Rozanna Purcell: 'Models train like athletes now'
Irish model and fitness fanatic Rozanna Purcell says the industry standard has shifted rapidly towards models who are 'fit not thin'.
She has become one of Ireland's busiest models since her beauty pageant days six years ago, and that is largely down to her honed and toned frame.
But there was a time when Roz Purcell considered eating solely vegetables and downing coffee by the gallon the only way to stay in shape.
After she was plucked from the stage of Miss Universe and signed to Donald Trump's agency, Rozanna found herself living in New York unable to keep up with the body standards for models in the US.
Aged just 18, she struggled to attain a certain dress size, and casting agents routinely told her she needed to "stop eating carbs and tone up".
"Five days a week I would just eat veg and at the weekends we would splurge on cupcakes," she recalled to the Irish Daily Mail's TV Week Magazine.
"I would run and run and run maybe 14 kilometers every day and downing coffee. I can never drink Starbucks again because I was using it to suppress my appetite. It reminds me of being really hungry. I came back and realised I would never go through that again," she promised.
Once she returned home to Ireland, she made sure to get a handle on her diet and fitness regime.
In the ensuing years, Roz has become the poster girl for a wholesome, plant based diet with plenty of 'clean' treats to satisfy her tastebuds.
She also overhauled her exercise regime, and has since completed numerous endurance runs and triathlons.
"Models train like athletes now, that's just the way it's gone," she said.
"Most models train at least once a day, sometimes twice, nutrition is really important as well. We will arrive at a job and have our Tupperwear with our lunch planned for the day. Before, we used to arrive and it was pizza and fizzy drinks. Now that would be unacceptable," she recently said at the Naked Coconut Water x Dublin Fashion Festival breakfast.
"There has definitely been a shift in our industry towards informed nutrition. I think people need to find the line of how to reach a weight and shape that works for you. There have definitely been times that I have dipped under that line and been too extreme and then times when I have not been extreme enough."
Now, Roz spends her freetime experimenting on nutritious versions of popular desserts and dishes, which she blogs about at her website, NaturalBornFeeder.com
"I feel I have found my balance now," she says of her "80/20 lifestyle".
"Bressie is always on the couch and he is my guinea pig. He has tried everything but he has got to the stage where he says everything tastes nice because he is afraid of me," she laughed.