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Modeling, Set Life & Staying On Track With Meal Prep/Training

Photo by Leanna Balaban

Alrighty then! Week 2 of my new program/cut is officially in the books today! Phew! For a minute there I wasn't sure it was going to happen. This was one hectic week! I spent most of it on the road and on sets for work. I had to plan and meal prep very meticulously because every single hour was accounted for.

I'm not sure I've even touched on this before, but I'm actually a working, agency represented model slash actor (we don't really use "actress" anymore). I did dance and theater my whole life and started working as a plus size model when I was eighteen years old. I have stayed pretty busy with it over the years but thought for certain that after my weight loss I would have to retire, since I'd size-out of the plus size category. I was sure my agents would all drop me and I was prepared to say farewell to life on set. I'm also a photographer so I'm used to being on both sides of the camera. I assumed it was simply time to transition into full-time photographer once and for all. To my surprise, however, every single one of my agents kept me on. I was moved into the "lifestyle" division at most of my agencies and one of them even added me to their fitness division! Now there's something I never thought would happen. Going on fitness jobs and auditions causes me so many mixed emotions because only two years ago I was 220 lbs. Never did I think I'd one day be doing jump squats and burpees at auditions! I definitely feel incredibly lucky to still be getting work at my age and at this size and I love how much both the fashion and fitness industries are evolving and opening up to using more diverse sizes and body types. 💪 Anyway, take a looksie at what my cray week looked like:

Part of my job is to sit and let the talented hair and makeup people work their magic! I've spent countless hours in "the chair" over the years. This week went something like this...

Photo by Leanna Balaban

Meal Prep + Training:

Like I said, this week was full of bookings, castings, a call-back, two portrait sessions for clients (me as the photographer), editing and of course, my TRAINING. It was a busy one. I live in Orange County and most of my work is in Los Angeles, a solid 1.5 hour drive to any casting or booking. I also work a lot in San Diego, which is about the same commute. So I usually have to prepare meals ahead of time. Not to mention that there's always temptation on set. From snacks, to yummy catered lunches to (my fave) afternoon coffee runs (so spoiled). It's really hard not to engage in mindless snacking all day between takes.

My approach? I meal prep ahead of time and bring all my food with me. I keep it simple and plan out a whole day's worth of food.

I include:

- my gallon of water

- breakfast

- lunch

- a snack

- meal for the drive home in the evening

I make sure my lunch is low in complex carbohydrates because I don't want to get too stuffed and 

bloated and I don't want to get sleepy. I've made that mistake before and always live to regret it. Especially if the job is to wear tight clothes or dresses, the client doesn't want to see my food baby sticking out from under their expensive clothes!

I also take with me my favorite pick-me-up: BURN by Motiv8. It keeps the cravings at bay, gives me a boost of energy after that lunch slump and puts me in a good mood. Since days on set are usually 8-10+ hours my energy tends to fade. I only take a half of a scoop though, since I only need a bit to "wake up". I love it and take it everywhere with me. I used to always have instant coffee in my model bag but this stuff is way wayyyy better! You can use my discount code "VIC30" if you'd like to try it. :)

And believe it or not, I got every single bit of my training done! I started last Sunday. Sundays are usually my rest days but I decided to trade it for one of my long work days and I'm so glad I did! On Monday I worked in San Diego and was done by 4pm, so I drove straight to the gym afterwards and got it done. That was the toughest one with the drive to San Diego plus timing my meals and doing a more physical modeling job. The job was for a company that makes bike racks for cars. So the job was to build the rack on camera for the instructional video, mount the rack on the car, load the bikes and head out for a bike ride for campaign photos. Hence why they needed a strong model! The 2nd part was to do actual bike riding shots at a park lol. I have a weird life. But anyway, that's why it was tough to get training in after all that, but I did it!

⬇️ Crew shot from one of the jobs. It literally takes a village!

Anyway, that was my weird, crazy week. Can't believe it's over. Seemed impossible just thinking about it. But here we are, done and done. Proud of myself for staying on track and getting my shit done!



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