Monica Vazquez- (Fat Chef) Weight Loss Trainer

Q.You're the Food Network's newest fitness star on the show Fat did you snag this epic gig?

I got involved because I work at New York Sports Club and the Food Network contacted them for a trainer for Chelsie Williams, a Times Square BBQ line cook. I lost a lot of weight before I became a trainer. I lost 65 pounds so they knew I could relate well to her. And that's how I got on Fat Chef!

Q.How long were you working with Chelsie?

16 weeks.

Q.And how much weight did she lose?

80 pounds.

Q.What was it like teaching a chef to eat less and workout more?

It's more challenging because she is a chef. If you work with a computer you can't just eat your computer. She is in front of food all day long and if you are a mindless or emotional eater it's just that much easier to eat when it's there. You need to learn how to be aware of what's going in your mouth and the calories you're burning. Once you make a habit out of it it's really not that hard.

Q.So how did you transform Chelsie?

She went from being so scared of me over-working her and going too hard to really enjoying feeling how much stronger she was getting. She was the amazing shrinking woman! She was getting smaller and smaller, losing an average of ten pounds a week in the beginning.

Q.Wow, that's incredible! Did she feel sexy?

It's funny, it gives you a new identity, and sometimes it's hard to identify with your skinny self. It's awesome to lose weight and become hot and sexy but it's hard to see yourself as that when you've been heavy for so many years. She struggled with that.  She said girls were talking to her that never talked to her before and she wasn't sure if she should be offended or excited!

Q.Are you digging being in the spotlight as a transformational trainer?

I've done a lot of work as a fitness expert on TV. I got a BFA in acting at NYU and in my last year in college someone told me I was too fat to get work. I then lost the weight and became a trainer right afterward so I was always comfortable doing work on TV. It's very exciting. I'm able to use every piece of education I ever got and I know I am good at it. Chelsie losing 80 pounds in 16 weeks shows that.

Q.What's next for you after Fat Chef?

What's next for you after Fat Chef?

Q.Right now you're promoting the show and working with Subway. Why Subway?

Subway is awesome at the nutrition part and giving people healthy options and to give people that other piece that is health and fitness is going to make the whole package really work. They reached out to me and asked if I was interested in being that missing piece.

Actually, the first time Chelsie and I ever worked out together we were going to do a 5K and she told me she hadn't eaten since she woke up. I asked, "are you kidding me?" I looked up Subway on my GPS and we got her something to eat  there before we worked out. The last thing you want to do is starve yourself before a workout. People get into the mindset that fast food is bad food and thank god at Subway you know there will be healthy options. I eat there all the time.

Q.You're Latina like me, right?

Yes! Puerto Rican.

Q.Anything you want to say to Latina women?

Of course. You don't have to give up the foods you love and grew up with, to be fit and fabulous.  It's all about portion control. We are built beautiful and strong and you need to embrace that. I still eat all the amazing things my mom makes, but I just sometimes ask her to put a little less oil in it or put it on a different cut of meat. It's just as delicious.



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