In light of her modelling successes and the stunning photos accompanying this interview, it would seem Sophie was blessed with the talent to go far right from the start. This was not the case. An eating disorder at a young age caused Sophie to become obsessed with her body to where she now has to carefully manage the effects such a body-conscious industry could have on her health.
Fortunately, she has several outside interests that keep her life balanced and passion for modelling strong. As a model, Sophie has worked for several cosmetics companies and is currently a member of the USA Bikini Team. Future prospects include bikini modelling, spokes-modelling, and a position with a new supplement company. It seems the future is bright for Sophia Parnacelli. Expect to see more of her very soon!
[ Q ] How long have you been involved in the fitness modelling industry? What got you started in this field?
I have been modelling since I was a baby. My mother was a top model in Canada, which opened the doors for me at a very early age. As for fitness modelling, it has been on and off since I was 16.
[ Q ] What have been some of the highlights of your career?
Other than travelling and meeting great people, it would be Stuff Magazine nominating me as #17 for the top 101 Sexiest Women on the Web. I am sponsored by American Physiques, which is great! Also I enjoy working with Fizogen at the Arnold Classics and the upcoming Olympia.
It is wonderful working next to Randy Couture (UFC Champion). I was to be in my first Miss Bikini Universe Pageant (FAME event) and was looking great, until I had a motorcycle accident and fractured my right arm and wrist. I will, however, be at the Miss Bikini America Pageant this November 2006.
[ Q ] How do you train to maintain your body? Please provide an overview of your training program.
I am very honest about how I will answer this question. I find that maintaining is difficult for me as in my teens I struggled with an eating disorder. I believe part of the disorder is from starting modelling so young and being so self-absorbed with appearance.
Having said that, maintenance is hard without being obsessed. What I have learned is to find several different ways of "working out."
For example: cardio while watching TV (time flies when my brain is busy), participating in Cardio Kick Boxing/Bikrams Hot Yoga or Power Training Cardio Class. I try and switch up my routines so I don't get bored.
Here is an example:
Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri: before I eat, I will do 40 minutes of cardio at home, on the bike... while watching a show that I taped on TV.
In the evening, I will either use my Total Gym (minus Chuck Norris) or hit Gold's Gym. I find the Total Gym is great for pilates and weighttraining. I can do everything without the fuss of changing weights. I alternate workouts, meaning one day will be upper body and the other day will be lower.
In the past, I have trained various ways and for me this works best. On the weekends, I get to the gym when I get there. I try not to get down on myself if I don't make it. There are weeks when I train 6-7 days and others I only train 5.
Unless I am training for a shoot, I try and make time to enjoy the day off - plus your body needs rest! Right now I am getting ready for a shoot in August, so I do cardio 6 days in a row, including at nighttime before bed.
[ Q ] What kind of diet are you currently on? Exactly how does this diet work for you?
- Sweet Potatoes
- Salad Stuff
- Balsamic Vinegar
My diet is simple; I use the same grocery list every week:
I will be honest, I am Italian and I love to eat! But bad carbohydrates have no place in my body when I am trying to lean out - they make me tired and when I start to eat them, I really start to crave them more. That said, I do have to watch what I eat and I am currently on this eating plan.
When I wake up, I either do cardio right away or if I feel low in energy I will eat first. Basically, I am getting my "motor" running.
Three hours later, I will have 4-5 egg whites with homemade salsa. I don't use pre-made salsa because usually it has too much sodium and sugar. I have tried salsa from the deli section in the supermarket and they are fresh and are much better for you than the pre-made jar kind.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Sophia Gains Balance From A
Proper Diet & "The Strap"!
For lunch, I either eat a fist size piece of tuna steak, chicken, or white fish. A few times a week, I may have salmon. I have this with half of a sweet potato. I used to hate sweet potatoes, but I have learned that with a little Splenda and cinnamon they are great! I also like how they keep my brain working properly while dieting.
Three hours later, I consume either a shake or oatmeal... depends on how I feel. Some days I have more energy than others - it also depends on what time my day got started, if I was to go to the gym close to this time, I would try and have the oatmeal for energy and a good strong workout.
For dinner, I have the same as lunch - but no sweet potato. I have a salad with tomato, radish, and cucumber. I use Balsamic vinegar, virgin olive oil (1 tbsp) Italian spices and no salt and pepper.
To View Great, Healthy Recipes, Click Here.
For and after-dinner snack, I will eat 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, a shake or oatmeal pudding in which I put one scoop of protein powder, with a few berries & sprinkle with oatmeal. I nuke this for a little over a minute.
[ Q ] Was it easy for you to get to where you are today? How have you achieved your goals?
Simply put, no. I am not one of those females that you see eating pizza wearing size 2 jeans. The only way for me to be fit is to live the "You are what you eat!" motto. I have only ever achieved any goal in life with hard work and determination. Nothing has ever been given to me, including a fit body.
I have achieved these goals with the knowledge that I learned while working at a gym, receiving my Personal Training Certificate and reading magazines and websites. But truly it is up to me to do the work.
[ Q ] In your opinion, what attributes does a successful fitness model need?
First and foremost, they need a personality! I truly believe that if you are a genuine person inside, that will shine! A smile can go a long way. I also believe that a fitness model should work out and know the lifestyle. I know a few models that call themselves fitness models that have never spent hours working out hard in the gym.
Just because God blessed them with a great body doesn't mean that they are "fitness." Fitness models are not walking runways in the high fashion district of NYC or Paris. I would love to see them there but it is just a fact of life. I find fit females to be stunning, healthy, and beautiful. They deserve to be credited for their hard work and determination, dedication and drive.
[ Q ] What are your strengths as a fitness model?
My strengths as a fitness model are that I don't pretend to be something that I am not. I am honest about my own battles with image, and I have been and always will be here for everyone who emails me about their own battles. I also feel that I represent health and possess a positive attitude toward the industry, and life in general.
[ Q ] As a fitness model, what kind of work is available to you?
I am happy to say that fitness modelling has opened doors for me, especially since moving to the States. I have just finished shooting for two different cosmetic companies based out of New York City. Also I have just been selected as the USA Bikini Team's newest member!
On the agenda is bikini modelling, spokes-modelling for a new supplement company, which I can't talk about just yet, as I have been sworn to secrecy - but it is a great opportunity for me! I have also recently been contacted to do a music video this fall.
[ Q ] What are some of the bigger projects you have been involved in?
Stuff Magazine's Top 101 Sexiest Women on the Web.
[ Q ] I understand you own and operate your own company. What is this company, and what exactly is your role?
I own MyLongTresses.com and Studio 304 in Maryland. Studio 304 is a private space for females to have complete makeovers. We do cosmetic enhancements performed by Licensed Nurse Practitioners, as well as Cosmetic Tattooing, Air Brush Tanning, and Hair Extensions.
Basically this is a feel good studio for women to come and let us do the work. My role here is to market, set the screen, do the books; I'm the brains and businesswoman of this business, but I couldn't do it without my staff! I am certified with So.Cap from Italy, which is hair addition.
The highlight for me is to help improve the client's self-image and confidence level. It is always great when they leave, because they always walk out a foot taller.
[ Q ] What do you enjoy most about your career? (Both fitness modelling and your business.)
What I enjoy most about Fitness Modelling is travelling and meeting new people, not to mention the great parties after events such as the Arnold Classics. I have made so many great friends (Gina Ostarly & Grace Rivera) who share the same passion for fitness. Also Tara Scotti has been a large influence in my diet and training plan. She rocks!
As for my business, I enjoy the freedom to work for myself. I love the fact that if I need to take time off, I can. Mostly, however, I love working with women - most of my days don't even seem like I am working! I truly enjoy what I do and I am sure it rubs off on my clients. At work, everyday is a girlie day!
[ Q ] What are your goals, both long term and short?
Short term: Since my motorcycle accident, my goal is to get better and heal my arm. I am now back at the gym and trying to not damage my arm. I am right-handed and my right arm is fractured, so it makes for a bit of a challenge, but I am up for it.
Longer term: As I mentioned, I have the Miss Bikini America Pageant this November, so my goal is to be prepared and in the best shape of my life for that event.
[ Q ] What has been your best moment so far in this industry?
The day I became sponsored as a Fitness Model.
[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career as a fitness model?
My advice would be to ask yourself why you want it? If you love working out, love the concept of health and fitness, meeting new people, and eating right - then go for it! What I do know is that a great attitude will get you far.
If you ever have any questions about fitness modelling, eating plans, etc., please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.