This past year in particular I decided to compete in a bikini bodybuilding competition (I did two and won my pro card at the second!). It was far and above one of the most demanding undertakings I’ve voluntarily embarked on, both in terms of time but also physical and emotional energy and attention. There was no balance in those last few months of prep, trust me!
But the experience truly helped me, and my family, understand what it is to have a passionate person as a parent (my husband is much the same); how the commonly held concept of balance, just doesn’t work for us. It also taught us that being disciplined, devoted and passionate far outweigh any attempts of balance in daily life. In the end, we accept that there is a “season” for everything – so the balance dynamically shifts and everything is temporary. There is sacrifice, sure, but the dynamic balance more than makes up for it down the road.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m a recipe creator, content creator, freelance chef and recently became an IFBB Professional Bikini Bodybuilder! I came into all of this “later” in life, after a career working in production and fitness, so that certainly sets me apart. I’m proud of all my delicious creations of course, but more so that my work reaches other people’s kitchens and in some way nourishes them. I’m also pretty proud of having turned pro as a bikini bodybuilding competitor after competing in only two shows, with just 6 months of prep and at age 47!
Both food and fitness are my passions and blending them together in a lifestyle / cookbook that will be published this year is extremely exciting to me. The book is going to have all my favorite recipes, but also short “essays” on all things that I’m passionate about: aging strongly, living a nourished life and homemade happiness.
Getting to this stage was certainly not easy. The biggest challenge for me is definitely dealing with myself, my insecurities, my doubts and fears failure. I don’t necessarily “overcome” these issues, but rather I accept them, work through negative thoughts and lean into my inner strength and purpose. Also, I wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of my family and friends, especially my husband, that’s a fact!
Its taken me a long time to get my first book done because of all the other life commitments and circumstances: training, kids, cooking projects, family and writing. Time management and organization are my superpowers, so I rely on those heavily to get it all done. And sometimes it doesn’t and that’s ok. I have a few mantras, but one of them is “Be easy on yourself” because I am SO freaking hard on myself.
I’ve learned too many lessons along the way:
stick to plan A because plan B sucks;
follow passion even if it hurts;
life is a dynamic balance with no equilibrium, so learn to love it;
moderation isn’t for everyone so hit em with a little bit of crazy, hit em with a lot bit of love.
I want whoever is reading this to know that my love language is service. While I follow my passions and my priority will always be my family, ultimately I want to share and spread my strength, my lessons, my stories, my food and my love an effort to have some small but meaningfully positive impact on others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Here are a few of my top spots for out of town besties:
Eat: I’m sorry but I have to say my house. We have the most incredible dinner parties on the water in our backyard. We have a wood burning oven and a custom grill both that my husband built, originaly intended for our restaurant. We do insane pizzas, meats and gorgeous vegetables and let the vino flow. I have a few select clients for whom I curate and chef private dinner here. Its very special, unique and of course, delicious.
When I’m not cooking I love going for sushi: Kosushi, Uchi, Blue Ribbon, Makoto, Azabu and Oshi Thai. I cannot WAIT to try Sexy Fish in Brickell so that would be on the schedule. I also love Mediterranean food so Doya and Mandolin Aegean in Design District. My two favorite Italian spots are Casa Isola and Macchialina both in Miami Beach.
Drinks would happen at the new Margot Natural Wine Bar, Broken Shaker or Jaguar Sun X Gilda
I love walking and talking with friends, so I’d take my visitors on early morning sunrise and/or sunset walks on the beach or Venetian causeway. From the causeway I also like to walk over the bridge into Miami, check out the Perez Art Museum and walk along the water in the park. In the other direction, we’d meander over into Wynwood to check out all the street art. I could spend hours going from one incredible block to another marveling at new murals and the coolest art at every turn.
I adore the energy of the Design District and, of course, the shopping. So we’d definitely hit that neighborhood, find some retail therapy and get our nails done at Vanity Projects.
Ditto with Sunset Harbor! Its such a community vibe there and super close to where I live, so I’d take them for coffee at Panther, a workout in one of the boutique fitness studios in the area, we’d get a treatment and shop at my favorite beauty destination, Gee Beauty and end up at Casa Isola for some serious Italian comfort food (by my boy Chef Santo)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would humbly love to recognize a few family and friends for my story.
First and foremost family is everything: I am so grateful for my husband Sebastian and our twin teenage boys, Orlando and Diago. They have supported my journey and helped me pursue passion. They are my why and my world.
I am also so incredibly fortunate to have both a coach and trainer by my side in my road to compete. Thank you from my whole hear to:
Nikki Giacara, who is a friend, competition AND posing coach. There is no way I would have done this without her. She understands fully that I need to be a human being first, and then a competitor. She expertly guided me through a process and we both came out the other end winning as a team.
Diego Buendia, who doesn’t just train me day to day, but also trains my hubby and kids (occasionally)! He is way more than a personal trainer, but is a part of our family. He pushes me like no other, listens to me, puts up with my bs during peak week but most importantly, understands my drive better than most do.