As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Brenda Della Casa, Age 32, Author of Cinderella Was a Liar & Managing Editor of I AM Staggered USA, LLC
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
Growing up, I had the wonderful fortune of being raised by my Grandfather, but I did not have a mother and therefore latched onto both Madonna and Marilyn Monroe as my primary female role models. Madonna was all the rage in my early years and I devoured every article and interview that came my way. As a result, I learned about art, the importance of education and expression, gay rights and fitness. Madonna was very much into taking care of herself early on and I recall being enamored of her mental and physical strength. I decided at a young age to follow in her footsteps as best as I could.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
Madonna was the first strong-yet-feminine woman I had ever seen. I recall seeing her abs and arms at age 12 and being so impressed with her discipline and physique that I ran to my P.E. teacher and asked how long it would take for me to achieve that level of success. He started teaching me about diet and exercise and I did my best to follow his routine. Later in life, when I started dating someone who was very into fitness, I took photos from Madonna’s “SEX” book and showed him what my “dream body” would look like. I am the same height as Madonna so he told me it was actually achievable but would take “three years”. It did.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
I cannot imagine my life without fitness. Not only do I enjoy being active (the release, endorphins are amazing) but I love challenging myself. I started on the cardio machines but have graduated to a place where I can do plenty of pull-up’s, enjoy zoning out to Eminem while hitting the speed bag and use my body in ways that make me feel healthy, balanced and strong. The thing I love about the gym is that it is a place where anyone can walk in, make an investment and get a return. It’s not about being a peacock or being the strongest or slimmest, it’s about beating your own records and taking good care of yourself and knowing you are worth it.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I am not yet blessed with children but if I ever have the honor of being a mother, healthy food options and exercise –through whatever venue they choose–will be a priority in our home.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
It’s about mind, body and spirit. You cannot overfeed one and starve the other. Healthy food helps ward of sickness, exercise keeps our bodies fit but also relieves stress, helps build the immune system, builds confidence and keeps us strong. And taking time to truly connect with who we are, what our needs, wants and values are is also essential.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote?