Previous Cover Girls
TF: You’ve been involved in the fitness industry for a while now. What got you started?
HR: I was never very athletic growing up. My hand-eye coordination was far from impressive and I always focused more on my strengths in the arts; dance, painting, acting, piano. I did however have a competitive side and when I was challenged by a couple that I met at the gym to try competing it instantly peaked my interest. I had always enjoyed working out, but I knew nothing about nutrition or putting on lean muscle. I was a skinny-fat girl that ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes, did a few crunches then hit the showers and stopped for a slurpee on the way home. As I began to do more research, and work with some of the industry’s top trainers, I became fascinated with the body and how it reacts to proper nourishment and exercise. I already knew that I loved the stage, so a competition seemed like the perfect goal to set. After winning my first competition I was hooked and was ready to raise that bar the next year.
TF: Any plans to compete again?
HR: I feel like I hear this question on a weekly basis! It’s been 3 years since my last show and at this point I don’t have any competition plans but I’ll never completely write off the idea. I look at competing as an event that was intended to happen in my life to bring me to where I am today and I am so glad that I experienced it. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people in the industry and opened a number of doors to new relationships and business opportunities. It has also allowed me to be able to fully relate to my clients who are training for competition, which has been an invaluable asset toward their success.
TF: What’s it like being a fitness icon? I mean, several covers and features in some of the world’s biggest publications and a huge fan base. That’s got to change a person, doesn’t it?
HR: This question actually made me laugh out loud! I’ve never thought of myself as an icon and I am completely humbled to hear that. I think the greatest feeling in life is to be able to do what makes you happy and have others be moved or inspired by your actions. The only way the exposure has changed me is that it has made me more aware of my word and the example that I am setting. I strongly believe that fitness professionals or “icons” have a huge responsibility to provide accurate information and set an ongoing example of what they preach. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in any area of life but I do like to share my experiences and learnings as I go… whether they are good or bad. Perfection is never inspiring so I just prefer to keep it real.
TF: Modeling can’t cover all your costs, so how do you make your living?
HR: What, I’m not getting paid for this!!? Just kidding! Unfortunately this is true; fitness modeling will not pay my bills. I have been fortunate enough to work as a commercial model since I was 13, booking large national campaigns for companies such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola & Jugo juice. I also stay busy with my fitness coaching. I am part of a stellar coaching and competition-prep group in Calgary: Define-Fitness. I also provide online training and group challenges. Like I mentioned earlier; I make a living doing what I love and I am proud to say that!
TF: Do you have any mentors? Does anyone in the fitness industry inspire you?
HR: I look up to the women in the industry that are taking their knowledge and experience and sharing it with others in a realistic, inspiring way. Jamie Eason, Chady Dunmore and Lyzabeth Lopez are just a few of the women that are not only rocking amazing healthy bodies but, on top of staying fit, they are running a business, caring for family and/or clients, and delivering a consistent message that is genuine. And of course I can’t leave out the guys: James Ellis, David Kimmerle and Rob Riches are always on my radar and I always look forward to what they are going to do next!
TF: What are your thoughts on the sometimes blurry line between fitness modeling and glamour modeling? Any thoughts on the amount of sex appeal that’s being pushed into the fitness genre?
HR: There is definitely a fine line and it’s always been something that I have been cautious of. It first depends on what you’re comfortable with, and secondly, from a business perspective, your target audience. As a model, a fitness publication or a supplement company, the images you put out there are going to set a tone for your brand and will attract a certain type of consumer. The advice I always give to new fitness models is to clearly define what you want your brand to be and what message you want to send. Everything you do moving forward in your career should correspond with that message. You may have to say no to a few people, or turn down opportunities, but in the long run you will have no regrets and know that you have stayed true to your brand. For me personally, I like to feel sexy but I think sexiness comes off through confidence, not through provocative images. If I take an image that causes me to cringe when I think of my parents seeing it, that’s when I know I’ve crossed that line.
TF: What’s your best feature?
HR: My tenacity. I am very persistent when it comes to achieving goals and ‘making things happen.’ I have failed or been knocked down a number of times. I may have a little cry and some chocolate, but then I get off my butt and find a new solution or create a new opportunity to move forward to reach my next goal. Through this I have also learned patience, as the things we really want are always worth the wait and the time we need to put in to achieve them.
TF: What’s it like for you to be in a relationship with a pro photographer?
HR: Joey [Camacho] is not only a talented photographer, but a motion designer and graphic genius. He has worked with major brands such as Adidas and Infiniti and has taught me an extensive amount about personal branding and creating an authentic image. We are lucky to be able to travel the world together for photo shoots, which take us to exotic locations like Belize, Croatia and Italy. A typical weekday night for us can consist of setting up a ‘pop-up’ studio in the living room and doing an impromptu photo shoot. There is a never-ending stream of creativity between us and we constantly push each other to try new things and get out of our comfort zones.
TF: What’s your biggest motivation for working out and staying in shape?
HR: The fact that I have control over how I treat my body is empowering to me. There are so many things in life that we have no control over, but we do get to choose how we treat our bodies. I love to be able to go through life feeling energized and confident. The sluggish feeling I get when I don’t stay active or eat well is enough to prevent me from going down that road.
TF: What training method do you subscribe to?
HR: I like to keep my workouts fresh and new. I get bored really easily and my body plateaus quickly if I’m not constantly switching things up. I like to combine HIIT with heavy isolated weight days and also throw in some hot yoga and cardio days. I like to try new things, so I’m always on YouTube ha! A typical week looks like this: Monday: Upper body & HIIT cardio; Tuesday: Morning stair run & evening yoga; Wednesday: Leg day (yes it deserves a day all to itself!); Thursday: Long distance cardio; Friday: Full body HIIT circuit; Saturday: Cardio & Yoga; Sunday: Rest!
TF: What’s one thing you’d like our readers to know?
Listen to your body and not the hype! There is such a whirlwind of information out there; different diet plans, supplements, workout trends, and so many “experts” that claim they know all the secrets. It took me almost 3 years to learn this lesson. I was always doing what everyone else was doing; following the latest trends, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my health. So I jumped off the band wagon and spent some time learning about me. What foods did my body react to best? How much sleep did I really need? What types of exercises did my body respond to positively? Taking the time to do this was the most effective step I have ever taken towards my overall well-being. I am constantly learning about my body and my mind and what I need in order to enrich both.
TF: What’s next for Heather Robertson?
HR: I have a huge goal for the next 5 years and that is to be able to do my job from anywhere in the world. No biggie! I am in the process of building my new website where I will be offering a number of on-line services including customized workouts and nutrition plans. The site will house over 300+ clean recipes, an extensive exercise database and some really killer features that I can’t spill the beans on quite yet. I want to see more of the world without having to give up my passion.
See more of Heather at:
Joey Camacho: www.rawandrendered.com