Real Housewives’ Fernanda Rocha Wants to Move You: Interview
Fernanda Rocha may have captivated national audiences when she became the first lesbian cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County, but her success in the fitness field began long ago. Rocha, who owns The Art of Fitness in Laguna Beach, Calif., came to the U.S. from Brazil when she was only 23, a few dollars and a dream in her pocket. Today she says she’s living the American dream, becoming both a fitness guru and an LGBT rights advocate.
Fernanda Rocha may have captivated national audiences when she became the first lesbian cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County, but her success in the fitness field began long ago. Rocha, who owns The Art of Fitness in Laguna Beach, Calif., came to the U.S. from Brazil when she was only 23, a few dollars and a dream in her pocket. Today she says she’s living the American dream, becoming both a fitness guru and an LGBT rights advocate. In between promoting her apparel line, Jiinga Brasil, and her now famous workout DVD Brazilian Booty (which is, face it, responsible for half the nice badonkadonks in Hollywood), Rocha is joining up with activists like the NoH8 Campaign and It Gets Better. With a slew of new projects, including a new series of workout DVDs, an online fitness boot camp, and a daring new public project called Fernanda’s Food & Fitness Program. For that, Rocha will be working with schoolchildren in her community to experience hands-on activities about nutrition and fitness. She says she’s living loud and proud and one day her “life vision” will be complete when she can marry and start a family. We caught up with the original Brazilian babe to find out about her plans for world domination.
You have a lot of things coming up this year. Where to start?
For the New Year, we need to start talking about New Year’s resolutions right? So we can start by Fernanda’s 2012 Eight Week Body Transformation: its an online program and I have a team working with me, and for anybody that signs up we are going to provide guided training and nutrition, and a meal-plan and exercise plan, and a 24-hour support team throughout these eight weeks. It works together with my own supplement line, so they are going to receive the protein powder, the fat metabolizer, the detox plan—all of this is part of the Eight Week Body Transformation. That is one of the big projects that I am involved in right now.
You’ve already got a clothing line, too, right?
Yes, the King of Brazil is a clothing line that I have had since 2002. It’s fitness wear. I’m coming up with a new collection, a bikini line, very soon. That is very exciting news in my world. I want to blend a little bit of Brazil and United States. I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I love the whole creativity part of it.
Now tell me more about the project you’re doing with kids, that sounds really progressive.
Together with Fitness World we are launching a program in Laguna Beach [Calif.] for kids, it is fitness, food, and fun, and we are getting support of the city. We are going to do a workshop to bring awareness to the kids about staying active.
So you’re going to be going to schools?
No we are basically going to be in community centers and kids are going to be part of the workshops. And since it has the food element together with the fitness and fun, I will work with different restaurants for every workshop. We are going to invite a chef, so every chef is going to do part of the food part of the workshop. My intention was to open this for the underprivileged kids, as well, so we are going to make this a free program to bring a little bit of knowledge and awareness to the young population. There’s high numbers of obesity, here and especially in Brazil as well. So I think this is important for me, I want to be involved in this and help in the community I live in.
Is this an idea that you took to the city or did they come to you?
Well, I always had the desire to give back but I always thought that I had to wait for the right time and then I realized that I am never going to [know] the right time — when it is quiet? When I have more money? So I decided that time is now. The reality is we have to do it now, because this is part of what I want to create for my life. So there was an event in Laguna, and I was talking to a person who works at the Chamber of Commerce, and I was sharing with her what I wanted to do, and she loved it. So we have been preparing for about six months and we finally finalized everything and we are going to open the program in January.
How many workshops will there be?
We are going to start with two workshops a month. And the fun element needs to be incorporated for kids, because it is not about going to the gym or being fit, its about being active, and how being active can really make you feel good. It’s about kids feeling good, which has to do with the type of nutrition that you put in your body as well. That is such an important topic and knowledge that I hope I can help in.
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