I started competing in Figure in 2005. After talking about it and talking about it I finally decided that I needed to take some action! Through determination, discipline and dedication which God provided me with, I was blessed to become nationally qualified at my first competition the NPC 2005 John Sherman Classic. I was blessed once again in 2006 when I placed first at the NPC 2006 Ronnie Coleman Classic and went on to compete in the NPC Jr. Nationals in Chicago.
Diana Chaloux – Fitness Model Statistics
- Height: 5′ 7″
- Weight: Contest -124 lbs / Off Season -134 lbs
- Date of Birth: 8/18/77
- Bust: 36
- Waist: 27
- Hips: 36
- Hometown: St. Johnsbury, Vermont
- Current Residence: San Antonio, Texas
- Website: www.dianachaloux.com and www.destined2befit.com
Diana Chaloux – Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I have always been very passionate about the fitness industry. I became a certified personal trainer in 2002, now I am certified through ACE/AFAA and Fitness Professionals International. I am also a Wellcoach certified fitness coach, Nutrition Manager, published fitness columnist, NPC national level figure competitor and owner of the web based Destined 2 Be Fit based here in San Antonio, TX! I work with people online as their virtual personal trainer and aid them in reaching their fitness goals by developing healthy eating and exercise habits which can be maintained for life! After working in this field for a couple of years I decided I was ready to start competing in Figure. After placing first in my very first show in 2005 I became totally hooked on the thrill of competing and being on stage. I continued to compete through 2006 and that is more when I got into the fitness modeling aspect. I have to admit I love being in front of the camera: Now I am competing with the WNSO in their fitness model divisions. I will also be sanctioning a WNSO event here in Texas in 2008 as a matter of fact! I hope to continue to compete in figure and fitness modeling competitions and hope that my photos will serve as motivation and inspiration for others to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle!
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
The best thing about working in the fitness industry is being able to wake up every single day and absolutely LOVE what I do. Not only do I get to keep my body in tip top condition, I also have the opportunity to aid others in achieving their fitness goals. I love getting e-mails and messages from people who received a little bit of inspiration and motivation as a result of something that I wrote or a picture that they saw. I love it so much and I feel so blessed to work in this amazing industry every day.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
Two things actually, the first major accomplishment for me was training for and competing in Figure. That was a dream of mine for a long time. Winning my division and winning my division in my second show were the icing on the cake. Being featured in Oxygen’s Future of Fitness section was always a dream of mine as well, when that happened in June 2006 I was just giddy with delight. It made me realize that anything is possible if you set your heart to it. The second accomplishment was starting my own business, Destined 2 Be Fit. This was a dream of mine for years and to see my very own fitness DVD come to fruition was a huge deal for me! I can’t wait to watch my company continue to grow and flourish and we aid others in reaching their fitness goals and join in the ongoing battle against obesity which is plaguing our country.
What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
I researched photographers and contacted them directly via e-mail. I simply sent a quick note introducing myself along with a couple of pictures and let them know that I was available for shoots. Be sure to do your homework on photographers too, look for photo credits in your favorite magazines and find photogs that are reputable and have some type of website or place where you can view their work.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
My day starts off at 5 a.m. with a cardio session usually around 40-45 minutes in length. From there I go to work for a couple of hours ( I am also an in home personal trainer). I prepare my meals ahead of time and I make sure to eat every 2-3 hours, I eat 6 times per day and each meal is a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates that are right for my body. After training my morning clients I typically swing by the grocery store quickly to make sure I have fresh veggies for my evening meals. I spend a couple of hours in the mid-morning working from home and running my business Destined 2 Be Fit. Early afternoon is back to the gym for me to get in a round of strength training. I strength train usually 6 days a week and I split up my routines so I train one body part per day. I don’t spend a lot of time at the gym for strength training usually about 20-30 minutes, but I put a lot of effort into my workouts so I get the maximum results in the minimum time. I stretch on a daily basis usually this is post strength training or if I am in a rush it will be in the evening as I’m winding down for the day. After the gym I typically run some more errands or have a meeting with my business manager concerning Destined 2 Be Fit as well as upcoming projects that I am working on. I have a couple of evening clients so towards the end of the day I head to their homes to train them. Then it is dinner time and time to let my mind and body relax. I go to bed fairly early since I’m an early riser! I schedule photo shoots for the weekends when I don’t have to be rushed through a session for any reason. That is my day in a nutshell: Keep in mind that fitness is my job… it is my career… it is completely possible to live a fit and healthy lifestyle and achieve your fitness goals without having to go to the gym twice a day! Honestly 80% of your fitness success will come from providing your body with proper nutrition!
I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
Whatever cardio that you enjoy is the best cardio to do. If you are limited for time keep your intensity levels up throughout your session for maximum calorie burn. Interval training is a great way to get in a kick butt workout. Go at your max intensity for a set period of time such as 30 seconds or one minute, then go at a lower intensity to recover for a minute and repeat! I also like to throw plyometric movements into my workouts to add some intensity and get some extra cardio burn in. Some examples of these are jump squats, bench hops, sprints etc.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
First of all don’t focus on the scale. Your focus should not be on losing “weight” but on transforming your body and reducing your body fat percentage. A lot of times “weight loss” is simply from losing water weight and muscle weight especially if you are trying the latest greatest fad diet. Rather than fixating on the scale, break out the tape measure and measure your waist, hips, shoulders etc. Then see how your clothes start to fit better and see how these measurements start to change as you improve your eating and exercise habits. Safe, healthy and maintainable “weight” loss is approximately 1-2 pounds per week. Of course it is possible for the scale to say that you have lost more than this…. But just remember that if you have lost “weight” because you are on a restrictive diet or aren’t eating you are only losing valuable lean muscle tissue and water retention weight. As soon as you revert back to your old eating habits you will gain the weight back and since you have now lost muscle tissue your metabolism will be slower and you will probably gain back even more weight than you lost! Developing healthy and consistent exercise habits and making healthy eating choices at least 80% of the time is the only way to go for long term maintainable and healthy weight loss!
What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
You should be eating every 2-3 hours. It is important to refuel your body within 30-45 minutes for maximum muscle benefit. Be sure to eat a good combination of carbohydrates and protein. Protein shakes are a great option for a post workout meal. I blend mine with rice cakes or oatmeal so that I get a proper amount of carbohydrates as well! One of my favorite post workout meals is my mini protein breads which contain a stable protein powder (Any Whey), egg whites, oatmeal, splenda and cinnamon to flavor and water to mixed in to make a nice batter. I cook them for twenty minutes in mini bread pans and eat them immediately after my workouts. They are easy to carry too! When it comes to losing fat it is soooooo important to make eating clean a major priority. Whenever people ask me how I get my abs I tell them the plain and simple truth. It is my diet. There is no miracle exercise that will cause you to have a six pack, in truth everyone has a six pack it’s just you can’t see them on most people because they are covered by a layer of fat! To lose the fat be consistent, work hard and eat clean .
How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
First of all, don’t go on a diet… that implies that someday you are going to go “off” the diet and revert back to old eating habits. Instead develop healthy eating habits which you can maintain for life. Don’t tell yourself you “can’t” have something, you absolutely can but you have the power and the responsibility not to choose to eat things that will sabotage your fitness goals. If you have a craving for something that is “cheating” from your normal healthy eating routine then I say, have it, don’t overdo it but have some so that you kill the craving and don’t wait until you just can’t stand it and end up bingeing on mass quantities of something that will set you back a week or two! When you think of nutrition for the rest of your life desserts, special treats and even alcohol are all going to be a part of your lifestyle. They just shouldn’t be a major part, these treats and cheats should be limited to about around once a week and should be in moderation. There are plenty of ways to make healthier choices too when it comes to curing a sweet tooth. Fruit with splenda, sugar-free jello or pudding, lite whipped cream instead of ice cream are all ways to eliminate some calories and still have something sweet. Choose baked chips or soy crisps or rice cakes if you must have something that is crunchy but always consume these things in moderation. Don’t get a large bag of chips, just choose a small one and be done with it. If you are just starting out towards achieving your fitness goals my best advice is to start small! Each week set mini goals for yourself in regards to eating and exercise, stay consistent and eventually you will develop a fit and healthy lifestyle for yourself.
I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Tons of veggies of course, these can be fresh or frozen whatever is most convenient for your lifestyle. Canned veggies are also an option though they do typically have higher sodium and preservatives. Fruits should also be plentiful. Stock up on lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, egg whites, protein powder, fish, low-fat or non fat dairy products or beans. Healthy carbohydrates come from sweet potatoes, oatmeal, potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat cereals, whole grain products including breads and pastas. Read the labels on your products and be sure you are choosing items that do not contain anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. Stay away from anything that has high fructose corn syrup added to it too! Careful with products such as yogurt which can be loaded with sugar and high in calories, stick to no sugar added products. Look for grain products that are higher in fiber. Healthy fats can come from nuts, almonds, olive oil etc. Remember that though these are good fats they must be consumed in moderation because they are also high in calories! Read, read, read your labels! That is the best way to learn what you are putting in your body, soon grocery shopping will be a snap when you know the right foods to buy.
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
Start small! If you have never exercised start with about 10-15 minutes a day of walking or doing some type of cardio (it could even be dancing around your house!) Start making small changes to your eating habits, if you eat fast food twice a day limit yourself to once a day. If you drink 6 sodas a day drop it down to 4 sodas to start off with. Small, doable changes is the only way to go. Get with a personal trainer or buy a strength training DVD (you can order mine it’s perfect for the beginner!) so that you can start building some lean muscle mass. The most important thing is to start today, don’t put off your fitness goals for another moment! Don’t try to change everything all at once because you run a high risk of burning out or getting frustrated. It takes time to develop these new habits so give yourself a chance! Also it is important to uncover your own personal motivation for wanting to get in shape. What is your super “WHY”, what will it mean to you to achieve your fitness goals? How will you look? How will you feel? Why is it so important and why is now the time for you? Write these things down and post them in a place where you can be reminded of them on a daily basis. When temptation comes knocking you will have your motivation right there in front of you to help keep you on track!
I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
Don’t be afraid to modify your orders. That is the first and foremost most important thing! Choose restaurants that are going to have some healthy options available too. Obviously choose grilled items and ask how they are prepared, ask for everything with no butter added. Substitute unhealthy sides for a side salad or steamed veggies whenever possible. Always order dressings or sauces of any kind on the side and use them for dipping purposes only. Skip the appetizers and the bread (unless you decide to order an appetizer as your meal!). If the restaurant serves large portions have them box up half of your order before they even bring it to the table. Avoid dessert or if you MUST have some share it with a friend at least! Drink water, tea or coffee instead of sodas or sugared drinks. If you are ordering cocktails stick with wine or mixed drink with a diet soda or soda water. Steer clear of drinks such as margaritas or pina coladas! It is absolutely possible to eat healthy when you eat out, it’s just a matter of taking charge of your choices and not being afraid to ask for what you need!
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
I’m a big fan of compound exercises for all of the leg muscles. For the glutes in particular I like to do step ups, sumo squats with a barbell on my shoulders and dead lifts (but these are an advanced exercise I do not recommend them for beginners!) Remember when you are strength training it is important to train all of your muscles not just one particular area.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
I really enjoy staying in shape, I think it is only hard when I’m training for a competition as my workouts get quite a lot more intense and my diet is very strict. When I travel during a contest prep it takes a lot of time to make sure that I will have all the foods that I need at the appropriate time.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with egg whites and protein powder, Splenda and cinnamon to flavor
- Midmorning Snack: Shake with tofu, protein powder, rice cakes, flax seed, splenda and cinnamon
- Lunch: Sweet potato with turkey and vegetables
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: Oatmeal with turkey and flax seed
- Dinner: Huge plate of veggies which have been cooked in a skillet, with either chicken or turkey and a few almonds.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
I train one body part per day and choose 3-4 exercises per body part. I typically do 3-4 sets of each exercise. My training cycle looks like this usually:
- Monday – Back
- Tuesday – Chest and abs
- Wednesday – Shoulders
- Thursday – Triceps
- Friday – Biceps and abs
- Saturday – Legs
- Sunday – Rest
- Cardio Exercises: Stair climbing, elliptical, jogging, walking bike riding, hiking
Additional Training: Plyometrics at least one time per week usually on my leg day
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Eat clean, you won’t see muscle tone if you have a layer of fat over them!
2. Get plenty of cardio, again you have to burn the fat off to see your muscles.
3. Strength train on a consistent basis at the very minimum two days a week… preferably more like 3-4 days.
4. Train your body evenly, if you work the front be sure to work the back. Train your upper body, lower body and core so that your entire body is strong!
5. Fuel your body properly, especially after your workouts! Don’t waste your workout by starving your body after you are finished, get a good combination of protein and carbs right after your workout!
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eat clean – cut the sugary, fatty, greasy, high calorie foods from your diet!
2. Eat consistently – you need to fire up your metabolism and the best way to do that is to eat small meals consistently throughout the day.
3. Do plenty of cardio – if you are looking to lose body fat you need to do plenty of cardio, keep your intensity levels up and stay consistent! Mix up your cardio too, don’t do the same thing all the time or your body will adapt to it, become efficient at doing it and as a result burn fewer calories.
4. Strength train – you will develop lean muscle tissue which increases your metabolism and helps you to burn body fat more efficiently. You will also develop toned muscles which you will be able to see when you are eating clean and doing your cardio consistently!
5. Be patient – It takes time to develop the body of your dreams. If you go on a crash diet you are setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Make the commitment to consistent healthy eating and exercise choices and the body you desire will be yours soon enough.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Eat clean – Yes I know it is the number one tip for EVERYTHING! You’ve got to fuel your body properly with the right amount of protein and carbohydrates in order to build muscle.
2. Eat enough! Your body can’t gain muscle if it is in a calorie deficit.
3. Don’t be afraid or lifting heavier weights. Ladies this is especially for you! You will not gain big bulky muscles by strength training!
4. Challenge yourself – avoid plateaus by changing your workouts regularly so that your body doesn’t get accustomed to the same routine.
5. Be consistent with your training, you can start to lose muscle mass within a few short days if you skip out on your training!
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Identify your fitness motivators – figure out what will keep you going when faced with temptation
2. Keep pictures and reminders of your motivators around you so that you can see them on a daily basis.
3. Set goals and deadlines for yourself then you will be less likely to put off your workout or healthy eating habits.
4. Surround yourself with positive role models and people who are going to encourage you and not try to sabotage your fitness goals. Share your goals with your family and friends and let them know how important they are to you and how you would like their support!
5. Reward yourself and celebrate when you accomplish your mini goals. Don’t reward yourself with food! Find other ways to make yourself feel good, perhaps a massage or a new outfit that you can now fit into! Let fitness be fun for you!
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: Back – 3 sets of each usually 8-10 reps or until muscle fatigue or failure: Pull Ups, Seated Rows with several different grips, One armed rows, Lat Pull Downs
- Tuesday: Chest – 3 sets of usually 8-10 reps or until muscle fatigue or failure: Push ups, Chest press (incline and decline), Dumbbell chest press on exercise ball, chest flyes
- Wednesday: Shoulders – Same sets and reps as above: Lateral raise drop sets with dumbbells, Upright row with EZ Curl bar, Overhead press, Front raise and reverse flyes.
- Thursday: Triceps – Same sets and reps as above: Tricep Dips, Tricep press down, Overhead cable pull tricep extension, lying on bench or ball skullcrushers.
- Friday: Biceps – Same sets/reps: Barbell curls, alternating dumbbell curls, Free motion hammer grip curls, Dumbbell curls drop sets. Abs – Reverse curls and regular curls on exercise ball, planks
- Saturday: Legs – 3 sets of each with plyometric movements in between. Lunges with barbell on shoulders (plyometric lunges), Step ups with Dumbbells in hand (bench hops), Leg Press (Jump Squats), Dead Lift (Side to side bench hops)
- Sunday: Rest
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?
1. Eat clean – you’ll never see your six pack if you don’t eat clean
2. Cardio – The BEST ab exercise is the treadmill (or your cardio machine of choice) we all have a six pack you just can’t see it when it’s covered up by fat!
3. Eat clean – Can’t say it enough
4. Cardio – Seriously I think I’m sensing a pattern here!
5. Strength train – you don’t need to train your abs everyday to get a six pack, treat them as any other muscle group and be sure that they get sufficient times to rest. Choose 3-4 core training exercises (be sure to work the obliques, abs and lower back) and perform 2-3 sets of these 1 -2 times per week. Don’t waste your time doing tons of AB crunches you would be better off spending that time doing cardio OR heading to the grocery store to be sure you healthy foods available to you!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Eat clean – Nutrition is 80% of the battle! There is NO SUCH thing as spot reducing! When you start to lose weight there is no way to tell your body to lose it in a certain spot!
2. Be consistent! As I stated above since you can’t tell your body where to lose the weight from you MUST be consistent with your training. Eventually your body will start to use fat stores from the places that you want it to it just will take some time!
3. Cardio – Again you’ve got to burn off that fat in order to have lean and toned legs.
4. Strength train – This way you develop toned muscles and also you will increase your amount of lean muscle mass as well as boost your metabolism.
5. All I can say is… you guessed it….. eat clean!