I have been a fitness instructor for several years and have been able to help many friends achieve their personal fitness goals. I have worked at several gyms throughout Arizona and Texas where I teach kickboxing, pilates, yoga, muscle conditioning, water aerobics and spinning classes. I have been modeling, acting and film making for several years also. I’m now writing books, starting my art career and helping others heal by teaching meditation and visualization classes.
Tawnya Gentleman – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Tawnya Gentleman
- Height: 5’4
- Weight: 120
- Hair Color: Blonde
- Bust: 36D
- Waist: 25
- Hips: 35
- Location: Washington State
Tawnya Gentleman – Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I taught fitness classes at a local gym and that got me into modeling and acting.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I love to workout and take care of my body. I love how I feel after a good workout and after meditation. I feel calm, clear and connected. It also helps with my confidence and self-esteem.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My understanding of myself and knowing how to honor my body. Staying focused on how my body feels is the key.
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 started by visualizing it and journaling my dreams, then the doors just started opening up. However, the beginning of my journey brought many obstacles and I recommend anyone who wants to get into this career to be careful. Follow your intuition and never feel desperate to do anything!
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
It changes from day-to-day. I used to be very strict with my regimen, but I didn’t feel very happy. I was hiding out in the gym to help heal after my dad’s suicide. Then I began meditation and started to allow myself to feel all of my emotions and what exactly I was running from. Now, I am much more playful! I workout, dance, go on nature walks, weight train, do yoga and play volleyball. I always try to keep it fun!
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?
Kickboxing is amazing! I love it because it’s fun and it’s a great calorie burner!
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I don’t go by how many pounds to lose. I follow how I feel and don’t obsess with the number on the scale. Just take care of yourself and make it a lifestyle.
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?
Try to have some lean protein within 30 minutes after a weight training session. Eat a balanced portion of carbs, protein and healthy fats throughout the day. Drink lot’s of water! I don’t advise taking any kind of supplements that promise fat burning. I feel these are very dangerous and the natural way is always the best. Slow and steady wins the race!
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.
I say positive affirmations to myself like “I only crave food that is healthy for my body”. This is a huge help, but make sure to do it daily until you believe it. Most cravings are mental. Never send yourself a negative message like “I can’t have cake” because this usually backfires on you. Use a positive affirmation in its place. Allow yourself to be human and have an occasional treat with no guilt. I feel the guilt is what gets to us in the long run. This is your life, so live it!
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?
A lot of veggies and lean protein like fish, chicken and turkey, along with whole wheat bread, rice, grains, oats and fruit. Just keep a balance and listen to your body. Each person must listen and talk to their own bodies. Get to know yourself!
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?
Just get started, believe in yourself and love yourself. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. You are so powerful and you are creating your experience by what you believe. Spend time exercising each day and do things like walking, weight training, dancing and playing sports. Just get more active and move your body!
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?
Try to eat clean like you’re at home. Stick to fish, chicken, rice and veggies. Only eat 1 portion and take the rest home with you.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
I love the step mill machine, running stairs and doing heavy squats! Visualize having a big, round butt and accept what you can do with what you have. If you are very petite then accept that and realize what your natural body frame is genetically setup for. You can always improve your physique, but don’t think you will look like a Brazilian fitness model in 6 weeks. Do your best to love yourself. This is a very important step to success!
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Distractions and getting too caught up with life. We can easily do this and lose sight of our needs and goals. We must take time for ourselves!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Oats, muesli with soy milk or low-fat milk. Berries and orange juice. Other days, I have Egg Beaters, turkey, a piece of wheat toast with honey, juice or some fruit.
- Mid-Morning Snack: Sliced deli meat, handful of nuts, a piece of fruit and water.
- Lunch: A tuna melt on wheat bread, fruit and water.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: A bagel with low-fat cream cheese and berries with milk.
- Dinner: Grilled salmon with homemade salsa, rice and greens.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: It varies between different exercises for arms, chest, legs, butt, shoulders and back. I also do yoga and pilates.
- Cardio Exercises: Treadmill, elliptical machine, nature walks, dance classes, kickboxing and cycling.
- Additional Training: Meditation.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
- I like to do a varity of exercises for arms and switch between free weights, machines and cables.
- Tricep curls and dips on a bench are great for your triceps.
- Pull-ups are a great exercise for the biceps.
- I enjoy training my shoulders while keeping a balance between my arms, shoulders and back.
- I like to switch from doing a “burnout” routine where I lift the most weight I can for the highest number of repetitions and then increasing the weight on other days for 3-4 sets. Be careful when burning out your muscles more than once every week or two. Don’t do it every day or it might cause injury.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
- Positive thinking and try to limit stress (meditation works great).
- Do cardio that you enjoy and do it regularly.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet with healthy fats, protein and carbs.
- Eat every 3-4 hours and focus on smaller portions.
- Watch your portion sizes and avoid eating huge meals.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
- Eat enough healthy protein and fat.
- Regular weight training (4-5 days per week).
- Eat enough and balance the macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) in your diet.
- Perform cardio to burn unwanted body fat.
- Stretch to stay flexible and lean! Do yoga and pilates.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
- Reward your success! Buy a new outfit and think positive about your goals.
- Just do it! Get in there and sweat it out. Find a way every day to move your body.
- Find a good workout buddy to go to the gym with and have fun. Don’t be too serious.
- Allow yourself to have normal things and don’t neglect your body by depriving yourself of fun.
- Stay focused and surround yourself with positive people!
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. I then do arms and shoulders with free weights and cables. I do 3-4 sets of several exercises. I end with 30 minutes of cardio on either the treadmill or elliptical machine and then I do ab exercises and stretch.
- Tuesday: 30 minutes of cardio to start off. I then stretch a little and do legs with machines and free weights. I perform lunges, squats, sumo squats,and deadlifts (3-4 sets per exercise). I end with 30 minutes of cardio along with stretching and yoga.
- Wednesday: Rest day! I go for a nature walk and some yoga.
- Thursday: I teach a class with cardio and weights.
- Friday: 30 minutes of cardio to start off. I then train back and chest and do abs and stretch at the end.
- Saturday: I usually go for a hike or walk outside.
- Sunday: I teach a meditation class.
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?
- What you eat will contribute to adding body fat around the stomach, so watch your diet.
- Crunches! Also, add some pilates and yoga moves for your abs.
- Drink lots of water!
- Cardio is a must! It will burn fat off your entire body, so get your heart rate up and sweat.
- While you’re doing crunches, visualize a tighter, firmer and lean midsection. This may sound weird, but I believe visualization is one of the most important parts of attaining success. Visualize your dream physique!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
- One of the best exercises for your legs and thighs is lunges! I do forward, backward and side lunges. They are a great addition to your leg workout.
- For glutes, the step mill is a great cardio machine along with sprints and hiking. They all target the muscles of the butt. Also, doing leg lifts for the glutes is amazing!
- Visualize your booty being big, round and tight!
- Doing pilates and ballet exercises are helpful for the inner thighs, butt and calves. Do a lot of stretching to help lengthen the muscle.
- I love kickboxing! It’s an amazing workout and it definitely targets the butt and legs. It’s also a great abdominal workout!