Daisy Fuentes: The New Body Image
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Daisy Fuentes: The New Body Image

More and more Hispanic women are feeling the pressure to be skinny. Here, former model and Cuban-born TV personality Daisy Fuentes launches FITNESS's all-new Mind, Body & Spirit Superstar series with an exclusive interview about body confidence.

Interview with Daisy Fuentes

Daisy Fuentes eats, and she wants you to know she does (she munched on guac and chips at our photo shoot). In fact, she loves food -- and her curves -- and working out. "I've come to realize it's okay to be fit and to not have a six-pack," says the former MTV host, whose size-2 to plus-size line of clothing at Kohl's is a best seller. For fun and fitness, Daisy, 40, does Pilates, hikes with her dogs, and plays tennis every week. "I feel my best when I'm working out regularly," she says. Recently, she sat down with FITNESS to talk about her new focus: positive body image. In the first of our Mind, Body & Spirit cover stories, she shares her insights on why Hispanic women are struggling to reset the dial on what America calls beautiful and about how her favorite charity is helping build self-esteem early in girls.

Do you think our society has an obsession with thinness?

Daisy: Yeah. There was a time when I was caught up in it too. I had to stop myself from saying, "I'm fat." It's not good for your self-esteem, and it's not good for the people around you. I see moms with little girls who say, "I'm fat. I can't eat that." We need to stop doing that. We have to set an example for younger girls.

Do Hispanic women feel the pressure to be thin?

Daisy: I think we do. There's a part of you that really wants to embrace your curves, then there's society saying no one likes curves. It takes someone as confident as Jennifer Lopez to turn a body part that's often considered a flaw into something hot. The lesson? Stop listening to society and focus on yourself.

Did you ever worry about the way you looked?

Daisy: When I was younger, I used to worry about it all the time. Now I know that I'm doing the best I can. I don't care about the criticism.

When do you feel best about your body?

Daisy: When I'm exercising. For this shoot, I did a lot of circuit training, and I really felt my body working. I didn't obsess about calories. I just made sure all the basic food groups were in my diet.

What is your typical diet?

Daisy: I try to make healthy choices. I keep cookies and chips for guests, but I also keep veggie sticks and salad fixings. I'd say 90 percent of the time, I go for the healthy option. If I'm really full after I eat, I feel like crap. So I've learned to eat just until I'm satisfied.

What's your best confidence advice for other women?

Daisy: Don't be so hard on yourself. But, if you don't like something about your body, change it. Eat healthy and work out.

How do you think the image Hispanic women have of themselves will change in five years?

Daisy: I like the multicultural celebration of body image that is going on now. [I'm happy] that we're all starting to see how beauty shines through no matter what you look like. I'm also a big supporter of charities that boost girls' self-esteem. Girls on the Run, a group that helps preteens develop healthy lifestyles through running, is one of my favorites.

Daisy's Cover-Ready Workout

Daisy's trainer, David Brainin, knows she likes an intense workout: "I work hard to look as fit as I can," says Daisy. Here's how she does it.

Four weeks before the shoot: Daisy hiked the Hollywood Hills for 45 minutes twice a week.

  • She did a 60-minute Winsor Pilates (winsorpilates.com) session three times a week. "Pilates helped make me lean and strong. It really reshaped my body," she says.
  • Three times a week, Daisy did a circuit-training session, focusing on strengthening her core and lower back.

Two weeks before the shoot: Daisy added an extra hike and one or two games of tennis a week.

  • She stepped up her Pilates sessions by using a stability ball for ab work and 5-pound weights to sculpt her shoulders and arms.
  • During circuit training, Daisy did lunges, squats, and push-ups on Bosu balls (bosu.com). She also did biceps curls with 8- to 10-pound weights.

One week before the shoot: Daisy played an extra game of tennis and hiked more hills. She added tae kwon do kicks to the circuit to tone and tighten.

The results? Wow! Just check out the amazing photos.


Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2007.