Samantha Hoopes: Exceptionally Talented Supermodel talks about her post-pregnancy weight loss journey 

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Samantha Hoopes is an American model known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue from 2014 to 2020.

She is from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Central Bucks East High School. She went to Barbizon Chique in Philadelphia for modeling training. She first attended a branch campus then Penn State University majoring in business after changing her major from kinesiology. She wanted to be a gym teacher and coach a team on the side. She played field hockey in middle school.

She appeared in the 2014 Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Swimsuit issue. Hoopes has modeled for Guess and Levi’s Jeans. She posed for the June 2014 of Maxim Magazine. She was ranked 18 out of Maxim’s 100 Hottest in 2014.

Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up with Samantha Hoopes, exceptionally talented supermodel and Instagram star talks about her post-pregnancy weight loss journey, diet, exercise and the secret to her modeling success story.

Namita Nayyar:

A healthy morning ritual that you follow? One beauty secret every woman should follow?

Samantha Hoopes:

My morning ritual is the best part of my day; I feel like it sets the tone for the day. As soon as I wake up, I drink water to hydrate. I make a green concoction with Moringa leaf, spiralina, chollera, chlorophyl, aloe juice. It sounds hard core but it really isn’t, well, maybe a little hard core. I have started with this drink every morning so far in 2020 and have noticed a dramatic change in my skin, nails and hair! My hair is shinier and growing. My skin is glowing. The best beauty secret is not a secret at all, drink a lot of water!

Namita Nayyar:

You are best known for appearing in Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s Most American Thickburger advertisement and the Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Swimsuit issue in 2014. How did modeling happen for you?

Samantha Hoopes:

My modeling career began unexpectedly. When I was in college at Penn State University, my roommate was always browsing the internet. When the SI Swimsuit issue came out, she saw Irina Shayk on the cover, my roommate said that she thought I could be in Sports Illustrated Swim edition. This little vote of confidence was the little boost that I needed to take the next step. As I was always a taller than most girls, I had thought about a modeling career. I had dreamed of modeling for Guess, Inc. I liked the Guess label and concept of becoming sexy and empowered, strong and powerful, like the women in 50 years of SI Swimsuit issues.

I took a few Polaroid’s and sent them to agencies. To my surprise, I got a call from Elite Modeling, LA. My career took off almost right away, starting with my dream shoot with Guess, Inc. Yep, my first big job was for Guess. Incredibly, my second big shoot was Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Swimsuit edition.

I did not have a lot of experience shooting with professional photographers, stylists, makeup artists and editors and the SI team had been together for years. They made me feel life family and everything was perfect, or as perfect as could be. For the 50th Anniversary edition, I was one of the 5 models for each decade that had a classic swimsuit ‘body painted’ on. I represented the 80’s with a painted replica of a swimsuit worn by Elle MacPherson. The painting process took 15 hours. Once complete, we were ready to shoot just as an incredible thunder and rain storm was beginning. We did the shoot as quickly as possible. I do not think you would notice in the photos, but if you look at the sky in the pictures, you can see the storm clouds.

Carl’s Jr. was an amazing shoot and a fantastic commercial. It was released for 4th of July holiday so it was very patriotic. I was truly honored as this was the first time that a model’s name was ever stated in a Carl’s Jr. Commercial. Maybe even the only time.

To sum it up, my career began with my dreams and developed into reality with support and confidence from my family, my college roommate, and my Elite agent, Victor.

Namita Nayyar:

In August 2019, you gave birth to your first child. Tell us about your post-pregnancy weight loss? Five tips to manage family and work.

Samantha Hoopes:

During pregnancy I gained over 80 pounds! Wow! Extra weight was something new for me because I have always been pretty much the same size, plus or minus a few pounds. Being pregnant, I really took it easy and enjoyed the time, not focusing on how I looked or how much weight I gained. I was just focused on the health of my baby. After giving birth I was shocked at all the changes to my body. My body did not bounce back like all of the women I saw on Instagram. I was going to need to work hard to lose my extra weight and get back to some sort of shape. I also wanted to do it slowly since I was breastfeeding and wanted to maintain nutrients for the baby. It’s been an 8-month journey so far, and I am still on it. Excess skin, the extra pounds, sagging boobs and some new stretch marks. I do not look the same, I am proud of the new body that I have now! I have never felt stronger and more in control of myself and my life.

Things that I have learned over these 8 months of having my son would be:

  1. Life isn’t a race and we need to slow down. Don’t try to get everything done in the same day. Appreciate those who surround us for support. Take the time to enjoy their presence.
  2. There is no need to compare yourself and your journey with anyone. It’s not easy to balance a family, work, social life and everything in between but what helps me is taking things day by day.
  3. Don’t stress (too much) when something doesn’t turn out the way you want or expect. Especially, if it is something that you will not even remember after a few days pass. Sometimes things happen that take you to where you need to be, not where you want to be and those places may be better than you ever expected.
  4. Forgive yourself if you do not complete everything you planned for a day. Take time to pamper yourself, even if it is a small effort like a face scrub before bed.
  5. Do what you can when you can. Be the best you can be.

Namita Nayyar:

What exercises is an integral part of your home workout routine? Five must-do mornings stretches?

Samantha Hoopes:

My home workout routine has been the same since I was in middle school. My favorite place to work out is in my bathroom before I shower if I’m trying to make it a quick one! I love planks, side planks, pushups and lying on my back while alternating legs in the air. You can even add a crunch to that!

If you are not familiar with these exercise terms, you can find examples on the internet. Once you are familiar with them, do as many as you can and then keep increasing your effort and rotations.

Namita Nayyar:

Your meal before and after a workout? Two supplements you must take.

Samantha Hoopes:

I don’t typically like eating before working out because sometimes it makes me feel sick or ‘burppy’ during the workout. I just make sure I drink a lot of water even sometimes coconut water for extra hydration. After my workout I love to take a green juice or smoothie if I’m in a rush. When I’m not in a rush I typically eat avocado, spinach, chicken or meat. I also love a small bite of raw chocolate for a nice treat after.

Collagen has many benefits. My go-to collagen contains ‘Type 1 and 3”, good for skin, hair, nails, joints, ligament and bone health. As it is a powder, I can mix it in with anything I have to drink.

Omega’s, rich is fatty acids that are great for you in many ways. Known to support your heart, brain and joints. I started taking Omega’s along with exercise to try to live a long healthy life.

Namita Nayyar:

Favorite meal of the day? What does it contain?

Samantha Hoopes:

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast! I love it so much because you can make fun things almost dessert like. One of my favorite breakfast even snacks is chia seed pudding. You can make it any way you want; I like to use dairy free milk; chia seeds and I add bee pollen with fruit puree. It’s so yummy and super easy to make!

Namita Nayyar:

Top three healthy snack options? One diet secret you would like to share now?

Samantha Hoopes:

Nuts! My go-to is walnuts, cashews and pecans.

I love a smoothie as well. You can whip up a smoothie with frozen fruits and nut milks in a blender for a fast-healthy snack. One of my favorite companies is Daily Harvest that have prepared combinations of fruits and vegetables ready to go by adding milk and blending.

Occasionally, sweet and salty popcorns are a favorite snack.

The term ‘diet’ has too many meanings. Better than starting a traditional or ‘fad’ diet you should adapt a healthy life style and eat the foods in the portion sizes that you need to sustain that healthy life style. Start by cutting your portion sizes in half and enjoy it by eating slower. In America, our portion sizes are larger than the portions we really need. Remember, drink a lot of water or tea to hydrate and flush!

Namita Nayyar:

Define Women Fitness for WF viewers.

Samantha Hoopes:

Women fitness to me is staying healthy but not putting pressure on you. Balance is key. I think the hardest part of fitness and working out is getting started, that’s why I prefer to work out in the morning right after I have my coffee so it’s done and out of the way. I feel like it sets an amazing tone to the day and I have no excuse not to get it done. Women’s fitness is also inspiring other women to be their best selves and motivate each other. Something to always keep in mind is all of our bodies work differently what gives me muscles may not work for someone else so it’s important to find a workout that’s fun and one that works for your body type.

Namita Nayyar:

How are you spending your time creatively during the lockdown?

Samantha Hoopes:

I am not sure that I am being particularly creative; I am trying to be productive by getting organized and planning for the day when we are released from this lockdown. I think it’s important to remember this is a pandemic and not a productivity competition because at finest I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. During this time I have learned new skills like cutting hair, grooming my dog and have become a personal chef for my family by preparing every meal at home. I have also become the ‘game night’ host.

Preparing for the release, I have read about CoVid-19 so I can protect my family. Masks and gloves may be essential in the future. I have joined the fight of this virus by donating masks and gloves to those working on the front line.

Namita Nayyar:

Social media is instrumental in today’s era. Two things you enjoy and hate about it?

Samantha Hoopes:

Social media allows everyone to have a platform to voice their opinion, good and bad. The great thing is when you connect with people that are encouraging and supportive. I enjoy reading comments from people that I will not have the opportunity to meet in person. You can also use social media to learn about products, beauty and hair tips and also learn about places to travel.

The downside is when people hide behind a user name and say anything they want even though there is no basis for their comments. We fondly refer to those as ‘haters’. These comments create pressure, comparison and can impact your self-confidence.

Namita Nayyar:

You were ranked 18 for Maxim’s 100 Hottest in 2014. How did you feel about that? What will you attribute your success to?

Samantha Hoopes:

It sill blows my mind that I was #18! I wasn’t even expecting a ranking so I was in shock and still am! It was really a fun photo shoot and one I will never forget. I still giggle when people think I’m sexy because I never look at myself like that, I’m just a small town girl with big dreams.

For success, it is more achievable if you have a great support team. For me, I attribute my success to my agent, family and friends. Many friends know me as more than a face and body. They know my goofy personality and my desire to stay true to myself. In this industry you get a million ‘no’s’ before you get one yes and it can mess with you and your confidence. My support system kept me focused and helped me along the way.

Namita Nayyar:

Message for your 1.2 million on Instagram?

Samantha Hoopes:

I really appreciate my followers. Many have been following me throughout my journey and have seen that I have made mistakes, but grew along the way. I feel blessed to have people interested in me and share comments and advice thru their posted comments. I make every attempt to read all of them. I’m not so good at posting on a regular basis. I hope to continue to keep up with my followers so I can interact with everyone more.

Always be yourself even in a world full of fake people, don’t compare your life to theirs. People don’t always post what’s really going on in their life so what looks like sugar could be salt. Don’t blend in and be like everyone else. What makes you different and sets you apart is your own beauty and that to me is perfection.

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