Being beautiful is tough work. And unsurprisingly, for many contestants in the Miss America pageant (and all women, really), it goes beyond diet and exercise. Way beyond. Can we get a heck yes for that?
Preparing for the pageant requires some serious training of mind and body. This year’s contestants recently shared some of their secrets with PEOPLE magazine, and we have to say, we’re pretty inspired by their refreshing perspective on getting and staying healthy.
For example, Miss Missouri, Erin O’Flaherty, never lets a competition get in the way of her workout goal: to always have fun.
“Before a pageant, I really don’t try to kill myself in the gym because I want the judges to see an accurate version of me,” she said in the interview. “I stick to workouts that keep it fun. I do something different every day. If the weather’s nice in Missouri, I go outside and play soccer. I like to play on volleyball rec league, and my gym offers interval style classes with running and weights, so I try to mix it up a lot just to keep it fresh.”
I can’t believe preliminary competition for Miss America is over! I have had the absolute time of my life over the past 2 weeks. I got to walk on the most iconic stage in the world, but I also get to walk away with so many new great friends that I know I’ll have for life. I’m so grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to see who Miss America 2017 will be! #theresheis #MissAmerica
Miss Kansas, Kendall Ellen Schoenekase, credits her toned bod to a high-protein, low-carb diet that allows her to eat well and eat often.
“I’m eating at least six meals a day, so I’m constantly eating,” said Schoenekase. “Usually I’m snacking on veggies, chicken, egg whites and lots of nuts. My diet has been very strict, so of course no alcohol altogether!”
That’s right, no cheat day martinis for this fitspo pro.
Cierra Jackson (a.k.a. Miss District of Columbia) gets bikini-contest ready with a steady regimen of 5 a.m. workouts with her personal trainer. But rather than some fad weight-management program, Jackson chooses a diet of consistently responsible and healthful life choices to keep herself looking and feeling awesome.
#ReasonsWhyILoveMyTrainer Even after I’ve done what feels like a gazillion sets and I’m exhausted, my trainer, @johnanthonymorris pushes me to new limits with cool & innovative workouts to make me reach my greatest potential. I can already see a difference in my body now! I can’t wait to see what my body will looks like by swimsuit competition at #MissAmerica !!! Catch me LIVE at 9pm on #Sept11 competing for the title of Miss America only on ABC!!!!!!!! #JohnAnthonyMorrisFitness #JohnsJewels #WelcomeToThe6PackClub #NoPainNoGain #Fitness #MissDistrictOfColumbia
“Sometimes we pick up a diet because we want to win a pageant or [look good for] our class reunion, but I think you need to make lifestyle choices or you’ll pick up a bad habit as soon as that diet drops,” Jackson said in an interview. “If you make lifestyle changes, you’ll continually make better choices for your life.”
Similarly, Miss Arkansa, Savvy Shields—who was officially crowned Miss America 2017 last night, and is a former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers—has a strict, year-round diet and exercise plan to thank for her competition-ready bod.
“I wake up at 5 a.m. every morning to go to the gym before I start my day. It gives me energy,” she told ABC7News. “I don’t diet and I don’t exercise just for this competition, but I do it in my everyday life because I care about my health.”
Wise words from wise Miss America contestants. No shortcuts! Just hard work done consistently. Who would’ve thought?