With just over 20 days to go before the end of the month-long modeling contest sponsored by VYZION Radio and Modelz View Magazine, fitness and fashion model Alexis Johnson has received hundreds of votes that put her well ahead of other nominees.
A graduate in Criminology from Penn State University, Alexis wants to show young girls who aspire to model high fashion that “dreams are achievable”. She loves to spend time pushing her physical boundaries– from wind sprints to insanity workouts and half-marathons, she is dedicated to living a life that embraces both physical and emotional health.
A survivor by nature, Alexis also finds inspiration in charity work. Not only has she helped raise awareness of several life threatening issues by bravely sharing her own stories of recovery, but she makes it a top priority to remain true to herself when modeling. “I’ll never try and be something I’m not. That’s just not me. I tried doing it once in my life and it led to terrible places,” she said.
Alexis has come a very long way since. She plans to compete in April’s WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion) contest and will also be working on a fashion modeling project in New York in the coming months. To Alexis, the opportunity to participate in the VYZION RADIO and Modelz View Magazine Cover Girl contest represents a chance to travel the world and inspire and motivate people to live a better life.
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The Levity Ball sat down with Alexis to learn even more…
How did you get started in fitness/modeling?
I started doing pageants when I was a little girl in my teens I did some promotional modeling work as Barbie and some more beauty pageants and I absolutely fell in love with it. My favorite body part to train is legs; before my surgery I could actually bucket squat 260 pounds. Right now I am currently carb cycling…high carbs on back and leg days and low carbs on anything else. I also do a hybrid program of insanity and high intensity cardio.
I just ran the half marathon back in April for the first time ever believe it or not. Sprinting is one of my favorite things to do and I would love to train for a Spartan Race.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working out?
When I workout I listen to heavy rock such as Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Limp Biskit, Breaking Benjamin, All That Remains.When I do cardio I like to listen to a lot of house music.
We all have at least one, what is the most embarrassing song in that list?
The most embarrassing song on my list right now is probably “A Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber.
What does your diet look like when you are cutting?
When I am cutting I usually start 12 weeks out. I start with higher calories and more carbs and as the weeks go by I cut my calories and carbs while adding more sessions of high intensity cardio. I love to do fasted cardio in the morning. My body seems to thrive off of it. I’ve always been lucky with running a higher fat diet more than higher carbs, even though carbs are my weakness I would eat oatmeal and bread any day of the week.
What kind of cardio do you like best and why?
I love doing wind-sprints and pushing myself. I also love programs like insanity, the harder and faster you go for a shorter period of time seems to work best for my body. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go for long runs in the summertime through the woods by the river it always brings me peace and serenity.
Tell us about your biggest fitness/modeling influence?
My biggest fitness influences would be Dana Linn Bailey and Laura Michelle Prestin. Dana Linn Bailey is strictly into bodybuilding and Laura Michelle Prestin is more into bikini and physique. Their dedication to the sport motivates me each day, I look at them when I don’t want to train and realize that they got where they are by being completely 100 percent dedicated day in and day out.
Favorite cheat food?
My favorite cheat food isn’t really a food it would be a breakfast buffet :-):-) Carbs Carbs Carbs…pancakes, waffles, french toast, all the good stuff. I absolutely love a breakfast buffet!
Do you take any supplements?
I take a woman’s multivitamin, fish oil, taurine and potassium supplements everyday; I also drink BCAA’s in the morning during a workout and at night before I go to sleep. I love all different types of protein powders and “cake batter” by Cellucor is my absolute favorite oh and “waffles and syrup” is pretty good too.
How would you describe your professional interests?
My professional interests are very driven and motivated. I’ve personally been to hell and back and I know what it’s like to lose everything. I don’t take for granted anything that I have in my life including my job, my goals, my dreams, my aspirations…all the way down to a simple cup of coffee. I’m very grateful and lucky to have been given a second chance in life and I don’t waste a single second of it.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
My favorite fashion designer would probably have to be Gucci. I absolutely love everything about the style simple, classy, elegant yet effective. If I was super rich I would definitely dress in Armani black suits that are fitted. I wear a lot of Swarovski crystals. That’s my one weakness I absolutely love jewelry but I’m also perfectly happy with anything from the local department store as well. One of my favorite models is Heidi Klum. I absolutely love her and Adriana Lima from Victoria’s Secret. I remember when she first started out her modeling career as a young girl and I watch her grow and become successful. I always wanted to be like her.
Which fashion magazines, websites, blogs, and catalogs do you visit most often?
I am absolutely addicted to bodybuilding.com and simplyshredded.com. I read the blogs and the articles every day and watch the motivational transformations that they post on their website. When I stopped horseback riding and I went to college and joined a sorority my weight had ballooned up from partying and drinking all the time. I was so uncomfortable and absolutely miserable and I ended up developing an eating disorder. I actually binged and purged for over 4 years and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get my weight under control; it was a vicious never ending cycle. There are two magazine covers that I dream of being on the front of, Maxim and Fit and Firm magazine.
What’s your fashion motto?
I don’t really have a fashion motto but I wear white whenever I want 365 days a year and I don’t even think twice about it. I do have a favorite saying though that I read on the back of a shirt and it said: “you hate on my success like we don’t have the same 24 hours”. We are all given the same amount of time in the day to do something useful with it and I make sure I use every last second.
How would you describe your style? Consider anything and everything from color to historical eras and more.
My style is classy and elegant yet sexy. Fitted suits, nice black cocktail dresses, hair and makeup always done, embellished with Swarovski crystals…that’s my style, sleek and polished.
Where do you generally shop? What other modeling projects have you done?
I generally do a lot of shopping online like Fredericks of Hollywood Victoria’s Secret. I love Express and The Limited, I also get a lot of fun comfortable clothes from Aeropostale. That’s probably my hidden gem of a store that I love more than anything. There’s just something about sweatpants and an off the shoulder shirt with leg warmers that get me every time. I love the fall season !
Out of all of the photos of you, which is your favorite and why?
Probably the black-and-white photograph that I have up for that cover girl contest is my favorite photo. It’s very simple elegant and classy; doesn’t reveal too much and it’s just straightforward and simple. I like that.
Do you have any other experience in the fashion industry? (writing, photography, marketing, etc.)
I’ve had the privilege of shooting three commercials for my place of employment: I work for a Ford (Gibbons) dealership. I’ve also been on the cover of the Weekender in my hometown twice. Helping to raise mental health awareness and for my fundraiser for suicide prevention. I’ve also been in the newspaper, on live TV and Electric City has done an article on me concerning my recovery.
What is fun and rewarding about modeling?
Modeling is fun and rewarding because it lets me bring out a side of me that just likes to have fun. I think it’s good when you use it for purposes that help benefit people not bring them down. So far what modeling work I have done has been to help raise awareness and help promote my charities I’ve been involved in. You’ll never see me starve myself for photos or try and be something I’m not that’s just not me. I tried doing it once in my life and it led me to terrible places, I won’t go back there again.
What do you not like about the industry?
The one thing I don’t like about modeling is in some instances it seems to portray the wrong image to young girls. There are so many teenagers right now that are developing eating disorders because they think that they have to look a certain way. There are things out there right now that are concerning. Thigh gaps and if you don’t have the right amount of hip bones then you’re too fat and that is just not true! I am very healthy, I take very good care of myself and I certainly don’t have a thigh gap and I’m perfectly okay with it!! I like women to know that they can get healthy and get fit doing it the right way. You don’t have to develop an eating disorder or take ridiculous amounts of fat burners if you stay true to your course and work at it day in and day out. Just like anything else in life you will achieve your goal if you put the work in.
What advice do you have for other aspiring models?
Patience. Which I have none. That’s my advice, nothing happens overnight. Dream big and reach for the stars. No regrets. Life is too short.
What makes a stylish lady or man? Is there a difference?
A stylish lady or man is someone who exudes confidence and loves what they do, and does it for the right reasons. If you’re confident in your own skin, you can wear a garbage bag and make it look good.
Who are some of your favorite fashion photographers? (They do not have to be famous.)
I would love to shoot with Jason Ellis, he’s known as the king of covers he shoots fitness photography, and his work is absolutely phenomenal.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means portraying a message, and selling a product, whether it be fitness, clothing, health and beauty products. Having class and style with confidence is the ultimate combination for me. Anyone can sell their body, it takes a classy woman or man to sell their brand.
What distinguishes a good model from a bad one?
A good model takes direction and criticism well. They work well with others and are willing to work outside their comfort zone. They are willing to bring others up, not tear them down. They are early and well prepared at all times. When they are not shooting, they are still well dressed and take care of their appearance because they are representing themselves at all times.
Where would you like to shoot/travel for modeling?
I’m willing to travel anywhere. My dream is Miami. I’d love to shoot in Europe, especially Spain. I’ve been there and it’s beautiful. I’m open to new and fun places as well.
Where do you hope to go in this industry?
I’d love to devote my life to training and motivating people to live better lives. To not take anything for granted. I plan on competing in the WBFF in April and hopefully getting my pro card. My dream would be to get picked up by a supplement company and make this lifestyle a permanent thing travel the world, and take advantage of every opportunity given.
And I can’t thank you enough for this interview!