Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Be A Balanced Bride- Mind, Body and Soul

An Interview with Fitness Fashionista Bonnie Lee Cuevas

“I sit here today on top of the world because I had the faith to know that I could be beautiful and celebrate a real woman’s body by giving her back her self-esteem.”

As a Lifestyle Coach and the owner of Fitness Fashionistas, Bonnie Lee Cuevas is taking women of all sizes and leading them down the path of renewal and rebirth into a healthy lifestyle. She doesn’t advocate any crash diets or recommend grueling workout plans. Bonnie recommends balance, which is one b-word that needs to make its way into all of our lives. Getting healthy and fit isn’t about the latest fad diet or workout; it’s about connecting the aspects of the mind, the body, and the soul (whatever your beliefs or way of life may be) to achieve the best possible version of yourself—especially on your big day.

SKORCH: What inspired you to become a Lifestyle Coach and open up Fitness Fashionistas?

Bonnie Lee Cuevas: I came into the Fitness and Entrepreneurial industry as a Business and Life-Style Coach, Guru, Fitness Instructor and Motivational Speaker because I felt women deserved something better. I wanted something that celebrated who they were at any size or any time in their life. I think the most important thing for SKORCH readers to know is that women are beautiful at any size. No one can define who you are. You have the power to be who you want to be and feel the way you want to feel. I had a lot of struggles coming into this industry; people thought that I could not make it or be a positive role model, but when you care what others think you lose that power.

SKORCH: What is a lifestyle coach and how do they help women maintain balanced lives?

BLC: Lifestyle coaching helps women in wellness, fitness and other avenues of their lives, but my lifestyle coaching is different. I help women get the things they want in life, find their sense of style and who they were meant to be. Your lifestyle coach can help you get your thoughts in order and make sure you are taking care of yourself. They help you focus on your goal and reach that goal—which could be your wedding day or something else. Lifestyle coaches are educated and trained in many areas from fashion to etiquette, as well as health and fitness. They are life gurus!

SKORCH: What fitness advice would you give brides-to-be hoping to fit into their dream dress on the big day?

BLC: It took a long time to pack on the pounds and it will take just as much time or longer to drop them. Crash diets don’t work. Instead, concentrate on getting healthy for the wedding. Start with wanting to tighten your core or eating healthier or walking more. A realistic weight loss should be no more than 2 lbs. per week. If you are 1 month from your wedding, that’s 8 lbs you can lose by using healthy, smart and fun ways to slim down. If anything, concentrate on getting your bridesmaids to get healthier with you by trying a fun cardio dance workout once or twice per week. Celebrate your curves and choose healthier alternatives.

SKORCH: What key advice would you give to brides to keep them levelheaded during wedding preparations?

BLC: They need to remember they can’t control everything. Let destiny take its course. If you can get a wedding planner—do it! For my wedding almost 10 years ago my mother, aunt and grandmother were my planners. Let me tell you; they have fabulous taste. I did not worry about a thing. I recommend a lot of meditation, prayer and having one special person to rely on that will uplift you at all times.

Brides need to use their time wisely by having checklists and handing off things. You are one person and you can’t do it all. No matter what, remember that the wedding is about you and your groom. Focus on your love and the fact that you get to spend the rest of your life together. I can honestly tell you if it was not for my wedding pictures I would not remember my wedding day. It was the best wedding, yet I can barely remember the minute details. But in the end I got the best part of it all—my husband.

SKORCH: Aside from the stress of planning the wedding, what do you think is the biggest bridal challenge for the plus size bride?

BLC: Finding the perfect dress. Plus size bodies have beautiful curves that need to be celebrated, but finding the right dress that accentuates our positives may be hard to find.

SKORCH: Your bridal fitness program, Bonnie’s Bridal Boot Camp, focuses on making things easier for brides. What does the program entail?

BLC: The bridal party enrolls in a series of fun workouts that will get their metabolism going and help them learn ways to get healthy. They barely notice the workout aspect because half the time the brides and bridesmaids are laughing and having fun. We take pictures throughout the couple of weeks that it takes to complete the boot camp so the brides can document the experience and take the memories home with them. The Bridal Boot Camp helps brides celebrate being a woman while getting everyone healthy for the wedding day.

SKORCH: If you could only recommend five pieces of advice to a bride-to-be, what would that advice entail?

BLC: 1. Have a sleepover with your girlfriends the night before and enjoy a mini spa session. It’s a great way to de-stress.

2. Eat light the night before—enjoy a solid protein-packed salad.

3. On the day of your wedding, stay hydrated and eat light. Try some egg whites, whole-wheat toast and a fruit salad for breakfast.

4. Don’t miss your workout, but enjoy something light and relaxing like yoga or Pilates before the pre-wedding routine begins. It’s a great way to get energized!

5. Listen to great music and laugh a lot while you are getting ready. Who cares if you’re late? You’re the bride! The wedding can’t start without you!

SKORCH: Considering fitness is important year round and not just for weddings, could you tell the SKORCH readers about Fitness Fashionistas?

BLC: Fitness Fashionistas helps women of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels reach their goals but most of all discover their sense of style and their self-esteem. We celebrate girl power and we do so in fun ways. We offer programs like Zumba Fitness, Cardio Tease, and programs I created like Stiletto Camp, Fabulous in the City and the Bodystry Workshop. Fitness Fashionistas also has online programs for those that can’t come out to our local studio in Pensacola, Florida.

We’re looking to expand to other locations in late 2010 early 2011 and we currently hold nationwide workshops and events. The Pensacola studio provides cardio dance fitness classes, programs and workshops for women to get fit and fashionable.

SKORCH: What are some of your favorite things to do for fun or when you need some down time?

BLC: I love fun, dance-based workouts. I love my curves and I love using them and seeing them move in class. To relax I enjoy time with my husband and son, doing things like traveling and shopping. I also love to go to the movies alone. Everyone thinks I am the strangest person, but I love being able to sit and just focus on nothing but the movie and me. I also love spa days. I love to have a nice bath, enjoy facial masks and get mani-pedis.

SKORCH: Are you a big shopper? What are some of your favorite beauty secrets?

BLC: I love to shop just about anywhere that has great and stylish finds. As for beauty secrets, I love natural products. I consider my style to be fashionable and eco-friendly chic. I love the brand Yes to Carrots. They are natural, fresh and fun! I also love Rimmel Mascara. They make my lashes long and voluptuous!

SKORCH: Any final words of advice or inspiration for our readers?

BLC: My favorite quote is “Passion will make you crazy, but is there any other way to live?” by Howard Hughes. Let your passion and your joy drive you in life. Let no one take anything away from you. Your faith gives you the power to be who you are meant to be: a gorgeous, savvy and intelligent Goddess! Wellness, fitness and style go hand in hand. Find activities that you love and keep doing them. Let no one tell you that you can’t do it and if they do, prove them wrong. And always seek uplifting and healthy choices so you are always closer to a fitter you.

For more about Bonnie’s fitness and lifestyle programs, visit www.fitnessfashionistas.com or her personal website at www.bonnieleecuevas.com.


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