As my loyal readers know, I am a huge fan of Andy Cohen and the Bravo TV shows he produces. Among those, Real Housewives of Atlanta is a favorite of mine, and so is sassy southern belle Phaedra Parks. For those who don’t watch the show, Phaedra is not only a devoted mother to her adorable son Ayden, she is also a celebrated entertainment attorney and philanthropist. I connected with Phaedra earlier this week to interview her on her new workout video, charity and style.
Phaedra Parks and her husband Apollo Nida welcomed their son Ayden Adonis Nida into the world in May 2010. Phaedra is petite – right at 5-feet tall – and said she gained about 20 pounds during her pregnancy. I saw the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” episode where Phaedra says she went from “Donkey Booty to Funky Booty.” I asked her what she meant by having a “Funky Booty.” She told me that she had always had a “round, firm and perky” derriere, but after her pregnancy she said it looked like “a scoop of ice cream that had melted off the top.” She never imagined she’d lose one of her best assets to motherhood. Another issue Phaedra faced after pregnancy was the belly pooch. She had to have a Caesarean section and had heard a lot of mothers say that because of the surgery she would never lose the pooch and get back to a flat stomach. Phaedra told me that so many mothers feel pressure to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight in a matter of weeks, even though it takes nine months for the pregnancy. She felt this in addition to the added pressure of being on national television, saying, “being a mother is the greatest job and joy in the world!” She believes that women don’t have to choose between being thin or being a mom, and that women need to be the “right size for their frame, and to be healthy, firm and grateful.”
Wanting to get her body back in shape, Phaedra turned to her husband Apollo Nida for help. Apollo grew up an avid sports and outdoors-man. Not only was he a team player, he also lettered and received numerous awards in football, basketball, wrestling and swimming. Which led him to become a certified trainer and nutritional specialist, where he has combined his passion for sports and staying active with a desire to help others. He is endorsed by the International Sports Medicine Association (ISMA) and the American Aerobic Association International (AAAI). Apollo worked with Phaedra on her nutrition and exercise, focusing on building Phaedra’s core and slimming her in the middle so as to keep her curvy shape. After 45 days she had lost the weight. She had gone from being a size 6 to a size 2.
After the success Apollo had with Phaedra, the couple decided to launch Nida Fitness and a two-part workout DVD series, Phine Body by Phaedra & Apollo. The first of the series will be available on December 11, 2012 and sell for under $16. It begins with a warm up featuring Phaedra that is dance-oriented. If you like Zumba, you will like the warm up! The video then goes on to feature Apollo’s core work and anaerobic exercise. Viewers will use their own bodyweight, in addition to common items kept around the house such as cans of food and milk jugs, rather than free weights. The exercises are meant to make exercise accessible and affordable. You don’t have to join a gym or go out and purchase a great deal of equipment to get started! The first DVD in the series is focused on the lower body – glutes, abs and legs, while the second DVD, which is expected out in January, is geared towards arms, the upper body and a total body workout.
I asked Phaedra about her style and how she likes to dress her curves. She told me that she is a fan of Hervé Léger bandage dresses and is thrilled that the peplum is back in style — she thinks it’s great for many body types, and loves the feminine and flirty look. Other favorite designers are Diane von Furstenberg and Milly. She especially likes their dresses and says they can be worn with pearls and a jacket, and transition well from day to evening. She loves demur, ladylike style reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy.
As for beauty, I asked Phaedra about her favorite beauty and skincare products, and she said she is a big fan of Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, and to exfoliate she really likes Glytone, as it exfoliates but in a gentle manner so as not to irritate the skin. I told her that her eye makeup always looks fabulous. She said that she likes Smashbox and NARS because they have intense pigments, and a little goes a long way.
I really like Phaedra. She’s smart, sassy, Southern and a bit over the top. She cracks me up on the show. Another thing I love is that Phaedra gives back to her community! She comes from a long line of educators, and loves to support charities which help women and children and have an educational component! Phaedra has been involved with the American Heart Association, Junior League of Atlanta, Wish Upon A Hero, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and the Atlanta Wednesday’s Child Program.
I hope you’ll check out her new fitness DVD next week, and definitely tune into Real Housewives of Atlanta if you don’t already!
– Miss A