Maria is an Olympic gymnast, nutritional coach, and public speaker. She was the Central American champion 1986-88, the only female gymnast in the Pan Am Games (Indianapolis 87) to have competed in four event finals, and the first Central American gymnast to have competed in Olympic games (Seoul 88).
Maria left Guatemala City and moved to the USA when she turned 12 to train at a leading gymnastic academy in Houston, TX. Maria suffered an extensive injury and after surgery and recovery she competed four more years, until her retirement.
After gymnastics, Maria Ines took up cheerleading and karate, competing in both but not at the level of gymnastics. She also coached gymnastics for three years and delivered balance beam clinics in Guatemala City, Austin, TX, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Maria Ines graduated from Francisco Marroquin University with a BA in Business Management and obtained her MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. She worked in Marketing, Business Consulting, and then founded a bilingual staffing company. She also taught Leadership and Organizational Development at Francisco Marroquin University and Universidad del Istmo (UNIS).
Having suffered from binge eating disorder as a result of extreme dieting and high levels of pressure when she was an athlete, Maria Ines faced body image issues ad struggled with her weight in her post-gymnastics years. She eventually created a system for implementing nutrition and lifestyle changes and turning them into habits, which led her to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, great performance, and eliminate all stress around food.
After 20 years in marketing, management, and consulting, she did a complete shift to Nutrition and Health, obtained her Certification in Nutritional Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York, and founded Let’s Be Fit Today, whose mission is to help young athletes incorporate nutrition and lifestyle changes to boost their health, performance, and confidence.
Maria Ines has been active in Nutrition Education in Central America and the USA, delivering engaging presentations and workshops at schools, athletic clubs, not-for-profits, youth ministry groups, associations, and universities. She is passionate about helping young athletes, kids, and teenagers harness the power of nutrition to feel and perform at their very best while enjoying stress-free, healthy eating, and a positive body image.
Maria Ines lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband, Roberto Bonilla, a two-time Olympic swimmer, and their four children, all of whom practice competitive sports. Her son, Roberto Bonilla Flores, is a Junior-Pan-American Games medalist in the 400m IM, 200m Breaststroke, and 200m Butterfly.
Maria Ines volunteers with The Woodlands Rotary Club and TWST Swim Team. She enjoys long walks, strength training, reading, and being outdoors.