Fawnia is a fitness model, dance instructor, writer and actress. She is also co-producer and presenter of a soon to be released new fitness show, Fawnia & Friends. Since 1998 Fawnia has self produced several instructional dance videos and has appeared on the cover of numerous fitness magazines. With Fawnia’s experience as a competitive bodybuilder in 1999, placing first in the Muscle & Fitness Mania (women’s lightweight), she enjoys providing tips on nutrition, training and motivation to help others.
Fawnia Mondey – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Fawnia Mondey
- Height: 5’4
- Weight: 120
- Hair Color: Blonde with brown low lights
- Bust: 35
- Waist: 24
- Hips: 34
- Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Website: www.officiallyfawnia.com
Fawnia Mondey – Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
Since I was very young I had wanted to model. Since 1994 I have been modeling in various areas, but it wasn’t until 1998, when in one of the first issues of Oxygen Magazine there was an article on how to break into the modeling business. It listed the photographers to contact and what to send them. I had submitted my images, bio and resume to all of them and two replied with interest. At this time, having very little money I was not able to travel to LA where one was located. In 2003 I entered a model search contest, and as luck would have it, the photographer that I contacted in 1998 owned the model search. I won, and was flown to Los Angeles for my first photo shoot with a fitness photographer.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I love that I am motivated to take care of my health while motivating others to take better care of theirs. Working in other fields such as social worker, dental, or banks, don’t required you to workout and eat healthy. I am so thankful to have found myself in a place where I feel that I belong.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
As a model, in 2003 I was on the March cover of Muscle Magazine International. As a competitor, in 1999 I placed first in bodybuilding, and in 2005 places 1st in Figure, winning the British Columbia Championships. I have also self produced a workout DVD entitled, Making Fitness Fun.
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 have tried using an agency and from that I received one call. The lack of response may have been because I was in Vancouver, BC Canada and the agency was in Florida. I suggest mailing your photos to the photographers of the magazines because they are in direct contact with the editors on a regular basis. Often photographers may have other projects on the side they may be looking for new faces for.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
Lately I have been rising around 9:30am. I will do email for a couple of hours before training clients at The Rock Spa (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino). Then it’s time to run errands, and train (weights & cardio). From 5:30 – 8:30 I teach pole dancing, then return home and answer emails, and write. Bedtime is between 1am – 3am.
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?
To burn serious calories in one hour I suggest doing something you normally wouldn’t do, such as a cardio kick boxing class, or join me for a pole fitness class! If classes are not for you, try 30 min on the Jacobs ladder.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I suggest aiming for a weight loss of 1 – 2 pounds per week.
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?
If your workout consists of cardio in the morning it’s often believed that doing your workout before your first meal will aid your fat loss efforts. Fueling your body before and after your training is very important. When you are training with weights always eat a meal within 1 – 2 hours of your workout and again within 60 minutes following your training. Consuming foods which are closest to their natural state as possible will ensure that you are getting the most nutrients with the least additives. Example: oatmeal and eggs, or sweet potatoes/rice and chicken/fish.
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.
It’s important to know that it’s normal to crave something sweet or salty, which ever your preference is, every once in a while. What matters is that you are aware of your cravings and understand why you are having them. It could simply be that you have been eating clean for weeks and need a change, or are dealing with something that is affecting you emotionally. I believe that it’s healthy to permit yourself to enjoy a serving size of something you really enjoy. Remember to keep your treat to a portion that will simply satisfy your craving, and that you can have this same treat again in a couple of weeks. Whether you call them ‘treat meals’ or ‘cheat meals’, these meals can actually benefit your training in that you satisfy your craving and move on. Just remember that you can always have these foods again, but after you put more time towards reaching your goals.
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?
For your carbohydrates, I suggest including: Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes/ Yams, Brown/Wild Rice. For your protein, I suggest: Chicken, Fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Halibut, Orange Roughy, Snapper, and Tilapia. Veggies: Green Beans, Broccoli, Edamame, Spinach, and Asparagus.
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?
1. Write down your goals and be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” A good example may be “To lose ten pounds by May 1st”. When we write down our goals, they become more realistic and easier to achieve, because they are more than just a random thought.
2. Write down what you are going to do to reach that goal. An example is: “I will lift weights and do cardio four times each week, and eat more protein.” Having a plan is like a having a map, and it will make your goal more attainable. Talk to a fitness expert at your gym, or begin reading magazines to learn more about how to reach your goals.
3. Take a “before” photo of yourself today! This way you will be able to see exactly what you look like. Many of us don’t want to have our photo’s taken, but we need to face our physical selves straight on. Keeping the camera hidden is not going to hide the weight; it may only make your situation worse.
4. Get your body composition done, so you know your starting point. Every six months, having your body composition done is very helpful. When we are trying to gain or lose weight, the scale is not the best way to track our progress. The results from a composition tells us what kind of weight we are gaining or losing, and what we are made of today.
5. Eat 5 – 6 small meals a day, every three hours. When we eat often, our metabolism speeds up, and we burn more calories at rest. We also think better, have less stress, and have more energy. Since our bodies can utilize only so many calories at one time, eating more often and in smaller portions is the ONLY way to eat.
6. Begin a training program that consists of basic weights and cardio. One method is to train your upper body on day one for about 30 minutes, followed by 30 min of cardio. On day two, train your lower body with weights, followed by 30 min of cardio. Rest of day three, and then repeat. Ask for a free consultation at your gym, as many gyms will offer a free session with a personal trainer to help you begin. Ask all the questions you can.
7. Have patience. Remember that it took you months or years to put the weight on, so you need to be patient and stay dedicated to yourself in taking the weight off.
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?
This is a very common question so know that you are not alone. Many people feel that if they are choosy while eating out, their friends will bug them. I say, eat what you want and let them eat what they want. It’s really this simple. Once you are past this issue, you can choose foods that you know are healthy choices. Granted you are not vegetarian, you should be able to choose a lean protein source such as chicken or fish. For your carbohydrate source, choose rice or potato, with a side of greens or a green salad with vinegar and oil for dressing. This is the perfect meal for someone who cares about their appearance and health.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
For resistance training I recommend doing squats, lunges, hip extension, and deadlifts. For cardio I recommend the Stairmaster or stair climber, and walking on the treadmill at a high incline.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
For me the most challenging part about trying to stay in shape is to avoid injury. From the years in the gym and teaching dancing, I am starting to experience slight problems with my knees and shoulders. In the past my challenge was to learn how to balance my schedule with the demands of meal preparation, work, training clients and myself, and teaching dance.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: ½ cup of oatmeal, with 4 egg whites and one full egg.
- Mid-Morning Snack: ¾ of a Trioplex bar, ½ apple
- Lunch: ½ cup of rice, 1 ½ chicken breasts, and asparagus.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: ½ cup of rice, 1 ½ chicken breasts, and green beans.
- Dinner: A large salad with 1 ½ chicken breasts or orange roughy fish, and greens such as asparagus, or green beans.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
Strength Training Exercises:
- Legs: Smith machine squats, lunges, leg press, light leg extension, hack squat, seated and standing calf raises, donkey calf raises, and butt blasts.
- Back: chin-ups, lat pull down, cable rows, one arm dumbbell rows, reverse grip pull downs, and bent over row.
- Chest: Incline dumbbell presses, seated machine press, and free motion cable flies.
- Shoulders: Seated machine press, dumbbell press, dumbbell and cable flies, up right row.
- Biceps: Barbell curls (straight and ez curl), dumbbell curls, and cable curls.
- Triceps: Push downs, bar and cable skull crushers, dips, and overhead press.
- Abdominals: Reverse crunches off a bench, regular and side crunches on a ball or matt.
Cardio Exercises: I love interval training on the treadmill by walking at a high incline 10.0, and jogging with a 2.0 incline. I also really enjoy skipping rope, and the StairMaster 7000PT.
Additional Training: I teach 6+ hours of pole fitness a week.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Train your arms 2 times a week, for the first four weeks try training them on the same day doing your triceps first, then your biceps, with a rep range of 12 – 20. Next four weeks, train them with another part such as biceps with back and triceps with chest.
2. Use three or four exercises for your triceps and three or four exercises for your biceps. Rest no longer then 60 seconds between sets.
3. For your biceps try barbell curls (straight and ez curl), dumbbell curls, and cable curls.
For your triceps, try push downs, skull crushers, dips, and overhead press.
4. Cardio after your weights in important for toning your body and though one can’t spot reduce, this will help you reach your goal of owning toned arms.
5. Another option is to supplement your training program with Pilates since it’s known to tone and lengthen muscles.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eat five to six small meals a day consisting of s protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats, while limiting the carbohydrates in your last meal. If you are still hungry at night, choose a protein shake or add more protein to your last meal.
2. Drink 2 – 4 liters of water a day.
3. Do cardio in the morning for 20 – 30 minutes and later in the day, another cardio session for 20-30 minutes after your weights. Train 5 – 6 days a week.
4. Many people know what to do, but they don’t make it personal. Write down your goals, and be specific. Why do you have these goals? Next, write down what you are doing to do to achieve your goals.
5. Get your eight hours of sleep each night. Sleeping will help you lose weight while stress and not resting will make your body hold on to unwanted weight.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Eat five to six meals a day with a focus on consuming 1.5 – 2.0 grams of protein for each pound of bodyweight.
2. Drink 2 – 4 liters of water a day.
3. Weight train five to six days a week, allowing adequate rest for each body part to recover.
4. Supplement with L-Glutamine to maintain a positive nitrogen balance.
5. Get your eight hours of sleep each night. Your body recovers when sleeping. If you have time in the day for a 20 min nap, take it.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Write down your goals, and be specific. Why do you have these goals? Next, write down what you are doing to do to achieve your goals.
2. The next day put your plan into action. Each day you may need to remind yourself of your goals, and that’s ok. You are never alone.
3. Associate with people who are beneficial to your goals.
4. Let your family and friends know about your goals and ask for their support.
5. Remember that it’s you that has the final say in whether or not you will achieve your goals. Don’t let anyone stand between you and your goals, or shall I say, stand between you and yourself.
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
On all exercises I will do 4 – 5 sets with a rep range of 12 – 15. My first one or two sets on each body part will be very light and I will do 15 – 20 reps to get the blood into the muscle and the synovial fluid into my joints. For cardio I enjoy interval training on the treadmill by walking at a high incline 10.0, and jogging with a 2.0 incline. I also really enjoy skipping rope, and the StairMaster 7000PT.
10 min light cardio warm-up, Legs & Abs, 15 min light cardio.
Legs: Light leg extension, leg press, Smith machine squats, walking lunges.
Abdominals: Reverse crunches off a bench, regular and side crunches on a ball or matt.
5 min cardio warm-up, Chest & Triceps, 30 min cardio
Chest: Incline dumbbell presses, seated machine press, and free motion cable flies.
Triceps: Push downs, skull crushers, dips.
5 min cardio warm-up, Back & Biceps, 30 min cardio
Back: Lat pull down, cable rows, bent over row, and reverse grip pull downs.
Biceps: Barbell curls (straight and ez curl), dumbbell curls, and cable curls.
10 min cardio warm-up, Hamstrings & Calves, 30 min cardio
Hamstrings: Seated and lying leg curls, and stiff legged deadlifts.
Calves: Seated and standing calf raises, donkey calf raises.
5 min cardio warm-up, Shoulders Abs, 30 min cardio
Shoulders: Seated machine press, dumbbell press, dumbbell flies, and rear delt flies.
Abdominals: Reverse crunches off a bench, regular and side crunches on a ball or matt.
off or 20-30 minutes of light cardio
Cardio: Walking outside.
45 min cardio & Calves
Cardio: Interval training on the treadmill: walking at a high incline 10.0, and jogging with a 2.0 incline.
Calves: Seated and standing calf raises, donkey calf raises
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 5 – 6 small meals a day consisting proteins, non-refined carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
2. Limit carbohydrates in your last mini-meal since you will be going to bed.
3. Drink 2 – 4 liters of water a day.
4. Train your abs every other day starting with the lower area as it’s often a more stubborn area to see results from.
5. Do 20 – 45 minutes of cardio in the morning before you eat and another 20 – 45 minutes of cardio later in the day, following your weights. Always give your body at least one full day of rest each week.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Great exercises for toning the thighs, hips and butt are lunges, smith machine squats, and hip extensions, doing 3 – 5 sets of each.
2. Train your hamstrings, and glutes on a separate day then your quadriceps, and aim to train this area two times a week with at least three days rest between.
3. Cardio is also important and I recommend doing 20 – 45 minutes of cardio in the morning before you eat and another 20 – 45 minutes of cardio later in the day, following your weights. Always give your body at least one full day of rest each week.
4. Drink plenty of water and be sure to consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
5. Do your best to allow time for rest and get eight hours of sleep each night.