Model of the Month-Leah Heifferon!

We are thrilled to have pro fit model, Leah H, as our November Model of the Month!  From being one of our very first signs, to now being one of our top models, we are so happy to see how much she’s taken off and we’re so excited to see what future brings her! Read more to learn a bit about her story, and her “stroke of luck” for stumbling across the fit industry-talk about genetic lottery!

1. Where you are from?
I’m from Tucson, Arizona. A cruel place to raise such a pale person!

2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?
I’m a big reader, having worked for many years in publishing before transitioning to fit lisahoulgrave_photography_0312_rtfmodeling full time. I’m also an avid cook, am obsessed with spin class, and love meeting up with friends all over my favorite borough, Brooklyn!

3. Favorite clients from the biz?
Ralph Lauren Collection is just as classy as you’d imagine, and Rag & Bone is just as cool. I’ve worked for Diane Von Furstenberg for over five years, so their fit room really feels like my home away from home. Another favorite client where I log a ton of hours is Tory Burch. Coincidentally, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch are the only two fashion designers on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. I’m honored to work for such inspiring women!

4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest?
I’m planning to take patternmaking classes at FIT this January just to nerd out a bit with my job. The best fit models are able to visualize the changes techs are making to the pattern as they’re fitting, and I want to go deeper into my understanding of their work so that I can be even more valuable to my clients.leah-retouched-hand

5. Career highlights?
I love getting to travel with clients: to Milan with Ralph Lauren and Hong Kong with DVF. What’s dreamier than that?

6. How did you get into modeling or acting?
I was looking for a way to supplement my publishing income when a friend recommend I try fit modeling. I’d never heard of a fit model, but went to an open call at an agency where they told me I have the perfect measurements and offered me a contract. It was an incredible stroke of luck!

BICOASTAL MGMT fitness model-Marisa M

So happy we were able to sit down and chat with BICOASTAL MGMT fitness model Marisa M- fitness, health and wellness expert; read below to hear her story and for tips + tricks for healthier living! Also, make sure to check out our new and improved fitness board!
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JAY_SULLIVAN_PHOTOGRAPHER_53091.jpg1. Tell us about your fitness journey?

I’ve always been a little obsessed with being physically active. I started to going to Jazzercise at the Roller Skating Rink in my hometown with my Mom when I was 4 and used to get up before school and put on legwarmers and a leotard to do Mousercize on the Disney Channel when I was in Elementary School, at that point I think I liked the outfits more than the workout.

I grew up dancing, I was a competitive baton twirler and gymnast and played 3 sports in high school. In college I majored in Nursing and minored in Dance. I went on to dance professionally and had a traumatic fall early in my career that resulted in multiple surgeries on my back, foot, and hip. I did pilates through my recovery and since I wasn’t physically stable enough for several years to go back to dancing or be on my feet for 12 hour nursing shifts, I started modeling and doing commercials. It was a struggle to maintain my weight without being physically active in a dynamic way so I really had to clean up my diet and stay consistent with pilates and low impact conditioning. I found a niche in fitness modeling and have appeared in multiple workout videos and print for Beachbody, Women’s Health, Reebok, Self, Capezio, Target, and several other companies. This introduction to the fitness industry gave me the opportunity to work with some of the top trainers in the industry and opened doors to become an instructor and trainer myself. In addition to the surgeries, I also have scoliosis and hypermobility issues. After struggling with years of chronic pain on and off, I finally found relief and stability through practicing the MELT Method and bodyART. I’m still doing fitness modeling and commercials but over the past year I’ve transitioned from my dance career to teaching MELT and bodyART, hosting workout videos for Qinetic.com and working with Dancers, Broadway Performers, and Athletes to help them recover from andMarisaMerliss_ChrisFanning_med rez fitness prevent injuries.

2. What are your newest endeavors?

My newest endeavor is launching a fitness and wellness retreat company with my colleague Becca Pace, REVIVE Restorative Retreats. Becca and I met doing a fitness video in 2013, she is also a bodyART instructor and a trainer for Daily Burn. Since bodyART and MELT are such complimentary restorative techniques we thought it would be a great way for people to hit the reset button with their fitness routine and also recharge and relax in a beautiful environment. We’re hosting our first retreat Oct. 31st-Nov. 6th in Bali, Indonesia. http://www.reviverestorativeretreats.com It’s sold really quickly, we only have 2 spots left…..we’re so excited for this new adventure!!!!

3. Advice for people to change their bodies, energy levels, etc.:

I think consistency is the key to creating change in the body and improving energy levels. Find an activity/class/video you love and do it regularly(2-5 times/week). Even if you’re short on time, it’s better to go for a 10 minute run or turn on your favorite music and dance around your living room rather than not do anything at all. Taking 5-10 minutes to do planks or abs is one of my go to activities on a busy week, you won’t even break a sweat so you can just carry on with your day.
Regarding nutrition, don’t deny yourself the things you love just eat them in moderation. Make sure you eat a diet consisting mostly of fruit, vegetables, whole foods while limiting sugar, meat and especially dairy. When choosing what to eat, think about what it will do to nourish your body. If it doesn’t provide strong nutritional value it better taste AMAZING, like donuts! 😉 I’d rather save the calories for a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s than to eat frozen yogurt 5 nights in a row. One of my favorite nutrition books on improving energy levels is the Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.

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To keep up with Marisa, make sure to check out her website