INTERVIEW WITH MONIQUE LECLAIR
1. Hi, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I currently live in Los Angeles but I grew up in the rural swampy south of Florida. I grew up outdoors with everything around me at a very slow and natural pace. I was very much a tomboy growing up, building my own tree houses, catching baby alligators and rescuing baby opossums. I’m still very much the same girl today only I like to build and refurbish furniture now and help people rather. I had an amazing childhood and an imagination that always ran wild. I think that has allowed me to fulfil and manifest a lot of my dreams today. Modelling and acting have always been imaginative and creative outlets for me. I’m also a registered nurse, full-time grad student and proud Mommy to a beautiful healthy and intelligent little girl.
2. Tell us about your journey so far?
My journey has been quite exciting and colourful, haha! I moved to Los Angeles back in 2014 and I’ve made friends and worked with some of my favorite celebrities. I’ve learned a lot about the industry and have been fortunate enough to have a lot of great experiences and opportunities. I still haven’t been able to dodge the occasional curveball, but that’s what life is all about! Motherhood has by far brightened and changed my life in so many magical ways I never thought possible. I’m fortunate enough to be able to juggle it all! I want to be an inspiration to women everywhere to believe that they can be wonderful mothers and hard-working independent women all while still chasing their dreams
3. How would you describe your style?
My style changes but for the most part, I like to go for comfort, earthy tones and different textures. Growing up in the South has always been a huge influence on my whole persona. We like to put a big emphasis on hats, boots and belts… the louder and bigger the better!
4. Tell me about your experience as a model.
I actually started modelling before I could walk. My first gig was in the Sears-Montgomery Ward catalogue which my mom said helped pay the rent when her and my dad were first starting out. With my athletic and curvy build, I’ve mostly been successful with fitness and bikini modeling.
5. What keeps you motivated?
My biggest motivation is my daughter Nova, but I think as a person the hunger for always wanting more or wondering “what’s next” has kept me motivated my whole life.
6. How many days per week you workout and your normal weekly workout schedule?
Currently, I don’t have a set training schedule I try to exercise every day and only skip workouts when absolutely necessary. My daughter is my first priority so as long as I’m physically capable and she’s all set, Momma is training.
7. Monday- Shoulders/Triceps/Abs/Cardio
Being a former Bikini competitor, wrestler and weightlifter, I put on muscle mass easily so these days I focus on a lot of plyometrics cardio and HIIT training.
8. What is your favourite muscle group and your favourite exercise for it?
I love doing legs and lower body training. I think HIIT training with a combination of cardio works best for my body type. I really love doing box jumps, split lunch hops and Cowboys. These exercises really work the inner and outer thighs while lifting that booty!
9. What’s your diet like?
My diet is probably 85% clean I’ve learned throughout the years such strict dieting can result in unrealistic expectations, cravings and setbacks. I have substituted a lot of things I like such as pasta and bread with low carb options. Protein shakes are also a great on the go option.
10. What is your advice to anyone who wants to gain weight and build muscles?
I think that no matter what your goal is, you just need to stick with it and stay after it. Obviously if you want to gain mass or gain muscle you need to add more protein and more calories vice versa if you’re wanting to do the opposite. Regardless of your training or diet the most important thing is consistency. You will never see change without hard work and consistency together.
11. What are your ambitions?
I’d like to finish my nurse practitioner's license and open an aesthetic boutique in both Beverly Hills as well as back in Austin, Texas. Buy a house and some horses, grow my family and live somewhat normal haha. I’d like to eventually open an art gallery and start writing a little more also. Seeing my little girl healthy and happy is my greatest ambition of all.
12. What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?
I’ve done some pretty exciting and interesting things but the funniest thing so far I think is recently booking a role for a movie with my baby girl which we will be filming in late spring/early summer. She’s two years old and has so much personality. I acted and modelled as a kid so having a little mini-me that I now get to grow and work with is amazing. It's like watching everything come back full circle. It’s pretty awesome and I’m very excited to see her light up behind the camera.