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11 Questions

11 Questions with Whitney Miller

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Photos by @jameslaw1

We’re so excited to for our readers to get to know you, Whitney! Please tell us where you’re from and where the rest of the world may know you from?
I am one of those proud born-and-raised Texans! I grew up on the coast in Corpus Christi but now live in one of the best cities in America, Austin Texas.

People may know me as the pageant girl that turned in her crown for a pair of MMA gloves and a Jiu Jitsu gi. I am also currently a sports broadcaster for the top kickboxing organization, GLORY Kickboxing. I get to travel the world and talk about fighting! Not a bad gig.

Did you compete in pageants since you were young? Or did you come across it later in life? What made you decide to compete in pageants?
Think of the show Toddlers in Tiaras. Now, think of the complete opposite! Believe it or not, I was the biggest tomboy when I was younger. I wanted to be involved in any sport or extreme activity I could find. I competed in my first pageant when I was 15 years old, only because my best friend didn’t want to compete by herself. I ended up winning that pageant which meant I would compete at the bigger and more competitive Miss Texas Teen pageant later that year which I totally bombed, by the way!! After Miss Texas Teen, I decided pageants were not for me. A fun experience but I preferred to be on the lake or at the beach surfing. Fast forward seven years, and I get a phone call from a girlfriend of mine asking me if I was at all interested in competing in the Miss Texas US pageant. The pageant, she told me, was the next weekend. Anyone in their right mind would have said thanks but no thanks. However, I like spontaneity so I figured, why not?! Five days later I was in a car packed to the ceiling with borrowed dresses, shoes, swimsuits and cosmetics! I would never have thought I would have taken home the crown and gone on to win Miss United States!! I was able to fulfill my goal of showing girls you don’t have to be a “barbie” to wear a beautiful crown and represent your country! Being genuine and authentic is the best and most beautiful thing a person can do. It’s magnetic!

What did you like most about pageantry and what was the most difficult thing?
I loved the butterflies in my stomach before stepping on stage, the challenge of the interview questions, the girls, the competition…all of it! Many people think all you have to do is walk on stage in a pretty gown. It’s far from that. It takes more than anyone can imagine to compete and be successful in pageantry.

Now, you did an 180 from beauty pageants and delving into the world of boxing and mixed martial arts! What in the world influenced you to start fighting?
One of my Miss United States sponsors, Onnit.com, had athletes of all kinds but mainly MMA fighters at the gym often. I started kickboxing solely to get in shape for the swimsuit competition of Miss United States, and I fell in love with it. While watching the UFC one night I realized there was a ground game of martial arts, where you don’t get hit in the face but you do get to choke people unconscious. Enter Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After handing my crown over as Miss United States I signed up for my first BJJ class and made the announcement that I would then be turning my attention to combative sports. I wanted to blow society’s stereotypes of what women are able to do. My message was to prove this by giving myself the biggest challenge I could think of…fighting another person who wanted to take my head off.

Are you ever worried about injuring your beautiful face such as breaking a nose, black eyes etc?
To be honest, no, not really. Obviously, I want to do anything possible to prevent any sort of injury but ice goes a long way in this sport and you would be surprised how quickly your face can heal. After my first boxing match, you couldn’t even tell I was in a fight, and that’s not because I didn’t get hit in the face. I took some shots!!

What circuits have you fought on and what have your experiences been like so far?
I have fought in various Jiu Jitsu matches all under different organizations. My first boxing match was put on by Onnit in Austin Texas. My opponent was a veteran fighter with over 7 fights!! People always ask me why I chose someone with such a long record, and it’s because I didn’t want people to think I handpicked my opponent for an easy match. I wanted the added challenge, and I can tell you, it was the most fun and terrifying thing I have ever done! I’m already planning my next match which will be an action-packed kickboxing match later this year.

I’m imagining it’s super intimidating for guys to approach you given that you’re a double threat! You have looks AND hands that kill! What kind of guys get your attention?
I love guys that are confident, funny, sweet and a bit crazy!! And by crazy, I mean someone who loves to try extreme and terrifying things with me or at least supports my wildness. Let’s go shark diving, spearfishing, bull riding or chase tornados and then perhaps at the end of the day wind down with a glass of wine and good food (that he cooks;))

How should a man approach such a beautiful woman such as yourself? Please give us some tips!
I always like when a guy is straight up and funny. Like, bring up the fact that you are hitting on me and crack a joke. Keep it simple, keep it fun, keep it light.

We know you do fight training. What other types of training do you do to stay in shape?
I’m all about unconventional training and keeping things interesting. Some of the fitness equipment I use, people have never heard of like maces and club bells. I also find mobility and recovery to be among the most important things I can do for my body.

whitney miller

We know eating right comes hand in hand with training. What types of foods/meals do you eat to fuel your training and busy schedule?
I keep it simple. Earth Grown Nutrients. If it comes from the earth I eat it! Granted, I treat myself from time to time but I love grass fed meats, veggies, and bone broths!

Where can our viewers see you this year? What events will you be at?
I’m all over the place!! Definitely, come see me and some crazy fights at any of the GLORY kickboxing events that take place every month all over the globe!! If you can’t make it to any of those events, make sure to check out my new love, sex, and relationship podcast called Love Undressed which is launching later this month! Follow @miss2jits for updates and wild adventures!

For more Whitney Miller
IG: @miss2jits

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11 Questions

11 Questions with Ali Lee

Interview with one of our newest Fitness Gurls Athlete stars

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Photos by ZABU Photography

How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?
I was a professional ballet dancer growing up and through my early 20’s so that instilled a discipline within me for which I’m most thankful. I started really zeroing in on my physical details when I was around 20 and it’s been a lifestyle ever since.

Also check out: The Fitness Gurls Podcast with Holly Barker: Guest Ali Lee

What is the most challenging thing about being a fitness model?
The most challenging part is probably staying on point while I travel, but I sat down and designed some workouts that are easy to do on the go and keep me toned and tight with very little equipment. Problem solved.

Do you listen to music while you train?
If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to? I love EDM and rap, but as a music artist myself I can appreciate almost any time of jams to train to… other than super pop like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry… those jams tend to kill my vibe. No idea why.

What is your current training style, routine or split?
Currently, I lift at least 5 days a week and I love working with resistance bands. I have an extended tailbone which makes training a lot harder and resistance bands reduce pain and help me keep my hips in place when lifting.

What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
I eat organic and don’t really think much about it after that. My favorite splurge food is probably frozen yogurt or doughnuts and definitely cake but I don’t consider those splurges b/c I only eat a little at a time. My body is highly responsive to what I put into it so a few bits and I’m fully satisfied.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I think crazy is relative… I do out of the box stuff every day so I’m told, but I remember a fun time when I went streaking and got scooped up by the 5-0. They were very forgiving since it was all in good fun, fortunately, most of the crazy stuff I’ve done has to do with being nude in public I just realized.

What is your greatest strength?
I have an internal and unshakeable belief I myself, likely instilled in me as a child from my mommas deep, wonderful, consistent love.

How do you measure success?
How emotional well I am directly related to my perceived success. The happier I am, the more great things flow in my direction and the more I am able to capitalize on those vibes. The only goal in life is happiness bc when you’re happy and full of love you can literally change your reality and that of the collective consciousness… the whole world.





What tips do you have for a beginner at the gym?
Just remember we are all beginners when we start to try out the equipment. Ask for help. Stay proud of yourself for getting in there even if you run into some fancy pants gym goers that give you a crooked eye. All your power comes from staying strong and understanding that training is as much a mental game as it is physical. Let no one deter you. Stick with it and create your new habits. Your mind and body will forever thank you.

What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a shoot?
I shot with Harry of LGHFX in LA and a homeless addict stole my wallet while we shot. Then Harry spent another 8 hours with me and a wonderful group of homeless ppl I can now easily call friends, searching for the girl that stole my wallet. We followed her on foot till 1 am and never got my wallet back. The next day, the homeless friends we made called Harry’s cell and said they got my wallet with my ID and credit cards still there totally wild.

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
I’d bring my Unify water so I could stay hella hydrated, a handful of edibles so I could stay hella happy, and a jam box of sorts so I could blast sounds and dance about till an airplane flying overhead hears me and sends help. And my pen. I have to have a pen to write with or I’ll lose my mind.

For More about Ali Lee:
Follow her on IG: @therealalilee
Ali Lee is a Fitness Gurls Athlete
Photography by @zabumutua

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11 Questions

11 Questions with Tess Bonanni

Fitness Gurls talks with the gorgeous Australian-based Fitness Influencer

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Photos by @abccreative

How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?
Growing up in Alice Springs, Sport and being active was always a part of my upbringing. My parents always encouraged me to be involved in different sports. At the age of 5, I started Taekwondo, 10 years later l was the first female junior Black Belt in my hometown at the age of 15 to achieve this.

It taught me dedication and commitment and also how to focus on training for my goals in life, it is a great skill that l still hold with me today.

When I moved to Brisbane I signed up at a gym, not long after I did a 12-week challenge and stepped into the gym properly. Once that finished I set myself up to compete in my first fitness competition. After that, I was hooked… I knew I wanted to pursue the sport further.

I researched the different federations and found the one that suited me the best l teamed up with current Coach Andre about 3 years ago and we have spent years building my body to fit the IFBB bikini criteria, He has helped me incredibly! but it’s a sport where I need to be extremely mentally and physically committed.

I know l have the passion and dedication to take it to the next level, My ultimate goal is to one day be a Professional Athlete and to live every day working and encouraging others to be the best they can possibly be in life.

Also Check Out: 11 Questions with Rochelle Wilson

What is the most challenging thing about being a fitness model?
Self-doubt! I find this the most challenging especially when I’m getting ready for a show. It’s taken me a long time to stop comparing myself to how other fitness models look. It’s gotta be about you and how much you’ve progressed in you’re own journey.

What products and supplements do you swear by?
I don’t take a whole lot of supplements, But I have a thermogenic and L Carnitine first thing in the morning before cardio. At the moment I’m using MTS Drop Factor and Alca Pure.

A good Isolate protein powder which I mix in with my morning oats and a shake after my session. BCAAs during my workouts to help reduce muscle breakdown and increase muscle repair. And of corse all my vitamins, including ATP Science Alpha Venus and Cort RX – these two products are great for females!

What are your top 3 favorite exercises?
All exercises that hit the shoulders are my favorite.
GLUTES! Hip thrusts, Kickbacks, Glute bridges – you can never stop perfecting your peach!
Abs – I don’t train them much anymore but I love having a strong core.

Do you listen to music while you train? If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to?
YES! 99% of the time I train solo so my headphones are the first thing I make sure I have in my gym bag. I’m a Trance girl so it’s pretty much the only music I listen to. Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Cosmic Gate, Above & Beyond, Gareth Emery.

Do you ever encounter stereotypes with the way you look?
No, I haven’t. In my opinion, l try to stay true to my natural self, The majority of my close friends and the industry that I work in are completely separate from my gym life.

What is your current training style, routine or split?
My training regime is always changing depending on what body parts I need to focus on. At the moment it’s:

Monday – Glutes and Hamstrings
Tuesday – Shoulders and Tris
Wednesday- Glutes and Hamstrings
Thursday- Back and Bis
Friday – Glutes & Hamstrings
Saturday – Shoulders
Sunday – Rest and Recovery

I also do 1hr of LISS cardio every morning to clear the mind.





What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
This is a hard question!! My favorite clean foods would have to be oats, I have them every morning when I’m on-season and off-season. A big healthy salad and a good steak! Splurge foods… PANCAKES! I’m a real sweet tooth so it has to have maple syrup and ice cream. And anything Italian!

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
My fur baby (Lulu)
Music
And food!

What tips do you have for a beginner at the gym?
Find a good PT/Coach to guide you through different exercises until you get the hang of things yourself.
Set your GOALS!! Not just short term but long term too.

Throw yourself in the deep end and train on your own – I know there are some gyms out there that can be quite intimidating but it’s only going to build your confidence!

Work hard, stay consistent, be patient, enjoy the journey and always remain humble.

What’s next for you?
Well, I finished my last show of the season two weeks ago. So right now me and my coach are working out what shows to put in place for me next! So stay tuned haha 🙂

For more Tess Bonanni
Height: 166cm / 5’5″
Weight: 57kg / 125 lbs.
Born In: Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Resides: Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)
Facebook: Tess Bonanni
Instagram: @tessbonanni
Photos by: @abccreative

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11 Questions

11 Questions with Diana Vazquez

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Photos by @thehollywoodhustle

How did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?
I was always athletic growing up and in school, but in 2013 my body made drastic changes and I wasn’t happy with myself. Looking at Instagram fitness models Michelle Lewin, Ainsley Rodriguez and Paige Hathaway, I wanted to be like them, (like any other woman). So in 2013, I started what I thought would just be a not everyday thing, to jumping into what now is my career, passion, and lifestyle. No destination!

Also: 11 Questions with Heather Marsh

What is the most challenging thing about being a fitness model?
The most challenging thing about fitness would definitely be staying motivated! Some days I have no motivation to go to the gym or be on point with meals, but then I think about why I’m doing all of this and get back on track. If you have no motivation to do anything, you’ll get nowhere. Being motivated 100% is tough because it’s not always there. I do this for the love of the game and that motivates me.

Do you listen to music while you train? If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to?
I do listen to music. It’s different every day. I listen to anything from 90’s pop and punk, country, rock, reggaeton and some metal. It all depends on what Tim training!

What is your current training style, routine or split?
I go to the gym at least six days a week. My rest day depends on the day I’m shooting and then of course on my travel days. I try to keep consistent with six days a week.

What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
My favorite clean food would definitely have to be chicken fajitas. I love peppers and chicken together. Also, I like to eat Roman lettuce with lime and a little bit of sugar. My “garbage” food would definitely be pasta and anything Mexican!





What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a shoot?
Most memorable time would have to be shooting with @allenlhgfx and falling into a rose bush after a groundsman told us the pavers I was standing on were loose… And then, of course, Allen capturing my fall with epic photos haha!

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
Ugh, being trapped would be a nightmare! But if so, I’d definitely bring food, water, and a blanket.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
The craziest thing I’ve ever done would probably have to be jumping out of a moving vehicle.

What is your greatest strength?
I had to think about this one because it’s honestly hard to answer a question like this about yourself. My greatest strength would have to be love. I’m a very loving person. If I truly love something, I’ll never give up on it. It’s a great strength I have.

How do you measure success?
I measure success not by the luxury or things you have, but by how humble somebody is with all of their success. Being recognized for your hard work and being humble.

What tips do you have for a beginner at the gym?
NEVER be afraid to ask questions or help. I know when I started, I’d get discouraged when I couldn’t do something or didn’t know how. I was embarrassed to ask, so I’d “Google” what I needed to know. Even then, reading and watching videos during my gym time was taking up most of that time. If I knew then what I know now, I’d be a toddler asking a million questions! The great thing about getting started at the gym is, there’s ALWAYS improvement!


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