The way you look is your job - Take it seriously

Advice to keep in mind as you make your health and fitness New Years resolutions

By Richard Bell

Note: The following is a significantly simplified version of very complex topics. I've done this deliberately for the sake of brevity and comprehension. My apologies for over-simplifications to those who are well read; it's not from ignorance, but the intention of reaching a broad audience.

Stop jumping on every diet and fitness bandwagon that comes along. Stop it.

Stop trying to find an easy way out. The only easy way out is a regimen of often-illegal thermogenic stimulants that'll prevent you from sleeping and will destroy your liver. The only “easy” ways out will make you feel like hell.

If it has the word “cleanse” in it, don’t do it. If it involves eating only juice or smoothies, don’t do it. This is ridiculous. 

Do your research, and choose a nutrition plan (not a diet) that’s scientifically sound – don’t listen to someone who’s trying to sell you something. Find something that works and stick with it for at least six months. Don't turn to something in desperation, which you don’t understand or have not consulted a doctor about – such as veganism.

From left to right: Adrianne Ho (sweatthestyle.com); Edita Vilkevicuite by Lachlan Bailey for Vogue Paris April 2012; Candice Swanepoel by Daniel Jackson for Vogue China February 2012; Karlie Kloss by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue China February 2010

From left to right: Adrianne Ho (sweatthestyle.com); Edita Vilkevicuite by Lachlan Bailey for Vogue Paris April 2012; Candice Swanepoel by Daniel Jackson for Vogue China February 2012; Karlie Kloss by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue China February 2010

Establish a program of fitness and stick to it.

Neglecting your fitness is the same as not showing up for a casting. Your only three responsibilities in your job are: show up to a shoot if you get a booking, show up to a casting if there is one that you are suitable for, and look your best. So by those criteria, fitness is part of your job, and that’s also why you can write off gym memberships in your taxes. You have no reason to let your fitness slip.

Between all the walking you have to do, 30 minutes of high-intensity calisthenic training and a healthy diet should be fine. You can do body weight workouts easily in your model apartment.

Know that if you hire a personal trainer, you can’t assume results. Most trainers are not qualified. Most results from personal trainers (especially at the corporate chain gyms) come from the fact that you showed up and someone’s keeping an eye on you and yelling at you if you stop or don’t do the workout. Discipline yields results.

To look the way the fashion world wants you to look, you need to eat correctly and (depending on the look that you desire) workout with your own body weight, and/or chew through calories by going for an hour walk up and down the stairs in your apartment or a hill near your apartment. This doesn’t have to be done quickly, just continuously.

Stop listening to other people.

If you find a program that is healthy and sustainable then stick with it, but know that industry members around you will likely view it as slow and ineffective because of the ludicrous expectations that are imposed on you. Don’t take advice from other models about health and fitness unless they have a degree pertaining to the field. Your flatmate in Milan who was super fit and worked a lot is not a credible source of medical or fitness advice. Your agent is, in most cases, not a good source of information either.

There is a lot of BS on the Internet, in bookstores, and in your apartment. It’s up to you to filter through the garbage. If you see an article entitled “5 weird tips,” or “You’ll never believe this result,” or anything to that effect, you should likely ignore it. The stuff that’s important to you will likely be a dry read (almost as dry as this) and will cut to the chase and make no grand claims. 

Richard Bell by Cory Vanderploeg

Richard Bell by Cory Vanderploeg

Richard Bell writes this health column and is the Health and Fitness Consultant for The Business Model. He is a model represented by Lang Models in Toronto and has worked in Singapore, Tokyo, and Milan. He is also the co-owner of CrossFit Leviathan, a gym in downtown Toronto. He has a BSc (Honors) in Kinesiology and Biomechanics from Dalhousie University and has played rugby at the university and provincial levels.