If you don’t care what I’m watching, eating or doing at the moment then scroll to the bottom for the rest of the set. I hope you’ll read though. :P
I’m excited to begin modelling again next week after a long writing-related absence! I have now set up a second blog (yes, really. I’ll tell you more soon!) and finished writing two stories for inclusion in two separate anthologies. (I’ve been a busy lady over here!) ;)
I’ve also had time to catch up on some shows and books I never had the time to look at. (Including True Blood- thankyou so much to the wonderful person who sent me series 1. Mail me with your address and I’ll send you a thankyou card!) At the moment, I’m watching a lot of documentaries and TED talks. I hate the name “TED talks”- it stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design but sounds like a cutesy childs’ book about a morally-upstanding stuffed bear. Still, the talks are fascinating- from how the brain works, to fetishes and phobias, to art interpretation.
Here are some on my favourite ones, in case you are interested!
– Underwater cave diving!
– We only hear one story
– Do schools kill creativity?
Even if I didn’t have a diary, I’d know it’s January as I get a rise in personal messages around this time- I’m most often asked how to get into modelling and what my fitness regime is as a curvy woman. I’ve set up a FAQ page for the first question but I’m going to talk about the second one here:
I can’t find any pictures of me wearing yoga pants, laughing and eating salad so instead have a giant selection of toffee apples.
If you Google “what do models…” it will predict that the next word is ‘eat’. (Or ‘really eat’, ‘do’, eat to stay skinny’, or ‘do to work out’). Well, I’ve seen some models eat burgers and fries, others have a very healthy diet with treats allowed, others eat virtually nothing while chugging black coffee and sugar water. (Okay, that was one other- but we all know that’s common in the fashion industry, which I’m glad I’m not part of.)
My point is that models diets are ridiculously varied. If you want to get fit, check out lifestyle tips from personal trainers and dieticians instead. Fitness and health is their business after all! :)
I’m naturally very curvy and do not put on muscle easily. I zoom around the planet almost constantly and due to a severe (but manageable) phobia of vomiting, I find eating food in unfamiliar places stressful. You may have a different lifestyle which my way of life would not suit so this advice is mostly for the curious. Still, here is what THIS model eats and does to exercise:
1) My fitspiration
Getting a lean thin body is unattainable for me without a starvation diet and surgery to minimise my curves, so it’s pointless for me to want one! Instead, my ‘fitspiration’ pictures are of curvy toned women so I’m not setting myself up for failure before I even pick the weights up. I hate working out so do short bursts of weights, long walks and yoga/contortion practice. I would be doing martial arts but that doesn’t work with modelling! ;)
– If you have inspiration pictures of the way you would like to look, think about whether they are attainable. If they aren’t, forget them and find better ones. :)
– Look at the ridiculous DVD cover below. I am sure the exercises DO help tone your stomach but you will not get results like this. The ‘before’ picture is an unflattering candid shot of her leaning forward and not sucking in. The ‘after’ picture is studio-lit, posed and retouched. You CAN lose weight and tone up if you would like to, but you can’t spot-reduce fat. Also, if you add muscle, you are likely to put on weight rather than losing it. Look at the way your clothes fit, not the scales and not this stupid DVD!
2) Starting again
I had a ‘fitness fresh start’ a year ago and booked a consultation with Juliette of Bareskin Beauty to give me a starting point to work from. Juliette specialises in holistic* skincare and nutrition , so I told her everything there is to know about my lifestyle and diet! In return, she gave me a fantastic plan full of advice. While treatments can be expensive this is an investment in the body that needs to last a lifetime, very worth it and I would highly recommend her.
* Treating the body as a whole unit rather than a bunch of separate symptoms.
Advice: If you’re feeling ‘all at sea’, it is worth asking for professional help and support to give you a kickstart.
I also asked Juliette what her top tips are for staying healthy, and here they are!
“I passionately believe that skin and hair vitality comes from within, so nourish the body and you will glow like a goddess from the inside out.
1) If you make one change this year to your diet, eat a rainbow of raw plant-based foods (aka phytonutrients) every day. These sources of antioxidants also contain vitamin C for collagen and elastin production, vitamin A (retinol) for cell health, and sulphur for strong connective tissue.
2) Your digestive system is like the soil that your hair and skin grow in; if the soil isn’t healthy, the plants won’t bloom properly. For perfect health we need a 80:20 split of good and bad bacteria.
21st Century living strips the body of good bacteria and allows bad bacteria to reign supreme leading to a host of health issues and skin concerns. Re-populate the gut with good bacteria by eating and drinking probiotic foods. My favourites include green leafy vegetables, sea vegetables and raw milk. I also take probiotic supplements.
3) Fat is Good! We cannot absorb and utilise nutrients without eating omega 3 fats, which are vital for a healthy brain, heart, nervous system, digestive system, and at a cellular level for effective and healthy cell division. Foods naturally rich in omega 3 fatty acids include dark green leafy vegetables, raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax seeds, free-range eggs. Healthy foods naturally rich in flavonoids include lettuce, cherries and raw chocolate!
4) Processed sugar is the most ageing substance on the planet; it binds with collagen and elastin molecules and literally sucks the life force out of them, reducing the structure and elasticity of your skin. Age and liver spots are formed when sugar and collagen react repeatedly over time. Natural forms of sugar that work in synergy with the body include: raw honey, yacon root syrup, green stevia, dried figs or other dried fruits.
5) I recommend a 6-week trial of a gluten-free diet that excludes wheat, rye, and barley to restore vitality and clear skin. The gluten-containing form of grains that are available today have been so interfered with by the food industry, that the body cannot digest and metabolise them, leading to chronic internal inflammation that will manifest as poor skin and hair loss.
There you go!
We’re human and Krispy Kreme exists so don’t beat yourself up for eating badly occasionally but the more you try to keep a consistently good diet, the less you crave processed things. At least, that’s my experience.
Here’s a no-make-up-selfie of me on my way to a shoot
3) What I eat
I experiment with food as much as I can and know that carbs like pasta and bread make me bloat if I eat them too often, so my carbs mostly come from lentils and beans (which give me extra protein too). I eat a tonne of fruit and veg (at least six portions a day) and am mostly pescetarian (no meat except for fish). I drink as much water as I possibly can, am a herbal tea wizard and my favourite treats are coffee ice cream, tortellini and pizza with loads of garlic oil and mozzarella.
– ‘Superfoods’ are expensive and once they’ve had their 15 minutes of fame, they’re shoved aside in favour of the new miracle food. We all know fruit and veg are healthy so don’t worry if they’re super. Bright colours- kale, berries (you can buy frozen ones cheaply), spinach, bell peppers etc are all good and you can make a lot using chopped tomatoes as a base.
– Don’t cook veg for too long! It turns to the tasteless mush of school dinner nightmares
– Drink water- it keeps your skin cells plump and hydrated and helps your immune system flush out the bad stuff.
Om nom nom
I try to stick to dark chocolate and fruit and when I cut out other sugars, my tastebuds changed. I now find when I do allow myself to eat anything I want, I don’t want sugary things so much as bread rolls and pate or cheese! Sure, cheese isn’t amazing for me but it’s better than an entire bag of jellybeans.
Advice: Do what you feel works for you- this is just my way. :)
5) Saving money
For me, the early months are full of expenditures so I save money in any way I can. Food (especially protein) can be expensive!
– buy versatile food like carrots rather than cucumber. You can eat carrots hot or cold, as a snack or in a main meal. Same with celery and bell peppers.
– I’m hugely against factory farming animals so if I can’t buy free range meat for the rare occasions I eat it then I won’t buy meat at all. Tofu, free range eggs, lentils and beans are all high in protein and a lot cheaper than a steak.
– Most things can be eaten after their sell-by date. Due to my phobia, I won’t go more than a day or two and not at all with fish, but check the reduced aisles for things approaching their date and freeze them if you can for later.
Free stuff from the orchard! :D
The above was mostly to satisfy the curious about the way I eat and exercise. I’m not a fitness professional and modelling has made me appreciate beauty in a wide variety of forms so…..
One last piece of advice: Always check your spices- garam masala looks a LOT like cinnamon and does not taste as nice in coffee. I speak from personal experience. *shudder*…
So I did a shoot last year wearing Piranha Latex Couture and I was waiting to an occasion to post the pictures!
Photographer wishes to remain mysterious but has given me permission to post these images… unedited!! Perfect for a blog about natural beauty.
I also shot some vintage-style and nudes!
Time for an Irish Cream latte, I think! ;)